Sunday, August 18, 2013


I am so excited to be participating in the Unlocked Release Event. This is the third and final novella in the series, so now that it's out, you can pick up all three and read them back-to-back. Today I have my review of Unlocked and the HUGE giveaway from author Maya Cross.

Series: The Alpha Group #3
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Maya Cross
Publication Date: 8/18/13
Format: eARC
Source: Received from author for review
Rating: 4 stars
The breathtaking conclusion to the USA Today best selling Alpha Group Series.

Who is Sebastian Lock?

The heart can lead you to dangerous places. Abandoned by the man she loves, with nothing more than sweet words and riddles for an explanation, Sophia Pearce felt like her life was crumbling before her eyes. And then they came for her. Now, things will never be the same.

Confronted with the truth about Sebastian’s identity, she’s thrust into a high stakes world beyond anything she could have imagined. A world that threatens much more than just her feelings. Sebastian’s enemies will stop at nothing to get what they want, and they want her.

The energy between them is as intense as ever, but as the danger mounts, and loyalties are tested, Sophia must answer one simple question. What is she willing to risk for love?

This book will be approximately 45,000 words, or about 160 printed pages. It contains erotic content and a dominant man who always gets what he wants in the bedroom. It is intended for readers aged 18 and over.

Oh boy, it's going to be really hard to review Unlocked without spoilers. The second novella, Lockout, ended with a serious cliffhanger, so I was very anxious to read Unlocked. Luckily for me, I was able to get to this one the very day I received it, and I quickly blew through this great finale.

What I can say about Unlocked is this: ANSWERS. Not only do we get answers, but they are great answers and thoroughly explain the happenings of the first two stories.  Locked was the story that introduced the series, and it left me with so many questions. Lockout provided some answers, but also, more questions. Unlocked answered every single question I had about the Alpha, Sebastian, and his past.

I've adored Sophia throughout the series. She's always remained strong and inquisitive, even when she submitted to Sebastian. Even when he shut her out and refused answers to her many questions about him and the organization to which he belongs. Sebastian was much harder to read. He was often demanding and evasive, and though he had a good reason, I'm not one to settle for lack of communication. In Unlocked, though, he truly proved his worth and I was finally convinced that he is the man for Sophia. He loves her with his whole heart and goes to the limits to prove it.

As a whole, the Alpha Group Series was pretty great. I loved that the author was able to fill each novella with enough tension and characterization to fill a full-length novel. To be able to do that takes a lot of talent. And now, with each of the stories out in the world, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place.

Favorite Quote:

  But now there was Sophia. If my attraction to Liv was the firm pull of a magnet, my attraction to Sophia was like gravity; unyielding and inescapable. Something about her just rendered me utterly powerless. From the moment I met her, I felt like I was trapped in a whirlpool, swimming in vain against the current as it gradually sucked me down. It scared me. It felt like only a matter of time before it drowned us both.  ~eARC, 18%

I hadn’t expected Sophia to sleep at all, not after what she’d been through. Trauma like that can ruin a person. But somehow she’d drifted off. I had no idea where she found the strength to be that tough. She never ceased to amaze me.

For a while I lay there trying to get some rest myself, but the events of the last two days had thrown my whole world into chaos. It was all happening again. The fact that I’d averted the worst didn’t make the situation any better. I was an asshole. I should never have let it get to this point, but I was weak, and it had nearly cost the woman I love her life. How the hell could I sleep knowing that?

To make matters worse, even now I was still incapable of staying away. She was as secure here as anywhere, but the moment she’d left my sight I began to feel agitated. I still hadn’t managed to shed the mindless terror that had seized me when I first heard she’d been taken. The urge to go to her, to simply hold her and never let go, had been almost overpowering.

I’d tried to distract myself. There was certainly no shortage of work to be done — most of my colleagues were holed up together in the board room, planning things until well into the night — but I was useless there. My mind only wanted to focus on one thing, and soon I found myself propped up against the wall outside her room, nursing several fingers of scotch in a heavy crystal tumbler. I didn’t know why, but just being close to her helped. I made myself vow not to enter. It had taken an immense level of control to cut her off the first time, and every moment in her presence stretched my willpower just a little more. I would keep her safe and solve all this, and then when it was all over, I’d let her go again. It was the only way.

But the moment I heard her sobbing through the door, all sense of self-control fled. Before I knew it, I was on my feet, and then in her bed. I expected her to fight, after all, I had to be the last person she wanted to see, but she didn’t. Instead she just burrowed into me without a word. I hated how perfect that felt, the way her body fit like a missing puzzle piece against mine. I still didn’t understand how such simple contact could make me so damn content, but it did.

And now she slept. I couldn’t help but run my eyes over her again. Truth be told, I’d barely been able to stop staring since the moment I entered the room. She looked so fucking beautiful lying there, her face utterly peaceful, her curves perfectly accentuated by the thin cotton sheet. She’d taken the T-shirt I left her, but not the pants, and now in the throws of sleep she’d managed to knock part of the cover free, exposing one delicate hip. It was a tiny thing, the barest hint of pale skin and black cloth, but the sight took my breath away nonetheless. I felt impossibly low ogling her after everything I’d put her through, but I was powerless to do anything else. Her body was like a drug, a burning rush through my system that was impossible to ignore. I knew how that hip would feel if only I’d reach out and touch it. I had every inch of her body charted in my head; so perfectly soft, so perfectly feminine.

Fuck. I had to pull myself together.

Ripping my gaze free, I eased my arm out from under her. I’d done what I came to do. She was resting. There was no reason for me to stay.

She stirred briefly, and I came within a hair’s breadth of pulling her back against me once more, but after a few moments she settled. Taking one last look, I moved quietly out into the corridor and resumed my watch. I’d be there if she needed me, but anything beyond that was too hard. There was no happy ending here, and letting myself think otherwise would only destroy me more.


The Alpha Group Series
Locked (The Alpha Group, #1)Lockout (The Alpha Group, #2)
(covers lead to GoodReads page)

My Reviews of Locked and Lockout 
Purchase at:


Prizes include:
(Kindle Fire HD 7” OR equivalent value in Amazon/B&N/iTunes vouchers,
Three $20 Amazon/B&N/iTunes vouchers)
Open Internationally

About the author
Maya CrossMaya Cross is a writer who enjoys making people blush. Growing up with a mother who worked in a book store, she read a lot from a very young age, and soon enough picked up a pen of her own. Her previous work spans many genres including horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and she has now started this pen name as an outlet for her spicier thoughts (they were starting to overflow). She likes her heroes strong but mysterious, her encounters sizzling, and her characters true to life.
She believes in writing familiar narratives told with a twist, so most of her stories will feel comfortable, but hopefully a little unique. Whatever genre she's writing, finding a fascinating concept is the first, and most important step.

The Alpha Group is her first attempt at erotic romance.

When she's not writing, she's playing tennis, trawling her home town of Sydney for new inspiration, and drinking too much coffee.

Connect with Maya at:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads 


  1. Another series I haven't heard of but I'm so glad to see that you enjoyed it. I might give it a try one day. Also thanks for this awesome giveaway :)

  2. Same as Tanja, I knew nothing about this series, but I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Lucky for you that it didn't do a PLL on you and left you with no answers at all, vice versa, provided you with satisfying answers. The last two lines of the excerpt were.. sad. You can definitely tell that he cares for her though. Oh, and the cover is sexy, my friend;) Lovely review, babe!

  3. I'm so glad that you are enjoying this series. I only knew about it from seeing it on your blog. Your reviews are really making me want to read these!! Awesome review hon!

  4. Yes! Answers! LOL I really did like how Ms. Cross tied up everything too, Andrea. And I agree with your thoughts on the series as a whole. Ms. Cross did do an great job of putting enough mystery and tension in each novella to keep readers riveted. Fantastic review, Andrea, and I'm so glad you loved this series as much as I did! :)

  5. You have me quite curious about Sophia and the other characters and its good to know there will be answers. I love the quote you provided.

  6. Frack! I need this now! What answers? I need those answers!!!


  7. So glad to hear that it provided the answers you were looking for!

  8. Hmmm, interesting. I know nothing about this series, but from what you're saying, I think I might like it, lol. Great review!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  9. This series is at the top of my tbr list. I have heard nothing but amazing things about it and I can't wait to see what all the hype is about! I'm happy this series ended on a happy note and you finally got your answers! And I seriously love the sound of the characters, especially Sophia. Glad to see you enjoyed this, Andrea! :D Lovely review!

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  10. I totally agree that it takes talent to make a novella work the same way a full length book might. I'm glad that you finally got the answers that you wanted here. Great review! :)

  11. It sounds like a series I would either have to read all at once or be patient because of Sebastian.

    I see that they are novellas though so I could probably zip through them and be happy in the end :-)

  12. Wonderful review, Andrea! I agree this wrapped up perfectly and I really enjoyed finally getting to know Sebastian better. They were a perfect match! :)

  13. Haven't read this series but am I bad that I just LOVE the covers? Oh and the name Sebastian - love that too!

  14. I meant to comment from this profile, lol! Hard keeping things straight sometimes! You know I really enjoyed this series as well, Andrea. I agree, for novellas Maya did an excellent job with characterization and plot. Lovely review! :)

  15. These look hot and the covers are hot! Skimmed the review so not to spoil but thanks for sharing!

  16. This is yet another series that I would like to get to. Glad you enjoyed the series.

  17. Oh it's nice when all the books are out and you can read them back to back. Especially if they are novella's!

  18. Okay, you've convinced me that this is another series I need to check out. I'm turning into a bad girl.

  19. I love the book covers in this series! I enjoyed your review. I like when all of my questions are answered, and everything is wrapped up perfectly. This author does sound talented. I haven't read many novella's that have such a well-developed story.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape


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