Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review: Dungeon Royale by Lexi Blake

Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #6
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, BDSM
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment, LLC
Release Date: February 18th 2014
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Broken by betrayal, one woman holds the secret to his redemption…

An agent broken

MI6 agent Damon Knight prided himself on always being in control. His missions were executed with cold, calculating precision. His club, The Garden, was run with an equally ordered and detached decadence. But his perfect world was shattered by one bullet, fired from the gun of his former partner. That betrayal almost cost him his life and ruined his career. His handlers want him to retire, threatening to revoke his license to kill if he doesn’t drop his obsession with a shadowy organization called The Collective. To earn their trust, he has to prove himself on a unique assignment with an equally unusual partner.

A woman tempted

Penelope Cash has spent her whole life wanting more. More passion. More adventure. But duty has forced her to live a quiet life. Her only excitement is watching the agents of MI6 as they save England and the world. Despite her training, she’s only an analyst. The closest she is allowed to danger and intrigue is in her dreams, which are often filled with one Damon Knight. But everything changes when the woman assigned to pose as Damon’s submissive on his latest mission is incapacitated. Penny is suddenly faced with a decision. Stay in her safe little world or risk her life and her heart for Queen and country.

An enemy revealed

With the McKay-Taggart team at their side, Damon and Penny hunt an international terrorist across the great cities of Northern Europe. Playing the part of her Master, Damon begins to learn that under Penny’s mousy exterior is a passionate submissive, one who just might lay claim to his cold heart. But when Damon’s true enemy is brought out of the shadows, it might be Penny who pays the ultimate price.
*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

**Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As such, my review may contain references to this content.

Each and every book in this series is making me love the series more and more, and Dungeon Royale does just that.

We last saw Damon when he got shot by his best friend in Love And Let Die. This book picks up a few months after that moment, and we see a hate-filled Damon, set on revenge, no matter what the danger is. He is trying to get back in the field if only for one last mission, with the target being his best friend. Damon is a very stubborn man. While I understand his need for revenge, I struggled a bit to accept his reckless side. The betrayal of his best friend destabilized Damon on a basic, mental and emotional level, so much so that he went from the silent yet reliable man I met in the previous book, to a man hell-bent on revenge and on making the man who betrayed him pay, no matter the costs. It was interesting to see this type of hero within the Masters and Mercenaries world, and how he would work with all the other men and women working with and for Ian. I think it's safe to say that Damon is, so far, a really extreme case of desperate and reckless, much more than Ian ever was. Ian lost his heart, while Damon lost his control over his life and his emotions. There's this scene that at first glance shows how lost Damon is, when he hurts Penny really badly, by saying some hurtful things, but I feel like that is the first time he starts to really care about something other than the revenge plans he has. At the same time, he's also deluding himself a little, because there are things, important things, that he's trying to ignore and that, eventually, could and do put his life in danger.

Penny is a darling of a heroine. She's a caretaker at heart, and she's one of those people that will ignore their own personal needs in order to take care of the people they care about, without asking for help or complain. I was angry at her siblings for not helping her take care of their mother, just as I was angry at them for not taking a stand against their snobby, idiotic family. At the same time, it also provided Damon with the chance to sweep in and be the knight in shining armor, which was also cool to witness. Penny is also very stubborn. Once she decided she was going to be on this mission, she takes it, even at the cost of her heart. This mission becomes personal, like her own personal journey of self discovery. Not only does she become a better, stronger person, it satisfies her need to take care of the people around her. She finds the inner strength she didn't know she had. I liked Penny.

The sex scenes, as usual with any Lexi Blake novel, are hot. There's a strange combination of romance and desperation about Damon and Penny's relationship that works for them. I like them together, I like what they bring in each other.

We also see the team working together with Damon and Penny, even if maybe they shouldn't. There's a wonderful glimpse into who is going to get their story told next and I'm excited about this new story. The pace is fantastic, and there were a few surprises I didn't exactly expect. We also see some new faces, and that just means the universe is getting bigger and bigger.

As always, Blake knows how to write a good erotic romance full of mystery and action that kept me on the edge of my seat. It just proves why I love her writing style and her books so much.

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