Memento Mori by Lexi Blake
Series: Masters & Mercenaries: The Forgotten #1
Published by DLZ Entertainment on August 28, 2018
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Six men with no memories of the past
One leader with no hope for the future
A man without a past
Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman's will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows-his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.
A woman with a bright future
River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She's finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.
A love that could heal a broken soul
Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he's never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn't even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I’m kicking myself that I didn’t catch up on the Masters and Mercenaries Series before starting Memento Mori. If you haven’t read that series, I highly recommend it as I’m guessing they hold the backstory of The Lost Boys, the men who this series is based around. I pieced everything together and thoroughly enjoyed the story, I just think I would have had an even better experience if I’d read those first.
What I did piece together of Jax and his brothers’ story broke my heart. Amnesia is bad enough but having your memories stolen from you so you could become a robot-like soldier under the control of a crazy scientist is a nightmare scenario of epic proportions. This could have been a dark story based on that alone, but having it set in Bliss gave the story a lightness and quirkiness that offset the dark undertones.
Speaking of Bliss, I loved that the Night In Bliss series (written under Ms. Blake’s Sophie Oaks pen name) is being brought into the Lexi Blake book universe. I hope we get to see lots more of some of my favorite off-the-wall townspeople spreading their brand of crazy to the rest of Ms. Blake’s series.
As I said earlier, Jax and his “brothers” each had their entire life stolen from them. They have no memories of who they were or what their lives were like before waking up in a laboratory. Under the control of a sick scientist working for a shadow government program, their training was brutal and deadly, and they were forced to do highly illegal things to keep the program afloat.
Now free but with no idea how to act, they have to learn how to do even the most basic of things along with searching for clues to their past. They also need to find a cure for the memory loss and the other things that were done to them.
The fact that Jax survived with his sanity intact is a testament to his strength, not only of body but of character. I loved how he explored the world and his wonder at the most simple of things, like being able to sleep under the stars.
After suffering a huge loss, River was cleaned out by her ex-husband. Now she’s faced with losing her home in order to raise the funds to keep her guide business afloat. Her past has her wary of trusting anyone, much less the decidedly odd but seriously hot stranger. I really liked River but did find myself questioning her choices and decisions throughout the book.
This had lots of intrigue, mystery and a bit of action. It was at times a little bit dark but also funny, quirky and sexy. There were a few areas of the plot (especially when it came to Levi and his antics) that I thought were not holes per se, but could definitely be described as “seriously stretched thin” but I’m holding out to see how things go in future installments before totally calling BS on it.
I had fun with Memento Mori and can’t wait to see what’s next for the Lost Boys and their quest to not only find the truth about themselves but to keep what happened to them from happening ever again.
Rating: 4 I just want to hug them all as they find their way” Stars
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“This place is beautiful,” he said when she hesitated.
She nodded but didn’t move from her seat. “I love it here. I went to college in Denver, but I always missed this place. When I was younger, my dad had a house in Creede. He started the business there, but when he could, he moved us out of town. My dad was a loner, I suppose. Creede has a population of four hundred and Dad thought that was way too many people.”
“I know the feeling. I lived in London for a while. That was definitely too many people.” He kept his tone even. It was odd. Now that he was here, that hunger he always felt was tempered by her fear. He’d thought he would take anything offered to him, but he couldn’t having met her. If the blonde had offered herself up, he would have turned her down. Over the two hours they’d sat in the booth, eating fried food and drinking beer, he’d figured something out. Some people were more special than others. River was special. He should be more cynical. He could hear Damon Knight telling him to be cautious, but he couldn’t make himself do it. Perhaps it was the fact that he didn’t have a long well of history to draw from and to teach him that this was likely a mistake.
It didn’t feel like a mistake.
“Wow. I’ve never been farther than Kansas City.” She still wasn’t moving and her voice had taken on a tremulous tone.
His heart constricted, and it was surprisingly easy to not listen to his dick. His dick was pleading with him to get aggressive. His dick was trying to convince him that if he could get inside her, she would accept him.
Yeah, he wasn’t going to listen to his dick.
“If you’ve changed your mind, I can call my brother to pick me up. I have a phone and so does he. His number is programmed in. I don’t want to scare you. I had a good time talking to you tonight. It was one of the nicest nights I’ve had in a long time.” Ever. It was the best night ever. It was the first night he felt normal, though he wasn’t exactly sure what that word meant. Comfortable was a better one. That tight feeling in his chest had eased as he’d sat in the booth with River and Tucker and Heather.
Although he’d hated lying to her.
She finally turned, looking at him. Her eyes shone in the moonlight. “You mean that, don’t you?”
He wanted to touch her. He’d had to force his hands not to move toward her all night long. The most he’d allowed himself was to have their hips and shoulders touch as they’d sat next to each other. He’d decided it had been a good thing he’d sat next to her because he was fairly certain he had a case of Big Tag’s crazy eyes, and she would have seen them had he sat across from her.
“I do mean it. Please don’t get me wrong. I want you. I would like nothing more in the world than to take you into that cabin, lay you out, and make a feast of you. I want to kiss you and when I say that I don’t merely mean your lips. I want to put my mouth all over your body. But more than I want that, I want you to like me.” It was important somehow. He wouldn’t see her after tonight, but he couldn’t stand the idea that she was afraid of him.
Everyone was afraid of him. Everyone he knew was waiting for his powder keg to blow, but he’d sworn to himself earlier in the evening that it wouldn’t blow around her. He would protect her even if it was only for one night.
About The Author
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.
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