Survivor trilogy book 3
by TM Smith
Dedication and smarts have given Blair Cummings a leg up in the Bureau. His job is all-consuming but rewarding. It doesn’t leave much time for a love life though, not that Blair believes in love. At nearly thirty, he’s only ever been in one long-term relationship due to his inability to commit to anything other than his job and his family.
Born into a family that is as successful as they are hateful, Howard Manning Tullor Junior ran so far away from his last name that he wound up in the arms of Satan himself. Freedom comes at a high price but it’s one Mannie is willing to pay, setting him on a path that leads him to a quiet, laid-back FBI agent.
Their attraction is unexpected, and yet, welcomed. Blair seems to have finally found something worth fighting for, but Mannie, still haunted by ghosts of the past, wonders if he’ll ever be able to move on. The two are working toward their future, but can a budding romance survive when past and present collide?
Legs shaking, fingers twitching, Mannie rested his forehead against Blair’s, his emotions a tangled heap of want, need, and fear. He wanted Blair more than he’d ever wanted anything in his life, and that desire scared the living shit out of him. Fire danced down his spine as Blair’s fingers left a trail of heat, hands resting on his hips. “I want you too, so very much, but you deserve better than you’ve been given in the past, Mannie. You’re worth more than that.” The last few words were just a whisper, Blair’s lips brushing his softly.
“No, I’m not.” Stubbornly, he tried to step away, but Blair’s firm grip held him in place.
Eyes blazing with anger was an image that would forever be imprinted in his brain; he’d seen it nearly every day for the three long years he’d spent with Bruce. But the outrage wrapped around Blair’s expressive blue eyes like a firecracker in the sky, that wasn’t aimed toward him. No, the animosity in the sexy man’s gaze looked through Mannie, beyond him, as if turning back time to intimidate and promise retribution to a man that was no longer a part of Mannie’s life. “Yes, you are, to me.” Squinting, Blair gentled his hold, sliding his hands up Mannie’s chest, cupping his cheeks. “You deserve to be held close as you fall asleep in my arms knowing you’ll be safe, treasured, cherished. To be kissed softly at first.” Eyelids fluttering shut, Blair leaned closer, the barest brush of lips over his like a leaf swaying side to side at dusk on a gentle breeze. “Then deeper, passionately.” Blair’s strong hand grabbed him by the nape of the neck, fingers twisting in Mannie’s hair as he dove into his mouth, the kiss frantic and heady, making him feel intoxicated and dizzy.
Blair’s warm tongue traced the seam of his lips once, twice, before he pulled away, sucking in a few deep breaths. “I want you too, Mannie. Please, don’t doubt that. But this”—Blair leaned back against the counter and waved his hand between them—“is the foundation of a relationship built on friendship and trust, and I think we should take it slow. I want to continue to get to know you, Mannie, and for you to get to know me. I want to date you. Take you to see a scary movie so you can curl into my side and cover your eyes. Bring you home and make out on the doorstep like crazy, hormonal teenagers.”
From the moment Mannie appeared in person in Lover, and the spark with Blair was evident when he was with everyone in his interview, I was immediately attached to them and couldn’t wait for their story. Given Mannie’s past I knew their book should be the most emotional of the series. That said, this series is meant to be read in order as you’ll find references to events that happened previously here, so make sure you’ve read Survivor and Lover first.
We really get to see more in depth the horrible things Mannie had to live through not just with Bruce, his ex, but also with his own family before that. Blair provides the perfect counterpoint for him, being patient, considerate, and gentle with him even before they start a relationship. Blair’s protective, nurturing nature is very evident here, and is exactly what Mannie needs.
I did think that their relationship moved pretty quickly, and the beginning of it did seem to skim over the details to get them to the point where they were more comfortable and settled as a couple.
Though this is the final book in the trilogy, there are still some drama and surprises to be found as things are tied up with Mannie’s family—but also an interesting twist with some favorite characters in the series. And I have to say, the Director (FBI, Blair and Rory’s boss) has been raising my interest with the role he plays in things.
If you’ve been following the series, you’ll want to check Fighter out to see how things wrap up. For me, this was hovering between 3.5-4 stars, mostly due to the rushed feeling Blair and Mannie’s relationship had. This book is for readers 18+ for adult language, sexual content, and references to past abuse.
About the Author
A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.
Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!
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Grand Prize Pack:
Essential oil diffuser with 3 pack of Doterra essential oils (Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint) –Coloring book w/color pencils, pencil sharpener and cute canvas cactus bag to store your coloring essentials in –Pocket Journal w/matching pocket notepad –Just Sayin sticky notes –sexy sipper straws –TM Smith keychain & magnet –Celtic themed necklace –bookmark
Incense holder & 30 count pack of incense Karma scents lavender -Coloring book w/color pencils, pencil sharpener and cute canvas cactus bag to store your coloring essentials in –Nope sticky notes –TM Smith keychain & magnet –Handmade necklace –bookmark
$25 e-giftcard for Amazon