Author: Ashe Barker
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.
Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.
As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.
Review: The beginning of this book has you really disliking the MC Gideon. He’s pretty evil. He basically sold his soul to the devil. Or whatever that guy is. Even after finishing the book I still don’t really know. To be fair it was that or die. Selling his soul has given him mortality but it’s also made him cruel and angry. He lives out each lifetime until he crosses paths with his soul mate of sorts. At that time there comes a crossroads. To redeem his soul he has to show mercy and resist his urges to kill him. Gideon always kills him. That is until we get to present day.
Michael knows Gideon is a bad guy. Their paths crossed once and it ended in an ex of Michael’s dead. Michael makes it his mission to expose Gideon after his brother the Duke is found dead. What he finds is that he’s irresistibly attracted to the man he’s despised all these years. Also that maybe he’s not as bad as he thought.
I was looking forward to this book. The blurb totally intrigued me. For me however the book fell flat. Gideon’s character is vile in the way only murders and animal torturers can be. He’s unrepentant for the things he’s done. Then his character does a 180 when he meets Michael. There’s insta lust which could have been hot considering Michael supposedly hates Gideon but it just felt wrong to me. There’s really no build up. It’s more wanna have sex? Yeah I guess. Hell Gideon says he never bottoms but does for Michael just because. He even wants him to stay the night. From there there’s lots of sex followed by them falling in love suddenly. You could make the case they’re soul mates but it still felt too convenient.
I also had other issues. Michael is hired as a driver but his driving record or license is never checked. Michael doesn’t want to break laws by getting fake documents but he’s fine with cutting the breaks of Gideon’s car and possibly killing him and others. Huh? There were so many moments I questioned like this. I usually try to roll with it but I can only do that so many times. The murder mystery was fairly obvious but kept my interest more than the love story. The assassin plot goes nowhere. The entire selling of his soul to some guy wasn’t ever explained either. It happens. He has some power over Gideon but it’s never really explained or fleshed out. It’s just part of the story but goes nowhere. I really wanted to like this book but I personally had too many problems with it.