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REVIEW: CADE: A MacKenzie by Liliana Hart

Dear Ms. Hart:

I have to start out by saying that those abs look faker than a Louis Vuitton knock off sold on Canal Street. Ahem. Cade is one of the MacKenzie brothers and I think I bought it because it was on sale. From the website, it appears that Cade is the last of the brothers’ books to be written although I wasn’t clear where he fell genealogically speaking, other than the middle.

Liliana Hart Cade
Cade has a troubled past. As a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent, he went undercover to infiltrate a drug lord, fell in love with the daughter, and then lost her in a violent attack. He was saved but his cover was blown and his heart was broken. He agrees to consult for the Fort Worth police department on a gruesome case involving the disappearance and mutilation of women. Cade, his superiors, and the Fort Worth PD believe that these killings may be related to the drug lord that got away.

Despite agreeing to only a consulting job, Cade purchases a house and moves in next door to Bayleigh Scott, the owner of a local lingerie store that offers handmade intimates that Bayleigh designs and creates herself. Weirdly / coincidentally, Bayleigh is the sister of a Navy SEAL who serves on the SAME SEAL team as Cade’s brother because, you know, there are so many of them swimming about, particularly in Fort Worth, Texas.

There are odd sentences here and there such as “Cade’s brothers were well aware of the kind of sexual appetite he had. He as the kind of man who demanded everything from his lovers.” How do his brothers know this? Do they share the type of sexual appetite over turkey at Thanksgiving dinner? The following is not actual dialogue in the book.

“I’m a man who demands everything from my lovers,” Cade declares.

“Not me,” Shane, the youngest dissents. “I only demand half because I prefer threesomes and I’m only able to give half with two of them in bed with me. What about you Declan?”

Declan, the older of the two, squints and grunts.

“He’s a generous lover,” Cade translates for the rest of the family.

When Bayleigh confronts Cade about not being a good neighbor, Cade’s interest is engaged. He realizes he is a bad bet as a boyfriend for Bayleigh, too scarred from his past and too unavailable because of his job. Nonetheless he pursues her because of the intense physical attraction. Bayliegh’s last boyfriend and fiance ran her down, making her feel unsexy and ungainly. After a little prodding by Cade, Bayleigh falls into bed with him.

The sex scenes are decent and Cade and Bayleigh make a good couple. Cade enjoys bossing Bayleigh around and she enjoys taking his orders. It’s easy to see why this series is fairly successful. Enough hints are dropped to intrigue a reader into reading more about the MacKenzies and Scotts but the romance between Cade and Bayleigh is fairly conventional. There aren’t any surprises here and a familiar reader will be able to script out the scenes in her own head.

I did wonder why Cade kept trying to convince Bayleigh to sleep with him when he knew he was bad news for Bayleigh (just as he knew he didn’t want any of his type dating his sister) AND he knew that any woman he spent time with would automatically become a target for the bad guy. It came off as kind of selfish instead of sexy. He claims that he is screwing her in order to protect her which is not so far off the infamous “I’m in your ass saving your life” line.

“So you’re saying you fucked her for her own safety?” Declan asked with a snort.

“Pretty much.”

The novel is category length which means that it can be quickly consumed. This is the type of book that doesn’t really stand up to much scrutiny but it mildly entertaining while you are reading it. The BDSM is very light in this book.  C-

Best regards,


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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. MrsJoseph
    May 24, 2013 @ 08:56:18

    I have to start out by saying that those abs look faker than a Louis Vuitton knock off sold on Canal Street. Ahem.


  2. mari
    May 24, 2013 @ 09:02:58

    @Mrs. Joseph:

    Like from a plastic action figure!

  3. Cara Ellison
    May 24, 2013 @ 09:27:33

    I’ve bought several of her books but they’re languishing in my TBR pile. I’m interested in this one too, even with the faults, so I will likely end up buying this one too.

    One day, TBR pile, I will defeat you!

  4. Miss_Malapert
    May 24, 2013 @ 09:29:57

    Jane, I totally did a spit take at your imaginary Thanksgiving dinner dialog! Eh, I need a new keyboard anyway.

    I read this book a while back and it was okay, but definitely eye-rolling in some spots. And is it just me, or do those abs look somewhat…insect-like?

  5. Mzcue
    May 24, 2013 @ 10:06:23

    Hmmm…About all those cover shot abs—I’m beginning to wonder. Could there be tampering going on? As in contouring make up or photo-shop? Will rolled up socks in the shorts be next?

  6. mari
    May 24, 2013 @ 10:23:46

    Ok, I am confused. What does “BDSM lite” mean? I can take some bondage and maybe a little spanking in my books, but anything apporaching serious pain is 100 percent out. I thought all BDSM books involved candle wax and leather dildos and I have been avoiding them for that reason. What exactly is a BDSM romance and how is that distinguished from a straight romance where the hero is ultra bossy and dominent in bed?

    I bring this up because Dabney reccomended a BDSM a while ago and I was tempted but since it was labeled as BDSM, I got turned off. I am wondering if I am missing out on a great read due to my own misuderstanding of this subgenre.

  7. cleo
    May 24, 2013 @ 11:12:15

    @mari: SarahF wrote a lovely overview of BDSM romance – here’s a brief quote

    BDSM is a combination of the acronyms of the main elements of a variety of non-standard sexual practices: Bondage/Discipline (BD), Domination/Submission (DS), and Sadism/Masochism (SM)…. A BDSM romance, therefore, must explore Regis’s elements particularly through, by, and with one or more of the “kinky” sexual practices encompassed by the acronym…. in BDSM romance the kinky activity must be integral to the characters’ emotional trajectory and to the relationship they build together.

    More is at this link – scroll down to find the bdsm part:

    If you’re referring to The Seduction Hypothesis (which I bought after reading Dabney’s review), I don’t think there’s any serious pain in it. There’s bondage, spanking, some semi public sex. Don’t remember what else. No leather dildos, but there is a steel butt plug.

  8. Jane
    May 24, 2013 @ 11:17:12

    @mari: For this book, it meant Cade being dominant so more of just tying her up and telling her what to do.

  9. yotaArmai
    May 24, 2013 @ 11:59:48

    There’s a 404 error on the link to the review with the infamous quote, “in in your ass saving your life” I’ve read the review before, and it’s classic, so just mildly disappointed that I didn’t get to revisit.

  10. marjorie
    May 24, 2013 @ 12:42:00

    Hee, there’s a malformed link for the “i’m in ur ass, saving ur life” quote — it’s here:
    Dear God that is funny. I just wish I could unsee the lolporn. MY EYES. Why did I click? WHY?

    And those abs are even more disturbing than these abs:

  11. MaryK
    May 24, 2013 @ 13:49:00

    I saw this cover somewhere while browsing and did a doubletake at the fakeness. I think it’s a combination of the extreme definition and overtanned coloring. The gun and tattoo are overkill. I guess the gun is there to give him a reason for lifting his shirt.

  12. hapax
    May 24, 2013 @ 15:03:08

    @MaryK — I can handle the plastic insect abs, but it’s the gun that weirds me out.

    Why do all these guys have guns shoved in their pants on the cover? I mean, I know it’s a not so subtle hint at what’s hiding behind the zipper, but I always worry that they’re going to accidentally blow off their primary attraction.

  13. Wahoo Suze
    May 25, 2013 @ 12:15:09

    I always worry that they’re going to accidentally blow off their primary attraction.


  14. Kierney Scott
    May 25, 2013 @ 19:18:14

    @Jane Bondage light? Is that what the kids are calling it these days. I just call that a good time.

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