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Illicit Intent

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Calliope Garland’s newsdesk assignment was fairly straightforward—dig up the dirt on the sketchy CEO of a Wall Street hedge fund. But when the man is murdered and valuable data destroyed, a simple investigation turns deadly. Calliope is unwittingly in possession of vital financial information and a priceless work of art; either of which may get her killed. With an ever-gro Calliope Garland’s newsdesk assignment was fairly straightforward—dig up the dirt on the sketchy CEO of a Wall Street hedge fund. But when the man is murdered and valuable data destroyed, a simple investigation turns deadly. Calliope is unwittingly in possession of vital financial information and a priceless work of art; either of which may get her killed. With an ever-growing list of people who want to harm her, Calliope must set aside her reservations and turn to the one man she knows can trust. Miller “Tox” Buchanan is a study in contradictions: kind but lethal, passionate but distant, self-possessed yet hesitant. He knows he should keep his distance, but when Calliope is hurled into danger, Tox will stop at nothing to protect her. ...Her first instinct wasn’t to dial 911 but rather to call a certain Navy SEAL. She forced down the antiquated damsel in distress fantasy floating around in her head and rationalized the police would surely ask questions she was unwilling or unable to answer. She brought up her contacts. At the bottom, she touched the entry labeled, Tox, and the call rang through. A grizzly bear answered. “This better be good.” “Tox?” “Calliope?” “I need your help...” Be advised: this story contains scenes of violence equivalent to an R-rated movie and explicit sexual situations.


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Calliope Garland’s newsdesk assignment was fairly straightforward—dig up the dirt on the sketchy CEO of a Wall Street hedge fund. But when the man is murdered and valuable data destroyed, a simple investigation turns deadly. Calliope is unwittingly in possession of vital financial information and a priceless work of art; either of which may get her killed. With an ever-gro Calliope Garland’s newsdesk assignment was fairly straightforward—dig up the dirt on the sketchy CEO of a Wall Street hedge fund. But when the man is murdered and valuable data destroyed, a simple investigation turns deadly. Calliope is unwittingly in possession of vital financial information and a priceless work of art; either of which may get her killed. With an ever-growing list of people who want to harm her, Calliope must set aside her reservations and turn to the one man she knows can trust. Miller “Tox” Buchanan is a study in contradictions: kind but lethal, passionate but distant, self-possessed yet hesitant. He knows he should keep his distance, but when Calliope is hurled into danger, Tox will stop at nothing to protect her. ...Her first instinct wasn’t to dial 911 but rather to call a certain Navy SEAL. She forced down the antiquated damsel in distress fantasy floating around in her head and rationalized the police would surely ask questions she was unwilling or unable to answer. She brought up her contacts. At the bottom, she touched the entry labeled, Tox, and the call rang through. A grizzly bear answered. “This better be good.” “Tox?” “Calliope?” “I need your help...” Be advised: this story contains scenes of violence equivalent to an R-rated movie and explicit sexual situations.

30 review for Illicit Intent

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀

    **I was provided with an ARC for an honest review** This series is pretty easy to enjoy with its creative Military mystery shenanigans but could be just as easy to hate on with cheesy love-story syndrome So Imma review this as a fun romantic suspense book that didn't take itself seriously I really enjoyed this book more than the first one because The Characters actually wanted to engage with each other. AND THERE WAS A FUCKING TRANS* PROSTITUTE, SHE WAS HILARIOUS Miller “Tox” Buchanan, the Navy Se **I was provided with an ARC for an honest review** This series is pretty easy to enjoy with its creative Military mystery shenanigans but could be just as easy to hate on with cheesy love-story syndrome So Imma review this as a fun romantic suspense book that didn't take itself seriously I really enjoyed this book more than the first one because The Characters actually wanted to engage with each other. AND THERE WAS A FUCKING TRANS* PROSTITUTE, SHE WAS HILARIOUS Miller “Tox” Buchanan, the Navy Seal with a dark past... no seriously haha Calliope Garland, the free spirit investigating journalist. She has lived everywhere and just never really had times for friends or ties.. till the Bishop Security Boiiiis Majority of the book focuses on how she starts to feel part of the team, and I loved the dynamic of this group! She began to find the camaraderie and friendship she severely missed traveling the world. BUT THAT HANDSHAKE! A GODDAMN HANDSHAKE GUYS! The absolute gem of this book is we get some real development occurring *yay* Contrasting with the ice queen of the first book, Calliope was a warm summer breeze. As readers, we really got to know our heroine better which I adore. She shares her dreams and jobs which creatively built up to the military badass mystery plot of the book itself We interact with the Bishop Security group more, which really allowed for more development of those characters individually and as a group This book totally addressed some character connection lacking in the first book by giving both more spotlight, showing how both characters clearly want each other and hate their distance but aren't sure how to connect The mystery For a fun romantic suspense, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of plot and built up. There were like 3 different mysteries going on! It kinda felt like telenovela-worthy mysteries that leave you wanting more. The Bishop Security has a unique backstory that I’m excited to see how its developed. The romance isn’t a total smut fest *bummer* and there are some lines that are pretty fucking funny. "Need a lift?” Steady smiles from the passenger seat Tox grinned, "We could probably walk. That fucker is big as a glacier and twice as slow" "Not his bullets, dipshit let’s go" A real strong female lead, great-world building, and unique side characters that each added to the story that FORESHADOWS FOR LATER BOOKS! its just so beautiful *chef's kiss* The critiques I struggled with the POVs. The story is told in the third-person. And it switched characters *quite* often to cover all the events happening AROUND our MCs. Which was great at times as a lili snippets to provide info ... But when I was ready to go back to our main story-- we had yet another side plot to address I really kinda hate when some authors try to give EVERY friggeeenn character a chapter with their POVs *it’s 2 much please stawp* Overall. Well-fucking done. Everything I saw potential in the first book -- the unique premise, the fun characters, and pacing --was strengthed in this second book. But more importantly, the author clearly worked on some of the failings of the first book. Where the heroine's personality of the first book felt like ice and lacked connection, the second book worked to strengthen the reader's connection with our MCs. Where the first book felt overwhelming with all these names of people I’ve never friggen met and the heroine didn't know either, the second book purposefully showed how these characters are connected to each other and have a group dynamic. That's the sign of a damn good writer who is able to adapt and continually improve so that the writing style can accurately showcase the dynamic characters and dangerous plot they want it to. It was just a really good, borderline dark, romance driven by mystery development and some sexy sexy fun times that I recommend checking out if you just want a fun love story with danger imma marine overtones. Also just an FYI, this is NOT a sequel!! The Bishop Security books set in same universe but are individual stories and don't need to be read in order ...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Get it here: Amazon US * Amazon UK Illicit Intent is my first book from Debbie Baldwin but it will definitely not be my last. To say the least, this book captivated me from the very beginning. Right away we were thrust into a mystery that had me gripping the book and leaning closer as if I could somehow put myself into the pages to live the story along with the characters. There was so much detail in every scene and I really enjoyed how it all played out in a way that allowed us to uncover the ans Get it here: Amazon US * Amazon UK Illicit Intent is my first book from Debbie Baldwin but it will definitely not be my last. To say the least, this book captivated me from the very beginning. Right away we were thrust into a mystery that had me gripping the book and leaning closer as if I could somehow put myself into the pages to live the story along with the characters. There was so much detail in every scene and I really enjoyed how it all played out in a way that allowed us to uncover the answers to Tox and Calliope's questions as the story progressed. It left me wanting more with every turn of the page and there were a lot of shocking discoveries that I never would have guessed. On top of the brilliant suspense that this book had we also had an adorable romance between Tox and Calliope. Tox was such a lovable guy, his vulnerabilities were right there on the page for us to see and it made me fall for him so fast. I thought it was fun how he tried to hold himself back from getting too attached to Calliope but in the end there was just no denying their connection. Especially not when Calliope was such a fun and easygoing woman and yet wouldn't let Tox run from her. Overall, this is a definite must read and I can't wait to get more from this group. I'm excited to go back and read the first in the series but I'm also dying to see what happens next with a certain chameleon-like character. Copy kindly provided by the author.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author in exchange for an fair and honest review. There is enough plot in this book for at least three, make that four, books by any other author. And, the wrap up - a thing of beauty. I am beyond impressed by this book. Now, the romance. Holy God of Romance. It is hot, sweet, intense and just wonderful. As the second in the series, I just don't see how it can get any better, but I can't wait for the next one. Who will it be? I don't care, I just want it Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author in exchange for an fair and honest review. There is enough plot in this book for at least three, make that four, books by any other author. And, the wrap up - a thing of beauty. I am beyond impressed by this book. Now, the romance. Holy God of Romance. It is hot, sweet, intense and just wonderful. As the second in the series, I just don't see how it can get any better, but I can't wait for the next one. Who will it be? I don't care, I just want it to be soon. Calliope Garland has lived and traveled the world over and just doesn't want to set any roots in any specific place. She keeps her friends superficial and her lovers short term. Until . . . she meets and gets to know Emily and the Bishop Security Boys. She is working undercover for her Internet newspaper and has just downloaded vital financial information and crashed the company's system when shortly after Calliope's exit the man under investigation, a unscrupulous hedge fund manager, is shot dead. Calliope, unknowingly, also took with her priceless works of art. When she realizes she is definitely on someone's hit list she contacts the only person she trusts to keep her safe. Miller “Tox” Buchanan is a big former Nave SEAL with a lot of issues when it comes to women. He knows he must stay away from Calliope, but he can't when he knows she could be in danger. Protecting her trumps even his self preservation. At first everyone thought it was just the financial information the baddies wanted, but after they discover the priceless art Calliope inadvertently also took, things are suddenly not so clear cut. Figuring this all out causes Calliope and Tox to face some intense issued from their pasts and the only way through is to work together.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laur Laur

    What a ride! This takes me back to the Sandra Brown/Linda Howard romantic suspense era. This book has 2-3 mysteries to solve, and the author does a great job of having the reader know just a little bit more than the mc's, so it's fun to follow along with their discoveries, yet she throws in some truly surprising twists and turns. Usually I have a good idea of who "the bad guy" is, but with so much going on in this book, certain characters still managed to jump outside the box their characters wer What a ride! This takes me back to the Sandra Brown/Linda Howard romantic suspense era. This book has 2-3 mysteries to solve, and the author does a great job of having the reader know just a little bit more than the mc's, so it's fun to follow along with their discoveries, yet she throws in some truly surprising twists and turns. Usually I have a good idea of who "the bad guy" is, but with so much going on in this book, certain characters still managed to jump outside the box their characters were heading in. I'm not one to try to solve books as I read them, but sometimes it's obvious and unavoidable, so it's awesome to read a book and be honestly surprised by something. Good job, author! And the romance! The romance was really, really enjoyable. The ending was incredibly sweet. The history of the hero is something I've never seen in a romance before, and he dealt with it properly and believably. I'll spoilerize that below if anyone wants to know, we find out about it pretty early. As for the heroine, this one could think on her feet was great at getting herself out of tight situations, yet still counted on the hero to protect her when she needed it. I really liked her. She was the perfect mix of not letting the hero run away when they got too close, but didn't cling on to him at all. Hero's crazy spoiler: (view spoiler)[ He was a stalker in the past! More than once! He'd had restraining orders against him! The reasons given were abandonment issues since he lost his family as a young child, and he went to therapy to deal with it, and he was a young man - actually implied late teen - at the time. It wasn't the women he wanted so much, it was the relationship. He'd never had a serious relationship since, and he was afraid of himself. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    This high-octane mystery is electrified by a fiery romance between journalist Calliope and a Navy Seal named Tox. Calliope is threatened after her boss is killed, leaving her with valuable financials, priceless art, and a growing list of enemies. She calls Tox for help, because she knows he’ll battle any foe for her, even as he copes with intense PTSD. As the action explodes, we wonder, “Will their love survive if they do?” A fine read for fans of R-rated romantic suspense. 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date This high-octane mystery is electrified by a fiery romance between journalist Calliope and a Navy Seal named Tox. Calliope is threatened after her boss is killed, leaving her with valuable financials, priceless art, and a growing list of enemies. She calls Tox for help, because she knows he’ll battle any foe for her, even as he copes with intense PTSD. As the action explodes, we wonder, “Will their love survive if they do?” A fine read for fans of R-rated romantic suspense. 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 01 Jan 2021 #IllicitIntent #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Gatekeeper Press, and to NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

  6. 5 out of 5

    DemetraP

    I loved book 1 so much. I was excited to read a sequel featuring a different couple. I finished Illicit Intent and it was really great. The plot kept me guessing. I was a bit concerned at the start because the heroine seemed stupid (she's undercover as a reporter yet carries her real driver's license?) She's running away with a stolen flash drive and runs into a person on the sidewalk? But the heroine made up for it later on in the book. The hero was so amazing and I just adored him. Hero is in ther I loved book 1 so much. I was excited to read a sequel featuring a different couple. I finished Illicit Intent and it was really great. The plot kept me guessing. I was a bit concerned at the start because the heroine seemed stupid (she's undercover as a reporter yet carries her real driver's license?) She's running away with a stolen flash drive and runs into a person on the sidewalk? But the heroine made up for it later on in the book. The hero was so amazing and I just adored him. Hero is in therapy for being too clingy in relationships and it's so funny how he tries not to be clingy with her. The mystery part is wonderful and the romance made me smile and had some hot scenes. You really believed they fell in love.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Romance Recs

    Illicit Intent by Debbie Baldwin is the second book in the Bishop Security Series. It is not necessary to read the first book, False Front as this book is a stand-alone with different characters and not a continuation. I didn’t read False Front which is the first Bishop Security book featuring characters that are present in this book. I found that I still caught on as they are completely different characters. If you’d like to read it first, here’s the link: False Fronthttps://www.goodreads.com/b Illicit Intent by Debbie Baldwin is the second book in the Bishop Security Series. It is not necessary to read the first book, False Front as this book is a stand-alone with different characters and not a continuation. I didn’t read False Front which is the first Bishop Security book featuring characters that are present in this book. I found that I still caught on as they are completely different characters. If you’d like to read it first, here’s the link: False Fronthttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... Debbie Baldwin is a new author to me. Without being given the opportunity to read Illicit Intent, I probably wouldn’t have seen this book otherwise. It’s evident from the first chapter, Debbie is an intelligent author and provides much detail in this novel. My initial excitement, however, lead to disappointment overall. The two central characters in the romance portion of the romantic suspense are Miller (Tox) Buchanan and Calliope Garland. Calliope is working a job as a reporter on an assignment fronting as a temp employee in order to obtain information. The case itself isn’t dangerous however events occur that put Calliope in danger. Calliope is a free spirit, likable and very open with her emotions. I really liked her character as well as Tox. Tox, is a surly former Navy SEAL. He has been through a lot but not in the way you’d think. He has more emotional depth than that of the standard “hero” as he explores his issues in this book. I enjoyed the story of Tox and Calliope a lot. They were great together. I loved their in-depth conversations when they were getting to know each other. Being that they’ve met each other before, provided an added layer of the already sizzling chemistry. Though the Calliope and Tox scenes were great, I felt the back and forth of the book between the past and present with all of the characters added an unnecessary level of complexity to the novel. Complexity that for me, didn’t add to the plot. I found the chapters about the past to be overkill. It could have been explained in a shorter way. I understand that this is romantic suspense. I’ve never read a Nora Roberts novel. The blurb does state that lovers of Nora Roberts would like this book as well so perhaps this just isn’t for me. The book went back and forth in order to provide context to the working of the plot. The suspense part of the book was a tad lackluster for me. It would have worked better for me if the story stayed in the current timeline and still had the suspense in the background but focused more on the love story of the two main characters. The story is told in third person POV however the number of characters in the plot made it hard to follow the story line. I found myself eager for it to end to I could get to the Tox and Calliope scenes. I wanted more out of their story. If you are looking for a suspense book, heavy on suspense, average on romance, this is your book. If you are looking for a standard romance novel, I’d look elsewhere as this has a lot of extra scenes not focused on a love story. I received an advance review copy from NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marit

    3.5 stars While I admire the author’s ambition for an elaborate plot, with so much going on, the connection to the two main characters were suffocated by the space it took up in this book. Because of this, I never made an emotional connection to Tox or Calliope and it didn’t feel like they did with each other either. It almost had me wondering if the book would have been better without their relationship. Instead of weaving its way through the story, the romance felt tacked on and not properly th 3.5 stars While I admire the author’s ambition for an elaborate plot, with so much going on, the connection to the two main characters were suffocated by the space it took up in this book. Because of this, I never made an emotional connection to Tox or Calliope and it didn’t feel like they did with each other either. It almost had me wondering if the book would have been better without their relationship. Instead of weaving its way through the story, the romance felt tacked on and not properly thought-out. Calliope’s boss is murdered just seconds after she leaves him and when she finds out she and Tox go climb a tree. We never know if she is fearful for her own safety or shocked or gives a crap that there was such extreme violence so close to her. Neither one of them have much of a character ARC outside of the fact that they start single and end up together. Most of their attraction was told instead of shown and once they do get together all they really do is have sex. When Tox’s “bear” is finally unleashed, it’s just kinda ‘mheh’ and I found myself skimming the sex scenes. For all the hype of him letting his badass out of a cage, I expected a little more imagination. It felt like this book wanted to be a thriller in the style in which it was written but it jumps around too much and at times I found myself thinking I’d just read several pages that didn’t have anything to do with actually moving the plot forward. I get that this was book two of a series, but there were entire chapters that were unnecessary which made reading it tedious in stead of page-turning. With all the POVs we are asked to be kept track of, plus all the characters and their double names my head was spinning. For example, I didn’t really need to know about Emily and Nathan, that could have been in an epilogue of their book. I was happy to see that the book was edited, but I wonder just how much it was. Obviously the author has a firm grip on the English language—it’s really that and my respect for keeping track of all her loose threads that are keeping this rating at a solid 3.5 stars—but there were a lot of word echos and the constantly changing POV felt more like a head hops than an effective way to narrate. Overall, if the two main characters would have been more front and center and had deeper POVs without head-hopping in the same scene, this would have passed for a stronger Romantic Suspense. But as is, it’s more of a surface Romance on one side of the plate and busy Suspense on the other. I received an advanced review copy for free, and am leaving this review voluntarily.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Forsythe

    3.5 In having reached the end of this book, I have to make a decision pertaining to reviewing it. (Well, these books. I could have said the same thing at the end of book one.) Do I review and rate it based on my own likes/dislikes or how it fits the requirements of it's genre? Because while I read and enjoy certain parts of this genre, there are some aspects of it I seriously dislike and Bladwin adheres to them. But how do I weight them, as personal pet peeves or as genre expectations? Example (an 3.5 In having reached the end of this book, I have to make a decision pertaining to reviewing it. (Well, these books. I could have said the same thing at the end of book one.) Do I review and rate it based on my own likes/dislikes or how it fits the requirements of it's genre? Because while I read and enjoy certain parts of this genre, there are some aspects of it I seriously dislike and Bladwin adheres to them. But how do I weight them, as personal pet peeves or as genre expectations? Example (and I don't consider this a spoiler because of the aforementioned genre expectations. Anyone who doesn't know how this book ends probably doesn't read many in this genre.) The book ends with a big diamond ring, wedding bells, and a baby. (As did the last one and sooooo many others.) I expect many readers really do read with barely suppressed excitement, thinking, "Yes, give me those culturally mandated feel-good moments." While I approach the end of such books with an increasing sense of dread, wondering when I'll be disappointed by that same culturally cliched predictability. I promise there are other kinds of happily-ever-afters for women than swollen bellies and baby booties. I PROMISE. But can I really fault Baldwin for writing what the genre expects? I don't know, but I want to. I get so BORED with the same endings. I always hope I'll be surprised on this matter. I rarely am. And they're so often tacked on after the main thriller/suspense plot has come to a natural conclusion. Having said all of that, Baldwin does also subvert several problematic tropes in enjoyable ways. Tox is basically an anti-alpha-asshole. He has all those same brutish, possessive tendencies that fill books of this sort, but he's aware of them and making concerted efforts to counter them. Calliope is so flighty and carefree as to seem child-like (and infantilizing female characters, especially in romance irritates the heck out of me). But she's also forward, assertive, and not content to sit home folding laundry in the end. There are several examples of the classic 'dead parent' trope. But the number of loving and supportive non-biological families fill the void. I did find the the circuitous nature and the suspense aspect of the book more compelling that the romance. I liked both characters and even liked them together. But I think the romance was shown to be fairly focused on lust and we're told that is love. I also got a little bored with the 'he's so BIG (everywhere)." Sexual dimorphism is a thing, sure, but  I don't really consider it a turn on and the everywhere aspect of if just seemed like it should be painful. All in all, I didn't find this personally faultless. But I do think the writing is eminently readable, editing clean, cast of characters every growing but interesting, and the series well worth pursuing further.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Sturlini

    OMG!!!! WHAT A RIVETING STORY!!!!👍👍👍👍👍 I enjoyed this book immensely! It was the perfect romantic suspense!! The love story between Tox and Calliope was super sensual, romantic and fun to follow. I liked that they understood each other's quirks, differences and very human hang-ups and built upon them with very little angst and lots of sweet affection and passion. I enjoyed revisiting with Nathan and Emily and the rest of the Bishop Security team. It was nice to get caught up with the babies and t OMG!!!! WHAT A RIVETING STORY!!!!👍👍👍👍👍 I enjoyed this book immensely! It was the perfect romantic suspense!! The love story between Tox and Calliope was super sensual, romantic and fun to follow. I liked that they understood each other's quirks, differences and very human hang-ups and built upon them with very little angst and lots of sweet affection and passion. I enjoyed revisiting with Nathan and Emily and the rest of the Bishop Security team. It was nice to get caught up with the babies and the other wonderfully interesting characters that we met in the first book of the series! The mystery, non-stop action, twists and turns and very suspenseful happenings was off the charts!!! There were a lot of unexpected surprises that had me smiling in fascination and immense admiration at how cleverly the author had dovetailed and weaved all of the different characters and various storyline plots into one. She left me speechless and gratified with the resolution of some of the story threads that were so satisfyingly and deftly executed!!!! I highly recommend this book. It was an excellent and engrossing read. It had a uniquely unusual storyline that any mystery lover would find very enjoyable.... 😇

  11. 5 out of 5

    Book Him Danno

    Debbie Baldwin bring back the day of Linda Howard type of romantic suspense. A little cheese and a little over the top but readers will love the classic style of writing. Readers will connect with the characters as they try and figure out the different mysteries that are driving Calliope and Miller together as they fight the passion they are feeling. Illicit Intent is the compete romantic suspense novels will be able to enjoy. The story is a stand alone novel and each story ends with what readers Debbie Baldwin bring back the day of Linda Howard type of romantic suspense. A little cheese and a little over the top but readers will love the classic style of writing. Readers will connect with the characters as they try and figure out the different mysteries that are driving Calliope and Miller together as they fight the passion they are feeling. Illicit Intent is the compete romantic suspense novels will be able to enjoy. The story is a stand alone novel and each story ends with what readers expect as they read the story. Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of Illicit Intent by Debbie Baldwin

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen J

    It seems forever... This however, was completely worth the wait ! The second installment of Bishop Security, Miller, aka "Tox's" story was amazing! I loved meeting Calliope and Tox in Nathan's and Emily's novel and Ms. Baldwin, you couldn't have picked to better characters to becone the next book in this series! Calliope is such and amazing heroine, strong, completely unique, full of confidence, and so totally lovable! Tox is scarred by his youth, but found home with the Navy and the Teams. He was s It seems forever... This however, was completely worth the wait ! The second installment of Bishop Security, Miller, aka "Tox's" story was amazing! I loved meeting Calliope and Tox in Nathan's and Emily's novel and Ms. Baldwin, you couldn't have picked to better characters to becone the next book in this series! Calliope is such and amazing heroine, strong, completely unique, full of confidence, and so totally lovable! Tox is scarred by his youth, but found home with the Navy and the Teams. He was so fun in the first book, but you have a true insight into his psyche in this novel. I loved how he ended up in the therapist's office, and his way of trying to handling his insecurities without apologies. He also is a mtn of a man who is well trained and completely perfect for a hummingbird! The storyline was truly amazing, to paraphrase one of the minor characters, it's like a big piece of the puzzle is missing... Well woven intricacies, which made for a great read that moved and was fun! There were certainly moments for Calliope and Tox, but Tox let nothing stop him from letting his bear out when needed! Ending on, love the scene where Calliope looks around Tox and says "Hi Dad.,"! Awesome novel, I simply cannot wait for more! Karen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenniferculver

    Wow!! What sequel!! I read False Front and absolutely loved it. Great intrigue. Great escape. During a time that we all needed just that!! And now .... we need another escape and this book hits that switch!! Great continuation of character development — but a completely new story that will grab you immediately!! A page turner from beginning to end!! Dive into this one!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bookreviewgirl_xo

    My Rating - 3.5/5 It all started with John and his family. His brother's son, Patrick did the crime of the century. In the present time, Calliope simply ended up taking some evidence without even her knowing as well as the stolen art piece that was worth a fortune without even knowing. The art that Patrick had stolen a long time ago. And now people were attacking her. Some were after the painting and some were after the evidence. When she bumped into Tox, the man who worked for her best friend's My Rating - 3.5/5 It all started with John and his family. His brother's son, Patrick did the crime of the century. In the present time, Calliope simply ended up taking some evidence without even her knowing as well as the stolen art piece that was worth a fortune without even knowing. The art that Patrick had stolen a long time ago. And now people were attacking her. Some were after the painting and some were after the evidence. When she bumped into Tox, the man who worked for her best friend's husband, Nathan in Bishop Security. They provided her their protection. A lot of people got mixed up in this situation. Some were injured, some ended up being dead. But Tox and Calliope's got involved romantically even though Tox tried to fight the feelings at first but couldn't really stay away. At the end, they had their happy ending. Calliope was safe and secrets were revealed. (view spoiler)[I struggled with the writing style. Took me a while to get used to it. Also, I didn't really like the sex scenes here because it felt emotionless to me. I guess not everyone write steamy scenes perfectly. But it's fine. It got improved later though. I loved the mystery and the thrilling part of this book. And Calliope's job was unexpected and wow! Acosta was a real surprise though. Didn't see that coming! But would've been nice to have some interaction between Calliope and her mother. I like Tox's spending time with his bros. It was hilarious! And when Calliope's father showed up 🤣😂 Lmfao! I knew it about Caleb's secret! I was suspicious about that! Last but not least, Tox's proposal. Real smooth. Note the sarcasm.🙄 "Calliope, I'd like to propose to you." "Why are you shouting?" "Sorry." Tox cleared his throat and started again. "Calliope, I'd like to propose to you. I want you to marry me. I know what you feel, but I don't know what you think. I don't want to pressure you. So, if you'd like to wear the ring and think about it, that's fine." (hide spoiler)] Quote - - "That's just it, though. Loving someone is having those moments. I think a great love story is just the accumulation of shared moments. Some of them are sad, some are funny, some are terrifying, and some are magical, but each of them and all of them are..." - "Be with someone who opens your eyes to the world." Acosta met Tox's gaze. "There's always another layer to uncover with these women of ours, my boy. Appreciate that."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Calliope Garland is a reporter for The Harlem Sentry and her latest assignment is to infiltrate the business of a dubious hedge fund manager who is suspected to be less than what he appears. As she’s within seconds of completing her mission and ready to leave the building, things suddenly go crazily haywire. Calliope makes it out but not before encountering several others who will later recall her. Fortunately, on her way out she literally runs into Miller (Tox) Buchanan, a Bishop Security opera Calliope Garland is a reporter for The Harlem Sentry and her latest assignment is to infiltrate the business of a dubious hedge fund manager who is suspected to be less than what he appears. As she’s within seconds of completing her mission and ready to leave the building, things suddenly go crazily haywire. Calliope makes it out but not before encountering several others who will later recall her. Fortunately, on her way out she literally runs into Miller (Tox) Buchanan, a Bishop Security operative who’s making his own escape from a nearby op and sweeps her into his waiting getaway car. Well, that beginning swept me up and the story never let go. Tox and Calliope met earlier in the first book when she adopted his foster dog. It was the briefest of encounters but memorable to both. It soon becomes clear that Calliope isn’t safe because there are a host of others interested in what she took from the hedge fund office, stuff she’s aware of and some she’s not. The story gets really twisty and even though we know the identity of those interested in finding her, we don’t know why. There are so many layers here that when you think you’ve got them patched together, another hole opens up that merits consideration. It’s an international story that reaches back decades to give background. At first I thought that would be the least interesting but it didn’t take long for me to look forward to those transitions. But as fascinating as the mystery and suspense element was, the burgeoning relationship between Calliope and Tox surpassed my expectations. Both have unique personalities and backstories that make them interesting in their own right but as a couple they were off the charts. Nothing predictable with these two and their path to commitment was fun to experience. This is one of the most imaginative stories I’ve read in a long time and I really hated seeing it end. To give more details would lessen the excitement and thrills for you that I got to experience firsthand. I normally am dying to solve the mystery but here? I just liked being along for the most incredible ride! Posted on Blue Mood Café (Thanks to the author for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Baldwin

    Hello GR readers! Thank you for supporting independent authors and sharing your wonderful finds with the rest of the Goodreads community! Illicit Intent is the second installment in the Bishop Security series and features 6'5" Navy SEAL, Miller "Tox" Buchanan, and reporter Calliope Garland. Calliope gets in over her head when she crashes the computer network at a sketchy financial firm and unwittingly leaves with information worth billions. She also happens upon a worthless plastic tube that cont Hello GR readers! Thank you for supporting independent authors and sharing your wonderful finds with the rest of the Goodreads community! Illicit Intent is the second installment in the Bishop Security series and features 6'5" Navy SEAL, Miller "Tox" Buchanan, and reporter Calliope Garland. Calliope gets in over her head when she crashes the computer network at a sketchy financial firm and unwittingly leaves with information worth billions. She also happens upon a worthless plastic tube that contains a priceless work of art. When various factions in search of both items start threatening her life, she turns to the one man she knows can protect her. Tox is regimented, closed off, and fearless. Calliope is free-spirited, open, and flighty. Opposites attract, but can opposites form a lasting bond? The history and facts surrounding the infamous robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston are all accurate. Researching the heist that has intrigued me for years was fascinating. From the descriptions of the Boston architecture to the patrol shifts of the Boston police, everything is described very nearly as it was on the night of March 18, 1990—with my own fictional twist thrown in. I hope you enjoy reading Illicit Intent as much as I enjoyed writing it! Here's what the GR community is saying about Illicit Intent: Laur Laur: "What a ride! This takes me back to the Sandra Brown/Linda Howard romantic suspense era." Anita: "Now, the romance. Holy God of Romance. It is hot, sweet, intense and just wonderful." DemetraP: "The mystery part is wonderful and the romance made me smile and had some hot scenes. You really believed they fell in love." Jonetta: "This is one of the most imaginative stories I’ve read in a long time and I really hated seeing it end." Victoria Sturlini: "OMG!!!! WHAT A RIVETING STORY!!!!"

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This is the second book in the Bishop Security series that I have read through ARC programs. I received this one through BookSprout in exchange for the review. Even though I read the first book, I believe this one could be read as a standalone. In my opinion, there is so much going on in this book that you do not need too much about the prior story. This book has plenty of flashbacks, both for the main characters and others that go back generations. In that case it took a bit of time to figure o This is the second book in the Bishop Security series that I have read through ARC programs. I received this one through BookSprout in exchange for the review. Even though I read the first book, I believe this one could be read as a standalone. In my opinion, there is so much going on in this book that you do not need too much about the prior story. This book has plenty of flashbacks, both for the main characters and others that go back generations. In that case it took a bit of time to figure out how these scenes pertained to the current story. The main story follows Calliope and Tox, who briefly met before this book, but have been thrown back together. Tox, whose real name is Miles, is a former Navy SEAL who now works for Bishop Security. Calliope is an undercover reporter, working for a money manager, who seems to be running a Ponzi scheme. When the man is murdered just moments after Calliope leaves the office with some incriminating information about his business, she seems in danger by people who might want it. As the story progresses, Calliope seems to be in danger from different people and Tox is drawn to her not just to keep her safe. Their relationship seems to be a bit of “opposites attract”, until they both realize that they might not be as opposite as they thought. They also have combustible chemistry and begin to see that maybe they are not opposites. By the end of the book, there are many secrets revealed and stories concluded with plenty action and intrigue.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbie Miller

    Suspenseful mystery with a shocking plot twist worth an OMG and a scream. I found the beginning of this story difficult to follow because of the switches from past to present and the multiple groups of people. So many different characters to keep up with. I am a fast reader, but I had to slow down to see all the pieces of the puzzle put together throughout the story. It was worth it. I am glad I read it all the way through. The twists and turns in the mystery, the heat between Tox and Cal, and t Suspenseful mystery with a shocking plot twist worth an OMG and a scream. I found the beginning of this story difficult to follow because of the switches from past to present and the multiple groups of people. So many different characters to keep up with. I am a fast reader, but I had to slow down to see all the pieces of the puzzle put together throughout the story. It was worth it. I am glad I read it all the way through. The twists and turns in the mystery, the heat between Tox and Cal, and the characterization of the rest of the team kept me interested and made me anticipate the next adventure for these colorful  characters. A couple of things I would change concern language and consistency. I would reduce the amount of crude language. I thought some of it was unnecessary for characterization or plot development. The  inconsistency that bothered me was the lack of security provided for Cal even though she was in danger from multiple parties. I felt that surveillance and protection were missing pieces. This story was packed full of secrets, mystery, and intrigue along with a side case of romance. I would like to read more stories from this author. Thanks to the author for a complimentary advance review copy of this title.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Calliope Garland is in a bit of trouble and she can’t call the police. She has some vital information that some bad guys want and another items she doesn’t even know she has. This means there are now 2 groups of bad guys after her. On instinct she calls Miller “Tox” Buchanan. Tox is a great character with many faults, but he knows he has them and doesn’t try to hide them. Well…he doesn’t try to hide all of them. He and Calliope are complete opposites that really complement each other. The chemis Calliope Garland is in a bit of trouble and she can’t call the police. She has some vital information that some bad guys want and another items she doesn’t even know she has. This means there are now 2 groups of bad guys after her. On instinct she calls Miller “Tox” Buchanan. Tox is a great character with many faults, but he knows he has them and doesn’t try to hide them. Well…he doesn’t try to hide all of them. He and Calliope are complete opposites that really complement each other. The chemistry between the two is immediate and intense. The two incidents going on at the same time was a bit confusing at first. There are a lot of characters and a lot of back story. It all comes together smoothly, but it takes some concentration to keep the two different parties separate. The suspense is definitely there and the storylines are very intriguing. Tox and his group of friends are a truly amazing group of guys. The way they joke with each other and pick on each other shows the reader how much they all mean to each other. The family compound is definitely there. The ending is the best. The reader sees it coming, but it made my heart happy. (Thanks to the author for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Grow

    I decided to try this book as the summary sounded interesting. Although it was the second book in the series and I hadn’t read the first one, I decided to try it. It was a little confusing in the beginning as characters were introduced, but by the third chapter I was all in! I really enjoyed the characters of Calliope (so very unique) and Miller aka “Tox” who is dealing with PTSD. Calliope stumbles into information that she shouldn’t have and when she is threatened, she calls Tox. There is non-s I decided to try this book as the summary sounded interesting. Although it was the second book in the series and I hadn’t read the first one, I decided to try it. It was a little confusing in the beginning as characters were introduced, but by the third chapter I was all in! I really enjoyed the characters of Calliope (so very unique) and Miller aka “Tox” who is dealing with PTSD. Calliope stumbles into information that she shouldn’t have and when she is threatened, she calls Tox. There is non-stop action as men keep coming after, threatening her for the information that she no longer has. Their attraction is off the charts, but he feels that his past makes him someone she should avoid. The dialog between the characters is fresh and witty. Even though this was the second book, the author included enough about the previous characters that I never felt lost (I do want to read the first book). Will Calliope and Tox figure out all the players before one of them ends up injured or dead? I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Barb

    Calliope was investigating her boss at Gentrify Capital Partners. While downloading suspicious files from his computer late one night, he walked in and passed out on his couch. As she left in the elevator, she heard shots and her boss was found dead. Tox, an ex-Navy Seal, worked security and became her contact as they tried to discover what the files she downloaded meant and who killed her boss. At first sight, there was a strong attraction between Calliope and Tox. Tox had abandonment issues an Calliope was investigating her boss at Gentrify Capital Partners. While downloading suspicious files from his computer late one night, he walked in and passed out on his couch. As she left in the elevator, she heard shots and her boss was found dead. Tox, an ex-Navy Seal, worked security and became her contact as they tried to discover what the files she downloaded meant and who killed her boss. At first sight, there was a strong attraction between Calliope and Tox. Tox had abandonment issues and needed to avoid close relationships. Calliope was used to exciting investigative jobs and had no plans to settle down. Neither could ignore feelings for the other. I really liked this book. So many characters revealed throughout the book make for interesting communities bound by greed, or love and respect, or the need to protect whether it blood family or families through shared experiences. Close encounters, dangerous assignments, and intriguing characters make for a great read. The steamy relationship between Calliope and Tox exhibits the trust and respect true love should contain. Complex story line kept the reader engaged.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    This has a complex storyline. I isn't vs book to resh through. Characters have multiple names and identities. There were times I thought I should have pen and paper handy to track the characters. To some extent, this is a love story between Calliope and Miller Buchanan/Tox. There are competing sets of bad guys looking at the same people for different reasons. There's a house with a hidden room full of missing works of art. I may have missed it, but that house may have been sold to someone who do This has a complex storyline. I isn't vs book to resh through. Characters have multiple names and identities. There were times I thought I should have pen and paper handy to track the characters. To some extent, this is a love story between Calliope and Miller Buchanan/Tox. There are competing sets of bad guys looking at the same people for different reasons. There's a house with a hidden room full of missing works of art. I may have missed it, but that house may have been sold to someone who doesn't know about the art. If so, there might be another book in the works. Complicated with long lost brothers reunited, maybe on opposite sides of right and wrong. Fascinating read. I had to put it down a couple of times to do other projects and I had to go back over chapters to remind myself what I had read. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Claire Storey

    I received this book as an ARC from BookSirens and this is my honest review. I’m not sure why but when I started this book I figured it would be a typical love story with a bit of suspense thrown in. In fact, there ended up being a lot more suspense than I was expecting, the plot was quite complex, maybe a bit overly so at the beginning, there was a lot of characters and motives to keep track of but it did all tie in at the end. It’s definitely a page turner and I really liked all the characters I received this book as an ARC from BookSirens and this is my honest review. I’m not sure why but when I started this book I figured it would be a typical love story with a bit of suspense thrown in. In fact, there ended up being a lot more suspense than I was expecting, the plot was quite complex, maybe a bit overly so at the beginning, there was a lot of characters and motives to keep track of but it did all tie in at the end. It’s definitely a page turner and I really liked all the characters from bishop security, I’m hoping that they all get their own books at some point. This is the second book in the series and although I haven’t read the first one, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. The first books characters do feature in this book and I didn’t feel it added anything for me as I didn’t have a connection to them but I can see how it works as part of a series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Morris

    This is one of those books where you really need to pay attention to the characters and how they relate to one another. Some people may call this a roller coaster, but I prefer to think of it as a good story, told well. Calliope and Miller (Tox) are the main characters and from the beginning you know they are going to end up together. With a supporting cast of good guys, bad guys, and some that are both, you are soon caught up in a story that revolves around an art heist and a few dead bodies. I t This is one of those books where you really need to pay attention to the characters and how they relate to one another. Some people may call this a roller coaster, but I prefer to think of it as a good story, told well. Calliope and Miller (Tox) are the main characters and from the beginning you know they are going to end up together. With a supporting cast of good guys, bad guys, and some that are both, you are soon caught up in a story that revolves around an art heist and a few dead bodies. I took my time reading this one because I really wanted to keep the characters straight. I recommend it to any that want to enjoy a good story. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tahnia Ross

    Calliope is a reporter working undercover at the offices of Gentry Capital Partners investigating Phillip Van Gent, the owner of the firm. While attempting to steal computer files, a drunk Van Gent shows up in his office and starts talking to Calliope then falls asleep on the sofa in the office. Calliope grabs her flash drive and hightails it to the elevator. No sooner is she starting down when she hears what sounds like gunshots and runs out of the building, running into ex-Navy SEAL Miller Buc Calliope is a reporter working undercover at the offices of Gentry Capital Partners investigating Phillip Van Gent, the owner of the firm. While attempting to steal computer files, a drunk Van Gent shows up in his office and starts talking to Calliope then falls asleep on the sofa in the office. Calliope grabs her flash drive and hightails it to the elevator. No sooner is she starting down when she hears what sounds like gunshots and runs out of the building, running into ex-Navy SEAL Miller Buchanan, or Tox. Calliope is chased, almost kidnapped several times, and almost shot by a sniper before the book ends. Highly recommended. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Calliope is more than a simple investigative reporter. She has survival and blending skills and resources that any country would drool to have in an asset. A simple assignment leaves her with a bevy of kill targets on her back. Tox is a skilled operator from her past, part bear, part psy ops dream Together they might do more than survive. They might just be able to build a future where they could thrive- if they don’t kill each other first. As long as no one else kills them first Suspense thriller Calliope is more than a simple investigative reporter. She has survival and blending skills and resources that any country would drool to have in an asset. A simple assignment leaves her with a bevy of kill targets on her back. Tox is a skilled operator from her past, part bear, part psy ops dream Together they might do more than survive. They might just be able to build a future where they could thrive- if they don’t kill each other first. As long as no one else kills them first Suspense thriller, drama, action and steamy romance I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Strong

    A tangled web was weaved to create this story. There were multiple POVs, locations and storylines - I recommend full concentration when you start this book because it’s easy to get lost. It’s not until all the parts come together that it starts to make sense. Then you realise the intricate web is actually very clever. It’s a writing style of the hard boiled persuasion which I enjoyed. It kept me on my toes for sure. The main characters felt real and their relationship organic. It’s a 5 star rating f A tangled web was weaved to create this story. There were multiple POVs, locations and storylines - I recommend full concentration when you start this book because it’s easy to get lost. It’s not until all the parts come together that it starts to make sense. Then you realise the intricate web is actually very clever. It’s a writing style of the hard boiled persuasion which I enjoyed. It kept me on my toes for sure. The main characters felt real and their relationship organic. It’s a 5 star rating from me! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This is one that will get your attention if you like suspense. Calliope is doing research but suddenly the subject is dust and danger is afoot. Also what she has likely put her a big bulleye's on her. As it piles up and the danger becomes deeper, she needs to trust someone. She has Tox to come and does to her side to help. Oh those Seals can be the best when there is distress. The chemistry also might cause the reader distress as things escalate in all directions. This was one that keeps the pag This is one that will get your attention if you like suspense. Calliope is doing research but suddenly the subject is dust and danger is afoot. Also what she has likely put her a big bulleye's on her. As it piles up and the danger becomes deeper, she needs to trust someone. She has Tox to come and does to her side to help. Oh those Seals can be the best when there is distress. The chemistry also might cause the reader distress as things escalate in all directions. This was one that keeps the pages turning.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Judy Barrett

    Ms. Baldwin has once again taken separate threads and woven together a page turning story you don't want to put down. Mystery, intrigue, and romance. It has it all. Tox and Calliope met in the previous book. This is their story and can be read as a stand alone. Well written and edited, this one will stay on my Kindle for a re-read in the future. I look forward to her next book. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. Ms. Baldwin has once again taken separate threads and woven together a page turning story you don't want to put down. Mystery, intrigue, and romance. It has it all. Tox and Calliope met in the previous book. This is their story and can be read as a stand alone. Well written and edited, this one will stay on my Kindle for a re-read in the future. I look forward to her next book. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cassi

    Quick & fun read I got this book from my mom & really liked it. It is the second in a series but is easily read on its own without feeling like you’ve missed anything. I liked the whole SEAL family and look forward to getting to know all the characters’s stories. Tox & Calliope are well written & fun characters that figure out how to figure it out in a natural unforced way that was fun to follow. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series.

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