Author: Barbara Elsborg
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Rating: 3.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Keeping secrets is easy. Until love tempts him to break his cover.
Fall or Break, Book 2
Archer Hart, former SIS assassin, has just completed a freelance hit job when he finds himself in a sniper’s scope. The bullet whizzing past his ear is a clear message: someone wants him dead. Retirement will have to wait, as his only choice is to assume a new identity—and keep running.
Conrad Black is a broken man. The injured barrister has come to the beach to recover from a hit-and-run “accident”, with plenty of time to wonder who might be wishing he’d been left dead instead of partially paralyzed. When he spots a surfer in trouble, he throws his crutches aside to pull the man to safety.
One glance at Archer takes Conrad’s breath away. And Archer finds himself envying the hands Conrad is using to pet his dog. But as the net tightens, both men can feel the targets on their backs heating up. The only thing that will save them is the truth…before death snatches away their one chance at love.
Review: Book 2 of the Fall or Break series is Conrad and Archer’s story. The Barrister and the assassin. Opposite sides of the law and both toppy alpha types. Someone’s got to bend or things between them will never work. At first they clash but their attraction and shared accommodations keep them together long enough for things to get going physically. The danger brings them together emotionally.
If you read book one you’ll remember Conrad the ex who wasn’t exactly likable. His character was controlling and manipulative. He’s a Barrister and loves using his power and words to crush his opponents. Archer wasn’t in the first book. He had a really bad abusive childhood growing up in the foster system. A series of choices led him to become an assassin. Something a survivor like Archer excelled at. It also makes his life a solitary one. He never uses his real name or lets anybody know who he really is. Which he has no problem with until he meets Conrad.
Archer has to go into hiding after his face is compromised and someone tries to take him out. He hides away in an ocean side village. Where he almost drowns but is thankfully saved by the recently handicapped but on the mend, Conrad. Somebody also tried to take Conrad out by way of hit and run. Which is why he’s hiding away outside of London rehabilitating. When someone shows up to finish the job neither is sure which one the bad guys is trying to kill but by this point they’re both intertwined in each others messes and they’re just trying to stay alive.
I thought I’d love this one more than I did. I think the second half of the book is better than the first. The first part Conrad is severely injured from being hit by a car. Then he’s able to do these amazing things. Like pull a man from the ocean. How he miraculously healed so much faster after Archer shows up kind of niggled at me. I guess it gives him a reason to stop wallowing and do something. Conrad in Breaking also seemed so different from the man in the first book. Yes I know he went through something traumatic but I wouldn’t have said these two were the same men at all. The other thing that made me crazy that I would think I’d love were the MCs dueling for alpha position over each other. I think what I didn’t like was that they did this by going back and forth over who was going to penetrate whom like that proves something. It just felt wrong instead of sexy until later when feelings got involved and they both give in. Initially it’s all a competition of who can stick it in whom first.
The second part of the book the guys start to fall for each other even though there are so many secrets between them. Archer feels he’s just putting Conrad’s life in danger by sticking around. Conrad doesn’t care. He just wants him there. Hell he needs him there. Conrad was pretty frustrating. He’s a freaking Barrister. He knows bad guys aren’t nice and yet he wants Archer to throw away his gun, goes into situations he should stay out of and doesn’t really embrace the danger they’re in until it’s too late. And yet somehow this guy who could barely walk 2 weeks prior runs into danger for his man! This part was pretty action packed. The guys finding out who they could and couldn’t trust was pretty interesting. There’s a good twist in the middle of the story that connects them. There’s definitely an intensity to this couple. When people are hunting you to kill you that tends to amp up the need which I enjoy reading about.
So I thought this one was pretty good. I think I liked the first one a little more even thought they’re totally different types of stories. Falling had a strong focus on the couple falling in love. This one had a lot more going on beyond the couple. Which I liked. Overall this was a pretty intense action packed read. I don’t really think you have to read the first book in this series to enjoy this book. If you like government spy/assassin type stories or broken alpha men you might give this one a try.