Locked and Loaded by Mandy Baxter #Review

Locked and Loaded by Mandy Baxter #ReviewLocked and Loaded by Mandy Baxter

Series: U.S. Marshals #5
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Zebra Books on September 27, 2016
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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three-half-stars      three-flames

Ooops! I did it again. I picked up an interesting book on NetGalley without checking if it was part of a series. The good news, I didn’t get lost as I navigated my way through it. So if there were returning characters, I don’t even have a clue who they would have been.

Mandy Baxter writes a story about a man who wants to do right after growing up with a con artist. Mason Decker has one dream: to be a U.S. Marshal. The one thing stopping him: his father and brother. After two rejections, Mason is called in and he is confused as to why they want to deliver the rejection in person only to find out they need him for a mission. A mission that includes his father and brother. He’s good at undercover work and his family is the way into getting a huge criminal syndicate forming. The key….he takes the mission to betray his family and he gets the position he so caveats. Then he meets the person in charge.

Charlotte Cahill, or Charlie, is heading up a mission to take down a new criminal element cropping up its head. The only link they have is Mason’s brother Kieran. While the U.S. Marshal wants Kieran for gem smuggling, they need him more as a source into something much bigger. Charlie doesn’t mind using Mason to get what she wants, but she doesn’t trust him even is his under cover work for customs has been squeaky clean.

These two lock horns right away and I can’t say I saw much in the way of sparks fly. They seem attracted to each other, but they really don’t like each other. When Charlie does something stupid, she gets put in the mix and now they have to rely on each other to get out. It felt pushed and not natural for these two to fall in love. Again it was such a short time and wham, the L word is being bandied around in their minds.

The passion between the sheets is pretty intense when they finally get around to it, but still I didn’t see much of a relationship forming between the two. After about one scene, we just get they tried and true “they made love all through the night” line. It isn’t the last one, but it does make for wondering if they really are meant to be together forever after one night in the midst of some suspenseful times.

Mason came across as an ass and Charlie as a bitch at times. Both are struggling to be in charge, but neither invoked in me confidence they knew what they were doing.

Now not all was bad. I enjoyed the story enough, just didn’t find it to be a great story. I would gladly try more stories from this author as the writing style was engaging. So don’t think I didn’t enjoy the story, I just had a few problems that kept me from raving about it.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • I’ve picked up a couple from Netgalley without reading reviews first. Big mistake. One had a cliffhanger..ugh. This sounds pretty good. I don’t mind it a book is part of a series or not. Sometimes it’ll motivate me to read the rest of the series.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I am bad about that. I have one now that is kind of like the Fifty Shades of Gray series, which I am not a fan of. So I put it down and probably will mark it DNF.

  • humm interesting, or could have been but the two characters attraction seems odd and quick in this

    • Shari Delighted Read

      It was odd and quick and I really didn’t like the book that much.

  • I am definitely guilty of not checking to see if a book is part of a series before requesting it on NetGalley. Most of the time it works out okay because they are standalones but a few times I wasn’t quite so lucky. LOL! I do seem to enjoy the books more when I start at the beginning of the series though, that way I’m a little more attached to the characters. Great review!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Me too! It wasn’t too confusing, I just didn’t like the characters much.

  • Guess it’s an epidemic since I have accidentally grabbed a book out of order, too. I tried the first book in this series a couple years back and really struggled with it so didn’t pick up others. But I do like the US Marshals backdrop so maybe I should try again.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Epidemic! Yep, been doing that a lot lately. Sometimes it’s ok and sometimes not. I didn’t enjoy the series. So I won’t be going back to it. They all just seemed off.

  • I have been interested in trying out this author. I own one of the books in this series, but I haven’t read it yet. I’m a little nervous to read this one, though, because I’m not sure if I would get annoyed with them. It sounds like they can be a bit frustrating.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I was annoyed most of the time with them. It’s the middle of the series so I am not sure who may have been in past book or if they are all new characters.