I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Cost of Honor by Diana Munoz Stewart
Series: Black Ops Confidential #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 26, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Source: TLC Book Tours
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He gave up everything to escape his family
The only male to be adopted into the notorious Parish family, Tony Parish always did right by his vigilante sisters. But when an attempt to protect one of them went horribly wrong, he had to fake his own death to escape his fanatical family. Tony set sail and ended up in Dominica—face to face with the woman of his dreams...
Now he must give up Honor to save her
After the death of her mother, Honor Silva moved to Dominica, where her family could help her heal and move on. But her activist mother left her more than money, she left her proof that could take down one of the richest and most powerful men in the world.
Tony gave up everything he thought he knew when he fled his family. But when a threat too dangerous for Tony and Honor to fight on their own closes in, he has no choice but to go to them for help. Problem is, they'll demand something in return—something that could cost Tony not just Honor, but also the love that changed him forever.
Black Ops Confidential Series:
I Am Justice (Book 1)
The Price of Grace (Book 2)
The Cost of Honor (Book 3)
Readers are raving about the Black Ops Confidential series:
“A high-octane…satisfying roller-coaster ride. Stewart’s talent shines.”–Publishers Weekly for The Price of Grace
“Electrifying, edgy, and sexy!”–JULIE ANN WALKER, New York Times bestseller, for I Am Justice
“Witty, dangerous, fun, and smoking hot.”–CINDY DEES, New York Times bestseller, for I Am Justice
I’m so happy to bring you an excerpt and review for the release day of the latest book in one of my favorite series! I have an excerpt from the third installment in the Black Ops Confidential series by Diana Munoz Stewart.
Here’s the excerpt, and stick around until the end for my review and a chance to win a copy of THE COST OF HONOR.
As Honor opened the door to lead Laz into her chocolate store, she cursed her cowardice. Why hadn’t she kissed him? She could see he’d wanted her to. Could feel the scorching heat between them. And yet as he’d looked down at her, too handsome to be real, she’d froze.
Inside the store, the cool air smelled of sugar and chocolate and spices. And well it should with cases of chocolate, shelves of wrapped chocolate, fudge and elaborate displays of green and gold boxed chocolates.
As Laz looked around at the store, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and let it out with a satisfied sigh.
When she opened her eyes, she found him staring at her mouth. Heat rushed through her. She should’ve kissed him. Should’ve kissed him. “You like?”
“I mean the store.” What was wrong with her? “Do you like the store?”
His smile widened. “It’s a great store. Best I’ve ever seen.”
It was. It was, in fact, a perfect candy store. Her chocolatier’s dream. She was glad he enjoyed it, but one thing made her nervous. Well, many things about him made her nervous, but right now this. Getting him to taste something.
Time to bite the bullet. She pointed at the rows of dishes in the glass case, white china, filled with different types of chocolate and truffles. “What’s your favorite?”
He put down a chocolate bar whose wrapper he’d been reading. “My favorite? Would it disappoint you if I said I’m not a huge chocolate fan?”
Would it disappoint her? Was he kidding? “Are you trying to cause me physical pain?”
He laughed. “No. I love chocolate.” He moved closer to her, front to front. “Can’t get enough. You have anything with some bite?”
Biting. Yes. What? She was losing her mind. Oh, he was so hot. But this was her chance. Her chance to make up for her missed opportunity. Bold, Honor. Be bold.
She leaned past him, into him. Her entire front caught fire. She gathered up a jar of chocolate sticks, took one out. Putting the jar back, she brushed his bicep. Hopefully he didn’t notice her shaking hands.
She held up the chocolate stick. “I invented this.”
“A small, chocolate straw?”
She pulled off the plastic wrapper. “It’s a kissing stick. The middle is filled with a warm surprise, but as you can see, it’s a little large for one mouth to suck on.”
He grinned at her. “I think I might need a demonstration.”
She grinned back. Oh good. That was what she’d wanted. “The things I do for my craft.”
She put the chocolate straw in her mouth, up to the center, tilted up her chin. He dipped down and captured the other end of the stick.
Heat. Heat like she never felt before shot through her body. She clutched at him, had no choice, no way not to. Her body took over, closed down her mind. Closer. More. Closer. Now.
The chocolate reacted instantly, melting against their lips. Her hot and needy tongue licked the chocolate from his full lips.
The cayenne warmed her already tingling mouth, and she found her boldness in her desire. She probed the kiss, begged him to let her inside.
He did. Eagerly.
She moaned and moved into him. He put his arms around her. He’d given her the first move, but he was taking control now, demonstrating his own need.
His body was hard against her, mouth pulling at her, tasting her. The chocolate melted, leaving the cayenne slick between them.
The jingle of the bells over the door brought her to her senses. What was she doing? In the middle of her store?
She broke off the kiss, licked her lips, stepped back from him. They stared at each other. Their breathing heavy and much too loud. The heat in their mouths was nothing compared to the heat building between them. She couldn’t have mumbled a single word.
What was this?
What was happening to her?
She’d never felt this way about a man. She’d thought it was a myth, this type of attraction—the kind that drove away doubt and common sense. She needed to take him to her room and rip off his clothes.
But was this unique for him too? Or did he act this way or feel this way with all women? A bolt of pain, real pain, pierced her chest. She had to be cautious. This was her first experience with these feelings, this desire, but that didn’t mean it was his. Maybe he did this to all women.
He licked his lips. “Sweet.” His voice was thick with need.
Though she wanted to grab another stick, take another chance with feeling his firm and eager body against hers, she found her voice and a better idea. “My grandfather usually finishes the tour around five, so we have some time. Would you like me to show you the rooms?”
His eyebrows jumped. “That sounds fantastic. Let’s start with yours.”
This man had just read her mind. Not that you needed to be a mind reader. She was sending up red signal flares that burst into the air between them spelling out, I’m going to take you hard. You’re mine.
I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series featuring Justice and Grace, and now it’s brother Tony’s turn. Tony is the lone male that was adopted into the Parish family, raised and trained to be vigilante assassins while protecting those who cannot protect themselves. Everyone thought Tony was dead when the takedown of an especially brutal man went sideways, but Tony faked his own death since he’d been wanting out of the family. But he knew they’d come for him, so he’s been on the run for months, looking over his shoulder, waiting for his sisters to catch up with him.
But Tony didn’t think that he’d meet someone who’d catch his eye on the island of Dominica, and he certainly didn’t expect that Honor would desperately need his help. Honor returned to Dominica after her mother’s untimely death to revitalize their family’s farm, but she has offers from an unknown entity to pay a very large sum to purchase the business and land–for way more than it’s worth. And then the accidents at her resort start to happen along with employees not showing up for work, and Tony grows suspicious that something more serious is going on here. As their relationship grows more serious, even though they both know that Tony cannot stay, he finds that he can’t leave her when so much danger lurks around the corner when she has enemies gunning for her from her mother’s past.
I really enjoyed Tony and Honor, from the way he tries to train her to protect herself to the way she can talk to anyone. Tony is guarded–and for good reason–but he falls fast and hard for Honor. He has a protective streak a mile-wide and a heart of gold, and he’s just an all around good guy who enjoys helping people and a good mystery. Honor grew up a bit sheltered, and she doesn’t know who she can trust when things start to go south–but she knows she can trust Tony. She speaks her mind, runs a firm, legitimate business, and is liked by anyone who meets her. She’s a very strong woman and she handles things well on her own, and this leads to struggles between the two of them.
I give The Cost of Honor a 4.5 out of 5. Just as I expect from this series, the third installment was fast paced and well written with plenty of romance and action. The island of Dominica was a fantastic, picturesque setting for this book with it’s lush, humid jungles. I enjoyed seeing Justice and Sandesh from the first book and Grace and Dusty from the second book show up on the island to bring Tony home, and attempted to do so rather forcefully. In the last third of the book, we got an even deeper look at the operations of the Parish compound, and I really enjoyed those chapters. Overall, I highly enjoyed this series, and The Cost of Honor was my favorite of the three.
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Diana Munoz Stewart’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE COST OF HONOR:
Monday, November 11th: Hallie Reads
Tuesday, November 12th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, November 14th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, November 15th: @girlandherbooks
Monday, November 18th: The Book Disciple – excerpt
Monday, November 18th: @thebookdisciple
Tuesday, November 19th: @thisbibliolife
Tuesday, November 19th: Booked on a Feeling
Tuesday, November 19th: Mystery Suspense Reviews – excerpt
Wednesday, November 20th: @barr_bookworms
Thursday, November 21st: Why Girls are Weird
Monday, November 25th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, November 26th: Bewitched Bookworms – review & excerpt
Tuesday, November 26th: @_ebl_inc_
Wednesday, November 27th: The Book Diva’s Reads – excerpt
Monday, December 2nd: Living My Best Book Life – excerpt
Monday, December 2nd: @livingmybestbooklife
Tuesday, December 3rd: Becky on Books
Wednesday, December 4th: Stranded in Chaos
Friday, December 6th: Book Nerd