A heartbreaking, awing and sweltering second chance romance that’ll grip you form the get go…
I’m not sure where to start really. I adored Jake and Mac’s story, but for other reasons this book left me a little peeved. I’m desperately trying just to look at the positives, and in reality even my negatives will be seen as positives by other readers. They didn’t impact the feel of Jake and Mac’s story, they just made this book drag… for me. I haven’t read any of the other books in the Give Me series, but because Give Me Hell encompasses all of them the plot twists in those books have been spoiled for me. It’s such a pity because I really want to read this series, but I feel as though that first impact you get from the plot twists has gone. Keeping that in mind, am I still going to read the other 3 books? Absolutely!
So, Give Me Hell. This book starts in the present and it completely had me within the first few sentences. I have to give it to Kate McCarthy, she started with bang! I knew that the beginning alone wouldn’t allow me to put this book down. I mean, who puts a cliffhanger at the end of the freaking PROLOGUE??? Huh??? I know that prologues tend to be cryptic, but seriously, this took a lengthy pee on every other single prologue I’ve ever read! This is the motherfreaking prologue of all prologues. Just saying. So yeah, the prologue got me hook, line and sinker and from then on no matter how many times giving up on this book came into my mind— I. Could. Not. Do. It. I could not put this book down. I managed to read 60% of it in one sitting and then I had to take a break because I 1) needed sleep and 2) needed to take a deep breath… I have violent tendencies when I get frustrated, and I love my kindle too much to kill it.
Give Me Hell is around the 500 page mark, I think a little higher, maybe closer to 600, In all honesty, it could’ve been a lot shorter. It’s not till the 55% mark that you get a little closer to the prologue cliffhanger and that you get to their story alone. Personally that’s when it all perked up for me, I felt that I didn’t really want to learn as much about the secondary characters as I did, but hey ho. Such is life. Personally, I would have preferred to have been taken back in time through Jake’s and Mac’s memories rather than have had it all spelled out to me. I think it would’ve also made it all a little more smoother. There were times that it felt a little stunted to me. It would’ve also allowed plot twists from previous books to have been kept as surprises.
When it came to the characters I thought that they were spectacular. Ms McCarthy has done a banging job on her cast. Jake and Mac were bang on the money. Jake is sexy, tender and genuinely beautiful… good… with a bad boy edge. I just… I can’t even begin to get my brain to work coherently enough to explain just how out of this world amazing and hot this guy is. Heart stolen. Period. Then there’s Mac. Mackenzie takes a little warming to. She’s on the contrite side, but she has such a big beautiful heart… I actually feel like she’s been mugged off a little. Jake is just so lovely and sexy that you see past all his flaws, whereas with Mac, where she is so crazy and volatile… strong willed… and lacks a filter, you kind of focus on her negative traits. The reality is that both her and Jake are on a level when it comes to their negative traits. It’s all a give and take between them. You hurt me, so I’m going to hurt you… yes, 99.9% of the time it’s unintentional and it stems from their frustrations with each other, but you are left yelling just get your freaking crap together!
One particular thing I did love about this story was that the sex was never used to patch things up. They have big issues to overcome in order to even become emotionally working human beings. But as volatile as they are emotionally, and as freaking amazing and scorching the sex is— it never once becomes the glue that holds them together. Yes, they have “make up” sex. Yes, they do discover each other and their feelings through it. Yes, it will leave you in a big puddle of goo… Also, there is a very slight nod to D/s. I mean there are instances where Jake really comes into himself and he exerts his power over Mac during sex. Those are probably the only times you see her with all her defences completely down and as an open book. The physical aspect of their relationship really is stunning. Mostly because you see it go from firsts and inexperience to discovery and confidence.
I may have had a few issues with Give Me Hell, mostly structural issues, but in all honesty it was worth every moment and every sigh and every swoon… even when I felt violent towards it, it was worth it and I would read it again. Probably not too soon, but I just fell so hard in love with Jake and Mac that I’m having a trouble letting go.
About the Book
Mackenzie Valentine is wilful, fiery, and determined to prove she doesn’t need anyone. Desperate to break free from the over-protective parents and three older brothers who dictate her every move, she runs away at the age of seventeen to hunt down the only boy who makes her feel alive.
Jake Romero has no choice but to leave the best thing that ever happened to him, taking him down a path that leads to notorious gang, the King Street Boys. When fate throws Mackenzie back in his life, he turns her away in her time of need, knowing he now lives a life in which she doesn’t belong. Except his decision has shattering consequences, leading to secrets, lies, and the ultimate betrayal.
Years later, their lives continue to entwine, and when his past returns demanding retribution, Mackenzie intervenes and gets caught in the crossfire, leaving behind a devastation that no one sees coming. Can their relationship withstand the hell it’s endured, or is it too late for love?
With a low chuckle I roll over on my bed to eyeball the stolen file that I’d slapped on my bedside table last night before crashing. I’m feeling rather pleased with myself until my gaze encounters Jake. My gleeful chortle dies a quick death.
He’s leaning against my bedroom wall, bare-chested, arms folded, and wearing nothing but a pair of black boxer-briefs and a furious glare.
My gaze drops to the bed where Jake has laid out the black beanie used to cover my pale hair, and the black leather gloves that kept my fingerprints from any surface I came in contact with.
Fuck. The sun is streaming in through the blinds and I know it must be late morning already. Clearly I’d forgotten to set the morning alarm. A rookie mistake. And now I need to get past the gauntlet that is Jake and somehow get the file to Casey before he enacts his own plan to retrieve it.
My eyes flick up, meeting his. “Morning,” I say coolly.
His jaw ticks. “Care to explain?”
Jake’s car keys rest on top of the report file and I know he’s seen them. Not only had I performed a break and enter last night, I had also added car theft to my criminal repertoire. Explaining that will likely cause my untimely death. I pretend to consider his question for a moment. “Not really.”
Jake pushes off from the wall and moves toward the bed, bringing him closer. “Well you’re going to.”
“No,” I say, casually sliding across the mattress and away from Jake. “Not today. I have things to—”
Putting one knee on the bed, Jake leans across and grabs the back of my long-sleeved shirt in his fist. He yanks and the distinct sound of a riiipppppp renders the air.
“My shirt,” I gasp as I fly through the air, landing on my back on the mattress with a hard bounce.
“I don’t give a rat’s fucking ass about your shirt,” he growls, straddling my body.
His hard thighs trap me in place and his hands pin mine to the bed. Moving will likely end with a cracked rib.
Jake leans his face down until I can’t look anywhere but in his eyes. “You can start with why you’re dressed like a thieving little bandit.”
“Because I stole your car.”
“Why did you steal my car?”
“Because I couldn’t get a cab.”
I actually considered calling for a taxi but then my movements would be on public record, easily placing me at the scene. I’d had to rule it out.
“Stop leading me in circles, Princess, and spit it the fuck out. What did you do?”
I huff deeply, letting my frustration out. Jake isn’t going to just let this go. It leaves me with two choices. Lie or be honest. I chose door number two, because while I sometimes keep things from Jake, he doesn’t deserve outright deceit.
I spill out my early hours adventure, rethinking my choice of honesty as he sits back on the bed, his fury a slow-building thunderstorm.
There’s silence for a tense moment when I finish speaking.
“You committed a felony,” he says in a soft voice. I’m not fooled by the tone. His anger is a barely leashed lion. “And you used my car to do it.”
My lips press in a thin line. I hadn’t thought that particular implication through, and now I’m angry at myself. “I’m sorry.”
His expression narrows to one of vengeful retribution. “Oh you’ll be sorry.”
“When I paddle your fucking ass.”
“Shut it,” he growls, his voice rising. “You broke into a detective’s house. You stole her property. You—”
“Casey’s property,” I mutter.
“Don’t interrupt me when I’m explaining your stupidity to you.”
About the Series
#1 Give Me Love
Evie Jamieson, a former wild child, is not only a headstrong, smart-mouthed trouble magnet, she is also a lead singer with a plan. That plan involves uprooting her band, including her two best friends guitarist Henry and band manager Mac, to Sydney to kick off their dreams of hitting the big time.
Jared Valentine is the older brother of Evie’s best friend Mac and also the man determined to make Evie his. They strike up a long distance friendship which suits Evie because she’s determined to avoid the distraction of love, not only because it doesn’t fit in with her plan, but because twice in the past it has left her for dead. Moving to Sydney, however, has put her directly in Jared’s path and he has decided it’s the perfect opportunity to make his play.
Unfortunately Jared, co-owner in a business that ‘consults’ in dangerous hostage and kidnapping situations, makes an enemy who’s determined to enact revenge. When his enemy puts Evie in his sights, Jared not only has a fight on his hands to make her his own, but also to keep her alive.
Is accepting the love he’s so desperate to give worth the risk to both her heart, and her life?
#2 Give Me Strength
Quinn Salisbury doesn’t think she’s cut out for this whole living thing. Even as a young girl she struggled. Just when she thinks she’s found a way to leave her violent past behind her, the only thing that’s kept her going is ripped away, leaving her damaged and heartbroken.
Four years later, she is slowly rebuilding her life and lands a job as an assistant band manager to Jamieson, the hot new Australian act climbing their way to the top of the charts. There she meets Travis Valentine, the charismatic older brother of her boss, Mac.
From his commanding charm to his confidence and passion, Travis is everything Quinn believes is too good for her, and despite her apprehension, she finds their attraction undeniable and intense.
When her past resurfaces, it complicates their relationship. Instead of reaching out for help, Quinn pushes Travis away, until a staggering secret is revealed that leaves her fighting for her very life.
Torn between running and opening her heart to the man determined to have her, can Quinn find the strength within herself to fight for her future?
#3 Give Me Grace
Casey Daniels has a past forged in Hell. Despite the friends, the endless supply of women, and the muscle car he spent years restoring, it still eats away at him.
Grace Paterson is in Sydney as a temporary bassist for Jamieson, the band Casey handles security for. She’s also infuriating, off-limits, and completely irresistible.
A deal is struck, and despite their intense and powerful connection, both think it will be easy to walk away. But life can be more ruthless than either of them ever imagined. Not only does Grace have a secret she’s desperate to keep, Casey has questions from his past that he’s willing to do anything to get answers for.
It’s not until someone wants one of them dead that Casey realises his love for Grace is the one thing he could never walk away from.
In a story of revenge, betrayal, secrets, and love, Casey will need to reconcile his past with his present, before the future he never knew he wanted is snatched away.
About the Author
Kate McCarthy is an Australian, living in the pretty sunshine state of Queensland with her two kids and two dogs, Rufus and Pete.
She loves to bake sweet stuff and eat it too. With an exciting degree in business, she works as an accountant by day, and an author by night. In between family life, she is most often found in bed reading, or at the beach, still reading.