Category Archives: K S Adkins

BRAWLER (Detroit After Dark #2) by K S ADKINS

brawler

SYNOPSIS

My name is Macy Kowalski.

I’m a registered nurse, a pharmaceutical scientist, a founding member of the Detroit Police Department’s barely-legal Shadow Squad, and a walking case study in 21st century man problems.

I like things calm and orderly. I have a soft spot for people, so I spend my days developing a formula to help cancer patients escape their suffering. My research has caught the eye of some dangerous members of the self-medicating community, and now I have to make sure my plans aren’t polluted by unsavory people who’d rather destroy me, my friends, and my city.

By night I have a part-time partner and full-time guardian, Detective Jonas Rafe, fellow member of the Shadow Squad. He is as volatile and unpredictable as anything I’ve ever dealt with in a lab. I’m smart enough to protect myself when handling chemicals, but I’m still learning when it comes to him.

He’s sweet when his mouth is closed, but there’s no way to prepare for when it opens. In time, his actions speak louder than his words, and though I vowed to never put my trust in another cop, he makes me want to take chances.
He’s the law, and he wants to protect me. They all do. But I’m neither as fragile nor as pure as he wants me to be. I’m a nerd with a gun fetish. I’m tired of observing, and it’s time for me to be in on the action. When he finds out what I’ve been up to in Detroit after dark, our relationship is tested, loyalties are divided, and lives are put in jeopardy.

When our team is under fire, Jonas will finally see the real me. When he does, will he see what he wants to see, or will he be the one who finally breaks me?

My name is Macy Kowalski. I am a brawler.

♦♦♦♦

brawler collage

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny ~ 3.5 Stars

Gitte & Jenny:  We love this Author. K.S Adkins writes from her heart and soul. She writes with an unapologetic honesty and makes no excuses for her stories or her characters who wear their hearts on their sleeves. How refreshing!

‘Sometimes the world is just too overwhelming, too cruel, just too everything.’ – Macy

Picking Brawler up we knew we were going to get another dark and gritty emotional story. A story with unassuming rough and damaged yet kick arse characters who have the mouths of sailors and fishwives. Characters who display intense emotion with cut throat words and swinging fists, yet have hearts of pure gold, loyalty and an honesty unrivaled. And sure enough we got that, yet this time we got brilliant writing too. We can’t say how amazed we are at the perfection of K.S Adkins writing in Brawler, wow what a fantastic improvement on the previous instalment, Brutal, which we loved!

We met Rafe and Macy in Brutal and this was their emotional and heart-breaking story. And what a story it was! Their relationship dominated, which turned out to be our only gripe. Yes, we loved being part of a journey where Macy and Rafe got to know each other and understand just why their relationship was as volatile and complicated as it was.

“Because, Princess, once you walk out that door the only one fucking you is me.” – Jonas

We fell in love with Jonas Rafe, he’s an amazing man, so alpha yet humble and vulnerable too. At times he had us in fits of laughter as well. This man and his lack of filter…hilarious!

“No man needs to see the inner workings of pussy. We just know we like it in there.” – Jonas

We would have loved more of his back-story, especially from his childhood. Yes, it was touched upon in order to explain his issues, however it wasn’t enough for us. We wanted more in order to fully connect emotionally.

‘Twice in one night, I’m running from the only guy I’ve ever truly wanted. A guy who thinks I’m a whore.’ – Macy

As for Macy she’s an amazing character. After all, nerdy chicks rock!

So whilst we really and truly enjoyed Brawler and thought the writing was brilliant, we didn’t love it as much as Brutal. For us the story was lacking somewhat, being overly focused on Macy and Rafe with their back-and-forth with sparse intermittent glimpses of the ongoing fight against the ‘unknown’ enemy. We loved revisiting with Rogan and Venessa; we absolutely love this couple and they’ll always have a special place in our hearts.

“I’ve never met anyone who can give you a compliment and an insult in the same sentence.” – Macy

Ummmm have you met us Macy? Hahahahahahaha

Oh and just one more thing from Jonas, because this guy and his lack of filter never failed to entertain us.

We’ll leave the last word to Jonas whose lack of filter kept us constantly amused!

“I was never mad at you, I was mad at me. I owe you an apology and I’d like to deliver it in your privates.” – Jonas

 **ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review**

Check out and purchase the DETROIT AFTER DARK SERIES HERE

Brutal (Detroit After Dark) (Volume 1)

Brawler (Detroit After Dark)

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, K S Adkins, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

BRUTAL (Detroit After Dark #1) by K.S. ADKINS

brutal cover

SYNOPSIS

My name is Venessa Cross.

I’m a Detroit DJ with issues. I know it, my friends know it, and even the enemy knows it.

The problem is, now the Detroit Police Department knows it, too. 

I was wrong to think my nighttime activities would go unnoticed. Eventually I wound up on his radar.

He lives for the law, I exist outside of it. I expected the rules to change, but I didn’t expect that one simple handshake would also change… everything else. 

When he’s assigned to protect me, he gets a back stage pass to my world.
Now I make him question the very oath he stands for, and I hate myself for it. 

I’m convinced I’ll ruin him.
Yet, he wants to save me.

If you thought the streets of Detroit were brutal, you haven’t seen me in action. 
Follow me and watch me do what the police can’t: deliver punishment.

My name is Venessa Cross.

I am justice.

Brutal collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
G&J: 4 Stars

Gitte: So, K.S. Adkins states at the end of Brutal: “hit me up and let me know if you loved it or hated it.” Well, just so you know, I bloody loved it. Sure there was a lot of wrong with it, but the unique and the interesting outweighed the bad. The hero is unlike any you’ve ever met and you fall in love with his person, the heroine is completely fucked up and the storyline is dramatic and kick arse. I think I highlighted half the book and that is a lot, because believe me this is a long one. Too long and very wordy but like I said, I loved it. The strength of the characters and the story line was immense; the execution questionable, which is such a shame! I know it sounds odd to give a book 4 stars with so much negative but the characters and their story won it for me! The connection between the characters was so intense and strong; completely believable.

‘She’s a loner, just like me; she’s seen the shit side of life. She knows, like I do, if something is too good to be true it probably is.’ – Rogan

We’ve mentioned raw and gritty a lot in reviews, however, many pale in comparison to this one. It was violent and graphic, horrifying and so intense I think I read with my chin on my knees and a bated breath. I must have shouted WTF tons of times throughout this story. It’s not pretty, it’s not clean and it’s not a sweet romantic bed time story. In fact it’s the complete opposite and won’t be for everyone!

This story is about revenge and fighting for justice and those who are unable to fight for themselves. This story is seriously tortured and extremely messy. You agreed didn’t you Jenny?!

Jenny: Absolutely Gitte! If you’re after a sweet doe eyed romance with a hot book boyfriend sporting a rippling six pack and azure blue eyes with a sweet little heroine and a smooth sailing romance….move on because you’re not going to find that in Brutal, but what you will find is a lot more!  As you said Gitte, it’s the characters who are the strong point here not the physical aesthetics. This author has given us one of the most unconventional leading men I’ve ever come across and the story felt so unique in many ways. I devoured it and despite some of my misgivings in regards to plot holes and flow, I have to agree with you because I bloody loved it too.

“Some days, I’m lost, and others I just don’t give a fuck….That’s my reality.”

K S Adkins ripped from our living rooms, and plonked us onto the dangerous streets of Detroit and she certainly knew how to make us believe we were there and in the moment.It was as if we were witnessing the story first hand with Rogan and Vanessa and not merely reading it. Hmmm If I ever visit Detroit, I’m gonna make sure I’m packin’…yikes!!! No, this wasn’t a perfectly written story but you’re spot on in saying that what it lacked in execution it more than made up for in grit and determination and this debut novel from K S Adkins certainly delivered on its promise to shock us, entertain us and leave us gasping. It was dramatic, suspenseful, hot and at times downright uncomfortable reading – the author makes no excuses and doesn’t sugar coat her story or characters to which I was grateful. Yes, it needed work but I feel, with her imagination and a little more experience, this debut author will be kicking some major bookworld arse down the track and I’m dying to see where she takes us in book two, Brawler.

Gitte: So, we have the good but scary Detective, Rogan Black.

‘My name is Detective Rogan Black, and I could give a fuck if you asked. I stand up for what’s right. I make the rules, and I follow those rules. I’m crime’s worst nightmare. I make women and children cry, and grown men cower. I’m feared because I’m an asshole…’ – Rogan

Wow, there’s not many hero’s that are so unashamedly written. He’s a self-proclaimed ugly fucker, built like a brick shithouse and lives to clean up the streets of Detroit.

‘I have no family; I was raised in the system. The parents I was born to were hooked on drugs, and did whatever it took to get them, including pawning me.’ – Rogan

This man was so bloody sexy in my eyes, yeah really I don’t care what you say Rogan, I fell in complete lust and love. His soul was beautiful and the passion with which he felt and how he acted was mesmerizing and addictive. He was as hard as they get but his heart was pure. He’s an ultimate intense and protective alpha but it’s perfectly balanced with that vulnerable side of self-doubt and passion.

‘Watching him fight does something to me internally. His fists are like sledgehammers, and he uses them like Thor uses his hammer. It’s fucking erotic and beautiful how he moves.’ – Venessa

Rogan’s life changes the day he meets the fucked up Venessa. He feels immediately the impact this woman has on him, but the journey she takes him on is one he could never have envisaged. His life changes beyond all measure as Rogan grows and learns to live and love.

“Never had shit that’s mine, got you now. Don’t need nothing else.” – Rogan

“I want my shot at forever…You’re my forever, Angel…” – Rogan

Now what about Venessa, hey Jenny, what a bloody amazing kick arse heroine she was, her story broke our hearts didn’t it?!

Jenny: Vanessa’s story was harrowing to say the least Gitte! The opening pages of this book certainly knocked me sideways and sickened me.

You didn’t need death to die.’ – Vanessa

How Vanessa survived what she did without being a complete basket case is beyond me. She drew strength from her ordeal and refused to become the victim, instead becoming the vigilante determined to rid the streets of Detroit of those and others like them who destroyed her world.

‘I live in the shadows, ever watching. You never want to get a visit from me. Because if we do meet, you won’t remember it until it’s too late. My name is Vanessa Cross, thanks for asking. I am justice.’

This little pocket rocket had the guts of ten men; she had the strength of someone ten times her size and a heart to match. This one woman vigilante had balls of steel, yet was so vulnerable at times and I found myself rallying behind her every second.

Vanessa carried scars from her past and abhorred being touched in any way and she certainly never expected to feel love or be loved. That all changed when this giant, socially awkward and solitary man walked into life.  Something changed and Vanessa began to feel love and passion and with the awakening of those feelings she also saw hope. In Rogan, Vanessa was able to see the man underneath, not just the exterior. I have to agree with you on Rogan, Gitte…..I don’t care what he thinks about himself…I found him to be as sexy as sin and possessing a beautiful heart.  Together these two damaged souls had to find their way.

‘He’s home for me, I know it, and that’s dangerous.’ – Vanessa

Their relationship was never going to be smooth sailing with each living on the other side of the law and carrying baggage from their pasts. Each had to learn so much from each other as they explored new experiences and discovered newfound emotions.

I did question the validity of some  of Vanessa’s actions as they felt out of place for me. In my opinion, after the ordeal this woman had suffered and after living such a lonely existence of sorts for so long the sexual encounters between her and Rogan would have been very different. Her actions just didn’t resonate with me and I found parts of the story to be out of whack in that regard, but again, the story itself and the characters within the story, including the secondary characters…..oh foot in mouth Rafe….will you ever learn? LOL helped me to forgive these situations.

G&J:  So, there you have it. Brutal is one of those books readers are either going to love or not. There will be no fence sitting with this one.

‘True Detroiters never leave. They stay and fight. Cops can’t be everywhere. Shit, they’re afraid to. The city lives by its own code. Citizens have no choice but to protect themselves.’

As we said, we did have a couple of issues with the execution of the story and at times it tended to feel a little overwritten, repetitive and wordy but if you get past that and immerse yourself in the grittiness of the story, the raw emotion of the characters and allow yourself to be gripped by the neck into the deep dark and dangerous streets of Detroit, then  you’ll be rewarded with some very unconventional characters, a brutal yet beautiful love story, and some very imaginative story telling which is powerfully delivered with passion, suspense, drama and heat.

“You want my advice?”………..”Love her right, fuck her hard, and ruin her for all other men.” – Rafe

Stick with this one folks; we think you’ll be glad you did! The story and the characters will consume you! We envision this series being a winner for us and can’t wait to see how this author flourishes with her unique, raw and brutal style of storytelling.

**Arc provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Please note: We received an unedited ARC**

BRUTAL by K S ADKINS

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AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

Detroit After Dark Series

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Filed under 4 Stars, K S Adkins, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny