Book Review: Why the Devil Stalks Death by L. J. Hayward

why the devil stalks death

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Jack Reardon uncovers secrets for a living, and the Meta-State spy is pretty good at it. Or rather he thought so until he met Ethan Blade—assassin, warrior, enigma. The unlikely pair have decided to give living together a shot, but Jack’s not entirely certain what he’s gotten himself into—or exactly who he’s in it with.
Jack’s worries are compounded when he’s assigned to a police strike force hunting a serial killer. With each new puzzle piece, Jack considers the true nature of a serial killer—and how similar it is to an assassin. To one particular assassin who’s having trouble adjusting to retirement. Jack’s unsure how to help Ethan—or if he even can.
When the killer strikes close to home, Jack must race against the clock to stop another murder, despite the price someone has put on his head. Could the matters be connected? Is a certain assassin at the centre of both? Surrounded by killers, the only one Jack wants near disappears, leaving Jack drowning in secrets. He’ll have to do what he does best—unravel the secrets, including Ethan’s—to stop the killer and save the life he and Ethan have only just begun to build.

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Everyone… I am in love!!! I already loved Where Death Meets the Devil , thought it was a very one of a kind romantic suspense action novel, but this book has truly cemented it’s place in my heart. Wow what a journey this was. It was a roller coaster of feelings and I’m still trying to get down from the high, so I apologize in advance if I go on rambling here.

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The author has a way of writing that keeps you on your toes for every single page and it’s very difficult to even imagine putting the book down. This book follows the similar before/after timeline like the first one, but thankfully it’s easier to get through this time around because we are already familiar with the style. The suspense is masterfully built up and I saw nothing coming and every twist was spectacular. Atleast half the chapters end on cliffhangers of their own and it just increases our curiosity as a reader, trying to guess what might happen next and feeling thrilled when the author goes in a whole other direction. The author skillfully blends suspense, action and chase sequences with an adorable love story and I have no words to describe how much I enjoyed this ride.

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Jack and Ethan are finally living together and the awkwardness is off the charts. It’s a struggle learning how to share a life, but as they slowly progress in their relationship, it was an absolute delight to watch. Though the story is still from Jack’s POV, we get to know so much more about Ethan – his personality outside of his identity as an assassin, his quirks and compulsions and vulnerabilities, his insecurities and some much needed truths about his childhood. It’s a heartbreaking story that only endeared me to him more and I don’t think I’ve ever loved an assassin character this much before. Jack is also dealing with his insecurities, isn’t sure if he can make his relationship work and his case of finding a serial killer is wreaking havoc on his mind. He did some very ridiculous things here, hurting Ethan in the process and I just wanted to shake him up and make him see sense. However, it’s Jack and Ethan and I knew that despite all the odds, they will find their way back to each other and it’s wonderful to watch that happen.

And that ending… it was GLORIOUS!!!! The “thing” that I have been waiting for to happen through two books and four novellas finally does, and it just blew my mind. The expression of their love for each other is so damn romantic and passionate and I just kept wishing that it would go on and on. After those two beautifully written final two chapters (the epilogue in Ethan’s POV is just the BESTTTTT), all I want is more Jack and Ethan and it’s so difficult not knowing when we’ll get the next book.

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If you like spy thrillers with a good dose of adorable romance, then this book is perfect for you. This series is a thrilling ride, with loads and loads of twists and turns, and two main characters whom you don’t think you will like, but will eventually fall in love with. A masterful lesson on how to keep the readers hooked. However, please make sure you read all the novellas in the order of release before this second book so that you don’t miss out on the fun of getting to know Jack and Ethan better.

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