Imperfect Metal Series #2
“If the world was going to burn, I was going to feed the flames.”
Aiden Middleston spent years surrounded by blood and death, first in the Army, then as a mercenary. But after helping a friend survive deadly espionage, and learning his love for her will never be returned as anything more than friendship, he heads home to the family ranch in Dillon, Montana.
Yet escaping blood and death isn’t in the cards when he lands in the middle of a range war over water rights, and a family vendetta in the blood and generations old, pulling him into the sort of life he’s been trying to escape.
Aiden has a choice – he can use those years of killing to defend what’s his, or keep his sanity and leave one hundred thirty years of family memories and history to those willing to murder for it.
Twisted Iron is the second book in the Imperfect Metal series by T.J. Loveless and it can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading the first book since that is where we first meet Aiden. Did you ever go into a book just knowing that no matter what you would love it because you loved the main character? That is how I felt about this one, I knew from the first moment I met Aiden in Fractured Steel that I needed to know more about him. When I read the prologue of Twisted Iron I knew there was no stopping until I had devoured this entire novel and it was everything I imagined and more! I will admit that I wanted this book to go in a different direction but the author had other ideas and when I finished I was more than happy about that.
Aiden goes home to mourn the relationship that didn't develop between him and Karen, to say I was disappointed was an understatement but I understood. Aiden is a trained killer who has seen things no man should have to see, he's killed people, people he loved have been killed and he is looking to find peace but fate has other ideas. It turns out he has a complicated family history filled with secrets he never knew existed. People are after his land and his secrets and he is forced to decide whether he should protect his family history or leave it all behind. Knowing Aiden the choice was pretty obvious except for one little hitch in the plan, Jill, a childhood friend who pops back into his life. I'll say it again, I love Aiden and love him even more now. His protective instincts, the violence he will commit to protect what is his but also the vulnerability of a man who has seen and experienced too much trauma make for an amazing and lovable character. His ability to go to a dark place and be a stone cold killer in order to save Jill and protect his home was astonishing. Jill is one hell of a woman, I had some doubts but she is a survivor, she wasn't built for this kind of violent life but fate threw her into it head first.
Again, Loveless really nails the aftermath of trauma, I've never seen an author who was so able to portray the effects surviving such horrors. She has an ability to evoke intense emotion from her readers because her characters feel so real and you can't help but feel the pain and terror that they suffer from. Twisted Iron does have a romantic sub plot but the main plot fully of mystery, suspense and action. Loveless is a creative author who comes up with wild plots that take the reader on one hell of a ride with twists that you would never suspect. This story went in directions I was not expecting and each twist was better than the last leaving me on the edge of my seat mumbling to myself like a crazy person because I had absolutely no idea how this book was going to turn out. Then the ending happened and I was just.. amazed.. I fell in love with Aiden all over again in the last couple chapters and the epilogue left me a little teary eyed. In fact, I may have squealed in delight!
I can't say too much more about this book without spoiling it so just go read it! I loved it and I will definitely put Loveless as a go-to author for me, her ability to create amazing plots and intriguing characters is out of this world. This is a series I can't wait to continue reading!
Storyline: captivating, suspenseful
Female Character: sweet, tougher than she seems
Male Character: Survivor, Protector, Loved him
Author's Writing Style: Addictive, perfect!
Plot Twists: a wild and crazy ride!
Laugh Factor: none
Cry Factor: not really
Steam Factor: a little bit
Violence: quite a bit
Pre order links-
Imperfect Metal Series #
When her worse fears are confirmed and her life is threatened, her instinct for survival kicks in. But things are far worse than she could have even imagined when she discovers that the theft is just a coverup for espionage.
With the lives of those she cares for at stake, can she find the courage to fight one more battle, or will the violence and carnage tear her to pieces?
**ARC Provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**
Fractured Steel is the first book in the Imperfect Metal series by T.J. Loveless but it can be read as a stand alone novel. Let me start off by saying this story is very emotional, it is painful, it is raw and it is beautiful. This is not a romance novel like we usually review, I suppose I would call it a thriller since it has kidnapping, assault, mystery, action and suspense but really it is a story about survival, overcoming a personal hell and moving forward in spite of everything. Karen Barnes is a warrior with an inner strength that very few possess. She served in Iraq which left her with some issues after a particular incident and then to add insult to injury she is kidnapped and forced to help her kidnappers with a horse she's known forever, Five Alarm. She suffers horrible trauma while being held against her will yet she continues to fight. She doesn't give up and when her opportunity to escape arrives she doesn't just run, she tries to help who she can. Unfortunately the horrors don't stop there, things continue to get worse and worse and Karen continues to fight for survival. Secrets are uncovered that left me shocked, poor Karen just couldn't catch a break, nothing is as it appears and she just keeps getting slammed with trauma after trauma.
This book was intense, the action kept me on the edge of my seat but Karen is what kept me glued to this emotional novel. I couldn't stop reading once I started, I had to know if this amazing character was going to be ok. I wanted her to do more than survive, I wanted her to live, really live. I'm not sure that a person can ever truly be whole after something like this, she was so incredibly focused on survival and didn't worry about how she was going to put the pieces of her life back together. Several parts of this novel were hard to read, Karen's anguish was palpable, her terror rocked me right to my very soul. Loveless created a character that will stay with me for a very long time, her attention to detail and the accuracy of the PTSD symptoms are what made this book really come alive. I hope this amazing, heart breaking story about overcoming hell and the aftermath of trauma will raise awareness of PTSD and what horrors this illness inflicts on the people who suffer with it. Loveless did an incredible job of creating a captivating, engrossing plot line and a tough as nails character that I loved.
There were a few other characters in this book that had an impact on Karen and the plot but no one played a bigger role than Five Alarm. He was an amazing animal that much like Karen suffered terrible trauma and needed a whole lot of healing both physically and mentally. I loved how he mirrored Karen's trauma and PTSD and how they both had to learn to heal and trust again. Aiden was also amazing, he showed up with some others to help her when she escaped but was still in danger. We only learned a little bit about him but his interactions with Karen were enough to make me love him. He was exactly what she needed, gentle but pushy when need be and he knew exactly what she was going through since he also suffered from PTSD.
This was a hard review to write because this book was just so darn good. I'm not sure there are words to convey just how much I loved it, it was emotionally taxing but well worth the tears I cried for Karen and Five Alarm. The ending was the perfect way to tie everything together and I wouldn't change a thing about this book and I highly recommend it. I can't wait to start the next book in this series!
Storyline: Amazing, suspenseful, heart breaking
Female Character: Warrior, Amazing
Male Character: no male main character
Author's Writing Style: Flawless!
Plot Twists: Crazy, Shocking
Laugh Factor: none
Cry Factor: This book is extremely emotional
Steam Factor: none
Violence: quite a bit including sexual violence
About the Author-
T.J. Loveless lives with The Writing Zoo, a Hubby who prefers her mood when writing, and a teenager who loves to tells stories of Mom on the floor trying to visualize "legs all akimbo" and the long, often yelling, conversations with the computer screen.