Former operative, Grant Kendal, has exiled himself to an abandoned island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. His final assignment? Exorcise the lethal killer he’s become and start over, far away from the world he’s come to despise.
When Thalia Brezlin washes ashore stabbed, clinging to life and in a world of trouble, he realizes he hasn’t run far enough. His first instinct is to sew her up and send her on her way. Whoever she is, her problems are just that; hers. Playing knight in shining armor isn’t exactly second nature to the dark assassin still lurking inside. One look into her fierce, silver eyes and everything changes.
Their explosive chemistry pushes the limits of Grant’s control beyond all common sense. He will stop at nothing to keep her in his arms and out of the clutches of those who are hunting her. When he discovers her true identity, he suddenly finds himself on a new mission. To protect her life at all cost…even if it means losing his own.
WARNING: Second Nature is a contemporary erotic suspense and contains explicit sexual content, adult language and graphic violence. Recommended for the adult reader only. While Grant’s story can certainly be enjoyed on its own, the author recommends becoming better acquainted with him and his journey by experiencing his debut in Second Chances (When Seconds Count, #1)
****4.5 Explosive, Nail-Biting, Passionate, Emotional, Amazing, Brilliant and Swoon Worthy Grantlicious Stars!!!!
Human trafficking is the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or for the extraction of organs or tissues, including surrogacy and ova removal. Trafficking is a lucrative industry, representing an estimated $32 billion per year in international trade, compared to the estimated annual $650 billion for all illegal international trade circa 2010.
Even though the author said it’s not necessary to read the first book Second Chances from this series When Seconds Count, I strongly encourage you to do so. You will not regret it. Besides getting better acquainted with the characters in this book that first appeared in Second Chances, you are getting a hell lot more than that, I PROMISE. Tell you what, I’ll do a little recap here before I move onto my review.
The McLendon brothers lost their wife Sarah during the birth of their twin sons. Six years later, they are still merely existing, focused on running the ranch and raising their twin sons. Yes, you read it correctly, their wife. See, that’s why you need to read this book. It gets better. Never thought they would find anyone to replace the void in their hearts until Claira stumbled into their lives. One woman, Three brothers, all falling in love with her, is this possible? How can this work? On top of that, Claira was under witness protection trying to move on from her ugly past in a new town. So this is where Daniel and Grant which are the main characters in Second Nature gets involve in this book. This is a roller coaster ride you really don’t want to miss out on. Oh, I almost forgot, the sex scene in this book is fucking amazing. I think that’s enough to entice you to read, right?
Now, let’s move on to my review for Second Nature.
Holy Christ!!! Where to begin? This book really surprised me. Honestly, at the beginning, the book really didn’t capture my interest at all. As I read further, OH-MY-FUCKING-GAWD!! I LOVED IT!
Human trafficking is the base of the story. It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves. They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.
The book begin with a preface on the insight of how Thalia Brezlin was abducted when she was a teenager. Fast forward 10 years, Thalia once a regular American teenager turned into a feisty, kick ass, resilient, intelligent and hardcore woman that knows no fear. She was hell bent on seeking revenge for the one person she loves dearly that was murdered in cold blood and no one is going to stop her. Ok, maybe one individual has the ability to do so.
Grant Kendel was disgusted at what he had become from years of being an assassin. After his last assignment, he decided it’s time to retire and hibernate on his island with a monkey he named Winston. Life was all calm and dandy until an injured woman name Thalia washed up onto his sandy beach. Let’s say from this point on, Grant’s life will never be the same again.
Grant doesn’t do niceties. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself. But something about Thalia changed that. He wants to help her. He took care of her while she was unconscious and when she woke. He tried doing nice things, nice was an unfamiliar territory for him. But his effort was being chewed on and spit back out. To Thalia, from past experience, people only do nice things for her because they want something from her. I love the back and forth bickering and sarcastic comments between Grant and Thalia. No doubt the sexual tension was electrifying as well.
She was the most stubborn, suspicious, obstinate, guarded, powerfully compelling, beautifully resilient piece of work he’d ever seen.
Gone was the dominant, controlling killer who took command of her mind and body to fulfill a mutual sexual need. In his place was a caring, tender lover who was intent of reaching her heart.
As the plot deepens, everything starts to make sense. Can two troubled souls find peace and love? Will justice be served to those who committed some of the most despicable crimes? Will Daniel ever find her daughter Natalie?
There is so much to this story that one must really sit down and read it. The plot is absolutely mind blowing. So many twists and turns. The constant drama and action is one tangled web of lies and betrayal. There were scenes of torture, lethal explosions and death that pulled at my heartstring plentiful times. At times I wanted to scream out loud and it practically drove me bananas. This book definitely do not lack excitement. I promise you that you will not regret reading it. Come take the plunge and brave this explosive and nail biting roller coaster ride with Grant and Thalia. **Lady H
Case Example: Human Trafficking at Its Worst
Notorious Sex Trafficker Terrence ‘T-Rex’ Yarbrough Faces up to Life in Prison Following Sex Trafficking Conviction in Tennessee
December 05, 2012
WASHINGTON ~ Terrence Yarbrough, a/k/a, “T-Rex,” 37, of Memphis, Tennessee, was convicted today in federal court on 10 counts of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, the Justice Department announced today.
“This verdict sends a clear message that human trafficking will not be tolerated in the United States,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The defendant brutally exploited vulnerable young women and girls and deprived them of their rights and dignity so he could profit by selling their bodies. Securing justice on behalf of the victims of modern-day slavery is one of the highest priorities of the Civil Rights Division.”
“The brutal and depraved acts that this individual inflicted upon these women are almost impossible to fathom,” said Edward L. Stanton, III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. “The conviction of Yarbrough reiterates this office’s firm commitment to bring sex traffickers to justice. Our office’s dedicated civil rights unit will continue to prosecute these cases in order to protect the vulnerable and innocent victims of such crimes.”
At the trial, victims recounted a series of violent acts perpetrated by Yarbrough to coerce them into prostituting for him, including beatings with belts, wooden coat hangers, crowbars, padlocks, and dog chains. They also testified to being thrown down stairs, having their heads smashed in car doors, having their legs burned with irons, and being scalded with boiling water.
Yarbrough faces a minimum of 15 years in prison with no parole and could be sentenced to up to life in prison. U.S. District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson will sentence Yarbrough on April 18, 2013.
“Sex traffickers can be violent abusers or simply subtle manipulators who prey upon those whose circumstances of life make them vulnerable and cruelly exploit their victims for profit,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The FBI is committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable human traffickers for their crimes and get help for the victims in these heartbreaking cases.”
Evidence presented at trial included the testimony of 10 victims identified in the indictment, as well as several eyewitnesses and others. Numerous witnesses testified that Yarbrough repeatedly enticed vulnerable women as young as 15 years old into prostitution with false promises of love, family, and prosperity. Any time a victim refused to engage in prostitution, he resorted to threats, intimidation, and violence. The jury heard testimony that Yarbrough’s pattern of recruitment, exploitation, and violent coercion continued for years before his 2009 arrest in St. Louis.
“The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at USDA is committed to the investigation and prosecution of individuals and retailers who defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as the food stamp program. Protecting the integrity of the SNAP is a major investigative priority for OIG. OIG agents helped determine that Terrence Yarborough committed Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) fraud by submitting false information to apply for SNAP benefits and using the benefits to fund his prostitution operation. The Tennessee Department of Human Service-Investigations Division, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office did an excellent job in this joint investigation. We look forward to working with them on future endeavors,” stated Karen Citizen-Wilcox, Special Agent in Charge of the Southeast Region.
One of the victims testified that Yarbrough forced her to engage in prostitution the entire time she was pregnant with his child. He frequently beat her on the stomach when she did not want to comply with his demands. He had her working as a prostitute in Tunica in her eighth month of pregnancy when he induced her labor through a severe beating. Yarbrough drove her back to Memphis and dropped her off at a hospital. The day after she left the hospital following childbirth, Yarbrough forced her to resume prostituting. Sometime later, Yarbrough smashed her on the head with a lamp and kicked out her front teeth when she tried to stop prostituting for him.
Another victim testified that Yarbrough lured her into prostitution by promising to reunite her with their children and then beat her severely when she insisted on seeing them and refused to continue working. Yarbrough punched her in the face so hard he broke three of her teeth. On another occasion, he beat her knees with a metal pipe and caused injuries which continue to affect her. She also testified that Yarbrough threatened to prostitute their 9-year-old daughter.
The jury heard testimony that one exhausted victim slept through a phone call from a client after serving prostitution clients for days on end with almost no sleep. When Yarbrough found out she missed the call, he smashed her head into a car door, dragged her by the hair to his hotel room, and beat her with his belt. Jurors also saw a letter addressed to that victim and signed by Terrence Yarbrough stating that he was proud of how she did not scream while he beat her with the belt.
Witnesses further testified that Yarbrough bragged about his beatings of some victims to other victims to let them know what would happen to them if they disobeyed him. Jurors also saw the “T-Rex” logos Yarbrough tattooed on four separate victims and heard that he claimed that they had been “branded” as his property. Testimony and jail recordings showed that Yarbrough confiscated his victims’ identification documents as well as all their money to make it difficult for them to escape.
Jurors also heard testimony that Yarbrough conspired with his mother, Norma Yarbrough Webb, 65, and Michelle Johnson, 40, to fraudulently obtain food stamp benefits while Yarbrough was incarcerated. Johnson and Webb previously pled guilty to related charges.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the St. Louis Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Skrmetti and Trial Attorney Benjamin J. Hawk of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit prosecuted the case.