☆➹⁀☆☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
Get swept away in the passionate romance between political opposites Caroline Gerard and Jack McIntyre in the first half of The Bellator Saga.
This set contains the first three books in the series, Dissident, Conscience, and Sojourn.
Book 1: Dissident
Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard is reluctant to fall in love again after losing her husband. Can Republican playboy Jack McIntyre break through her grief and capture her heart? Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop, Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate romance, and undying love.
Book 2: Conscience
Caroline faces the biggest challenge of her life when confronted with the cruelty and sadism of her captors at The Fed. Hope fades quickly, even as she holds onto her one last bit of sanity and her unshakable belief that her husband will rescue her. But is that faith just a mirage?
Book 3: Sojourn
Reeling from her experiences at The Fed, Caroline tries to forge ahead and create a new identity. But that’s hard to do with the ghosts of the past constantly whispering in her ear. She is determined to find the rebellion and move on with her life, but what will she find when she arrives there?
The boxset includes bonus material featuring a deleted scene from Sojourn, a sneak peek at Phoenix, and a never before released love scene told in Jack’s first person point of view!
Coming May 2, 2016: Phoenix (Bellator Saga #4)
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Guest Reviewer Jeanie’s Review:
I’m one of those readers who swore off buying anything on the sponsored books ads on Facebook. Nine times out of ten I’ve been left with the tracks of bitter tears and the sense that I just frittered away hours of my life that I could’ve put to better use. Thank God, I succumbed to one of those ads a few weeks ago. The Bellator Saga – The First Trilogy was on sale for some ridiculous pittance. I was in a reading rut and ignored my own rule. I one clicked. After all, I was curious to see exactly what a romantic, erotic, political thriller would look like. I’ll tell you what it looks like – one of my top reads for 2016.
The Bellator Saga, which is projected to be a six book series, follows the lives and love of Caroline Gerard and Jack McIntyre. Modelled on an aisle crossing coupledom ala Mary Matalin and James Carville, Cecilia London uses their unlikely romance to propel the reader into a neofacist, dystopian nightmare with roots in a presidential election which bears more than a passing resemblance to our current political landscape. But don’t discount this as meta fiction. It is sooo much more. To me, it’s far more a tale of what can happen when people hesitate to do right – and how much good can be accomplished when people try to do right. More importantly, the beautiful way in which Ms. London structures her story is a powerful testament to the ability of the memory of love to sustain us. Not to mention we get a couple that is mature, relatable and full of witty teasing and sassy banter. Their courtship – and it is a courtship – is a welcome respite from the insta love that is so prevalent in the romance genre, but that doesn’t mean Jack and Caroline are a ‘fade to black’ couple. They’re hot, sexy, adventurous and FUN.
The First Trilogy consists of Dissident, Conscience and Sojourn. Phoenix, the next installment, will be released in May 2016.
Dissident opens with Jack and Caroline fleeing their home and country on a bitterly cold night on foot, having been accused of treason. Injured, alone and running out of options, they separate and Caroline falls into the hands of government soldiers. Slipping between past and present we watch how Caroline, a liberal, devoutly Catholic widow serving in Congress finds love with the most unlikely of men, Jack Mc Intyre, the rich, Republican, silver fox, uber playboy of the Senate. They even meet cute (if you’re a political junkie) – she very publicly calls him out on the campaign trail for being a dilettante. London deftly juxtaposes the past and present, weaving the story of their blooming love through the escalating danger and suffocating dread of the VA hospital/prison ward Caroline finds herself in after her capture.
Conscience continues the spider’s web of past and present. Caroline’s situation has become dire. Yanked from the relative safely of the hospital and dumped in a secret prison, Caroline’s source of strength and her only escape from the continuous torture and interrogation are the dreams of her past with Jack and her family – both blood and chosen. I’ll be honest with you – Conscience is an emotionally grueling read, but the structure of the storytelling makes it mesmerizing and unputdownable. Like Caroline – the refuge of the past gives the reader the strength to move forward towards the uncertain future that is Sojourn.
Sojourn is Caroline’s journey out of the rubble. Physically and emotionally battered from her time in the Fed prison, Sojourn is all about Caroline picking up the pieces of her fractured psyche and finding purpose in a world gone mad and devoid of any happy connection to her past. Again, the memory of the past is woven through the story of the present. Caroline’s memories of Jack become the glue that holds her together.
Bellator Saga is a story that will haunt me, and one that I urge you to read. There’s something for everyone. A tautly crafted story of political intrigue that captures the true flavor of working on the Hill – populated with fully developed secondary characters the staffers, colleagues, friends and enemies that we meet. A frighteningly realistic dystopian tale of a new future, where power and deceit run amuck. A middle aged, “every woman” heroine who has the hopes and dreams of a safe, happy world that we all have for our children and friends. A romance between a mature couple, with authentic baggage, and a deep abiding passion for one another. For me, it’s the holy grail of stories – an epic, thrilling tale of heroism that wraps around the quieter story of a deep, emotional love. After all, those are the makings of the tales that survive millennia. How can you go wrong?
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About the author: Cecilia London is the pen name of a native Illinoisan currently living in San Antonio, Texas. She’s filled several roles over the course of her adult life – licensed attorney, wrangler of small children, and obsessed baseball fan, among others. An extroverted introvert with a serious social media addiction, she is the author of The Bellator Saga, an epic, genre-crossing romance series. You can catch all of her quirky updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or at her website.