Author: Katee Robert

The Last King by Katee Robert

The Last King by Katee RobertThe Last King by Katee Robert
Series: The Kings, #1
Published by Forever on April 3rd 2018
Pages: 384
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Beckett King just inherited his father's fortune, his company-and all his enemies. If he's going to stay on top, he needs someone he can trust beside him. And though they've been rivals for years, there's no one he trusts more than Samara Mallick.

The rebel. That's how Samara has always thought of Beckett. And he's absolutely living up to his unpredictable ways when he strides into her office and asks for help. She can't help wondering if it's a legit request or just a ploy to get her into bed. Not that she'd mind either one. After all, she likes to live on the edge too.

But soon the threats to the King empire are mounting, and the two find family secrets darker than they ever imagined and dangerous enough to get them both killed.

Filthy rich family drama—tuned up several notches—lies at the heart of ‘The Last King’ as children pay for the bad blood that started decades before their time and work painfully through schisms because of one woman’s longstanding, poisonous resentment left to fester.

It isn’t often that I read such books (the constant bitching and underhanded manoeuvring can get headache-inducing), but Katee Robert’s writing is compelling enough to try. As I suspected, it was easy to get engrossed in the tale of bad blood, bitchy office politics and corporate espionage that sort of runs the boundary into the murderous, though it felt a little like an oncoming train wreck I couldn’t take my eyes off. Vile aunt vs. struggling nephew, the former of whom gets her comeuppance and the latter of whom finally gets what he deserves? How sweet the sound. Built into this first establishing story however, is also a very difficult generation transition with several burn marks to pay for getting rid of a vile villain you’d love to hate, and a rival-to-lovers tale that thankfully, doesn’t involve too many TSTL moments.

Robert does write Beckett King as a protagonist I could sympathise with, and Samara Mallick as a worthy other half for him. Apart from their chemistry scorching the sheets, I didn’t have problems seeing both of them as equals both in and out of bed and I actually liked how Robert wrote Samara’s eventual shift in loyalty towards Beckett instead of blindly following his vile aunt the whole way.

In fact, I expected to be exhausted by the end of ‘The Last King’. Instead, I was drawn in—admittedly a little slowly at first—, surprised at how Beckett and Samara stole the show for me, as did Robert’s secondary characters, making me anxious to get onto the other Kings’ stories, though a long, long wait is in order.


The Hunting Grounds by Katee Robert

The Hunting Grounds by Katee RobertThe Hunting Grounds by Katee Robert
Series: Hidden Sins #2
Published by Montlake Romance on July 25th 2017
Pages: 318
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Maggie Gaines used to be an FBI agent—top of her class and one of the bright, up-and-coming stars—until she spectacularly fell apart during her first high-profile case. That was eight years ago. Now she’s a ranger at Glacier National Park, and she’s found some measure of peace. But when the body of a murdered woman is discovered, she must finally put the past behind her and work with the one man she thought she’d never see again.

For months, Vic Sutherland has been hunting a killer who’s been targeting unsuspecting hikers in national parks—and now the predator has come to Glacier. Vic knows the case will bring him face-to-face with his former partner, yet nothing can prepare him for seeing Maggie again after all these years, or for the memories of passion it stirs in both of them.

As the investigation brings them closer together—and closer to the killer—Maggie and Vic fear they have only each other to trust. But even that might not be enough to make it out of Glacier alive.

I’ve been intrigued by Katee Robert’s move into the more hardcore romantic suspense/thriller-type reads. Since ‘The Devil’s Daughter’ didn’t seem to be a bad debut, ‘The Hunting Grounds’ looked even more enticing because of a serial killer hunting in national parks and how that brings a second-chance romance into play.

Yet I wasn’t pulled in as I thought I’d be, despite the theories that kept flying and the case of teenagers-turned adults who never quite managed to get their screw-ups resolved. I found that the juggling of two separate groups (loosely put) of characters—the protagonists who are also the romantic pair as well as a group of young adults whose lives are just still unsorted—broke the narrative too often, just as I was about to get into it. Maggie/Vic were more interesting than the potential victims (and perpetrators) and while complicated group dynamics always make for interesting reading, I felt that they were distracting instead, written in a way that drew the story out superfluously as it oddly and awkwardly straddled the New Adult genre at times with teenage-hormone-ridden drama peppering certain scenes.

Flashbacks tended to interrupt Maggie/Vic’s progress with the case, and it was difficult to try to get back on board after those, let alone feel any heat or chemistry between 2 people who actually have so much history together. There were tender moments between them, which I liked and that both Maggie and Vic pretty much ‘adulted’ through it all. With the focus on the suspense and the serial killing however, the developing romance wasn’t a drawn out one, just that Maggie/Vic played no games (perhaps because of the lack of time) and that everything happened fairly quickly in the span of a few days.

I’ll readily admit that authors can and do a difficult time getting that tricky mix of romance and suspense down, especially with readers who often prefer one over another. Having a healthy and equal mix of both is what I prefer though and ‘The Hunting Grounds’ doesn’t quite fulfil that. Coupled with an abrupt end—credits roll as people are bruised and recovering in hospital along with unexpected declarations of love thrown in—the story seemed to have ended on an unfinished note that left me wondering if I’d actually missed several pages.


The Devil’s Daughter by Katee Robert

The Devil’s Daughter by Katee RobertThe Devil's Daughter by Katee Robert
Published by Montlake Romance on January 24th 2017
Pages: 301
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Growing up in a small town isn’t easy, especially when you’re the daughter of a local cult leader. Ten years ago, Eden Collins left Clear Springs, Montana, and never once looked back. But when the bodies of murdered young women surface, their corpses violated and marked with tattoos worn by her mother’s followers, Eden, now an FBI agent, can’t turn a blind eye. To catch the killer, she’s going to have to return to the fold.
Sheriff Zach Owens isn’t comfortable putting Eden in danger, even if she is an elite agent. And he certainly wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to her. As calm and cool as she appears, he knows this can’t be a happy homecoming. Zach wants to protect her—from her mother, the cult, and the evil that lurks behind its locked gates. But Eden is his only key to the tight-lipped group, and she may just be closer to the killer than either one of them suspects…

Unlike Katee Robert’s other books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, ‘The Devil’s Daughter’ is mystery-driven, set in the suffocating confines of a small-town that sits in the shade of a cult whose influence is larger than perceived. It’s a book that’s very different from what I’ve come to associate with Robert and not knowing what to expect, I find myself firmly caught between giving a 3- and 4-star review. There’s a guess-the perpetrator, whodunnit question throughout and the cult, built around the myth of Persephone and Demeter (combined weirdly with some Christian undertones), its proceedings and its shady people, act as the smokescreen concealing the truth from being discovered.

Not that the writing isn’t good (it is), or that the suspense isn’t sufficient (it is), but that the romance takes such a back seat to the story that it could have actually been superfluous because it felt like an addition only for the sake of bringing 2 leads together, even when their chemistry didn’t seem there at all. The romance could have not existed and the book would have worked; consequently, Eden’s and Zach’s pairing seemed forced, as both seemed rather snippy to each other—but not something I’d really mistake for sexual tension when it felt more like the case wearing on them—so the mild case of attraction that first bloomed into a kiss early on took me by surprise and disbelief, because both hadn’t moved past the ‘unwilling co-worker’ stage yet. The potential romantic interest, in short, barely came across and the later sex scene felt more like an obligatory prerequisite rather than a natural progression.

The ending almost mirrors the grim subject matter: an abrupt, a happy-for-now kind of resolution, like a scene in a crime movie when it end as with the police cruiser driving away while the good guys are left staring at the villain’s dead body on the ground. I think I had a problem with how rushed and incomplete it all felt—even when the big reveal came which wasn’t too hard to guess—even when it ended. If this is the start to a series, then I’m eager to see how it goes and how the arc set up here is going to end. But if it isn’t, then ‘The Devil’s Daughter’ might just be a tad bit disappointing.


Fool Me Once by Katee Robert

Fool Me Once by Katee RobertFool Me Once by Katee Robert
Series: Foolproof Love #2
Published by Entangled Publishing on August 1st 2016
Pages: 154
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They say opposites attract, but this is just ridiculous.
Aubry Kaiser doesn’t like people—actually, that’s not right. She loathes people. With her crippling anxiety, there’s no way she can demo her favorite video game at a convention with five thousand other people. Maybe if she brings someone to act as a shield…
But the only person available is the sexy cowboy she can’t stand.
Quinn Baldwyn is in a mess of his own. He’s been dodging his wealthy family’s matchmaking attempts—and life advice—for years, but with his sister’s wedding on the horizon, he needs of a shield of his own.
He and Aubry can barely hold down a civil conversation, but in bed…fireworks. And the closer they get to Quinn’s sister’s wedding, the more he realizes that he might actually like Aubry.
Now it’s up to him to convince her she might actually like him, too.

Quinn’s and Aubry’s story is a classic enemies-to-lovers one but I was still surprised to learn that their mutual dislike for each other wasn’t a front for attraction or love in the guise of hate. And it’d taken very special circumstances for these two to get together to resolve their own deeply entrenched personal biases and issues.

As polar opposites, there’s very little to go on between them apart from lust and it’s refreshing that both the lead characters readily admit this much, to the extent where they convince themselves that what’s between them is merely surface deep. But therein lies the conflict as well and perhaps the cliché as well will be the ultimate deciding factor of their compatibility and the conscious decision to find common ground together towards the end.

But if Katee Robert explored a fair bit of Aubry’s rather insane social phobias and her anxieties, I felt as though I’d been left hanging with Quinn’s own unresolved burdens: we’re told about his beef with personal relationships but not given the exact circumstances why, to start with. I also felt that his personal struggles with his sister and his best friend’s death could have been expanded on, the details of which could have shaped him out to be a more multifaceted and sympathetic leading character to match an already complicated female lead.

The devil in the details aside, ‘Fool me Once’ is a very easy read and it’s mostly an enjoyable ride (throw in all the cowboy sex jokes here, because there’s nothing there that the story doesn’t already use) without too much angst or unnecessary drama for a story this short. Quinn and Aubry acted the way I fully expected them to, and as extreme as the latter can get at times, I mostly thought this unusual couple was memorable because of how different they were without pretending to be anything else other than what they could be.


Foolproof Love by Katee Robert

Foolproof Love by Katee RobertFoolproof Love by Katee Robert
Series: Foolproof Love, #1
Published by Entangled: Brazen on June 6th 2016
Pages: 164
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Bull rider Adam Meyer put Devil’s Falls in his rearview mirror years ago and hasn’t stopped running since. Now he’s back—temporarily, if he has any say about it. Restless, he finds himself kissing the sexiest girl in town…and agreeing to be the fake boyfriend in her little revenge scheme.
Jules Rodrigez isn’t interested in the role of town spinster. Being seen with a hell raiser like Adam is the perfect way to scandalize the residents, make her ex jealous, and prove she’s a sexy, desirable woman. And if their plan includes ridiculously hot sex—in public, of course—all the better.
But this thing between them has an expiration date. Putting down roots isn’t in Adam’s blood, and Jules’s roots in Devil’s Falls are bedrock deep. He’ll leave, even if it rips out his heart. But this time, he’s not sure he’ll survive it…

Katee Roberts had me hooked the moment I saw the words ‘cat cafe’ – it’s an unfair advantage over me if anyone cares to know, especially when cats come into the equation.

There and then, I was convinced that the woman who owns it can do no wrong even before really starting the book. On a side-note, the man didn’t seem too bad either, once the fake relationship started getting on. Jules Rodriguez proved a standout character for me: her sunny optimism, the unfailing love for her small town and friends rendering her a very likeable character along with her anti-social best friend whose combative set up with Quinn already promises an intriguing sequel. Adam Meyer, on the other hand, isn’t too much of a slouch either, even if his restless wanderlust can’t seem to be conquered by anything else other than a large, bucking creature as wild as him.

For all its quirky characters and small-town antics, ‘Foolproof Love’ isn’t an unpredictable read. It begins with an impulsive act, a fake relationship with the town’s tumbleweed to toss off the tosser of an ex, heads towards the disaster you know it will become and how it will eventually end. I did take issue with the really quick turnaround after Jules’s and Adam’s falling out, but it’s a story that still managed to work beyond the frame of their relationship. A distinct highlight of the book is its well-crafted supporting characters that step in and out as mouthpieces and flashes of the past and ‘Foolproof Love’ does it well enough to make me want the next few books in the series immediately.


His Lover to Protect by Katee Robert

His Lover to Protect by Katee RobertHis Lover to Protect by Katee Robert
Series: Out of Uniform #3
Published by Entangled: Brazen on September 7th 2015
Pages: 152
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Alexis Yeung did everything right....only to watch everything go horribly, horribly wrong. Broken and angry, Alexis high-tails it to Europe, determined to face the world on her own terms and without consequence. Which includes a mind-blowing night with a sexy, scarred stranger.
Except, embittered former pararescuer Luke Jackson isn't exactly a stranger. He's supposed to keep an eye on Alexis without her knowing. Ending up in bed together was definitely not the plan. Now he's chasing her (admittedly hot) ass across Europe, a game of cat and mouse that always ends with the two of them tangled up in the sheets.
Something in their scarred, damaged souls calls to each other. And God help them, the sex in unbelievably hot. But if Alexis discovers who Luke really is, he'll lose the one thing that makes him feel whole...

Alexis Yeung unwittingly picks up a bodyguard on an impulsive jaunt to Europe that’s meant to work out her heavy issues – particularly after learning about her younger sister’s pregnancy. Luke Jackson’s tasked to keep her safe from a distance, but those lines (both figuratively and physically) and crossed after one night when the initial antagonism quickly bows to sexual tension. Both have their own brokenness to deal with, except that Luke’s carrying the extra burden of keeping Alexis in the dark about his reasons for always managing to find her in the oddest of places. Putting aside the unbelievable lack of Alexis’s suspicion when Luke always manages to show up exactly where she is, I did enjoy the rough and bumpy road that they had to walk to their eventual happiness, which felt less contrived than Avery’s and Drew’s story.


Meeting His Match by Katee Robert

Meeting His Match by Katee RobertMeeting His Match by Katee Robert
Series: Match Me #1
Published by Entangled Publishing on July 21st 2014
Pages: 200
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When New York matchmaker Addison St. Claire is tasked with matching her best friend's new brother-in-law, she almost refuses. But the sexy southern CEO turns out to be a challenge she can't resist, because if anyone needs to meet his soul mate, it's this man. And if matching him with someone else removes the temptation of being near him? Even better.
The last thing Caine McNeill needs is a matchmaker—especially a gorgeous redhead who spouts nonsense about soul mates, critiques what he drives and how he dresses, buys him a dog, and pesters him about a million little things he couldn't care less about. It's a crying shame he has to keep his hands off because chemistry like what's flaring between them ought to be explored. Thoroughly.
And so the battle begins. Addison is determined to stick to her plan of setting him up on dates with other women, and Caine is equally determined to ignore these women and seduce her.

A short and sweet, though not entirely plausible read, and as smexy as it can get from a seasoned erotica writer Katee Robert.

I understand that characters have issues – so much so that they’re a necessity for category romances like this. Yet call it budding intolerance on my part but insecurity resulting in idiotic behaviour does get on my nerves and Addison (heroine) has spades of it. For this reason, it’s hard to appreciate the book more than I wished I could have.

On the bright side, it was great to catch up with Regan and Brock again in their domestic Happy-ever-after.