We are excited to participate in the release week event for Stylo's OUT OF PLANS, the much anticipated sequel to Best Laid Plans #RunningOutOfTime
5 "Fuck the plans, De Sant" Stars
The second book in this amazing series picks up six months later with Lily 2.0 out on her own exacting her plan for vengeance after months of training with Kingsley. She's still very much pissed at Marc, can't say I blame her, and out to prove to him and herself that's she can do this.
"Lines had been drawn, boundaries had been established."
Of course, no surprise, Lily and Marc do cross paths as they're on the same mission after all. Lily is not happy to see him.
Marc quickly realizes that during their time apart Lily has changed and she's no longer a fan! The bickering and banter between these two is still hilarious! I loved it.
"There was a wall between them, a mile high and fifty feet thick, and it was there because he'd lied to her."
Sure enough, not too long into reconnecting, trouble finds these two.
Talk about cursed or bad luck or something!!! But both rise to the occasion and do what they do best (okay, maybe second best because I think they're at their best when their lips are locked!). No matter what predicament they find themselves in, there's no denying they work well together.
Their infamous fights continue and neither gives in. So their stuck together and then the band's back together again...
once the dashing Kingsley meets up with them!
Throughout this whole thing, Lily's torn. She's hurt, mad and angry with Marc and his presence is hard on her.
"She felt like pulling her hair out. Her brain was waging a war with her heart, and the whole mess was driving her insane."
In time, neither can resist their pull...
"She's better than anything ever was."
And finally, all three join forces to finally bring Lily's plan to fruition.
Damn, this was nail biting and intense but also captivating and amazing!! The final countdown was painful and riddled with breath-holding scenes.
And through this all, Lily and Marc come to terms that both can live with.
Like I've said before, this series is like watching an awesome action-packed movie with two strikingly hot men and one sexy bad ass heroine! Lily's amazing and her growth and development was beholding and inspiring!
And Marc and Lily, while their lives are dark and dirty, they're also beautiful.
Ms. Fantome gives us crumbs about Kingsely's past and may haunt him that I sure hope means there'll be more. That this hot, dangerous and sex-on-a-stick man gets his own book.
**ARC generously provided by author in exchange for an honest review.**
Lily moved through the crowd, which was getting louder and drunker with each passing moment. Most of the women were beyond dressed up. Lots of hair extensions and air brushed makeup, and all wearing gowns, though up close, most were sheer and had jewels strategically placed to hide certain body parts. Body parts that had clearly been enhanced by very good plastic surgeons.
Lily started with them, making “girl talk”, trying to find out what she could. Damiano was quite the sought after man, it seemed. Most of them had slept with him, at some point in time or another, and the ones who hadn't were still scheming to make it happen. But at that particular time, he was off limits.
“Why is that?” Lily asked one girl.
“Because, ever since she arrived, she's chased away all other women. She wants to be the only one in his bed.”
“Who's 'she'?” Lily continued.
“She,” the girl pointed across the room.
Lily followed with her eyes and saw a tiny blonde woman standing near the wall. She was tiny, in height and in weight. She wore all white, including her heels, and her blonde hair was Texas beauty queen big. More interesting than all of that, though, was that she seemed to be glaring at Lily. No wait, not glaring at her. Glaring past her. At something behind her. Someone behind Lily had earned the wrath of a very tiny, scary looking lady.
“Who is she?” Lily asked.
“I don't know, some Russian woman,” the girl replied.
Everything stopped for a moment. Russian. And as if the magic word had been spoken, another Russian came into the picture. As tall as the woman was short, as imposing as the woman was tiny, the man who joined her was her opposite, except that he was also blonde, and he also wore all white. Lily stopped breathing.
Of course, she'd seen pictures of Anatoly Stankovski. Knew that he was a big man, easily six foot three or taller. Knew he had a neatly trimmed mustache and blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Knew he was married.
But seeing him, being in his presence … it was so different from what she'd expected. She wasn't filled with rage. Not cold, clinical hatred. No, she was sad. Sad, as she looked at the man who had changed her life. The man who had killed her sister. The man who had ripped Marc away from her. The man who had changed her life; changed who she was, at her core.
Kingsley's law: Pull the motherfucking trigger.
Hearing his voice in her head, Lily shook herself back to reality. She had to act, and fast. She had a gun strapped to her thigh. Maybe she could lure him away. He was still with his wife, was looking down at her while they spoke. But the small woman wasn't looking at her husband. She was still looking over Lily's shoulder, and her glare was getting more severe.
“Pardon me,” a deep voice said from behind her, and Lily slowly turned around to face the host of the party. “We haven't been introduced.”
Lily automatically smiled, all her work and training kicking in as she placed her hand into Damiano's outstretched one. She wanted nothing more than to turn around and go shoot Stankovski, but she knew her chance would come again. She knew where he was, knew where he was staying. She couldn't ruin it all now just because she was excitable.
“Oh, I know who you are,” she teased, shaking his hand.
“Then you have the advantage,” he smiled as well, and it was becoming increasingly obvious why women were falling all over themselves for the dangerous drug lord.
“Mr. Ledo, you have an amazing home, thank you so much for this extravagant party,” she gushed, keeping her eyes wide as she blinked up at him.
“You are very welcome. Dance?”
She couldn't very well say no, but dancing with him was potentially a bad idea. He was a dangerous man. If he had any inkling of who she was, or why she was there, then it was a trap. But if he was just hitting on her, she didn't want to offend him. Maybe she could even use it against him. Use him to get close to Stankovski.
It was a slow song and he held her close, a strong leader moving her across the floor. She smiled and laughed, chatting and flirting with him, staring very boldy up into his eyes. He stared right back, his smile resembling the way a wolf looked before it was about to strike.
He was disgustingly handsome, she wouldn't deny it – she could now see why all the women had been gossiping about him. It just made his depravity worse, that something so beautiful could be so dangerous. He had big dark eyes, ringed in thick black lashes that had an effect like eyeliner, making his eyes look huge and pop out of his face. His skin was tan, and his black hair was wavy and mussed in a stylish way, the ends of it teasing the top of his collar. He had an almost lyrical accent that wrapped around his words and blanketed them, turning them into syrup. Sticky sweet and heavy. Almost any other woman would have been helpless under their weight.
“You're an incredible dancer,” she complimented him when the song came to an end. He didn't let her go, though. He kept an arm tight around her waist. Continued staring into her eyes.
“I had a wonderful partner. You know, the more I look at you, the more familiar you seem,” he commented.
Uh oh! Warning! Warning! Do something!
“Hmmm, do I?” she purred, pressing herself against him. “Maybe from one of your dreams?”
“If I dreamed about someone like you, I wouldn't get out of bed,” he assured her. She laughed low in her throat, a husky, breathy sound.
“Mmmm, if you dreamed about me, then I wouldn't get out of your bed, either,” she teased. He narrowed his eyes.
“I think you're going to be bad for my health,” he teased back.
“Sweetheart,” she chuckled, getting so close she could feel his breath against her lips, “you have no idea.”
“I would love to stand here all night with you, but unfortunately, I have other guests. One of whom is glaring poison darts at me,” he sighed, flicking his head to the side. She followed the motion and saw that Mrs. Stankovski was alone again. She was staring at them and looked like she was getting ready to kill Lily.
“Pity. I didn't plan on standing here all night,” she sighed, moving so her back was to the angry woman.
“Oh, really? You had something else in mind?” he questioned her.
“I had lots of things in mind. Tell you what,” she whispered, moving to stand on her toes. Even in heels, Damiano was still taller than her. “Forget the blonde. One night with me, and you won't even remember her name.”
Won't remember anything, because you'll be dead.
“That sounds incredibly tempting,” he whispered back, and his hands moved to grasp her by her hips. “It's an offer I'm sure I'll take you up on one day. But sadly, not tonight. I have things I need to tend to. But I promise, I'll be seeing you again.”
“Well then. Thanks for the dance, Mr. Ledo,” she breathed, then kissed him roughly on the side of his jaw. When she pulled back, her red lipstick left a stain behind. He chuckled and stepped away from her.
“You are more than welcome.”
As he walked off into the crowd, she watched as he pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket. He wiped away the lipstick stain as he joined Mrs. Stankovski, who seemed to immediately launch a verbal attack on him. Hmmm. Interesting. Apparently, Damiano wasn't only interested in what Stankovski had to offer in a monetary or politcal sphere.
Stankovski himself was nowhere to be seen. Slipped away without a trace. From questioning people, Lily knew he was staying in the home. She had to get upstairs somehow. Had to search the rooms. Had to find him.
Have to move your ass!
She spun around and promptly rammed into a man who had come up behind her. She stumbled backwards and felt a pair of hands grip her arms. As she steadied herself, she heard him gasp sharply, then he cleared his throat. She began to lift her eyes to see who she had almost knocked over.
“I thought I recognized you.”
For the second time that night, Lily completely froze. She was staring into a pair of blue eyes. A pair of eyes that she had banished to the farthest part of her memory. A face that had no right to interrupt her evening. No right to disrupt the beat of her heart.
“Sweetheart,” Marcelle De Sant sighed as he looked down at her. “What on earth have you done to your hair?”
“You know, every time I say his name, you seem to get pissier and pissier. Why is that?” she asked, then took another bite of her apple.
“I don't get pissier. I just don't need Law holding my hand like I've never bought a fucking gun before; Miami was my home base for years, Lily. I got my start there. I'll handle my shit on my own,” he informed her.
“Whatever you say, De Sant. Sounds pretty pissy to me,” she kept her voice light. It just made him angrier.
“How the fuck did you wind up with him anyway?”
“I called him.”
“Law doesn't haven't a phone number.”
“His contractor does. Kingsley left my name with the guy, and when I called, he told me how to find him. I've been with him ever since,” she explained.
She's been with him since the moment I left.
Marc felt like his head was going to explode.
“I'm surprised. I can't handle his bullshit for more than a couple days,” he grumbled. She smiled.
“We get along surprisingly well. I don't think we've been apart for more than a day or two, since I found him,” she said.
“Sounds like a little slice of heaven,” he growled through clenched teeth. She nibbled around the core of her apple and laughed at him.
“If I didn't know any better, I'd say you sound jealous, De Sant. But that can't be right, seeing as how you left me,” she told him.
There was a pause and he listened as she ate away the last bits of apple that were left.
“Have you fucked him yet?”
“Ah, now we get to the heart of the problem. Would there be a problem if I had?” she asked, turning to fully face him.
“No, but I would strongly recommend you get tested as soon as possible. His standards are pretty low,” he warned her. She threw her head back and laughed.
“And insulting him! I'm flattered, De Sant, but I don't get it. You didn't want this, so why do you care who's getting it?”
“Aw, is it because you haven't been getting any? That's so ... sad.”
“Who says I haven't? I spent two weeks in Brazil before I went back to Colombia. Brazil has some amazing prostitutes,” he pointed out.
“Paying for sex, De Sant, how ... Kingsley of you. And here I've been going about it the boring way, just fucking people who are attracted to me,” she made fun of him. His eyebrows shot up.
“How many people have you fucked since Africa?” he asked. She smiled.
“I've lost track, it's been so many. Just squeezing it in wherever I can, between jobs,” she answered.
“Stop being cute and answer the question. How many men have you slept with since me?” he demanded.
“Since you, ah. See? Jealous,” she repeated that word he hated.
Hated it because it was true.
“I knew you were easy in Africa, but wow, Lily, I never realized you were a full on whore.”
The apple core hit him in the side of the head.
“Watch it, asshole. I could be humping my way across every country I go to, and that's none of your fucking business. You gave it up just as easily, so if I'm a whore, you're a whore. Now shut the fuck up and pay attention,” she snapped at him.
“To what? More projectile fruit?” he asked, chucking the apple core into the back seat.
“No, to the car that's following us.”
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