By: Cheyenne McCray

Series: Armed and Dangerous

Book Number: 2

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Luke Denver has been working undercover with the DEA as a ranch foreman for the Flying M on the Arizona/Mexico border near Douglas. His top priority right now is finding a way to take down drug kingpin Francisco Guerrero who is hiding behind an educated, gentlemanly facade to run drugs over the border right under their noses. Luke suspects that Guerrero may be using a local woman for cover, but which one remains a mystery. In his boss's stead, he attends a charity Christmas party for all the wealthy ranchers in the area, where Guerrero is expected to put in an appearance, in hopes of sussing out who his accomplice might be. What Luke gets instead is an eyeful of a gorgeous strawberry blonde that he instantly knows he has to have. Even though she says she's spoken for and it turns out she's his boss's sister, it doesn't stop Luke from pursuing her until he has her in his bed. But when the investigation heats up, it could cost both of them their lives.

After a torturous high school experience where she was bullied for being overweight, Trinity MacKenna shook the dust of Douglas off her feet and headed out to bigger and better things. She's been living the life she'd dreamed of in England for the past four years, working as a software designer, and she's nearly engaged to a gorgeous Englishman. However, missing the older sister who practically raised her after their mom died and their dad checked out on life, Trinity reluctantly returns to Douglas for a holiday visit. There she meets Luke at a Christmas party hosted by her best friend. The instant attraction between them is so visceral it immediately makes her aware of all that's been missing in her relationship with her long-time boyfriend, so much so that she throws caution to the wind, disordering her seemingly perfect life by breaking up with him over the phone. Now free to pursue Luke, she does so with a passion that leads to an intensely steamy affair. But even if Trinity and Luke can evade the villain with their lives intact, can she ever overcome all the reasons she left Douglas in the first place to stay and make a life with him?


Luke is the second book in Cheyenne McCray's Armed & Dangerous series. It's been eons since I read Zack, the first book, but as it turns out, this one stood well enough on it's own for me to not feel particularly lost. It follows Trinity, the younger sister of Skylar, the heroine of Zack, and Luke, the foreman of Skylar's Flying M ranch who is actually an undercover DEA agent. The Flying M is located on the US/Mexico border near the small town of Douglas, Arizona. Luke has been monitoring the area for drug running activity and has been looking to take down drug kingpin Francisco Guerrero. Trinity has been away from home in England, where she's been working for a video gaming company. Although she's missed her sister, bad memories of her high school years in Douglas have kept her away. Now it's the holiday season and she's finally decided to come home for a visit. She's been in a two-year relationship with Race, a nice British guy who she's pretty sure is about to propose, but when she meets Luke at a Christmas party and shares a steamy kiss with him, she immediately realizes that the passion she'd always longed for is missing from her relationship with Race. She breaks it off with him via phone, and days later is enjoying the hottest sex of her life with Luke. But Trinity isn't sure she can ever get past the events that led to her leaving Douglas in order to have a desire to live there again even if her job will allow it. And there's also the drug trade situation that's heating up. Luke suspects that a local woman is helping Guerrero, but if he doesn't figure out who it is in time, she may pose a threat to his and Trinity's newfound love.

After their mom died and their father left them, Trinity was pretty much raised by her sister, Skylar. Throughout high school, Trinity struggled with being overweight, which led to her receiving a lot of bullying and an unkind nickname from her classmates. After graduation, she was more than happy to knock the dust of Douglas off her feet and never look back. Straight out of college, she took a job with a video gaming company in England and has lived there ever since. She's been dating Race for two years. It's a comfortable relationship and she's all but certain that he's going to propose when they get together for the Christmas holiday, but she isn't entirely sure that's what she wants. Trinity finally returns to Douglas, and on her first night back, she encounters Luke at a Christmas party thrown by her best friend. The attraction is immediate and visceral, and after sharing a steamy kiss with him, she knows that it's the passion that's missing from her relationship with Race. After breaking up with him, she quickly falls into a steamy affair with Luke and begins to crave something more, but after all that happened when she was younger, she isn't sure she can ever stay in Douglas permanently. Overall, I liked Trinity fairly well. I could relate to her still carrying the scars of her high school bullying and her body image issues even though she's now lost a lot of weight and is quite svelte. She also showed bravery when facing off with the villain. The only thing I didn't really care for was her being in a serious long-term relationship when the story started and then ditching her boyfriend so quickly when something better, namely Luke, came along. It made her seem a little cold-hearted in the beginning, but my impression of her improved as the story went on.

Luke has strong family ties back home in Houston, Texas, but he's been away working undercover for the DEA for some time. His cover persona is that of the foreman for the Flying M, so everyone in the area thinks he's just another cowboy. However, his real objective is to find enough dirt on Guerrero to take him down. That's proved to be challenging, but he finally gets a break when it looks like Guerrero might be using a local woman to help keep his drug running under wraps. Luke just isn't sure which one. While trying to chat up a few of the ladies at a Christmas party, he's instantly hot and bothered by the appearance of Trinity, and without another thought, he stakes his claim on her with a searing kiss. When he discovers that she's the sister of his "boss" on the ranch, it makes it all the easier to pursue her and he does so with a passion. But until he solves the mystery of who is helping Guerrero, both she and her sister may be in danger. When the story began, Luke was a little too possessive for my taste, instantly saying that Trinity was his. He doesn't even respect the fact that she's in a relationship with another man and immediately jumps to the conclusion that the guy must be a loser if he hasn't put a ring on her yet, which I thought was pretty arrogant on his part. As the story progressed, though, I started liking him a bit more. He was still a little too alpha for me, but not as bad as some other heroes I've read. He might not go down as one of my all-time favorite romance heroes, but overall, he ended up being a pretty decent guy.

I think it took me so long to get around to reading Luke because the first book of the series had just been okay for me and didn't leave me a strong desire to continue. I recall that the best thing about Zack was the steamy love scenes and that pretty much held true for Luke as well. If you're looking for a strong romantic suspense story, this isn't really it. In all honesty, I found the suspense portion of the plot rather confusing. There were a few too many characters and not enough depth in their characterizations for me keep them all straight. I thought that perhaps it was because many of them were going to get their own stories in the series, and at least a couple of characters were intriguing enough to make me interested in reading more about them. But unfortunately that isn't the case. The only characters we meet who go on to get their own book are Clay, the local sheriff, and Rylie, another nearby ranch owner, who become the hero and heroine of the next book, Clay. It was also pretty obvious to me who the villainess was. The only thing that was a bit of a surprise was her motivation. I mentioned earlier about being bothered by the fact that Trinity was in a serious relationship when the story began, and I felt that the way that all played out was way too easy. After the phone breakup, Race comes to try to convince Trinity to reconcile to no avail, but then walks away without a fight and seems completely unbothered during the final pages when he's at a party where Luke and Trinity are caught en flagrante delicto. This was all rather unbelievable and I honestly thought the story would have been better without this side plot at all, because it left me with bad vibes. As I said before, the love scenes were probably the best part of the book. They're very well written and smokin' hot. My only small complaint would be that while hot passionate sex is great, there's also something to be said for a slow seduction as well and there wasn't any of that in this book. Bottom line, if you're looking for a great romantic suspense story, you'll probably want to look elsewhere, but if you're in the mood for a little steamy, mindless fun with a touch of suspense on the side, then Luke will probably fit the bill. Overall, I enjoyed it for what it was and might be open to continuing the series at some point.

Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, including voyeurism, several instances of accidental exhibitionism, and anal sex, which could be objectionable to sensitive readers.


Cheyenne McCray


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