Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1)

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Title: Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1)
Author: L.J. Hayward
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 26th 2018
Genre(s): MM Contemporary Suspense Romance
Page Count: 395
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


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.

Honestly, there are only two different ways you can feel about this book: either you LOVE it or you LIKE it.

But one thing seems clear: if you won’t LIKE it, you have to stay away from MM Romance suspense books.

Wish you were here?..

The story:

Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier, and a current Australian ITA asset (Internal Threat Assessment) hasn’t yet fully recovered from his last undercover work. Or at least it is what ITA Director thinks and it is why Jack is not completely cleared for field work. Some things went pretty much wrong THEN, one year ago, and though Jack managed to escape, breaking free of the torture shack and the desert, he hasn’t yet convinced his bosses and shrinks that he is back and whole and ready.

NOW, exactly a year later after his fifteen-months-long undercover mission was discovered, Ethan Blade, his personal nightmare and currently number seven on the JSL (an assassins world best list -let me believe something like this really exists!), the one who betrayed Jack’s undercover but nevertheless mystifying saved his life helped him to escape after<, marches into the main Office of ITA in Sidney, the most secure building in Australia and asks for Jack. FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE! Is he totally crazy?! Didn’t Jack tell him when they departed in the desert, that he would kill him if their paths ever cross?!

Wish you were here?..

That is actually the start of the story and we are totally in the dark at the beginning craving to find out WHAT really happened one year in the desert and WHY this attractive but extremely dangerous cold-blooded killer turns himself in?! Or does he have some other plans?

The story is clever done, we won’t get the whole picture at once, but the author gives up bit by bit the missing puzzles – the story swings between NOW and THEN – and every chapter brings us a little bit closer to understanding WHAT happened in the past and…at the same time – mixes up all our possible theories.

Wish you were here?..

THAT is a delicious something of this book: You never knows WHO tells the truth at the very moment, whom can you trust and who plays the wrong game. The moment you think you get it, all your soooo nicely built speculations suddenly fly apart. This delightful cat-and-mouse game is EXACTLY what makes this story to such an entertaining and unputdownable read. Add a great sexual tension, good humor and a solid writing and you have a highly recommended contemporary MM Suspense Romance of first-class quality. Be ready for a lot of FUN!

Some thoughts at the close:

    I have to disagree with the readers who already scream for a sequel. Honestly, why can’t we just leave it a stand alone? For me, the most interesting thing in this book was a mysterious “interlude” between the MCs, an unawareness of what was going on and WHO changed the sides (if it was the fact at all, and and if, then WHY and HOW the person is going to get out of THIS situation). You simply CAN’T go on with THIS plot-structure for an eternity.

So let us leave it here, and enjoy the journey!

Death and the Devil series

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Galley copy of Where Death Meets the Devil provided by Riptide via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


A passionate reader from Germany. I learned to read at the age of 4 and never stopped since then, though my books from that time were very different from what they are now. English is my third language, and I'm sorry for all grammar mistakes I made in my reviews. But I assure you, that my reading English is much better than my writing English. I'm a seeker for the books that differ from mainstream, that provoke the reader or have very often very opposite ratings.