Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.
But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.
Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.
I love this author’s stories, but I have to admit I struggled a bit with this one. And, I think the author may have struggled a bit too. After all, it’s hard to take Ceaton Mercer, a guy who’s a mob enforcer (read cold-blooded killer), and show his soft side (read romantic heart), and then swing readers to be empathetic to him and root for him to get his man.
We start off with a glimpse of who he is and how his current job came to be. A former Marine who refused to put the team he was watching in jeopardy, even when a superior officer ordered him to do so, he left the service rather than take a court martial. Eventually, he was approached by the Serbian mob boss who offered him a position where he rose in the ranks to be second in command. Why? Because he was trustworthy, and that’s not something his boss took lightly.
But he became too popular and suddenly found himself on the outs with his boss, and when he’s sent to do a job another could have done, in the midst of his turmoil over whether or not his boss is going to put out a hit on him, he discovers the love of his life—a guy who seems to return the feelings if his behavior toward Ceaton is any indication.
Together they face an adventure that includes murder and mayhem, loyalty and dishonesty, and somehow they manage to survive to find their HEA together. All in one day!
I enjoyed the story. After all, there was a ton of action adventure, but there wasn’t much alone time between the two MCs, so I didn’t feel the romance. Yes, I got the sexual attraction, and even in the limited time together, I got to really like Brin, though he was a bit overboard in his airheadedness about Ceaton—considering he’s a brilliant marine biology grad student. I think the whole story would have been more believable if we had a few more days for the guys to develop their bond. And unlike many of her other romances, the author only gave us one sex scene—and that came at end of the book.
Now, on the other hand? If you want guns and murders and tales of past war battles? Do you like bad guys who are softies on the inside? Do you like insta-love? This is the one for you.