NEW RELEASE REVIEW: Where Death Meets the Devil by L.J. Hayward

Author: L.J. Hayward
Book: Where Death Meets the Devil
Page/Word Count: 395 pages, 101K words
Categories: Gay Romance, Mystery & Suspense, HFN
Release Date: February 26, 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Blurb: Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.

Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.

A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.

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5✨s – What an outstanding, riveting and exciting adventure this book is! I read this a couple of weeks ago, then waited to read it a second time, just so I could enjoy it again. Elements I adore reading are all here; spies, assassins, secret government and criminal organizations, non-stop action, betrayal, lust and redemption. Oh, plus a pack of dingoes and a camel named Sophia. The complex plot pits Jack Reardon, undercover government agent, against Ethan Blade, infamous assassin, turning Jack’s assignment into a mission he never expected.

I sensed this being set in the near future, as the government agency and some of the tech sound advanced, but it could simply be secret and unknown to the public. The narrative begins in the present, and chapters alternate with events from a year prior, when Jack and Ethan first encountered one another. It was quite easy to follow, even when the impact of events isn’t always clear until later. It’s also a romance, although it’s secondary to the action, but there’s loads of chemistry, and sex is passionate and sometimes bittersweet. Aside from those interludes, high-tension suspense does not let go until near the very end, as you’re never quite sure who, or what can be trusted.

I added this immediately to my best of 2018 and Endless Re-reads lists. The dynamic between Ethan and Jack reminded me of couples in some other widely known, popular MM series. I would be delighted if the author chooses to make this a series, or even provides a sequel or two. I plan to recommend this widely among my fellow book lovers!

About L.J. Hayward:
L.J. Hayward has been telling stories for most of her life. Granted, a good deal of them have been of the tall variety, but who’s counting? Parents and teachers notwithstanding, of course. These days, the vast majority of her story telling has been in an honest attempt to create fun and exciting ways of entertaining others (and making money).

As such, she is still a mad (always provoked!) scientist in a dungeon laboratory (it has no windows—seriously, the zombie apocalypse could be going on outside and she’d have nary a clue) who, on the rare occasions she emerges into the light, does so under extreme protest and with the potential hazard of bursting into flames under the Southeast Queensland sun.

Where to find L.J. Hayward:

L.J. Hayward Amazon Author Page L.J. Hayward on Twitter L.J. Hayward Website

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