BLOG TOUR: I Promise You Pain by Bart Baker (Excerpt + Q&A with Author)
RELEASE BLITZ: Vendetta Del Cuore by Leigh Kenzie (Excerpt & Giveaway)
REVIEW: Pros & Cons Of Vengeance by A.E. Wasp
Pros & Cons: Pros & Cons Of Vengeance – A.E. Wasp
*FIVE JOBS. FIVE CHANCES FOR REDEMPTION. One thing’s for sure: these men are no angels.*
There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.
Since job number one calls for some muscle, it looks like I’m up first. I’m Steele Alvarez, ex-Special Forces Close Protection Specialist (aka, a bodyguard for some not so nice guys).
After learning what the job is — taking down a seemingly untouchable senator with a penchant for beating up young male prostitutes — I’m in. No questions. A bullet ought to do the trick.
Then I met Senator Harlan’s latest victim: Breck Pfeiffer, the gorgeous hooker with a heart of gold and the soul of a fighter. One look at him and I’m gone. That kid laid me out harder than any punch ever did. I’ll do anything to protect Breck, even kill for him. But Breck doesn’t want the senator dead, he wants vengeance.
If we’re going to find a way bring down the slimebag and get the blackest mark on my record erased, I’m going to need all the help I can get.
Like it or not, we’re all in this together.
Pros & Cons is an MM version of Oceans Eleven / Leverage where a group of men with ‘special skills’ were gathered posthumously by the late Charlie Bingham, information broker and con-man extraordinaire. He ‘persuaded’ them into doing certain ‘assignments’.
It all became clear to me at that moment what Charlie’s ultimate motivation had been. These weren’t personal vendettas or petty crimes he wanted to be solved. He wanted justice, the kind he couldn’t get from inside the system
The first book, Pros & Cons of Vengeance, did a good job setting up the series and introducing the cast. I might not like George Clooney but I definitely love Charlie’s boys.
Leonard ‘Leo’ Shook – an FBI agent who’s been on Charlie’s tail for ages. I’m betting good money him and the mysterious ‘interested party’ will be hooking up soonish, maybe 5th book. And I think I know who that ‘interested party’ is.
Carson Grieves – a man of a thousand faces. The most mysterious person in the group. He’s so mysterious no one even knows his real name, age or accent. He always blends in but in this group of ridiculously good-looking people, he stands out for being plain. My favorite character. Can’t wait for his book.
Ridge Pfiefer – a thief. Kind of grumpy. The twin I liked better
Wesley Bond – hacker and master of all things tech. Social engineer. He’s my second fave.
Castille ‘Steele’ Alvarez – hitman, bodyguard and ex-Army Ranger. Doesn’t get along with Ridge but thinks Breck is adorbs.
Then we have Charlie’s angels:
Miranda Bosley – tough lawyer, executor of Charlie’s will and not someone you mess with
Josie DuPont – international woman of mystery and jill of all trades. Can cook the best Mexican dishes. Teaches a class on underwater demolition. Also, not to be mess with. I think she and Miranda might be occasional bedmates.
The ex-hookers with a golden heart:
Breck ‘Brekkie’ Pfiefer – Ridge’s younger twin. Fell into Steele’s lap and was happy to stay there
Danny Munroe – Breck’s friend who was dragged into the group and promptly adopted. He and Wes had that ‘I’m pissed at you because I like you dammit‘ thing going on. I’m going to love their book, I know it.
Steele takes point in the first assignment. They were to bring down a corrupt evangelical senator who preaches against LGBTQ but hires and abuses rent boys whom he sleeps with and uses to blackmail influential people by secretly recording them while they do the dirty. Two of these boys were Breck and Danny.
Steele was instantly attracted to Breck the moment he saw him but unfortunately they’re the two people in the group I’m least interested in. I have no complaints about them, I just didn’t really care much so I left them in peace a.k.a tune them out when they weren’t talking about the case.
The book is written in both MCs’ POV, except for the prologue and epilogue which were in the ‘interested party’s’ and Leo’s perspectives. The premise immediately grabbed my attention with a plotline that was made for movies. A big part of the story was the romance, this is MM afterall, but I did wished there was a little bit more heist in it.
The job is what I’m all about. Like in most heist novels, careful planning is the key. The fun part was the execution. I was keen on watching their elaborate scheme unfold because it’s going to be very satisfying to witness them destroy the bad guy. They’re pulling out the big guns at the end and boy, did Brekkie had his moment!
But it was the ensemble cast that really made the book shine. Each character brought something special to the table, both in skills and personalities. I liked how each of them was given ample page-time without them taking over Steele and Breck’s story. I loved the humor, the dialogues and the grudging camaraderie of the group. Like all the best teams, they have that kind of charismatic dynamics that drew you in and kept you in. The kind that makes you go, ‘adopt me please!‘ A.E. Wasp did a fantastic job with these characters.
Overall, Pros & Cons Of Vengeance was a fun, entertaining ride that succeeded in making me look forward to future capers. Recommended if you like cons, shenanigans and other creative ways of bringing the (other) bad guys down.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
Artist: The Nipple Erectors
SOUNDTRACK: Vengeance by The Nipple Erectors
Soundtrack to Pros & Cons: Pros & Cons Of Vengeance by A.E. Wasp