September 7, 2015

Review - Best Laid Plans by Stylo Fantome





Synopsis
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 




Excerpts (please choose ONE to include with your post)
ONE:
She came back around to his front and watched him as he loaded up the rest of his gear. Thigh holsters, shoulder holster, ankle holster; pretty much anywhere he could hang a gun, there was a holster. When he glanced at her, she had her eyebrows raised in surprise.
“What?” he looked himself over, looking to see if he'd missed anything.
“That's a lot of gear,” she commented.
“Can never be too careful. I don't feel like dying tonight.”
“Why are you getting ready here, anyway? Don't you have a home?” she pointed out. He snorted.
“Sweetheart, the job starts here and ends here. I don't want anyone following me back to my place – not even these fuckers. I don't let anyone see where I sleep,” Marc stressed. She pouted her lips.
“Pity.”
“Why?”
She stepped up close to him, standing on her tiptoes so her mouth was near his ear.
“Because I'd love to see where you sleep.”



Q&A with Stylo

1.     This is very different from your previous work – what was your inspiration behind BLP and what kind of research went into writing this book?

I love love LOVE action movies. I wanted something kind of gritty and raw, but I didn't want it to be something that's been done, I didn't want drugs or hitmen. So I went with diamond heist and mercenaries. I wanted Marc to sort of have that John McClane "Die Hard" feel, very "IDGAF and I'll say whatever I want, no matter how un-PC", and I wanted Lily to be beyond badass, almost an anti-hero in her own right.
SO MUCH research went into the book, I had no idea what I was getting into - I just started writing, and then I got to the scene where Marc was in the shower, towards the beginning, and after I wrote it I sort of had a "wait a minute ..." moment and realized there was a distinct possibility they wouldn't have running water. So I started researching Liberia. My mind was blown. So many things in the story changed after that point. I constantly had Google open in one window and Google Maps opened in another window. Virtually every place they go in the book is a real place. For example: when a hotel is described, it is based on a real hotel I found on Trip Advisor and then cross referenced on Google Earth. EVERYTHING was like that. Half of my brain lived in Africa for two months.
2.     A list of 5 reasons why fans/new readers should pick up this book

1. It's different and it pushes boundaries, which I think everyone could do with a bit of, now and then

2. They might learn something they never knew about a different country, and learning is good

3. It's a departure from my other works, but still has the erotica base that is my preferred genre (a.k.a. lots of steaminess haha)

4. It literally takes you on a journey

5. The summer is almost over - can't end it without one last blockbuster big action flick!

3.     What are you working on next? Can you give us a teaser/hint to book 2 in this series?
Book two is already written, it just needs to go through rewrites and edits and then it's beta time! Next, I'm caught between two stories that I really want to work on - one dark, kind of going back to my Kane Trilogy roots. Weird love and crazy sex and uncomfortable emotions. The other is more romantic. Still angsty, more of the love-hate, will-they-won't-they vibe. I don't want to give anything away - it'll be in a popular subgenre, but with a distinct twist, as I like to try to do with all my stories. Which will come next, I'm not sure, depends on which will speak to me the most. I hope to have something publish ready by March 2016.

Out of Plans teaser:
“You once said you would help me. Well, I need help,” Lily said.
“Of course, love. At your service,” Kingsley bowed his head.
“I want to learn everything. I want to be just as good as you. Just as good as him,” she added.
“Making you better than him will be easy, darling, but better than me? That's impossible,” he teased. She rolled her eyes.
“And no flirting. Flirting is what got me into trouble in Africa. No flirting. No relationship. No sex,” she stressed. “Deal?”
“What deal? Sounds like you're offering nothing in return,” he laughed, shaking her hand.
“Exactly. Sounds like a hell of a deal to me.”
“Dear god, you've already picked up on De Sant's awful sense of humor. We have so much un-training to do,” Kingsley sighed.
“Whatever it takes. You train me, and I'll help you in any way you want, with anything,” she offered.
“Mmmm, any way I want, huh,” his voice dropped low while his eyes wandered over her body.
“Look here, Law, I meant what I said – you touch me inappropriately even once, and I'll break your hand in ways it can't be fixed,” she warned him. He smiled and leaned close again.
“Ooohhh, I love it when you talk rough,” he hissed, sliding his bottom lip between his teeth.
“You won't love it so much when I back it up with action. Now let's get out of here.”


Playlist
About the Author
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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Buy Links
On Amazon Exclusively - also available in Kindle Unlimited program for free. $0.99 release price will be good through Sept. 8th - then it goes up to $2.99.

US:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013KWCNL8

UK:
CA:

AUS:

Giveaway
The author is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card and 2 ARC copies of Out of Plans (when the ARCs are available and ready)


My 5 Star Review

Best Laid Plans is intense and will have you immediately engaged. I want to say this is different from Stylo’s usual writing style, but all her stories are unique and raw so in that regard it’s not new. That being said it is different in that it’s more suspenseful and I think the love story is more in the background.
"See what happens when you play with fire, Lily? I burn down your goddamn house of lies." 


Marc and Lily are both in Africa working the same job, but in different capacities. The job: steal blood diamonds, Marc is the thief and Lily is the transporter. They have been working around each other for months, but on the last day when the diamonds have been stolen and they are waiting to be transported they hook up. Their relationship is completely casual and they never expect to see each other again.



Then Marc is framed with stealing the diamonds and he believes Lily was in on the plan, so he develops a new plan. He decides to go after Lily and seek his revenge. Lily is completely unaware of what is going on and has just started her plan to transport the diamonds.

Lily and Marc’s journey together isn’t easy. When they are not literally fighting with each other, they are trying to save their lives. So when I say this story is action packed I am not kidding. The story is fun, sexy, suspenseful and has tons of built in angst. I loved every minute of Marc and Lily’s story and once things started I couldn’t stop.



I love Stylo’s writing style and how her stories are raw and edgy. Stylo built this entirely different world than I know and I can’t wait to dive back in and see what happens next. Despite the love story being in the background it was still some of my favorite parts. I loved Lily and Marc’s connection. I love how they weren’t supposed to be together and are from two different worlds, but they just work together. Marc’s sacrifices and desires to keep her safe had me smiling and totally in love with them.

These characters are mean and damaged, but after getting to know them, seeing their secrets and motivations, I am completely attached. I am dying to know what happens next for them. I can't imagine how things will play out in the sequel, but you can bet I will be lined up to read it. 




ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review. 

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