on February 17, 2017
Genres: African American, Contemporary, Love & Romance, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance
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Gun Ranch Owner Berrill ‘Bear’ Clayton is an accomplished beauty encased in steel. Her toughness isn’t an act, but it isn’t ‘all her’ either. She distances herself from love and intimacy, clinging to the Alpha Girl persona she believes enables her to forget the times she was too weak to save the people she loved.
For Pope Apostolou, meeting the fiercely independent Bear was a necessary soother for raw emotions stoked by the return of an old threat. Pope believes that threat now has Bear in its cross-hairs. It breaks his heart to discover she’s quietly torturing herself for a horrific night 6 years earlier-one that left 10 men dead-slaughtered after a night of debauchery…and betrayal.
In order to triumph over this new threat, Pope will need to show Bear that she can trust him. Unfortunately, Bear has learned to equate trust with surrender-something she refuses to give to any man. Pope would indeed want her surrender when her heart becomes the one thing he wants to conquer.
Conquered is a standalone BWWM Suspense Thriller. For an enhanced reading experience, add “Intoxicated” to your collection. These titles contain scenes of intense violence, language and sexual situations. Intended for mature readers.
I stayed up until 1:30 am on Saturday reading Conquered by Ally Fleming aka Altonya Washington. While that isn’t rare for me to do with a book, I’m usually fighting sleep while doing so. This wasn’t the case with this book, I refused to think about sleep until I had finished all 400 odd pages.
Altonya Washington has done it again with Conquered and made me fall in love with another one of her heroes. These sleeping giants know just how to get to you; tall, handsome, built like Gods, and with just enough danger and mystery surrounding them to keep you intrigued.
Pope Apostolou and Berrill ‘Bear’ Clayton were bound to cross paths, after all, their best friends are in a serious relationship. However, when they first meet it’s not through their mutual friends. Pope knows who Bear is but she has no idea who he is. He doesn’t reveal his connection to her immediately though because he knows she’ll run. See, Pope knows what happened 6 years ago with Bear and her friends. It’s something that she’d do anything to forget, and still, haunts all of them to this day.
Pope falls faster for Bear that I think he even anticipated and soon finds out that honesty is really the best policy. He knows he must tell Bear the truth, even though he fears she’ll walk away from him forever. For someone who never thought he’d experience love or find a person he couldn’t do without, now that he has found Bear, he won’t take lightly to her leaving.
I didn’t think anyone would top Mercuri from the first book in the series, Intoxicated, but Pope came pretty close. Pope was patient but persistent enough to be perfect for Bear. Bear was also a very relatable character, we understood her guilt and the need for her to constantly put on this tough persona in order to survive and keep her heart at bay.
In the end, both Pope and Bear had to realize that they had to put their own personal demons aside so that they could live their best lives, not only for themselves but for each other.
I love a really good mystery intertwined with my romance and once again, the ongoing story of the GAN (which I won’t spoil here) serves as the perfect subplot and running theme that will continue with the other stories. A lot of the elements that I liked with Washington’s Ramsey/Tesano series are very much present with this Sleeping Giants series, which is a winner in my book. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about this new series especially since it’s penned under an alias. However, I was proven wrong and there was nothing to worry about.
While Conquered can definitely be read as a standalone, I highly recommend checking out the first installment, Intoxicated, with Mercuri and Etienne. You can check out my review here.
Two down, two to go! I’m along for the ride and can’t wait to see what happens when the other two men in this brotherhood take the same plunge Mercuri and Pope did. Something tells me that the juiciest story is going to be Slayte and Princess, and I’m going to wait a while as that’ll probably the last one.