Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Raguel Carver’s family business is all about ridding the world of its rot—the merciless and depraved souls whose only worth lies in the tissue samples their bodies offer for medical research. When they learn of the brutal deaths of seven teenage boys, the family begins investigating the possible involvement of an illegal fight operation, and Rague is tapped to infiltrate it. As the sixth subject in the Blood Assassin project—a project to create controllable, emotionless assassins—Rague was experimented upon with multiple brain surgeries to his amygdala in order to increase his hostility and detachment. Consequently, his aggression has a higher baseline and leaves him subject to “red haze attacks”—”the pain from those years comes back, giving life to a rage so strong, it possesses [him] . . . [and] turns him into a furious, mindless beast.” Having to keep a constant check on his anger, Rague hates fighting, but will do whatever it takes to find and punish all involved. Rague’s strength, unwelcoming mien, and forbidding aura makes him unapproachable—just as he likes it. So he’s unprepared for the barely legal looking man half his size to proposition him so audaciously.

Oliver Truman hates his father, hates being stuck living with him, and hates participating in underground fights for him. But his father dangles Ollie’s brother Sully’s safety over his head because Ollie will go to any length to protect him. Despite his distaste for the matches, there is one perk—watching the beast known as Hulk decimate his opponents. Though he is intimidating and stoic, Ollie feels the untamed energy beneath the man’s skin and is determined to have it unleashed on him. When he’s given a taste, he wants more; Rague’s denials, frowns, and growling only make Ollie hotter. From their first interaction, Rague is intrigued and unsettled by the bold young man, and after their steamy hook-up, the obsession becomes mutual. Ollie’s fearlessness and his ecstasy when Rague unleashes all his sexual aggression on him solidifies Rague’s certainty that Ollie is his to own and protect.

With no definitive answers about the fight ring’s connection and no incoming clues, the investigation stalls, but the danger remains. When Ollie’s father demands he accept a match with a significantly larger challenger, Rague is infuriated by Ollie’s stubborn refusal to cancel the match and concerned Ollie will be the next casualty. With time running out, will Rague and his family find the truth and catch the criminals before the next body drops?

Six is the second book in the Angels of Wrath series, but each book is a standalone following different couples. Though the reader may have questions regarding the brothers’ rescue, Rague and the family’s background are understandable without the entire context. This is a dark romance dealing with tortured children and vigilantism, so there are mentions of experimentation on children, substance misuse and overdose, on-page violence, and other triggers listed in the book. Six is as much fun as its horny and bloody predecessor, with a bit more cohesion, and its investigation is better incorporated into the series’ focus on hot sexy times with morally gray protagonists.

With the darkness of his past and within his mind, Rague never considered romantic partnership. His horrific experience left him inclined towards silence, but seething with rage. He doesn’t understand his driving need to keep and protect Ollie, but somehow the wiry, flirtatious, and vulnerable man fits into all Rague’s cobbled together pieces and eases the rage he keeps on a leash… except when there’s even a hint of trouble for Ollie.

Ollie is a confident brat with hidden vulnerability and a dearth of self-preservation instincts. His mouth can get him into trouble, but his hardened edges can get him out. Despite his independence and fierceness, he is trapped under his father’s viciousness. His brother, Sully, is a minor and can’t move out with Ollie because their father has friends in the police who will simply force Sully home. Sully’s innocence and attractiveness make him a target for the predators welcomed into their home, and Ollie takes a lot of blows to get Sully of their radar. Ollie’s impotent anger keeps him on edge, but he smothers it under his love for his brother and his cockiness. His experience of cruelty and opportunism disguised as help makes him suspicious of Rague’s concern, but also desperate for it to be real, as he lives for Rague’s OTT possessiveness and unexpected care. Beyond their chemistry, Ollie and Rague recognize the inner wrath of the other, as well as the survivor inside. They have an opposites attract dynamic, but are emotionally connected by trauma and a desire to retake the control that was stripped from them. Rague gives Ollie a security and happiness he never expected, and Ollie offers Rague a sense of home, calm, and connection that he will guard with an extreme amount of violent territorialism.

Plot-wise, the book’s investigation is not *as* swamped by all the dirty talk and bountiful fluids as the previous book. It’s similarly sidelined because of a lack of clues to give the MCs time to bone bond, but it’s more reasonable and the MCs’ involvement in the fight scene keeps that element more in the foreground. Ollie and Sully’s brotherhood feels true to life and heartwarming, and his best friend is hilarious, kind of bloodthirsty, and completely ride-or-die. The foster brothers and their interactions continue to be a highlight of the series and good windows into their personalities before their own books. However, I do keep getting tripped up by these stupid scientists’ wackadoo experiments and the fact that the medical professionals in the family collect tissue samples and bone marrow from donors with nary a glove or aseptic technique in sight; then again, the scientists are probably quite mad and this series is about hot damaged dudes with ten inch wieners pounding the willing wanton buns of their equally damaged soulmates, not reality.

Six is a mix of (lots of) improbable shagging, extremely bloody comeuppance, and odd, though noble philanthropy, and I look forward to the next brother’s romantic reckoning.