King of Code, an all-new intriguing and sexy standalone from CD Reiss is available NOW!
King of Code by CD Reiss
Publication Date: September 18th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
From New York Times Bestselling author, CD Reiss, comes a sexy tale of secrets, intrigue, betrayal, and a love worth crossing a continent for.
Taylor Harden is a man on the edge.
The edge of fame. The edge of untold wealth.
The edge of utter humiliation.
He built an unhackable system, and in front of everyone, it’s hacked.
His reputation goes from king to goat in a split second. Boom. Like that.
Some dude in Barrington, USA (AKA Nowhere) has locked down Taylor’s code, and if he doesn’t get it back, he’s going to be wearing a monkey suit for the rest of his life.
Except, this guy? This hacker from Nowhere? He’s not a guy.
Harper Watson’s all woman. And she has a plan for Taylor, his code, and his body.
“About time!” the older lady shouted.
“Is Harper back?” I asked, handing the bags to the blushing redhead.
As if summoned, Harper came through the swinging door, keeping it open so everyone could get past. She looked at me through the screen.
“You coming in?” she asked.
“We need to talk.”
“Did the decryption key work?”
The door slapped closed behind her as she came out, and we were alone. The way the setting sun hit her cheeks made her glow, and the strands of gold hair at the edges looked translucent. She belonged on a postcard.
I kept forgetting she was holding me hostage. I kept forgetting I needed to think strategically. I had more at stake with this girl than I’d ever had with another.
“Did you doubt it would work?”
“Not really. I’m just making conversation.”
“What are the thorns about?” I pointed at the thorn bed that had eaten my phone and went down the stairs to the yard.
She came after me. “Don’t you have these where you’re from?” She snapped a dry twig off the end.
“Roses? Yes. Impenetrable, groomed thorn bushes in our yards? No.”
“It’s not normal to give the gardeners in town something to do?” We walked around the perimeter.
“You are not normal.”
“It still blooms in spring. It’s really nice. You should see it.”
We were at the back end of the yard, where the very top of the factory’s roof cut the horizon.
I took her hand, pulling her to a stop. “Harper.”
“Taylor?” Her hair flew in her mouth when she turned, and she drew her finger across her cheek to get it out.
What was I supposed to tell her again? That I knew we’d interviewed her. That I didn’t give her the job despite her having a leg up on everyone else we saw.
But was I contrite? Accusatory? Was I just going to relay information? What did I want out of her after I told her I knew?
“Thank you for helping today,” she said. “If you’d asked me when we met, ‘Would Taylor Harden help clean the factory?’ I would have said, ‘No, not for any reason.’ But there you were. Pushing a broom. Scooping up shit. Not being an asshole.”
“My watch was at stake.”
“Yeah. Whatever. You can say what you want to keep your reputation as a shithead intact.”
“I have a reputation as a shithead?”
“You know you do.”
I did know it, and I reveled in it.
She faced me and put her other hand out. I took it, holding both hands between us. I couldn’t help it.
“Well, you guys are such a bunch of sad sacks I had to help. And let me tell you, every guy in Barrington has a little asshole in him. Trust me. I’ve played pool with them.”
“I want to say…” She stopped herself as if she really didn’t want to say. “Let’s get together tonight and get you another decryption code. But… saying this is stupid.” She bit her lip.
“Say it anyway.”
“The sooner you get four codes, the sooner you leave.”
I looked at our hands so I wouldn’t have to look at her.
“I’m not sure if I want that,” she said.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse
I compare Reiss’ writing with chocolate. Once the first nibble’s been savoured, devouring it in one go is a foregone conclusion. In King of Code, there isn’t much difference in the respect that she pulled this reader in fast and furiously making me want more. In contrast, she’s in no hurry to conclude. Her little teasers and details of interest whetted my appetite for what was to come. Of course, the story didn’t pan out as I would have expected it to, so finding out how her protagonists tale of deception would close was foremost on my mind. And I have to add that I was dreadfully spoilt with two endings! For me, this book was like jumping on a rollercoaster of emotions criss-crossed with facts. Fictitious or not, they’re thrown from all angles, making me wonder if she can actually decode. I thought I was a dab hand at being able to read an html doc but boy, am I right out of my depth or what! Therefore the title couldn’t be more apt since decoding or better said, hacking a system, is exactly what the cornerstone of this love story with a twist and a half is all about. In this era of technology, what occurs is perfectly feasible and although the geek-speak used might be a tad difficult to grasp, I drunk in every word. I’d even go so far as saying that if your men like this kind of thing, encourage them to read it!
“You hacked me, and you set this whole thing up so I’d fall in love with you. Right? Say it.”
“It’s not that simple.”
He is the KING. At the pinnacle of becoming the one and only person who is going to be able to crack it, what Taylor is about to achieve will be his to possess. A web of lies entwined in an unbreakable operating network brought home the vulnerability of not only the hacked but in this case, also the hacker. The stress caused by nail-biting scenarios didn’t give me time to come up for air; it’s a constant bombardment of feelings which had me on the edge at all times. Oh my, I hope this isn’t a spoiler because blinkin’ heck, Taylor’s personal gadgets drove me round the bend!
“I guess I can’t blame you. I’m a statistical outlier.”
“I love it when you talk dirty.”
I liked Taylor one hell of a lot and connected to him easily. Indubitably a nerd, he’s really your normal kind of guy who works hard, plays little and is considered to be the best in his field. For now, it goes undisputed. Will it be? I didn’t think he excelled in controlling the critical intricacies of which you will decide for yourselves. On the other hand, he relies heavily on his hand-picked team for the birth of a complex code to run without hitches. To my mind of thinking, he was a tad too trustworthy with the wrong people. His no women in the cage attitude was of no surprise seeing that the ratio of the female workforce in megatech companies is low. Yeah, I found this out by consulting Google and for that matter, the author’s vocabulary had me studying a hacker’s dictionary! Nonetheless, there is one lady who I adored, but she doesn’t count. Or does she? On the crux of his biggest breakthrough, everyone who works for Taylor; myself included, were left aghast when an unknown source opens up a beehive of malicious activity. Who has the capability to do as such remains to be seen. For sure, the answer is more complicated than the mere element of destruction!
“What do you want?”
Even though it’s not Harper’s story to tell, for me, she owned it! She’s everything I look for in a heroine. A true fighter, exceptionally intelligent, I found her unwavering perseverance totally befitting with her persona. She has a soft side though. Her benevolence towards family and friends stands out throughout the read. A natural protector, she too is protected. The manner in which the author has highlighted the outcome of a certain social issue made me sit back and think about the gravity of it and how lives were affected. Seeing as Harper is how she is, it only seemed natural for her to take this grave matter into her own hands. A matter that has more means to an end than I could have ever imagined. Whether the operation carried out by a force to be reckoned with is effective enough to dethrone the king who has yet to be crowned is your question to ask. Not mine to answer.
“Women are not subtle. If they’re not one-hundred-percent crystal clear, it’s because they don’t know, not because they’re being elusive or enigmatic or call it what you will.”
Taking into consideration King of Code’s technical content, this novel might not be everyone’s cuppa. I, personally, found it intriguing, unputdownable and cursed any kind of interruption. I couldn’t wait to see how the king would go about convincing the woman who stole his heart and more besides, to be his queen…and in the most unlikely of places at that. Laughing to myself here; the name won’t be forgotten quickly. The author’s writing style is unquestionably versatile, her skill in contrasting character traits, sublime. This is Reiss; therefore there’s no need to mention the scorching hot scenes, is there? And the finale… fan-bloody-tastic! Bravo!
“What kind of attack were you thinking of doing?”
“I was going to just put something in the comments to taunt you.”
About the Author
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up she’s at the well hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
She’s frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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