Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway - LEVERAGE by Nancy S. Thompson

(The Mistaken #2)
by Nancy S. Thompson
Released: May 15, 2014  Amazon.UK  Amazon.AUS


Four years ago, Tyler Karras’ quest to avenge his wife's death led to all out war with San Francisco's Russian Mafia. With the Bratva’s collapse and its king, Dmitri Chernov, long dead, all Ty wants now is to put it behind him and enjoy a second chance at life with his new bride, Hannah, and the child they're expecting any day. But Chernov's heir, Grigory Dmitriev, has returned, bitter and determined. He wants his kingdom back, and he's more than willing to leverage Ty's new family to get it. 

First he targets Conner, Ty’s brooding nineteen-year-old stepson, manipulating the boy into a vortex of sex, drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Then he turns his sights on Hannah. At eight months pregnant, she’s the ultimate bargaining chip. With both their lives in jeopardy, as well as his unborn child, Ty has little choice but to do as Grigory commands—even if that means assassinating the new leadership resurrecting within the Bratva.

But Tyler swore he'd never kill again. He buried that monster four years ago and means to keep it that way. Grigory, however, makes that vow impossible to keep.

With his new family on the line, Ty will cross further into the dark side than he ever has before, challenging everything he believes about himself, and forcing him to face the ghosts of his past. Only then will Ty discover if he has the strength to do the unspeakable, to sacrifice his last chance at redemption and save the lives of those he loves most.

(The Mistaken #2)
by Nancy S. Thompson
ARC Review
Released: May 20th, 2014

My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️

"Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence."

~The Sound Of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel

This is the song that started playing through my mind as I was reading LEVERAGE...... Appropriate? You be the judge.

THE MISTAKEN as well as LEVERAGE are absolute MUST READS! 

I often recap the story line in my own words, trying, without venturing beyond the scope of what the author has outline in their synopsis, to give a brief impression of my experience of the book before I go into some detail. I am not going to do that with LEVERAGE for two reasons: First, the synopsis as laid out by Nancy Thompson is more detailed and complete than I would even venture to go and nothing I could write would add to it. Second, there is so much to consider in this story, I frankly don't know where to start. I am still a little shell-shocked from all the developments, the twists and tangles, and the tight feelings they caused in my chest. 

This book was so intense and so overwhelming at times, I needed to pull myself out of it from time to time, in order to allow my body to get rid of the tension it had built up. For most of it I felt like being forced to witness good people being put through a most horrendous set of circumstances, being able to see it coming and having no power to stop it or change its course. 

The story really begins way before the setting of the book THE MISTAKEN, as will become clear in LEVERAGE, a history that has its roots deeper and more entangled than anyone (including me) could have ever envisioned. A family tree so deep-seeded and far-reaching that even years later and many miles distant, its shadow still casts. 

Tyler had made his new start after his troubling involvement with the Bratva's, the Russian Mafia, collapse, and never intended to tap into that darker side of his psyche again. He and his new wife had a baby to look forward to. With the unexpected return of a Bratva heir, and his stepson, his wife and new baby are used to manipulate him, he sells his soul to the devil in order to save them. Even if it means losing all hope for himself.

The internal struggles are gut-wrenching. Not only Tyler's, but there are other highly emotionally charged moments and events that are described so vividly in terms of emotional experience, that I felt every twinge and tear. Nancy Thompson is quite amazing at drawing bone-deep responses from her readers. I will be affected by this book for a while......

GAH!!! So heavy on my heart...... But so brilliantly written and intricately woven. This is NOT a light, rainy afternoon read. Nope. Buckle up for this one, and stock up on the valium, you're gonna need it! Worth every damn twinge, though!

✨A clever, disturbing, tangled, tragic and deeply moving novel.✨

**Copy provided in return for an honest review.**


The discomfort, as bothersome as it was, couldn’t chase away the unease that flittered through my stomach like butterflies. That feeling had become a permanent fixture in my core as of late, like there was all this extra room inside me now. I felt incomplete, half of me missing, and what remained couldn’t function on its own. It wasn’t an unfamiliar sensation. I’d been here before, and all the old habits and cravings associated with that came into sharp focus, while everything else pushed to the periphery and blurred.  
I kept a small collection of liquor in the corner of my construction trailer, for those times when the client came by to celebrate the completion of a project or the granting of a long-embattled permit. I kept one bottle half-filled with water, my own little secret. No one ever questioned it. They all assumed it was vodka. But tonight, it stood empty, while the others danced temptingly before me like harem girls beckoning me to peek beneath their veils.  
Come to me. I’ll help you forget. You know I can. I’ve done it so many times before. It doesn’t have to hurt anymore. Just take a drink, one small sip...
That voice clamored so loud, I couldn’t even remember pulling the stop from the decanter, or pouring the tequila into the stubby lowball glass. But there it was, my old friend, the amber devil, staring me in the eye after all this time.  
How many times had I heeded its call, had I given in to the temptation to simply not feel? Because that was it, really, what brought me to this point, that pain, that loneliness, that undeniable knowledge that I had destroyed everything most precious in my life.  
I feared that knowledge and ached to reject it in the quickest way possible. The amber devil had always granted me that wish, and oh, how I wanted it to yet again. For just one moment, just an hour, just this single evening. I wanted that drink. I needed that drink.
I peered down into the devil’s face and saw my past reflected back at me, all the weeks and months I’d spent drunk, scheming my vengeance, releasing my wrath against an innocent woman—Hannah. And then there was Nick, my troublesome little brother, who’d kept everything a secret in order to protect me. He’d sacrificed his life in our father’s name so that I might live.
And that pretty much summed it all up. I was half a man without Jill. I was half a man without Nick. And now, half a man without Hannah. What did that make me but a speck of humanity?
I tried to reconcile that with the man I once was, before I ever married Jill or Hannah. I relished my independence back then, which was why I’d tried so hard to disengage my brother from my life. I’d wanted to find out what it was like to be just me, on my own, with no one else to shape the boundaries of who or what I was. But over time, Nick and Jill had become enduring components in my life, and most certainly maneuvered the tools that cut and contoured the man I’d become.  
After dealing with the crap that had consumed my world following their deaths, I thought I’d finally pulled myself together, and with Hannah a daily reminder of both my failings and my resurrection, I believed I’d come full circle. But no, I hadn’t. I was living, breathing proof you could never truly leave your past behind. It clung like a shadow, at times unseen, but never farther than my reach, always dark, forever uncontainable.  
That’s what looked back up at me from that glass—that shadow.
My past.

Nancy is a sunny California transplant currently living in dreary SeattleWashington with her husband of twenty-four years, their son, a student at Seattle University, their giant snow dog, Jack, and his kitty, Skye. She works as a freelance editor and also has her own interior and architectural design business. When she's not writing, editing, designing, or marketing—a rarity these days—Nancy keeps herself busy by cooking and baking, that is, when she can pull herself away from Facebook, also a rarity.


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