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Publisher's Summary

The Kage saga continues....

Michael Kage Santori has just inherited a thriving hotel and millions of dollars. He’s poised to become an MMA champion. Things couldn’t be better between him and his college boy lover, Jamie Atwood - especially in the bedroom, where Jamie is more than eager to let Kage take out his aggressions on him.

Kage seems to have it all, but success and happiness have come at a steep price. After all of the childhood trauma he endured at the hands of his controlling uncle, Peter Santori, it’s a miracle Kage has any shred of sanity left. And now, because of him, Jamie is a murderer.

More than anything, Kage wants to be good. He wants the be the kind of man who is worthy of Jamie’s love, but fate has other ideas. His uncle’s legacy has a stranglehold on him, and it keeps dragging him further and further down a rabbit hole from which there seems no escape. Worst of all...Kage knows he’s going to pull Jamie down right along with him, and he would rather die than let that happen.

©2017 Maris Black (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel BGP
  • 2019-02-13

Great story and narration!

So glad to continue Jamie and Kage’s story. Can’t wait to start the next one! The narrator was beyond good! They way he voiced all four main characters (and even the minor characters) different was great! I could always tell who was speaking!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • VHB
  • 2019-02-14

YES!!

Love love love this continuation of Gage.
Amezing Narration
Entertaining audio.
A keeper for sure.
Worth the credit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 2019-02-12

Maris Black and J.F. Harding have done it again!♥

This story is so great! I love the way we get Peter's point of view! It actually makes you feel like you're there with them! No other pairing could do it then Maris and J.F! Can't wait for the next one!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DPiazzi
  • 2019-05-17

Kage enters a new and darker life

There are a million thoughts running through my head as I write this review. It was such a good book with some real surprises.

The narration was great! I feel like J.F. Harding is the perfect narrator for Michael Kage.

First I have to say that Maris Black writes a smooth book. The words flowed easily into my mind and I was getting further in faster than I thought. I love it when I can get sucked into a book and lose time.

This book starts before the epilogue of Kage Unmasked. We get to see what happened to Kage and Jamie after Peter’s death and before Kage came out publicly. There was a little bit of overlap that confused me for just a split second until I reconciled the events of the last book. Even though I am very excited about this trilogy, I have a little bit of apprehension reading it too. For just a little bit, it seemed like things were settling down for Kage and Jamie but in reading this book, I can see it’s not the case.

Kage is still very much Kage. He is very protective of Jamie, and while I admire him not wanting to drag Jamie into the regular stresses of his job and what appears to be some shady side businesses, as a reader of many a romance novel, I can see this is going to only lead to trouble. Jamie feels relegated to the back seat in this story. Kage gives him what feels to me a fluff job. Something to keep him busy but nothing to do with the business. He can only look on as Kage struggles to fit in the life he wanted with the life he inherited. Because Kage is too stubborn to share his life with Jamie. I admit it annoys me a little only because I want Kage to see them as equal partners. I really love this couple and can’t wait to see what happens in the next books. It might be a hard road to HEA but I do trust Maris Black to get us there.

There is a lot in this book about Kage’s Uncle Peter’s youth. It was a surprise. At first I didn’t think I would care to know about him because he was just such a cruel man, but I was surprised at the end of the book that I want to know more. I wondered if I would see shades of Kage in Peter’s past, instead I am reminded of Jamie. They share an innocence about the world around them, even though Peter’s father was quite awful compared to Jamie’s close family. They also share being attracted to someone powerful who wants to take care of them. I don’t know if that means anything in the long run, but I can’t wait to read on.

Even though this is a first book in a trilogy, it is definitely important to read/listen to the Kage Trilogy beforehand. I can’t recommend either enough.

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  • Kate M
  • 2019-05-14

Amazing ❤️❤️❤️

I have been waiting forever for this audiobook! Maris black is my favorite author hands down🙌🏻🙌🏻 I’m so excited to be back in kage and Jamie’s world. This time around it’s like two stories in one. It’s so addicting I can’t stop! The twist and turns in this book are crazy! I’m on to the next one! J. F Harding as usual is amazing. I never get tired of his voice ❤️❤️

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  • LCLogic
  • 2019-04-29

A must!

Love Love Love this. Just like a Loved the the Kage series. J.F. Harding, you are a God at narrating!!!

This author has a way of pulling you into the depths of a story and leave you salivating for more and more. You just don't want it to end because it's so well written.

Jamie can be a little bratty for me at times, but poor Kage just wants to have a normal life, but his uncles reputation won't let him. There are some very juicy new details we have learned about said uncle in this story though. I don't give it away but it's a must read!

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  • Joe Puzzo
  • 2019-04-26

ummm

I don't understand why the author doesn't know their own story. in the previous series the main character came out on National Television but apparently they did not end this story I don't know where the cognitive dissonance happens but the author should definitely remember their own story it's fairly irritating

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amy R
  • 2019-04-21

Not a favorite

I preferred the previously trilogy but since I've started I'm going to try and get thru the next 2 books.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cranky Reader
  • 2019-04-13

Oddly constructed but compelling serial installment

Huh. Having read the prior Kage trilogy, I figured this would be another unresolved ending and it is. Listened to the whole thing and want to hear more. But I kind of don’t understand what I like about it. Here’s why.

In this book, Kage behaves badly. He thinks his intentions are good, kind of. He wants to shield “innocent Jaime” from the sins of his inheritance. But ignorance & innocence are actually different things and if you keep your life partner ignorant of most of the details of your life, your relationship will fall apart. This entire book is Kage causing the Big Misunderstanding that is my least favorite plot line/trope. If Kage had reliable, daily non-Jaime backup, he *might* be able to dissociate Jaime some from his work life & still be ok. But he’s walking blind into a minefield much bigger than he was expecting and he really should be dead already.

The only things that makes me remotely understanding is that, having lost the foil of his uncle, against whom Kage has always pushed, he hasn’t yet defined his personal direction outside of “not what my Uncle says”. When Kage was fighting his uncle, Jaime was his support & ally. Now he’s trying to be his own support, and Jaime’s support by modeling his Uncle. (Although maintaining body guards would be the one behavior he should emulate, he doesn’t do that.) He doesn’t have his usual outlet of fighting. He’s not on the schedule for this chunk of time & he’s restricted training to deal with his inheritance. It’s blindingly obvious to the reader that he can’t keep hiding his life from Jaime & that he should talk to his coach and figure out not just his enemies, but develop his allies too. Does he do these things? Not in this book.

Jaime is doing his best to maintain their relationship and getting shot down at every turn. I understand his frustration with Kage completely. (Although I’m waiting for the unvetted psychologist he found to turn up evil.) I am, however, unsympathetic to his “woe is me I’m boooooorrrrrrrrred” attitude. Thankfully Kage instructs him to write a blog about the MMA. But somehow this requires serious funding? The blog job details that exist are sketchy & wrong. New blogs are free. They just require you to write. Getting followers takes effort and probably funds at some point but when just starting and already having access to a famous person’s social media? Uh... Jaime needs to have a job but the blogging gig is not realistically described.

The narrative arcs are scattershot and partial. There’s a trip to see Jaime’s family with a funny scene. There’s some emotional cleanup from the previous series but then Jaime’s family is dropped like hot coals except for brief mentions of how much he’s ignoring them. Then there’s Kage blundering into his inherited businesses and investigating all manner of shady things with no plan and no backup and no warning to Jaime. He just starts to figure things out when… he finds a family journal and the entire book jumps track so we can “read along” in the journal until almost the end of this book. Wait, what?!? (insert sound of vinyl record scratch.)

It bothered me that the “journal” chapters (yes, chapterS) were written in the same style as the non-journal chapters. If you’re going to write a journal, write a journal. Otherwise say something like “Kage imagined the scenes as he got engrossed in the journal” to excuse its not being a journal. But to poof a journal into existence near the end of a book and detouring to it exclusively for way too long is just bad structure. I nearly jumped ship mid “journal” but I was driving and had no other book loaded.

If you’re thinking that this will be a touching, sexy epilogue to the previous Kage trilogy where our plucky heroes take on the world together (except when Kage has solo UFC fights) sort out the Vegas inheritance, & have great sex…you, like me, would be wrong. So very wrong. The guys barely speak to each other. They’re both miserable the whole book. Kage has no UFC fights. Anything good was over a few chapters in. That these guys’ bodies haven’t been dumped in the desert is solely due to everyone seeing how clueless they are and assuming that they aren’t worth the bother of killing…yet.

But the author did something to make me think these characters are salvageable and could be lovable again. It makes a bad story like this compelling, and the narrator has a soothing voice and I kept listening. I think I’ll even listen to the next one. But if the main characters don’t start talking soon there will be no point.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Piper
  • 2019-03-22

read before you listen

loved reading the book . so of course in had to listen. It was just as good . leaves you speechless and wanting more