Review, Excerpt + Giveaway: Best Laid Plans by Stylo Fantome

Posted September 11, 2015 by Bethany in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review, Excerpt + Giveaway: Best Laid Plans by Stylo Fantome

Best Laid Plans (The Mercenaries, #1) Review, Excerpt + Giveaway: Best Laid Plans by Stylo Fantomeby Stylo Fantome
on September 7th 2015
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Series: The Mercenaries #1
Source: ARC via author
Pages: 322

THE PLAN:
* Smuggle diamonds from Liberia to Morocco * Make the trip in three days * Don't get caught * Don't kill each other * Don't have sex with each other * Don't fall for each other * Stick to the plan
This is the story of what happens when an unlikely bond is formed between enemies, causing tensions to rise, and igniting a chemistry that threatens to burn them both. Together, they'll learn that sometimes even the best laid plans can fail.
If this NOVEL were a MOVIE, it would have an R rating from the MPAA. Contains: Violence, Grisly Images, Strong Language, Nudity, and Graphic Sexual Content

best laid plans

Excerpt

Is my left hand good enough? I should’ve trained more with it. Maybe I can get it to my right hand quick enough. Fuck. How quick is he? Fuck! Did he see me moving!?

“You back stabbing thief,” she hissed. She slid her left hand even closer to the side of the trunk.

“Keep ’em coming, sweetheart, I’ve got fifteen bullets here that are just itching to have a purpose in life. Maybe I’ll start by putting one in your right foot, then move up to your left knee. Maybe when I get to your -”

Now!

In almost one fluid motion, she reached her hand underneath a flap of material that was hiding a pistol, while at the same time twisting her body and driving her elbow straight up. She caught him in the side of the face with a sharp crack. His hand moved off of her head and she rolled around, whipping her gun into her right hand as she snapped upright. He came around at the same time, shoving his arm straight out and pointing his gun into her face. Her own firearm was pointed right at his throat.

Shit, now what.

They glared at each other for a moment.

“You have two seconds to walk away from this situation,” she breathed, stepping back from the bumper, not lowering her gun. Marc kept his barrel trained on her forehead as he matched her step for step.

“Not gonna happen, princess. Maybe you should walk away, you’re in over your head,” he cautioned her, his tone snide. She smirked at him and kept moving, trying to put some distance between them and the car.

“Really? This ‘princess‘ just outsmarted you, twice, in less than five minutes. I think you’re in over your head, so back the fuck off,” she growled through clenched teeth.

“Kitty has claws, I like it. But can she pull the trigger?” his tone was questioning as he cocked his head to the side.

That enraged her almost more than anything. More than his deceit. More than his treachery. More than his violence. The disrespect. He’d always treated her as an equal before – now he looked at her and spoke to her like she was a cockroach.

“Try me,” Lily snapped back.

He stared at her for a second longer, then did just that – he let his gun lower and he strode forward, pushing past her as he made his way back towards the vehicle. She was stunned.

“I’m taking this car!” he called out. She whirled around, keeping her gun raised.

“No, you’re not! Stop right there!” she demanded. He held up his middle finger.

“Go ahead and sto-”

Lily fired a shot, right over his head. He froze in place mid-stride, then turned his head to the side so he could see her.

“I’m warning you,” she cautioned him. He chuckled, but still didn’t move.

“You don’t have the balls to shoot me.”

She lowered her gun a couple inches and fired again, directly between his legs. The bullet pinged into the sand at the edge of the road, right in front of him. When she sighted back on his head, he looked decidedly less confident.

“In two minutes, you won’t have balls, either.”

Lily didn’t want to shoot him, she really didn’t. She’d never killed anyone before, and didn’t want to start with Marc. She was saving that damnable act for someone very specific. She didn’t want to condemn her soul to hell for some piece of shit traitor. Some liar. Some con man.

“Look,” his voice was low, his teeth clenched. “I need what’s in that trunk. Whatever deal you have with Ivanov, I can make you a better one.”

“And if I let you take that car, I’m dead. Not winning me over,” she replied.

“No, you can just disappear. Drive off into the sunset, find the nearest plane to take you back to L.A., or wherever you’re from. Somewhere safe,” he suggested.

“Not from L.A., and you have one more minute before I blow your nuts off.”

“How did a sweet thing like you get caught up with Ivanov?”

“’Sweet thing‘ just threatened to shoot you in the testicles. Thirty seconds.”

“Okay! Okay, just take it easy. Maybe we can work out a deal. I’ll split them with you, half and half. Just take them out and we’ll divide them up.”

“Do you really think I’m stupid enough to fall for that?”

“Was worth a shot.”

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six …,” Lily began counting down.

Is my left hand good enough? I should’ve trained more with it. Maybe I can get it to my right hand quick enough. Fuck. How quick is he? Fuck! Did he see me moving!?

“You back stabbing thief,” she hissed. She slid her left hand even closer to the side of the trunk.

“Keep ’em coming, sweetheart, I’ve got fifteen bullets here that are just itching to have a purpose in life. Maybe I’ll start by putting one in your right foot, then move up to your left knee. Maybe when I get to your -”

Now!

In almost one fluid motion, she reached her hand underneath a flap of material that was hiding a pistol, while at the same time twisting her body and driving her elbow straight up. She caught him in the side of the face with a sharp crack. His hand moved off of her head and she rolled around, whipping her gun into her right hand as she snapped upright. He came around at the same time, shoving his arm straight out and pointing his gun into her face. Her own firearm was pointed right at his throat.

Shit, now what.

They glared at each other for a moment.

“You have two seconds to walk away from this situation,” she breathed, stepping back from the bumper, not lowering her gun. Marc kept his barrel trained on her forehead as he matched her step for step.

“Not gonna happen, princess. Maybe you should walk away, you’re in over your head,” he cautioned her, his tone snide. She smirked at him and kept moving, trying to put some distance between them and the car.

“Really? This ‘princess‘ just outsmarted you, twice, in less than five minutes. I think you’re in over your head, so back the fuck off,” she growled through clenched teeth.

“Kitty has claws, I like it. But can she pull the trigger?” his tone was questioning as he cocked his head to the side.

That enraged her almost more than anything. More than his deceit. More than his treachery. More than his violence. The disrespect. He’d always treated her as an equal before – now he looked at her and spoke to her like she was a cockroach.

“Try me,” Lily snapped back.

He stared at her for a second longer, then did just that – he let his gun lower and he strode forward, pushing past her as he made his way back towards the vehicle. She was stunned.

“I’m taking this car!” he called out. She whirled around, keeping her gun raised.

“No, you’re not! Stop right there!” she demanded. He held up his middle finger.

“Go ahead and sto-”

Lily fired a shot, right over his head. He froze in place mid-stride, then turned his head to the side so he could see her.

“I’m warning you,” she cautioned him. He chuckled, but still didn’t move.

“You don’t have the balls to shoot me.”

She lowered her gun a couple inches and fired again, directly between his legs. The bullet pinged into the sand at the edge of the road, right in front of him. When she sighted back on his head, he looked decidedly less confident.

“In two minutes, you won’t have balls, either.”

Lily didn’t want to shoot him, she really didn’t. She’d never killed anyone before, and didn’t want to start with Marc. She was saving that damnable act for someone very specific. She didn’t want to condemn her soul to hell for some piece of shit traitor. Some liar. Some con man.

“Look,” his voice was low, his teeth clenched. “I need what’s in that trunk. Whatever deal you have with Ivanov, I can make you a better one.”

“And if I let you take that car, I’m dead. Not winning me over,” she replied.

“No, you can just disappear. Drive off into the sunset, find the nearest plane to take you back to L.A., or wherever you’re from. Somewhere safe,” he suggested.

“Not from L.A., and you have one more minute before I blow your nuts off.”

“How did a sweet thing like you get caught up with Ivanov?”

“’Sweet thing‘ just threatened to shoot you in the testicles. Thirty seconds.”

“Okay! Okay, just take it easy. Maybe we can work out a deal. I’ll split them with you, half and half. Just take them out and we’ll divide them up.”

“Do you really think I’m stupid enough to fall for that?”

“Was worth a shot.”

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six …,” Lily began counting down.

Review

Stylo Fantome was a new-to-me author I discovered this summer. I bought her previous release, My Time in the Affair, on a whim because it was getting some buzz by friends and taboo books always seem to capture my attention. That book was one of my summer favorites so I jumped all over Best Laid Plans.

This book has a highly unique exotic setting. That was one of the reasons I was drawn to this book. Africa is a continent that has always intrigued me. The main characters have a love/hate relationship that has them fighting one minute and has their hands all over each other the next while they travel their way on a cross-country road trip through Africa. It is not fun and giggles. This is a brutal part of the world. They’re many criminals, gangs, blood diamond traders, and it’s every man/woman for themselves.

I enjoyed the fast-paced plot and all the action this story brought to the table. I have read many suspense romance novels and the plot of Best Laid Plans was different from the others. It was obvious the author dedicated a great amount of time in researching the setting and the political climate of the area.

I loved, loved, loved how the author brought the places in the story to life. The African landscape was a character all of its own in the book. It was actually my favorite part of the book. The only issue I had was I did not 100% connect with Lily and Marc. I’m not sure why, I just didn’t. I never completely cared about them, and that is the most important part of reading to me. Overall, I did enjoy Best Laid Plans, and I do recommend it to suspense romance readers and anyone who wants to escape into another part of the world where diamonds and violence are the currency of life and death.

Stylo Fantome’s BEST LAID PLANS Release Week Event Giveaway

About Stylo Fantome

Crazy woman living in an undisclosed location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since …, forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I’m clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there’s your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can’t understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.

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