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Jagger (Steele Shadows Investigations, #1) by Amanda McKinney

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Secrets, lies, deceit… A former Navy SEAL turned homicide detective has met his match in this new *standalone* addition to the number #1 Bestselling Steele Shadows Series…

He found her covered in blood.
She promises she’s innocent.
The question is… Can he trust her?

Feared just as much on the streets as at a crime scene, Homicide Detective Max Jagger has dedicated his life to one thing—speaking for the dead. Everyone and everything else be damned, including his own demons. During one of the most oppressive heat waves to hit the small, southern town of Berry Springs, the former Navy SEAL is called to a scene where a real estate heiress is found standing over a dead body, holding the murder weapon. The local cops immediately dub it a slam-dunk case, but if Jagg has learned anything from his days running special ops, it’s that nothing is as it seems… including this suspect.

Despite her name, Sunny Harper is as beguiling as a fallen angel. Clever, cunning, completely unwilling to cooperate, and, perhaps his least favorite quality—mind-numbingly intoxicating. When evidence from the scene suggests an accomplice, Jagg begins to believe that Sunny is both innocent and in danger, despite the towns’ uproar to lock her up. Torn between his growing feelings for his suspect, he takes Sunny to a secluded lake house where he discovers there’s much more behind those enchanting green eyes… including secrets that could take them both under.

With his career on the line and the clock ticking, Jagg must decide if he can trust Sunny… before they both get burned.

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This is my first Amanda McKinney novel and it blew me away with its raw emotion, intensity, and gripping murder mystery.

Detective Max Jagger is a brooding and angry workaholic who is determined to find out who killed his mentor Lt. Seagraves. But the Chief wants him off the case because he is too close and “he is one bad decision away from being fired”. As if his life couldn’t get any worse,  he’s called to another murder the same night as Seagraves’ funeral and finds a woman holding a gun and standing over a dead man. Can the murders be tied together? And who is this beautiful and defiant woman with a tragic past who seems to have a power over him. He’s never felt so damn protective over a woman ever. He uses women and goes on his way. What makes her so different?  

Sunny Harper is a dog trainer. A victim. A survivor. A fighter. She finally found peace and solitude with her dogs and her little cabin in the woods. Then the assault and murder happens and the rude and aggressive Max Jagger appears in her life. Why does he feel like he needs to protect her day and night? She can take care of herself. But the bad news just keeps on coming.  Her past has reared its ugly head again. She’s not the same person she was six years ago and will not back down from what is coming.

I love Jagg and Sunny’s story. It’s raw and off-limits at first and watching them both slowly break down the years of mistrust as they spend more time together is a pleasure to see.  And let’s not forget the sexual attraction that is very hot and worth waiting for. I was also intrigued by officer Tommy Darby’s story who wants to make an impression in the police force and will do anything to make a name for himself…even defy the volatile Detective Jagger.  In addition, I give kudos to Lt. Colson who is not only dealing with a pregnant wife at home, but he is trying to keep Jagg in line so he doesn’t lose his job. A good cast of characters including Sunny’s dogs, Athena, Max, Tango, and the sweet and quiet Brutus who has been through so much.

Overall, I loved my introduction to Amanda McKinney’s Steele Shadows Investigations series. I was completely captivated from the beginning and read the book in one sitting. If you like bad boys, alpha females, and enthralling murder mysteries, give this book a try. 

Thank you to Ms. McKinney for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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AmandaAmanda McKinney is the #1 bestselling and multi-award-winning author of more than ten steamy romantic suspense and mystery novels. She wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, in 2017 after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Set in small, southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning murder mysteries packed with steamy romance.

Her books include the HOT new bestselling series, STEELE SHADOWS SECURITY, the multi-award-winning BERRY SPRINGS series and BLACK ROSE MYSTERIES.

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