Gray’s Promise by Anni Fife

Zoey and Gray have tried to put their tragic past behind them, but they both realize that their only hope for moving on is to confront their past together.

What’s it About?

Zoey Morgan seems to have it all as a successful surgeon in Boston. However, perfection lies only on the surface. Plagued by nightmares and amnesia from a tragedy that ripped her family from her fourteen years ago, she finds the courage to reach out to the only man who can make her feel safe. She’s buried the memory of their love, but her heart—and her body—responds to the ex-marine in ways that are all too familiar.

Grayson “Gray” Walker’s heart shattered when Zoey chose another man over him. Since then, he’s built an impenetrable wall around his emotions. But from the moment she implodes back into his life, her vulnerability breaches his defenses. His skills as an elite member of the King Security team cannot shield him from the devastation of learning he might have left Zoey high and dry when she needed him most. Now, Gray must navigate the tripwire of helping her heal while protecting himself from being hurt again. As the embers of their potent love reignite, an old threat awakens, leading to greater danger than ever before.

First Impressions

I made the somewhat regrettable decision to start this book about 30 minutes before my designated bedtime, and I really need to get in the habit of avoiding this tactic unless I know with absolute certainty that I have a light-hearted comedy at hand. While I knew this was going to be more of a suspenseful read, I wasn’t prepared for our book to open on a hospital scene in the aftermath of Gray discovering the love of his life has been raped, her family brutally murdered, and if that wasn’t cruel enough, she’s wearing an engagement ring given to her by his brother. If that’s not a gut-wrenching way to start a book right before you go to sleep, then I don’t know what is!

Moving on From Tragedy

I must say, I did find it a little hard to believe that Gray would have left Zoey behind after facing such an epic tragedy, especially seeing as her mind wouldn’t allow her to remember the details of that tragic evening when everything changed. Even if she was suddenly and unexpectedly engaged to his brother, their love was so strong simply a day before that to pick up and leave seemed rather odd. However, if anything it demonstrated that in the immediate aftermath of inexplicable horror, sometimes we’re not always thinking clearly. After a few years, Gray does make the attempt on repeated occasions to try and connect with Zoey once again, but her inability to confront what really happened that night to her and her family means that she ultimately pushes him away until he refuses to try anymore.

It was fascinating to see that both of these characters mistakenly assumed that by turning their back on the past would they then be able to move forward into the future. However, one day Zoey comes to the realization that only by forcing herself to try and remember who attacked her family would she be able to bring justice to their memory, and truly be able to move on. She just needs the presence of one man by her side to do this, the one man who always made her feel safe, the one man who seemingly no longer wants anything to do with her. The wounds she encountered that night weren’t just physical, but rather they also had a deep-rooted mental impact. After so many years removed from their family homes, it’s only by looking back at everything with a fresh perspective that Zoey and Gray are able to realize that what they were both led to believe about that night only raises more questions than answers.

A Somewhat Expected Conclusion

For about the first two chapters of this book I had one primary suspect in my mind as the perpetrator of the heinous crimes committed against Zoey and her family. After some slight tweaking, I had a new theory that I held throughout the remainder of the book, and lo and behold it ended up being right. While it provided for some interesting dynamics between various characters, I also couldn’t help but feel that it was almost a bit too obvious of a realization. It might make sense that some characters were too close to the action for them to be able to acknowledge the truth, but surely it would have been obvious to the local police or other investigators throughout the years? Although the “who dunnit” aspect of the mystery was fairly obvious, it didn’t lessen the intensity level as we see Zoey and Gray slowly start to put together the pieces of the puzzle. This ultimately led to an exciting climactic conclusion that brings everything back full circle to the tragic scene upon which our novel opened.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: A King Security Novel, book 2. I really do love the members of this security team.

Final Impressions: It was interesting to see Zoey and Gray learn how to trust each other again before they could take the next step of confronting their past together. Nevertheless, because the mystery had a somewhat obvious conclusion, it almost made the journey to get there feel a bit tediously drawn out. The many years of distance from the events of that evening helped create this delicious tension between Gray and Zoey that they were forced to address, but I almost wonder if it would have made more sense if the novel had taken place just a few months, or at most a few years afterwards. As it stood, it was kind of hard to believe the perpetrator could have gotten away with it for as long as they did, especially considering the only thing attributing to their freedom this whole time was the fact Zoey’s mind wouldn’t let her remember the events of that night.

Smut Level: Hot daaaaaamn! Even though Zoey and Gray don’t have intercourse until almost the very last scene of the novel, that doesn’t mean they don’t explore all manner of delicious dirty deeds before then. And these scenes are not only detailed, but lengthy, so you have plenty of time to enjoy them in their entirey.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 408 Pages.

Luke’s Redemption by Anni Fife

A romance that blossoms over some beignets. Might not seem like the most sensual of baked goods, but when they’re from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, I must say I get it.


What’s it About? 

luke's redemption

Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.

Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he’s in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It’s a promise he can’t keep. When Katya’s past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.

First Impressions

One of the more prominent features of this novel is definitely the timeline of Luke and Katya’s relationship, which I will say felt a bit disjointed to me. Technically, their relationship spans six years, but they’ve only spent a total of 5 days together in all that time. When they first meet, Luke assumes an undercover identity in order to obtain a flash drive which Katya stole from her mob boss father. Sparks fly, they do a little dance (both on the dance floor and in the bedroom), their condom breaks, and the next morning Luke says he has to leave, but that they should meet up one year later in NYC.


One year later and Katya travels to NY to meet Luke, but he’s so far undercover that he can’t meet with her, or explain his absence. Fast-forward another five years, and Katya returns to NY with her daughter in tow. She gets caught up in some mob drama and Luke is the only one who can protect her. This is also when he discovers for the first time that, surprise! He’s a daddy!!


Timeline Dilemmas

I will say I wasn’t a huge fan of the year long gaps in between their meetings, not to mention the fact that these happen so early on in the book. It makes it harder to really develop a close first impression of the characters when there’s so much jumping around. In addition, you can’t help but wonder what happened to both characters during such a long interlude apart.


When they do reconnect in person after six years, they are quick to pick up where they left off, which was kind of surprising to me. After all, their first meeting was under false pretenses, as Luke lied about his true identity, and their second planned meeting never came together. Although Katya does express her reservations about this to Luke when they reconnect, I couldn’t help but feel she forgave him a bit too quickly considering they only spent one night together. Perhaps their emotional connection went deeper than you’d think because he was her first lover?


I will say I liked that after this six year period apart they really do open up to each other about their pasts, and are able to connect over conversations of actual substance. That being said, this is also the point in the novel where I wish they had spanned things out over a longer period of time so their re-connection didn’t seem so rushed. I mean, this span of the book takes place in just 4 days! That’s not even an entire business week.

Fathers and Daughters

Although this book is primarily about Luke and Katya’s relationship, there was actually another relationship type that received a lot of attention, and I personally found it to be much more compelling! That would be the father/daughter relationship. We have Katya, who has to try and reconcile the fact that her father is a criminal mob boss on the one hand, yet on the other he’s also been looking out for her all the years he’s been in prison. It was such a complex relationship, and I must say it was probably my favorite feature of the book.

Father and Daughter Playing Together at the Beach at Sunset

Another father/daughter relationship at play was between Luke and his daughter with Katya, Lily. Luke didn’t know she existed for the first 5 years of her life, yet when he first realizes that he’s a father he immediately jumps in as her protector. There wasn’t an ounce of hesitation, even though it must have come as quite a bit of a shock. Luke and Lily have a scene together which was so endearing you can’t help but love it. If anything, I wish Lily could have been featured more prominently. It seemed like in most scenes where she was present she was quickly handed off to somebody else for safe-keeping.

The Edge of Your Seat

There are three primary scenes of suspense in this novel, and I gotta say each one keeps you on the edge of your seat. They were written very well, and you feel like you’re actually there with the characters. The first is when Katya returns to New York with her daughter, and kidnappers infiltrate the hotel where she’s staying. Luke swoops in, and the search for their daughter throughout the hotel as shots ring out was simply nail-biting. The second scene involves Katya actually being kidnapped, and you can’t help but wonder if she’ll successfully escape to see Luke and her daughter again.


The final scene of suspense was probably the most gripping, but unfortunately it was also the most unnecessary. It only came about in the last 10% of the book, and seemed like something of an afterthought. Although intense, it really didn’t relate at all to the rest of the story line. I think it could have been worked into the plot earlier on in the book so that it meshed with the rest of what was happening, but as it stands it felt too random, and sort of threw off the flow of the book right at the end.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: King Security, book 1. The supplemental characters were great, and I absolutely loved the one who will be featured as the lead in the next book.

Should you read it? I did enjoy the suspenseful elements of the book, as well as the multiple complexities of the father/daughter relationships. I will say I found the timeline of the novel to be rather distracting, and various elements of Luke and Katya’s relationship to be unrealistic. Mainly how they’ve only spent a total of 5 days together in 6 years, and how Katya forgave him so quickly after so much time apart.

Smut Level: How to get intimate when you have a young one at home? Call a babysitter, and check-in to a motel. Bow chica wow wow!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 311 Pages.