Deadly Lover (Jia’s review)

Title: Deadly Lover (Exit Strategy #1)
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 26th 2018
Genre(s): Romance
Page Count: 242
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5


Justin Mallory has years of bad decisions to make up for, starting with agreeing to join the CIA after being recruited out of the Marines. Now he chooses the jobs and he works alone. It’s safer that way, and he can make sure the good guy always wins.

But this job…he can’t do alone. Two pharmaceutical researchers are dead and a dangerous drug is on the cusp of winning FDA approval if he doesn’t track down the culprit behind the lies and murders.

Gabriel Prescott is a well-trained, efficient, and cold-blooded killer. After a brutal betrayal left his lover dead, Gabriel is out only for himself. But when this lucrative contract lands in his lap, he can’t pass it up. Even if it means working with the unpredictable and insane Justin Mallory.

Dodging bullets and secret meetings find them depending on each other. And one hot, frantic night together leads to a hidden sweetness…and questions of whether they could possibly have something more.

I really like this author’s style of writing and this was no exception. Two assassins clashing and having to work with each other – Ooh, fun!

I liked the prologue a lot, got my attention immediately. Overall, I very much enjoyed this story – there were a few things that I really liked, their different personalities and how it causes friction between them, also since they both are used to working alone.
One of my favorite quotes is “The man was ridiculous – serious one second and utterly irreverent in the next.” Justin loves to rile Gabriel up and I love reading it!

I like how they are cautious and learn to trust each other little by little as they get closer. Rather soon into the story there’s an incident that causes a shift in Gabriel and we get an insight into his past and why the incident had such an effect on him. There are many things I like with Deadly Lover but there were also things that got me thinking.

These two assassins had a conscious or morals or, if you rather, code of honor and if I remember correctly they only take contracts on criminals. Not a problem but it makes me feel like they are more a kind of street hero or vigilante instead. So yes, this isn’t very dark in that sense and the story builds up but the base logic of the ‘evil’ part’s scheme felt a little weak. On the other hand there are those types of people out there too so… and if you have enough money and connections…

It ends with a cliffhanger of a kind and I, of course, want to see how their story evolves and what happens next.

Exit Strategy Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Deadly Lover provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


Reading, to me, is as close to an addiction as one can come without crossing the line... completely. I read a lot, and many different genres. I'd love to hear if my reviews helped you, so feel free to comment :)
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