Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Tour for An Obsession with Vengeance by Nancy Haviland (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a reader drawn to bad boys living in gritty worlds I was drawn to An Obsession with Vengeance by Nancy Haviland and am thrilled to give you a tempting taste of this book along with my impressions of it.  Keep reading to learn about all of the Wanted Men and add each of them to your bookshelf as each are more tempting than the next.  In honor of this third installment in the series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 Amazon GC and signed print copies of this book too!

Maksim Kirov is a mobster who gets what he wants, both at his posh gentleman’s club in Hell’s Kitchen and in the bedroom. Sexy, dangerous, and obsessed with control, he’s risen through the ranks to become a highly respected leader in the tight-knit Tarasov crime syndicate. He rules with an iron fist…until he meets Sydney Martin.
The Australian-born Sydney is determined to refuse Maks’s advances, despite their electrifying chemistry. The owner of a neighboring nightclub, Sydney rules her own domain. But when a deal with a Mexican drug cartel goes terribly wrong, she has no choice but to turn to Maksim and the Tarasov organization for protection. Could giving in to their intense attraction be what saves both Maks and Sydney? Or will their all-consuming passion—and her shocking secret—destroy their lives?
In the hot and scandalous third installment of the Wanted Men series, lust and loyalty clash in New York’s mob underworld.


“So naturally beautiful, you,” he whispered as he bent to kiss the pulse at the base of her throat.
Her hands gripped his shoulders when her knees weakened.
“Don’t forget, role-playing. Eyes are everywhere,” he informed her as he straightened. His words hit her like a runaway bus, bringing with them a reminder of why they were here.
“Get that fear out of your eyes, Sydney. Just follow my lead, and it’ll be fine.”
He released her and held out her chair, waiting until she stiffly sat before going around and taking his own. She wanted to ask if he knew for sure someone was watching them and who it was, but before she could, a waiter appeared with a bottle of white wine, presenting it with a flourish. Maksim nodded his dark head and held a hand out.
“Oh, but, sir, I would be pleased to open it for you . . . ?”
Maksim shook his head. “No, thanks. I’ve got it from here.”
Eyes darting around, as though expecting to get yelled at, the waiter quickly handed it over with the bottle opener and left. The cork was popped, the wine poured, and she was handed a glass. She took a much-needed gulp before Maksim could do something as cheesy—romantic—as make a toast. She could see him watching her with a discerning look, which had her trying to gain that air of distance she’d perfected when she was only fourteen and sitting at a table she wasn’t allowed to leave even though she was being ignored by all the adults.
She met that intent silver gaze of his and could tell he knew she was floundering. She took another drink and tried not to wonder what kind of kisser he was—languid and coaxing, firm and demanding—all the while trying desperately not to fall into his trap. When she was around him she felt she was constantly jerking back on the reins of her libido—one that had awakened with a vengeance the day they’d met and had yet to go back to sleep. It badly wanted what he’d already given to so many others. It didn’t care about all the reasons it shouldn’t. Didn’t care that he was a dangerous organized crime figure. That many things he did throughout his day were likely illegal. Her fluttering stomach didn’t care that his activities might also be immoral. For all she knew he was a pimp.
“Do you know many prostitutes?” she blurted, forcing her attention to remain at their table rather than allowing it to roam the room in search of someone with opera specs trained on them.
“A few.”
She balked and became more determined than ever to fight her attraction.
“I consider a good many of my associates’ wives prostitutes because they married for the money and house rather than any feelings they might have for the man supplying the lifestyle. That’s the worst form of prostitution. Don’t you think? At least the men and women you see on the street are honest about it. And I don’t have any on my payroll, if that’s what you were really asking.”
“Sorry.” She looked around at the cozy tables-for-two and spacious booths for larger parties. Had to—it was the lesser of two evils, after all. “I was thinking about you—I mean, about what you do for a living— and was curious but didn’t think it polite to ask if you were a pimp. Or manager, or whatever it is they call it these days.”
“Sydney.” Setting down his glass, he picked up her left hand. “You have to relax, lover.
Just play your role. You’ve been doing well so far. Why are you feeling off balance tonight?”
Her focus came back to him, and she lost her breath when he smiled across at her. I really should have gone to Gabriel Moretti for help rather than this temptation. Her teeth gnashed together as she shook her head. “Things seem . . . different tonight,” she said honestly.
“They’re not. You’re in love with me, of course. Can’t get enough of my body. Would do anything, anywhere, blah, blah, blah. You know, the usual.” He winked, seeming unaffected by what he’d just said. But then, why wouldn’t he be? It was his shtick. She was at odds because this, all of this, was unfamiliar to her. From the criminal activity to the make-like-we’re-lovers.
“The usual. Yes, of course,” she muttered, raising her glass to her lips once more.
His thumb running over her inner wrist had her practically dropping the fine crystal rather than placing it back on the table. “Tell me about this,” he said, lifting her hand and running his nose across the elephant/Andrew tattoo on her wrist.
“It’s a tattoo,” she said in a tone snootier than she’d used with him in days.
“Is that so?” he said dryly. “What does it mean to you?”
“That’s private. Tell me about your tattoos,” she forced herself to demand as she tried to pull herself from the moment. He needed to stop what he was doing with his thumb.
A muscle flexed in his jaw, and a calculating light entered his eyes before he came at her with both barrels. “For all anyone in this fucking place knows, we walked in separately for modesty’s sake. I could have taken you in the car on the way here. You could have taken me, ridden me like the stallion I am. Or you could have interrupted my shave an hour ago by sliding up on the bathroom counter between me and the mirror to tempt me with a smooth shave of your own.”
She gulped. “Maksim . . .”
“I could have had you in our breakfast nook this morning, or maybe at lunch. Right on the table because you’re my favorite thing to eat.”
Lust roared through her. I can’t allow him to do this to me. But her stupid body didn’t listen. It did its thing, tightening her belly, quickening her breath. As her cheeks flamed, Sydney was barely aware of Potty Mouth getting to his feet.
“And now that you actually look the part of panting lover, let’s dance.”



As a reader who loves dark heroes I was immediately drawn to this premise and the intricacies of the Tarasov Russian crime family that Ms. Haviland's memorably depicted throughout her Wanted Men series.  The charming and sexy yet brutal and deadly Maksim takes center stage here as he has to put aside his past whorish ways to protect the strong-willed yet emotionally guarded Sydney whose life is in danger from a Mexican drug cartel.  Jumping from the frying pan into the fire leads to danger and sexual tension as Sydney tries to withstand Maksim's sensual onslaught as they pretend to be dating in order to keep her safe as a member of the Family.  As they grow closer with their mutually painful pasts and issues of trust, their emotional walls fall to reveal a relationship based on loyalty and a sexual intensity where she can just let go while he he wins her over through his talent for dirty talk and his alpha nature. Through it all we get to see past couples, new players, and edge of your seat action with unexpected outcomes.

Maksim met Sydney in the previous book in this series and hasn't been able to get her out of his head since.  Though he has lots of experience with women he's unaccustomed to wooing one who doesn't want him but he enjoys a challenge and undertakes his role with gusto.  Seeing him be charming and show a softer side is surprising given his background of brutality from an uncaring father that made me weep for him.  He did have a loving mother though who lives on through his loyalty and protectiveness of others, particularly women and children.  He's an interesting dichotomy who was intense in and out of the bedroom and Sydney couldn't have asked for a better protector and lover.  I found him to be an admirable man who overcame a truly horrendous childhood to make something of himself, a man of honor with a code he lives by and who I fell for completely.

Sydney came from a controlling family of wealth who turned their back when she became pregnant.  She didn't let it destroy her and became stronger for it as she did whatever necessary to make a home for her and her son.  Some of her choices weren't always the right ones and it's now left her in danger having to count on the one man she's desperate to stay away from.  To keep her son safe she wants nothing to do with Maksim and the power he exudes but she can't deny his sensual pull which slowly binds them together to form a united front against the danger surrounding her.  I liked Sydney but wish we would've seen more of her background.  Keeping her son a secret from Maksim seemed unnecessary and could've put him in more jeopardy.  I liked that she gave as good as she got when it came to Maksim and the crackling nature of their interactions had me wanting them to jump each other far sooner than when they did.  She was a good match for Maksim and I enjoyed their sensual tug of war.

From start to finish this was an exciting story with compelling characters. Though it started off a bit slow the action quickly ramped up to a dynamic ending that has me greatly anticipating the next installment.  While I enjoyed the unrelenting sexual tension between Maksim and Sydney I wish they had gotten together much sooner as I found the wait richly rewarding. Though I haven't yet read the previous books in this series it didn't take me long to get caught up in the hierarchy of this intense Russian Family with each player more appealing than the next.  Ultimately I was drawn to this gritty world full of delicious antiheroes and can't wait to meet more of these Wanted Men!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Once the most feared member of an Italian Mafia crime family, Gabriel Moretti returns to New York at the request of his mentor, Russian crime boss Vasily Tarasov. Vasily needs someone he can trust in Seattle to protect his estranged daughter, Eva Jacobs, while he avenges the murder of the young woman’s mother. Gabriel is unstoppable in a fight, whether he’s using fists, blades, or bullets; but innocent, onyx-haired Eva may just be the most dangerous—and beautiful—thing he’s come up against.
Intense sparks fly between the two, tempting Gabriel to mix business with pleasure while in the Emerald City. But once word gets around that Gabriel has shown up in New York, Stefano—his vengeful brother and the de facto head of the family—decides that Eva is the key to ending the feud between them…permanently.
In this pulse-pounding romantic thriller set against the backdrop of New York City’s storied underworld, loyalties will be tested, secrets will be told, and mob justice will be served.


Only something as important as her best friend’s wedding to mob boss Gabriel Moretti could allow Nika Paynne a reprieve from captivity. Her abusive husband has kept her under his thumb with footage of her beloved brother, Caleb, killing another man. But the respite from her violent life isn’t the only draw. Vincente Romani—Gabriel’s deadliest guardian—will be one of the best men at the wedding, and Nika has lingering thoughts about the fascinating mobster…covetous thoughts that may put her life in danger.
With the heartbreak he’s suffered and the brutality he effortlessly delivers, Vincente knows he’s the last person who can offer Nika a happily-ever-after. But his vow remains. He will do everything in his power to free his redhead from her violent prison—even if that means losing her forever.
In the second thrilling and passionate Wanted Men book, a dangerous line is drawn between loyalty to the mob and loyalty to one’s heart.



Nancy Haviland is the author of the bestselling romantic suspense series, WANTED MEN. She writes about her alpha mobsters and their ladies from her home near Toronto, Ontario. She has three children, an arrogant but playful kitty named Talbot, and she adores her Tim Horton's coffee, as any self-respecting Canadian would. She writes contemporary romantic suspense but will happily read anything that involves two people smooching.


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