EXCLUSIVE FEATURE: Prince of Blood and Steel by Nazarea Andrews, A.J. Elmore

Prince of Blood and Steel by Nazarea Andrews, AJ. Elmore
Series: The Morgan Syndicate #1
Publisher: A&A Literary
Publication Date: January 27, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense


Seth Morgan has returned home after two years spent building an alliance that will take his family’s crime syndicate to a new level in New York City’s black collar society. He expects a warm welcome as heir of the Morgan empire. He hopes to finally marry Nicolette, the woman he’s loved his whole life.

What he finds is a different world, one where his family’s legacy is in ruins. His big brother, Caleb, has changed into someone cold and bitter, plotting to overthrow their patriarch. And Nicolette, daughter of the criminal banking industry, has left the family entirely.

When a vicious misunderstanding leaves Caleb dead, Seth is left reeling. Desperate for truth, Seth is forced to turn to his only remaining cousin, Emma, for support. As he tries to mend his relationship with Nicolette, he begins a search for answers that will take him from the dirty streets to the highest reaches of their illicit empire.

Torn between the desire to protect those who mean the most to him, and a need to learn more about Caleb’s death, he grows distant to protect them. As each secret surfaces, he realizes that the only way to restore his family is to take his place at its head, and fully embrace the brutal way they live.

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A Gripping and Enthralling Read

Don’t get fooled by the 6-pack on the cover. This was not your ordinary romance story with alpha males. This was a dark edgy read of love and betrayal, set at the stage of the New York crime-infested underworld. The plot was solid with ingenious twists and turns, and full of vibrant characters. There was never a dull moment. Usually story needs time to build momentum and time for us to learn the characters, but not this one. We got plunged into story right away. Right from the start, we witnessed a twist. It was so unexpected that I felt blindsided by it somewhat.

The character development was amazing. We have unsuspecting demure little princess that eventually hardened and grew to become a critical part of the story. We have seemingly spoiled prince that become a real leader and with wit that can outsmart everyone. We have dubious foreigner that become a trusting ally. And, the list goes on….

The writing was superb. Some people said it was too descriptive, but I absolutely loved it! The authors have a talent to put the intangible into tangible. The atmosphere, the tone, and the scenes were all very cinematic. It was very much like watching “Internal Affairs”. Ok, maybe not as complex as that but that’s what this reminded me of. Here are a few scenes that I liked best, note the palpable tension:

Joint rage rises and refracts like sunlight through rain, ticking ever higher as each beat of silence marches after his words…

But the room has felt the shift. Influential family members, key players, watch Emma as if they have never seen her…

And, here for the internal turmoil of one of the characters:

Her muscles are rigid, and her anger is a molten torrent in her veins. Tears fight against her to rise, a flash flood of emotion for which she is unprepared. Now, she is shaking. Her fingers inch around the grip of one of her pistols…

I felt like quoting the action scenes too but then that would be quoting too much. You would just have to take my word for it. It was really THAT good!

The only reason I’m knocking a star off was because it really was just a start of a sequel, the tip of the iceberg, with the promise of a very enticing story yet to come. Don’t let that deter you from reading this though, because it did not end on a cliffhanger. AMEN to that!

ARC provided by Inkslinger PR

~*~*~*~ THE RESEARCH ~*~*~*~

Q: This book is unlike many other Mafia books that I’ve read. I can even go so far as to say that it seems the most realistic to me. So, I wonder how was the research done for the book.

A: Research is not my favorite thing in the world. It’s actually pretty low. So when it came time to build a Mafia family, research was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do.

The problem with research is that you have to plan and Aj and I? Pretty much the opposite of planners.

So a few highlights from our research, and how that translated to our story.

  • Mafia families tend to have a mark that denotes rank in the family. We loved that (not surprising since we both love tattoos). Some families pack ash into cuts to create a scar that is expanded every year they serve.
  • Thailand is crazy. Just. Crazy. But I sorta love the culture. Also, sex trafficking is huge there.
  • Wealthy elite. We wanted Seth and Emma to be royalty–darlings of the tabloids. Celebrities, even if they are incredibly dangerous. So. I watched a lot of Gossip Girl and a lot of Scarface. It worked for me.

And now we’re researching for book two and you guys. We’re in for a wild ride. 🙂

Author Bio


AJ and Nazarea became friends in a writers group. Drawn together by a love of fictional bad boys and good wine, they are best kept several states apart but rack up a ton of emails and text messages arguing plot points.

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

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AJ has seven tattoos, two dogs, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She enjoys live music, and a diverse range of writing styles and genres. She has been writing creatively and therapeutically since childhood. She also supports artist collaboration and cross-media projects. She is an advocate of experience as inspiration. She lives and works in southern West Virginia as a bartender novelist.

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