June 15, 2013

Braine Reviews: Secret Maneuvers by Jessie Lane + Giveaway

Series: Ex Ops 1
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: June 15, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Some mistakes from the past haunt us forever... unless fate steps in with a second chance.

One 'dear John' letter haunts Bobby Baker's every living moment. It’s the letter he stupidly wrote to his high school sweetheart, Belle, right after he left to join the Army. The letter that he told her that he wasn't so sure if they were ready for forever yet. But before he can let her know that the letter, and his second thoughts, are nothing but a mistake, she up and disappears from the small Georgia town they were both raised in.

Fifteen years later, Belle unknowingly walks back into Bobby's life when her job as an ATF Agent forces her to work with a group of men secretly headed by the CIA to help her track down whoever is involved in funneling black market weapons to a drug cartel in Mexico.

Bobby will use this mission to try and soothe Belle's hurt feelings while proving to her that their love is still meant for forever. He'll use every dirty trick he's learned since he joined the Army to maneuver her back into his life for the long haul. But Belle's not making it easy as she keeps him at arm's length in the hopes that mistakes of her own never come to light.
After being saved from the Donkey Show, I immediately dived into Jessie Lane's latest contemporary romance novel, SECRET MANEUVERS. I mean have you guys seen how HAWT the guy who saved us was? I want me some more of Chase Anderson! Whew! Hence, I need to know more of these Ex Ops and hopefully, JLane can hook me up with someone on a more permanent basis. *wink wink*

Back to reality.

First off, I was expecting major action. You know, good guys v. bad guys, lots of shootings, car chases, and all that jazz that goes with a romantic-action story. Well I got that but not before I was put through the wringer. And it was Torture. Emotional TORTURE! I went through several tear-jerking scenes before I got some gun blazing action. Not complaining but I was totally caught off guard, after all ex service men going undercover always means heavy munition and lots of gun powder burns right?! We'll get to that but JLane was having a dominatrix moment hence the kleenex-moments. Purge and drool. In that order.
I refused to call her Annabelle. She would always be my Belle. My wild, beautiful and perfect, Belle.
I love that the tortured soul here in Belle, she had a horrible childhood with an abusive drunken father, ostracized by her peers because she's "trailer park trash" and really, Belle, doesn't have anything positive going on for her aside from Bobby. Too bad the dude can't help his d-bag instincts and dumped Belle via a "Dear John" letter while he was deployed. I seriously think being an ass is deeply embedded in every male's DNA, fictional or otherwise (sorry guys, just sayin'), so in Bobby's defense, he just can't help but succumb to his jerk impulse.


Fast forward to the present and obviously these two are far from done with each other. Bobby and Belle's emotional tango was intense, their passive-aggressive courtship will get you antsy and just when you thought things are getting smooth. BOOM! JLane hits you with a bomb that will have your jaw dropping to the floor! I can't tell what it is but I died over Chapters 10 and 11! What transpired on these chapters is something I can very much relate to and it's something I pray will not happen to me for a long time, even never. Every mom who reads SECRET MANEUVERS will understand what I'm trying to say here.
I only seem to see things clearly when you're around and I know all of that because you are my soul.
SECRET MANEUVERS is filled with emotional action. It's a great story about love, loss, second chances and fate, I guess. Bobby is a great guy but in this case, it's Belle who stole the book. Her character is simply admirable and though she went through some tough shiz, she didn't let it ruin her.  Belle's journey made the story more compelling and I sure did identify with her to an extent. And not only is the emotional factor well drawn, the smex is smoking and I still got my blood-lust fix albeit in small amounts. My only wish is I hope there were more fisticuffs! Nevertheless, SECRET MANEUVERS made my Friday afternoon interesting and exciting and I suggest you do the same thing too.

Pre-Order Secret Maneuvers

  1. There are two scenes in Secret Maneuvers involving a very embarrassed teen-aged Bobby that are based off of real events with one of Melissa's brothers. (My husband to be specific. And he's gonna get me when he finds out I squealed to the world about it! I'm thinking making anyone who reads the book laugh is worth whatever punishment he dishes out... maybe.) I have two hints: pink thong and beach ball. 

  2. I (Crystal) could have graduated high school early, but my Dad wouldn't let me. SO, in protest I took one class my senior year of high school, English 12. It was the only class I had to take to graduate. My class was fifty-five minutes long every morning and I walked about two miles and crossed a major highway to go work at one of the largest malls in the country, Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, VA. Melissa, however, DID finished high school six months early AND started college courses during her senior year. That's right, she's a showoff... err... I meant SMART. Yeah, that's what I meant. Smart.

  3. Melissa and I both LOVE TATTOOS. We view them as art on the body. Many of you might already know that though. What you don't know is that I had three tattoos by the age of seventeen. I managed to hide them from my rather strict, retired Army, Dad until right before my eighteenth birthday. I was grounded for FOREVER. Melissa was smart enough to wait until she turned of the legal age. 

  4. We both embrace our very different ethnic backgrounds. I like to sport green on St. Patty's Day as a nod to my Mom's Irish ancestors (which is made pretty obvious if you see me by my red hair and zombie like white complexion), and eat schnitzel in reverence my Dad's German ancestors. Melissa pays homage to her Mom's Cherokee background and her Dad's Polish ancestors. My in-laws have introduced me to the nirvana of the polish piergoi - YUM. What this also means is that Melissa and my husband have very little sunburn in the summer, and eventually turn ten shades of a nice tan brown, while I on the other hand get sun burnt to the point of resembling a lobster when sitting in the shade. Can we say not fair?

  5. We cuss like sailors. Okay, maybe we're not sailors, or even the daughters of sailors. But we are the daughters of two men who retired the Marines and the Army. This means we grew up around similar foul mouthed soldiers (and their brats) who taught us almost every dirty word in existence. What does this mean? We like our potty mouths, and we use them as often as we can without getting us in trouble. Hence why some of our characters have potty mouths too. This also may mean that one of my oldest daughter's first words was crackhead. Which my husband thought was hysterical but got me in loads of trouble with my parents... but at least it wasn't a cuss word!

Jessie Lane is the writing team of Melissa Pahl and Crystal Leo. The two sister-in-laws share a passionate love of naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters. (They're kind of megalomaniacs - but don't tell them that we said that.)
Crystal and Melissa often live half their lives with their heads in the clouds dreaming of alpha military hunks, werewolves and kick ass heroines crazy enough to chase after creatures that they unquestionably should know better than to chase. 

Their first YA novel, The Burning Star, was released in May 2012. Big Bad Bite is their second novel, but their first adult paranormal romance. They are now working on their next two novels, Walk On The Striped Side and Secret Maneuvers. With these projects underway, they are looking forward to showing the rest of the world their crazy stories, heroes and heroines that often plague their minds until written, and hope you will join them on their journey!

Fan Girls & Boys Welcome

Jessie Lane are giving away digital copies of
to one lucky Supie!

Contest open internationally, ends June 22.

Good luck!


  1. Melissa has Cherokee blood. The Ops book sounds great and I'm glad Belle doesn't make it easy for Bobby.

  2. The action and the emotional wringer sounds like my kind of book

  3. Melissa has Cherokee blood on her mom's side :) Both books sound good, thanks for the great giveaway!

  4. Melissa has the Cherokee blood. Fascinating.

    GFC: Mary Preston

  5. Melissa -from her mom's side of the fam. I love the sound of the books- hope I get the opportunity to be a winner. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Melissa has Cherokee blood...thanks for giveaway!

  7. Melissa has Cherokee blood. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Melissa has Cherokee blood
    Thanks for giveaway!!! :)

  9. Melissa has Cherokee Blood. Thanks for the interview & giveaway. The Book sounds great and I have added it to my TBR.

  10. Melissa has Cherokee blood.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  11. I don't know but I can't wait to find out.

  12. Can't wait to read their story! Melissa has Cherokee blood.

  13. It's Melissa :)

    This book looks great! Added to my TBR!


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