Review and Release Blitz ~ The Executioner by Shauna Allen - Excerpt
5 Holy Hurt Stars - Review by Misty
Holy wow! What an introduction to a series!!!! I cannot wait to see where Shauna takes us on this journey. The Executioner was executed perfectly to set up what is bound to be an emotional roller coaster of every emotion a book series can bring out in a person. At first when I finished this book I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But days later as I sit here still thinking about it I realize what an amazing job the author did of hooking me in wanting more. Needing more really.
The Executioner introduces us to the Creed family and focuses on Asher, one of the brothers rocked by their sister's disappearance 10 years ago. No leads. No suspects. Nothing. It's like she disappeared from thin air and the family has been left yearning for closure. Along with this devastating event, Asher has his own demons he's been fighting after taking a bullet to his leg ending his military career. He is now following in his father's footsteps working in the prison system and beingpart of the exclusive execution team putting people to death for their crimes. With everything that has happened he has never let him feel anything good for anyone aside from the love he has for his family. Then one fateful night he meets his match.
Genevieve Stone was just after a story after being in the room when one of Texas' most notorious men was put to death. What she didn't expect? Asher Creed and his brooding charm. The Creed family asking for her help in remembering Claire and maybe shining new light on her cold case a decade later. But one story is all it took for new leads to come in. And who knew one story might bring her the one thing she never thought she wanted? Love.
The Executioner alone is an emotional tale of loss, devastation and a family fighting the undercurrent of grief of losing their sunshine in Claire. The emotions roll off the pages from the very beginning. You can feel the love the Creed's have for one another but their grief is palpable until the very end. I cannot wait to see how this story unfolds. I just need to make sure I'm buckled in. And that I have lots of tissues because I know without any doubt, this one is going to hurt.
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“Are you part of the execution team?”
I swallowed, the thought of lying to her heavy in my throat. There was a reason we never divulged who was on the team. The stigma and attacks on our humanity would come from all angles, and in the end, it would change nothing. I am an executioner. It’s a job. Someone has to step up and do it. I was simply one of the few who were willing to swallow the emotional baggage that comes with putting another human being to death. I’m willing because maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally be able to bury the beast in me that snarls and snaps, thrashes and rages, thirsty for vengeance against the unknown monster that took my sister away.
“You know I can’t talk about that, Genevieve. I’m sorry.”
Her gold-green eyes sparked. “I thought so.”
I frowned, not answering.
“Okay. Let’s try this . . . hypothetically speaking, if someone were a part of the execution team at the prison, would they take part in every execution?”
“Theoretically, barring some certain circumstances, yes. Most likely. The warden has assembled a team he trusts and that rarely changes.”
She nodded and forked up a bite of meat. “How do you think those people feel? About killing another human being?” Her gaze was direct and unwavering.
I set my fork down and thought carefully about my reply. “I think they don’t think about it like that.”
“Does it make you sad?”
A beat passed heavily between us. Two. “No.”
She said nothing, returning to her meal, and I followed suit. Eventually, the cloud that filled the room seemed to dissipate as she digested my answers. “Tell me about your brothers. I’m dying to know about them.”
She shrugged one shoulder and sipped her wine. “I just am. Are they like you? Big and sexy and moody?”
“I’m not moody.”
She laughed. “Not denying the big and sexy, huh?”
I fought the grin that wanted to bust loose and forked my salad. “We’re all big and sexy, I won’t lie.”
“I’m sure. What else?”
I thought of my brothers and our time together yesterday. Even as distant and strained as we’d become, I knew we all still loved each other fiercely. “Well, I’m the oldest. Levi is next. He’s a businessman in Austin, divorced, no kids. Jamison is a SWAT sniper in Dallas, goofy and single. Joshua works as a criminal profiler for the FBI in Virginia. He’s brainy and quiet and single, as far as I know anyway. And the baby is Silas. He’s an up and coming MMA fighter and he lives in Houston.”
“So none of you have girlfriends or wives? Really?”
I shrugged. It sounded weird when you put it that way. “Other than Levi, we’ve all managed to avoid it.”
One brow lifted in challenge. “Avoid it?”
“Yeah.” I scooped up the last of my food.
“Are any of you gay?”
I nearly choked. “No.” I grabbed my water and sipped. “Why would you ask that?”
“Well, no women. Maybe there are men.”
“No. Only careers.” And grief, but I didn’t admit that out loud.
Her foot suddenly found my leg under the table. “I’m glad to hear it.”
I ran a hand under her jeans and up her calf. “Interested in my brothers?”
“Glad to hear it.” I caressed down her leg and massaged her instep.
Her eyes fluttered closed as I continued rubbing her foot. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by the need to taste her again. “Are we done here?” My voice was gruff, even to my own ears.
Her eyes slid open and met mine. “I’m not sure.”
“I am.” Keeping our gazes locked, I stood and rounded the table to stand beside her. “Get up.”
Her eyes flared, but she did as she was told. I felt her heated focus on me as I shoved our dinner dishes to the side of the table, making room in front of us. “Sit.” I indicated the spot where her plate had just been.
She only hesitated a moment, the air becoming thick between us. The blood was rushing through my veins like fire and I desperately needed to quench it. My erection strained behind my jeans and it was all I could do to control myself when she looked at me like she was getting off on my dominance. I wasn’t a kinky man, but I definitely liked to be in charge, in the bedroom and out. Call it the Ranger mentality.