Apex Predator (The Game #11) by Cara Dee - Review and Excerpt

Autumn says "Each book in this series keeps my emotions high, just like Apex Predator did. I love seeing how the kink community is always there for one another. "

From the blurb:

The Game Series • Book 11 • Primal Play • MMMM • D/s • Second Chances
• Hurt Comfort • Vacation Romance
Pack your sunscreen and strap in for a wild ride and a kinky vacation that doesn’t go as planned.

Lane Sawyer had no complaints. Not really, anyway. After all, he’d just been invited to spend a week down in sunny Florida with his amazing boyfriend Macklin and some of his kinkster buddies. That was exactly what Lane needed. Uncomplicated fun and the promise of no drama—and hopefully a close encounter or two with the apex predator of the Everglades, the Burmese python. He loved, loved, loved reptiles.

But Florida was home to more than one apex predator. When Lane arrived, he found himself face-to-face with their host for the week, his high school girlfriend’s dad. The man who’d once made Lane realize he was into men.

Macklin McKenna couldn’t wait to get away. The problem was, he needed a vacation from himself more than DC. But maybe a week in South Florida with his friends and his adoring boyfriend Lane could distract him from the fact that he was never getting over the man he was still technically married to.

Unfortunately, Macklin’s friends were fed up with his personal agony, and they’d ensured another apex predator was on his way down South.
The Game Series is a BDSM series where romance meets the reality of kink. Sometimes we fall for someone we don’t match with, sometimes vanilla business gets in the way of kinky pleasure, and sometimes we have to compromise and push ourselves to overcome trauma and insecurities. No matter what, one thing is certain. This is not a perfect world—and maybe that’s why the happily ever after feels so good.

The characters in the Game Series cross over in multiple books, as we follow not only new love interests but the background friendships and dynamics of a thriving kink community. The story of Lane, Ty, Macklin, and Walker begins here—but if you’re interested in secondary characters and the Mclean House journey, you won’t regret starting at the beginning.

Autumn's Review:

I loved Apex Predator. Okay, I almost love everything that Cara writes. 

This book is #11 in the Game Series, which means each book follows a new set of characters who are involved in the BDSM community. The characters often overlap, so reading the books in order should be done to get the full background of each MC. 

This book had heart ache, angst, steam, and plot. I was expecting more steam from what I had seen as teasers in Cara's group, but it was more about the plot and a road to healing, even though Macklin and Walker still have a long ways to go.

Lane was a sweetie, and I can't wait to see more of him in the next book. 

Rating: 4 Stars

Heather's Review:

Apex Predator, more than most of the books I've read in this series has a lot of story development before you get to the heat... in the complicated world of the Game Series, Macklin's story has always been one that gets teased... and it can't be simple...

This book is the first of two in a subseries of The Game that focuses on four characters - Macklin, Lane, Ty and Walker, with most of it coming from Macklin and Walker's POV.  The primal play theme continues in this book so once you get to the heat, the story is off the charts for CNC and primal fighting, but there are still some more tender and emotional scenes as well...

The poly vs monogamy dynamic is also a strong theme and it's interesting to watch Walker's understanding of how different dynamics work grow as he and Macklin form their own boundaries...

The cliffhanger, if you can call it that, is Ty and Lane's dynamic, which we see a strong glimpse of before really digging into Macklin and Walker's drama.  I suppose this could be read standalone if you are just searching for a primal play or CNC story, but it's best read as part of the whole series.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Nicole's Review:

I have been waiting for Macklin’s story forever!!! Apex Predator is definitely written in a different style then the other books in the series. You know right away we are going to have two strong POV main characters. Lane has been the perfect boyfriend for Macklin’s healing and growth, and is so sweet and dirty too! I’m very excited for the next book with Ty and Walker’s side of these new relationships. Let me just say again that Cara Dee can write one hell of a smoking hot scene or 4! I’ve not been a huge fan of primal play in other books, for the exact reasons Ty and Lane don’t like to claim it as a kink. In most books it’s a silly chase around some furniture and then someone gives in. Not the case here. Be ready for some actual fighting back, group scenes and serious consensual non-con. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Rating: 5 Stars

Janet's Review:

Apex Predator is the next installment in the Game Series. It definitely helps to have read the previous in the series. 

Lane and Macklin are getting away to Florida to play with some like minded kinksters. Lane and Macklin are fantastic together and I felt that was what Macklin needed to grow. I so glad that we got Macklin and Walker's past dynamic. They suffered not being together. They both had changed and needed an honest conversation which they had. Ty and Lane had a dynamic that was fire! 

Overall, a phenomenal read! Well written with addicting pacing that had me flipping the pages.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reds Book Reads Review:

I loved finally getting to know more about the history between Macklin and Walker and I can’t wait for the next book to find out how they move forward. I absolutely adored Lane as well and can’t wait to see how him and Ty fit in with Walker and Macklin. 

Such a fantastic series and as always I can’t wait for the next book!

Rating: 5 Stars

Apex Predator is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Catch up with the series here: https://readerlinks.com/l/1581265/55


Ty smirked. “It’ll be tough squeezing in five snakes and a Sir if you want to live on a boat.”

I shrugged and removed my backpack. “I can make it work with the snakes. The Sir is less important. He’ll have his own place. I’m not a relationship guy—unless it’s a relationship like the one I have with Macklin.”

“You two are casual, then?”

Sort of? “We’re equal parts protective of each other and our personal lives, I’d say.” I looked behind me; lying down was so tempting, but I wouldn’t get up again. I’d fall asleep. “But between you and me? I think he needs his ex-husband as his primary partner. And I need someone who…” I blew out a breath and shook my head. “That’s a longer story.”

I was the masochist who hated to feel unnerved and anxious in my everyday life but got off hard on fear play and being toyed with mentally. Not much unlike a rape victim being into rape play. Because in kink, we had the control to say stop. To call red.

“Give me the CliffsNotes,” Ty requested.

I furrowed my brow and looked over at him. Why did he want the CliffsNotes? Why did he care?

But okay. Um, the abridged version still wouldn’t be very short. Unless—well, I could cut some things, and if he wanted to know more, he could ask. Keeping it brief was important to me because I knew how people functioned. They lost interest very quickly, and then I’d feel like shit for boring them.

“I have ADHD,” I stated. That revelation didn’t cause so much as a twitch in Ty’s expression. “For my well-being’s sake, I lead my life pretty carefully. I’m not the most flexible with my time, I need to feel prepared, and I require structure.” I swallowed and was not surprised at all to feel my stomach tightening with discomfort. Being vulnerable was torture. “At the same time, I crave organized chaos. I’m into some hardcore kinks—like, you know, takedowns, primal play, consensual non-con. Stuff like that. And I don’t find my assertiveness to the same degree outside a good kink relationship. That’s where I want to let go completely and sort of leave humanity behind.”

Ty lifted a brow slightly. “Interesting.”

Oh, I wasn’t done. “Also at the same time, there’s an exception to every rule,” I went on. “I jumped on a plane with Macklin to come here on less than twenty-four hours’ notice—because I happened to be in the mood to get out of the cold. But ask me on that short time to go see my parents…? I’d probably panic—and I love my folks. But anyway. I handle my everyday life fine on my own. I don’t want to expose an outsider to my, uh, complicated order. So, yeah, in kink, that’s where I want my chaos.”

“Hm.” He scratched his chin absently. “Does that ever work? Splitting your life into pieces and categories? I’ve found that the pieces eventually blend together.”

I’d like to try.

“I’ve had some success,” I replied carefully. “For short-term arrangements, anyway.”

“And you’re not interested in long-term?”

“It’s not on my radar, no,” I said.

He nodded once in acknowledgment. “One more question. Where do I know you from?”

For chrissakes!

He had to let that go!

I forced myself to chuckle, hoping I came off as casual and amused. “I don’t freaking know. I don’t remember you.”


Lies, lies, lies.


It felt weird to have dinner in nothing but a pair of shorts, so I changed again once Ty had returned to the house. It wasn’t exactly hot outside at this hour either, just comfortably warm for a pair of nicer shorts—and a Ralph Lauren polo tee. My grandmother in Denmark sent Corey and me the same Christmas gift most years. Danish treats and Ralph Lauren tees.

Then I went back to the house too, wondering what was taking Macklin so long. I wasn’t dragging his fifty-pound rollaboard to the boat if he got wasted before seeing the damn thing.

Ty and the Tenley twins were drinking beer and throwing meet on the grill when I opened the gate, and I was greeted by an excited Terra.

“Hi, beautiful girl.” I reached down and patted her head. “Have you seen my boyfriend?”

Shay answered as he came out with a stack of plates. “He’s upstairs with Colt, and he asked me to tell you to go up there when you got back.”

“Okay, thanks.” I headed inside, spotting Lucas and Kit in the kitchen to the left.

Straight ahead, I took the stairs to the second floor, and I didn’t have to search for long. The doors to the two bedrooms were open, and I found Colt and Macklin on the foot of the bed in Ty’s room. Unless his room was the one with a purple comforter and two teddy bears on the bed. You never knew.

Wait. Where was Ty gonna sleep? The Tenleys had their bags in one room, Colt and his triad in the other.

One of the couches downstairs, maybe. I knew what Mack hoped for, but if he managed to seduce Ty and get him to spend the night on the boat, I would be the one taking a couch here at the house.

Regardless of what my body might think.

“Hey, there you—” I stopped abruptly in the doorway upon seeing Macklin’s eyes. Had he been crying? I hurried forward and sat down on the other side of him. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”

He sniffled and got upset again, and he plastered himself to me, arms hugging my middle, his face buried against my neck.

Jesus, I’d never seen him cry before. It rattled the fuck out of me.

I looked to Colt for answers instead.

“It’s Walker,” he said quietly. He brushed a hand over Mack’s back. “He’s moving back to DC.”

Oh. Oh. Fuck. My head was gonna explode. At first when he’d said “It’s Walker,” my mind immediately raced to that something bad had happened. An accident or…whatever. But I hadn’t gotten that far before Colt had elaborated, and now I didn’t know what to think. Wasn’t this good?

As anxious as I could feel at the mention of Walker, I was a big fan of nipping things in the bud.

I pressed a kiss to Macklin’s hair. “I think this can be a good thing, babe. You two are not done.”

While Colt offered a smile and a look of surprise at my response, Macklin was ready to argue.

“You don’t fucking get it, Lane.” He withdrew from me and wiped at his cheeks. “He’ll mess me up again.”

“Then create a better mess,” I grated out. “From what you’ve told me, you both screwed up. But there was no betrayal—right? So maybe you can get a second chance?”

Colt cleared his throat and rose from the bed. “I’m clearly not needed here. Mack, you listen to Lane. I like him already.”

I smiled a little but kept my focus on Macklin.

I spoke again once Colt had left us alone.

“Walk me through what happened.” I combed my fingers through Mack’s hair. “How does Colt know Walker’s moving home?”

“Because he showed up at their damn doorstep this morning,” he grumbled. “I don’t know what to do with this anger. I wanna punch his fucking—”

Hey.” I cupped his cheeks in my hands and made him look me in the eye. “Do you hear yourself, Macklin? It’s been four years, and he causes this much of a reaction. You have to face him—or he’ll haunt you forever.”

Fresh tears welled up in his eyes, and it cracked something within me. He was in so much pain.

“Do you know what it’s like to hate the love of your life?”

I swallowed hard and shook my head.

That tortured look in his eyes was too much for me. I couldn’t argue with him. By the sound of things, he already had friends who wanted him and Walker back together. I’d play another part. I had to show him I was still on his side.

“Whatever you choose, I’m with you,” I implored. “I just hate seeing you this way.”

He sniffled and looked down. “I know I have to talk to him. I’m not stupid. But I… Knowing he’s back in town erases my future. I don’t know what’s gonna happen anymore. I can’t make any promises.”

I wasn’t looking for any promises.

“I don’t need you to,” I murmured. “I need you to do what’s best for yourself. And if you and I can still share something together, no one will be happier than me. But—”

“Don’t.” He pressed himself closer and rested his forehead to mine. “I’m not losing you. I can’t. You mean too much to me.”

I took a steady breath and felt something loosen within me, allowing me to breathe easier.

“Then we’ll be fine, Macklin. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Promise me,” he croaked. “And promise me you’ll bail me out if I smash his head in.”

I chuckled softly and shook my head. “I think that’s the last thing you’ll do once you’re in the same room as him. But you have my word.”

He exhaled shakily.

He’d get there. He’d see things differently once he faced Walker. For better or for worse. I was ready for either outcome. Anything was better than this tense state of limbo.

About Cara

I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex. 

There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly. 

Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.

I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.

Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.

I'm a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write. 

Find Cara on social media here:https://www.caradeewrites.com/cdwlandingpage