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BOOK REVIEW: Best Laid Plans (The Mercenaries, #1) by Stylo Fantome

Title: Best Laid Plans
Series: (The Mercenaries, #1) 
Author: Stylo Fantome
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5-Stars
Cliffhanger: Yesssssss!!!
HEA: *growls* No!  
Review on Goodreads: HERE


* 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 is the first book in Stylo Fantome's newest series, The Mercenaries. By cracking open this book, you're smuggled into wicked North African continent—where mercenary Marcelle De Sant has successfully finished his most recent job of stealing millions of dollars worth in diamonds, where transporter Liliana Brewster is ready and waiting to take those precious stones out of Liberia to Morocco.

Only sometimes, even the best laid plans can fail—and suddenly, Marc and Lily are at each others throats, sexual tension sizzling underneath blazing hostility and sparks of mistrust...

She remembered their night together, remembered the way he'd reacted to her. He certainly hadn't faked his hard on. He hadn't faked fucking her like he needed to do it to breathe. He liked her body, he liked her face. He liked how she moved. Maybe she could use that to her advantage. She stopped struggling against his hold, letting herself relax against his legs. She rubbed her shoulders back and forth against his lap.

“Look. I'm sure we could work something out. I can make it really worth your while, if you just walk away,” she told him. She tried to keep her voice soft, tried not to glare.

“Really?” he questioned her, his eyebrows raising in surprise.

“We had fun, Marc. Why not have some more fun?”
But since the only way to get out of Africa alive is to fight alongside each other, they're forced into an alliance. All the while, chapter after chapter, Marc and Lily are counting down—to the number of days they have to stay alive, to the number of hours they have left together.
"You'll come back for me," she whispered. 

"I never want to be away from you," he whispered, dropping to his knees in front of her. "But I have to do this." 
Because as Marc and Lily's adventure explodes, there feelings for each other flame into something more than just raw, uninhibited sex. In between all the action and suspense, there is a heartfelt romance between a ruthless, seemingly-uncaring mercenary and a sexy, firecracker of a redhead who is definitely not afraid to punch back.

While their relationship was unconventional from there very first bang-and-boom, I could feel their passion for one another—and wished and hoped and chanted for their happily ever after.
"Always careful, sweetheart. Take it easy out there. Africa isn't kind," he warned her. 

She turned away from him. "Neither am I." 
Lily's badass nature was something to aspire to (she was no wilting flower) but it was Marc that truly captured my heart.

I ached for him, this big, bad mercenary who had never known love or true life—besides the next fuck or kill. And witnessing his growing need for Lily, made me ache for him. I wanted more of his hidden, whispered touches, quiet, murmured words to her, for her, about her.

I wanted their fucking happily ever after, damnit. And I wanted it now.

But throughout the book, the tumultuous journey Stylo Fantome wrote kept me at the edge of my seat, clutching my kindle and holding onto hope until the


And then I wanted to scream and cry and laugh and just...

...smuggle the next book onto kindle, that's what!

Seriously, though. Best Laid Plans has a little of everything: Blood. Pretty, shiny gems. Fists. Fights. Suspense. A possessive, unpredictable Hero. Hilarious banter. Explosives. Rough play. Sharp knives. Hair-pulling and throat-choking. Dirty guns. Gangs. War. A feisty and fierce heroine. Naughty mouths. Raw, rough-and-tumble fucks. And even some beautifully broken, treacherous-as-their-journey-across-Africa, love. 
His teeth kept moving, clamping down on her bottom lip hard enough to hurt. She cried out and pulled away from him, but he moved his hand to her neck, holding her in place. As his fingers pressed down around her windpipe, she raised her knees up, rubbing her thighs together. 

"Ready to play rough, Princess?" he breathed against her lips. 

She smiled up at him. "I thought you'd never ask." 
On a side note, I also fell deeeeeeeeeeeply in love with a secondary character—Kingsly, who is as close of a friend to Marc as honorable, money-grabbing mercenaries have in their lives. Not afraid to shoot at each other, they also have the others' back. 

And while "Marc was all rough sexiness, five o'clock shadow and gritted teeth, his presence filling a room like a bomb blast. Kingsley was smoothness personified, with gel in his hair, and a suit under all his black gear. He was well groomed and had stormy blue eyes and fair skin, a sharp jaw and broad shoulders, complimented by perfect pearly teeth and a perfect pearly smile. His presence was sharp, like a knife." 

Marc stole my heart with his rough-then-gentle care for Lily, but all it took was the word 'darling' rolling off Kingsly's British tongue and my panties—where were they? Oh, yeah: on the floor. He brought so much bromance and laughter into this book; it wouldn't have been the same without the naughty ol' chap, Kingsly. I hold out hope that perhaps—one day—he'll have his own story? (Hint, hint *wink wink*)

Overall, I'd say it would be nearly impossible to be bored when reading Best Laid Plans, as there's never a dull character or a dull moment—so I would most definitely recommend this book to those who're looking to read a romance that will keep your heart racing for all the right and wrong reasons.


PS: You can Pre-Order Best Laid Plans Amazon for $0.99. This special release price will only be good until Sept. 8th...and then the price goes up to $2.99!

PSS: I was given an ARC of this book from NetGalley. But I do solemnly swear that I am up to...good. ;) This is a fair and honest review of this book. Pinky promise.