Published by Signet
Published on October 6th 2015
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The bestselling author of the Killer Instincts novels “knows how to write scorching sexual tension” (USA Today). Now she really sets it on fire in a new series about men and women living on the edge of violence, sex, and life and death.
After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.
As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire.
“There is no tomorrow … Right now is all that matters.”
4 badass, super-smutty dystopian stars
Elle Kennedy has given us a strong (and super smutty) start to her Outlaws series. It’s set in a futuristic, post-war dystopian world where those living within the city live an oppressed life with everything controlled, and outside the city, outlaws live their lives on the run from city Enforcers who are constantly hunting for them in order to offer them two choices – conform or die. Because of this, life outside of the city takes on a desperate quality – live how you want and live it well because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Terrified of the direction her life within the city is taking, Hudson Lane longs for more, so she escapes to the outside world. Knowing that dangerous people will soon be after her, she searches for safety in a world she doesn’t know, and she finds Connor Mackenzie.
Connor reluctantly leads a small group of fighters. They have set up a secret compound where they live in relative safety, and conduct raids for supplies while Connor plots his revenge on the Enforcer who took everything from him. Connor initially has no intention of taking Hudson under his protection, but he is eventually convinced by his bunch of badasses, and he quickly goes about introducing Hudson to the true nature of their (super smutty) lives.
“Live in the moment,” she murmured.
“That’s what we do, sweetheart. You take pleasure where you can get it, because who knows when you’ll get another chance. So yes, we live in the moment … And what a fucking moment.”
Hudson very quickly realises that the cold and ruthless badass is also pure, carnal wildness, and the attraction between the two of them absolutely sizzles. They have a fantastic dynamic which is mostly anger, but is brimming with chemistry.
“You know, you’re kind of an asshole.”
“And you’re completely out of your element … so let’s stop playing games, huh? Either slit my throat or suck my dick because we don’t have all night.”
They want each other, but Connor makes it clear that he doesn’t do ‘attachments’, and that’s fine with Hudson. She isn’t a virgin, but life in the city doesn’t exactly encourage hedonism. Connor opens her eyes to the possibilities of letting herself go and, go-getter that she is, she throws herself into it.
“I want…” She trailed off again, digging her teeth into her bottom lip.
His annoyance grew. “You want what?”
“As long as I’m here, I want everything. I want to be free.” She stumbled over her next words. “I want you.”
Oh, holy God! I may have already mentioned it, but this book is SUPER smutty! Hudson and Connor hold nothing back from each other and the sex is hot, dirty and frequent, with a bit of kink (including M/F/M), and they revel in it!
“I call the shots.” He smirked at her. “And that rule extends to the bedroom. I decide how fast we go, what we do, where we do it, who joins us.” A wicked gleam sparked in his eyes. “I get total control.”
And to nobody (except Connor’s) surprise, as they grow more comfortable together they start to develop feelings. They open up to each other and come to understand each other, and their strictly sexual arrangement soon becomes something more as they share their pasts and embrace the peace that comes from being together.
He wasn’t heartless. He was just a little bit damaged. But he was hers, damn it.
But Hudson is hiding who she truly is from the men who have taken her in, and when her true ties to the city are revealed, everything changes. Where do her loyalties truly lie? And how can Connor trust her after what he considers a devastating betrayal? It’s all very heartbreaking and the resulting fall out is violent and intense.
I really enjoyed this book. Hot and steamy with a nice amount of humour and some action, it was great fun. When I first saw read the blurb (and noted the erotic dystopian theme), I immediately thought of Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, and while there are elements of similarity, this book has an entirely different feel to it. Not as grungy, and a bit lighter, but with a level of danger and intensity that keeps you glued to the page. It definitely falls in the erotica category rather than romance, but there is some emotion and it suits the characters and the setting well.
I really like the world that Elle Kennedy has created. She’s painted a bleak setting, but has populated it with characters who are full of life and determined to live the best life they can – on their own terms. Connor’s guys are a fantastic bunch, and there’s a great group of supporting characters introduced. I’m really excited for the series to continue and to get to know these guys better in future books. There’s a nice story arc established – both inside and outside of the city, and I’m looking forward to watching that develop as the series continues.
A great read, I’m definitely excited for more – 4 stars.
An Advanced Review Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.