Book Review: Take Me Deeper (Texas Bounty: Book 1) by Jackie Ashenden

Before I start my review, I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept and NetGalley for allowing me to review Take Me Deeper by Jackie Ashenden.

*All opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone. I received Take Me Deeper from Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept through NetGalley as an ARC for my honest and unbiased review**

Now onto my review:

Take Me Deeper (Texas Bounty, #1)

Title: Take Me Deeper

Author: Jackie Ashenden

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: October 4th 2016

Number of pages: 240

Part of a series? Yes

What series: Texas Bounty

Take Me Deeper – Book 1

Make It Hurt – Book 2 (Expected date of publication is December 6th 2016)

Where you can find Take Me Deeper: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Even as a Green Beret, Zane Redmond hasn’t faced a tougher mission than going home again. Loyalty to his brothers is the only reason he’s back in Texas, not that he intends to stay for long. Zane sure as hell isn’t going into the family business. One last bounty and he’s done—or so he thinks. Nobody warned him that his fugitive happens to be a red-hot brunette with a smart mouth, a body made for sin, and a brutal cartel on her trail.

Bad circumstances and worse choices have left Iris Callahan in a desperate situation. After getting arrested for a drug drop gone wrong, she skipped bail and hit the road to avoid testifying. Now the cartel wants Iris silenced forever, and she’s just lucky that Zane catches her before they do. Handcuffed to a bed, she surrenders to the cool-as-ice bounty hunter in order to survive. But as the chase heats up, Zane sneaks past her emotional defenses—and Iris is in too deep to let him go.

My review:

Ever read a book that starts off with so good that you think “Holy crap, this book is going to be good” and then it just nose-dived into bad book hell by the 4th chapter. And if you are like me, you HAVE to finish the book, not because you are reviewing it but because you are secretly hoping that the train wreck that this book has become will miraculously fix itself. Which it didn’t.

Like I said above, the book started off good enough, Zane is home from Carolina (I am going to assume North because Quinn kept referring to Fort Bragg) to attend the funeral of his father, a bounty hunter. A Green Beret, he was in town for an in and out visit until his brother, Quinn, asked if he could go pick up a fugitive as a “one last time” type of deal. The tension between the brothers (Quinn, Rush and Zane) definitely came off the pages but it wasn’t fully explained until almost the end of the book. All we get until then is that a girl named Charlie got killed and that somehow, Zane and his brothers were involved and that Zane had a whole lot of unresolved guilt over it. Which definitely explains what happens with Iris.

Iris is the fugitive that Zane is going to pick up. I couldn’t STAND her. She came across as an immature little twat (pardon my French). Instead of manning up to what she did (getting caught running drugs), she skips bail and then cries that her sister’s in foster care…forgetting that her actions put her there. Not only that, she lies to her sister’s caseworker about what is going on. At this point, I was going to myself “It can get better, right?”

Umm, yeah, if you say so.

Zane catches up to her the same item a hitman from the cartel does and saves her from being killed. During the truck ride to the converted hotel where his brothers run the business out of, he decides that she is innocent and has just made a bad mistake and hey, let’s see if we can save her. She, only the other hand, offers him a blow job that will blow his mind if he lets her go. We find out later in the book that Iris is used to using swapping sex for favors (it was very casually mentioned in an internal monologue) and blames it on her trailer park upbringing. Here she goes again with blaming everyone but herself.

Not going to get into the rest of the book because from there one, it became a clusterfuck. The only ones who seemed to have any sense were Rush and Duchess but no one listened to them. Zane became emotionally vulnerable to Iris….which totally goes against how his character was written.

The sex scenes between Iris and Zane were hot but made me uncomfortable. He used sex to get her to tell him about her ex-boyfriend (and the got pissed when she muttered his name after they were done banging) and her mother. Seriously???? Then there were the BDSM elements. It wouldn’t have been too bad BUT it came out of left field. All of a sudden, we are supposed to believe that Zane liked rough sex.

Luckily Instalove wasn’t invoked here and neither was the “let’s not use protection because we are both adults and take each other’s word that we are clean”. Thank God.

The ending of the book kinda made me shake my head and go “WTF”. Saying nothing more about that.

How many stars will I give Take Me Deeper? 1

Why? Plain and simple, this book was awful. The sex was uncomfortable, the main female character was very unlikable and the storyline was awful. I was very disappointed in this book.

Will I read it again? Absolutely not

Will I recommend to family and friends? No

Age Range: Adult

Why? Lots of sex scenes, violence, and references to drug running and drug cartels.