I love this author and I love many of the tropes in this book, so my only regret was not reading it sooner than I did. Asher and Harry live a specific type of life and know each other by reputation. When they’re dumped together immediately and violently, Harry isn’t sure he’ll make it out alive. Suddenly, they are two assassins on the run, neither sure they can trust the other, but there’s only one bed. Shenanigans ensue, and while it wasn’t always fun for the heroes, I had a blast as the reader.
Throughout this story, Walker does an excellent job of giving us Asher’s point of view without making it overt that the character knows more than he’s letting on. Asher’s mercenary status makes him an excellent foil to Harry’s loose attachment to his country, and I was intrigued at every turn by each detail revealed about his character. Also, I always have a soft spot for characters who are just a little bit insane, in a chaotic (almost) good way.
Harry doesn’t have more to lose, but he has more of a personal stake in their current troubles. I was hooked on the mystery that unfolds along with Harry and Asher running for their lives. I especially enjoyed the change in reading a story rooted in the politics of a different country (Harry is from Australia, not the United States). The story vibe was similar where it mattered, but the subtle differences made for an interesting read, particularly in terms of some of the specific political intrigue and how the characters viewed the various locations they traveled to.
The romance element of this book is a solid enemies-to-lovers arc with all the enjoyable accompanying drama. Asher and Harry secretly admire each other’s sheer competence, necessary to their line of work. The rest is a healthy dose of opposites attract, and I appreciate that the characters work out their frustration on each other in a way that does not involve bloodshed.
Neither man expects the feelings that develop until they are smacked in the face by them. Contradictory, the ending is not as action-packed as previous moments in the book, but it more than satisfies the needs of both the romance and external conflicts. As much as I loved spending time with these men, this is not a story that needs a sequel. Their happily ever after is well-earned.