I liked both Twilight and The Hunger Games, so this is so very interesting.
The Academy Saga (The Academy Saga I) by C.J. Daly released last year in the romantic suspense genre.
Kate Connelly should be careful what she wishes for.
Just seventeen, she already feels like she’s suffocating. Since her mother’s death, her father’s basically checked out, so she’s stuck raising her brothers by herself out in the New Mexico scrub. All Kate wants is a little distraction from the same-ole, same-ole that is her life.
When two mysterious guys show up at the diner where she works, she thinks her wish has come true, until they start giving her a hard time. Like her life isn’t hard enough. Something about them niggles her, but she brushes it off. She’s never going to see them again anyway . . . right?
Then they appear in an alley one night to either rescue or kidnap her (she’s still not sure which) before disappearing like figments of her imagination.
Kate decides to put the bizarre encounters out of her mind. She has bigger problems to worry about: like that elite military academy that’s been pursuing her gifted little brother. When one of their cadets shows up at her high school, he creates instant pandemonium. And just happens to be one of those mysterious guys. Coincidence? Mama said there’s no such thing. And to always trust her instinct. But that might be kind of hard, because every time she’s around Cadet Peter Davenport, her gut starts flip-flopping on her. And her heart.
Can Kate keep it together long enough to stop Cadet Davenport’s mission? She’s about to find out. And—once again—how neatly life can be split into before and after.
The The Academy Saga: Cadet-in-Training (The Academy Saga II) is already available.
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CJ Daly grew up on the scrabbly plains of Eastern New Mexico. When she was supposed to be helping her six siblings with chores on the family ranch, she was really sneaking behind dusty haystacks to read. And dreaming about becoming a writer.
After graduating high school, CJ moved to Big D, where she quickly put herself through college while trying to rid herself of her country accent. She had better luck with college, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in English literature. After teaching a few years and pausing to have back-to-back boys, she began writing in earnest.
A few years later, “The Academy Saga” was born. It instantly earned a Readers’ Favorite 5-STAR seal of approval and became an Amazon best seller.
A Good Bad Guy, or a Bad Good Guy??
Since The Academy Saga dropped, there’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the Ranger character. Somehow, Officer Ranger Nealson became instantly—if not famous then—infamous. He seems to have already stolen the show from frontrunner Pete, even though he takes a backseat in Book I. Why is it that we ladies seem unable to resist a bad boy? Is it hardwired in our X chromosome to crave drama and guys running from demons or the law? This appears to be the case even when we’re old enough to know better. Most of my fans are well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s, yet swoon like a school girl every time Ranger bursts onto the scene. From that very first meeting at the diner, there was just something so fun about Ranger and Kate’s dynamic. They started at a place of hate-at-first-sight, which is somehow more exciting than love-at-first-sight. This might explain the mass appeal of the enemies-to-lovers trope.
And Ranger is just so good at being bad, even when he tries not to be. He, like all of the cadets of the series, is a product of his ruthless environment. Throw in a lunatic father, who was blacklisted at The Academy, and he seeps bitterness and revenge. But he just might have a soft spot hidden beneath that officer’s jacket. And this is what makes him so intriguing—he’d not just a one-note he-man throwing his weight and title around. There’s more to Ranger than his flashing blue eyes, dimples, and anger issues. But you’ll have to dig a little to find the good parts he keeps buried. Because when you’re down in the trenches in life, you want someone who can fight dirty on your behalf.
I crafted both my leading men to be alphas; they positively ooze testosterone from their pores. And even though Pete has a few demons of his own, he’s definitely not as damaged, or wreaks as much damage, as Ranger does. But the Team Pete & Team Ranger split is an even fifty-fifty amongst my fans. Even though Pete should be the obvious choice to win Kate’s heart, half of everybody—including my sisters—is rooting for the “bad guy.” Ranger is ruthlessly ambitious, manipulative, and controlling. He pretty much checks every box in the “con” section, yet if you check his “pros” you’ll see they outweigh the cons. And that’s why we continually forgive Ranger for alllllll the mistakes he makes throughout the series. Because when he’s good, there ain’t no one better.
Maybe that’s why he has so many fans rooting for him. If Ranger is on your team, he’s going to do everything in his considerable might to make sure you’re protected. Appealing? I think so.