Series: Killer Instincts #8
Published by Berkley Books on April 25th 2017
Genres: Action, Military
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.
When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.
As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.
Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first they have to make it home alive.
This is it, the final Killer Instinct story and Elle Kennedy certainly takes us out with a bang. Cate Morgan is now grown up and working as a photo journalist. She accidentally takes a photo of a drug king pin who is supposed to be dead. She gives in and contacts her father, who she isn’t getting along with, to verify the man in the photo. It is when Morgan reaches out to his contacts that all hell breaks loose. Men like Rivera have moles everywhere and it gets back to him that Cate has this photographic proof. Like any good drug lord, instead of being smart about it, locating Cate and stealing her camera and computer equipment, they burst in with guns blazing leaving a trail of bodies. But Cate has learned enough living on campus with mercs and manages to get away.
While this set up is important to the story, it really doesn’t make sense. If they could have gotten to Cate and her equipment before anyone found out she had that picture, okay, then killing her makes sense. But she has already sent the picture to Morgan, and he already sent it to his DEA contacts. Killing Cate really doesn’t accomplish anything but a drug lord having a very bloody, hissy fit. Damage is done, and his faked death is blown. If it was just Morgan with the picture, they could have kidnapped Cate to get the copies destroyed, but since the government already had proof that he faked his death, killing Cate accomplishes nothing except giving us a thrilling story plot.
Putting aside from that small flaw, Cate contacts Jim, because she might be pissed at her Dad but she’s not stupid, and Jim, Noelle and his team arrive to get Cate out. The team arrives at Cate’s location at the same time as the drug lord and several members of the cartel are killed in the cross fire, and Jim is critically injured. The drug lord is pissed off and wants to destroy Morgan’s team and Noelle is looking to destroy the cartel in retribution for Jim’s injury. When the cartel starts going after family members in order to flush out the team, the war turns into a blood bath.
Romancewise, we have not just one couple to get together but two: Cate and the rookie, Ash; and Liam and Sully.
For anyone still squeamish about a male/male romance, I have to tell you, the interactions and chemistry between Liam and Sully was much more fulfilling than that of Cate and Ash.
Cate was happy see to Jim arrive, but not Ash. Jim didn’t want his daughter hooking up with a merc and knew that Cate gravitated to Ash whenever they were both at the compound. Not wanting the disappoint Jim, Ash pushes away Cate hard, sometimes being very nasty and hurtful to her. While he regrets hurting her, he chooses Jim’s approval over Cate.
We have watched Liam and Sully doing the dance for the last few books. Their friendship abruptly changed after an impromptu passionate kiss which threw Liam into confusion over his feelings towards his friend. Liam grew up in a conservative Irish Catholic family and feared his parents’ and siblings’ reactions if he decided to be with a man. I was always sad for Sullivan Port, who grew up an orphan, and while he was always the life of the party, the only real friend he had was Liam. This kiss took away the only person who cared about Sully and it was heartbreaking. So for the last few books Liam and Sully danced around where they stood–do they stay friends? do they become lovers?
Sully was also shocked and disappointed that, after rejecting Liam in one of the prior stories and telling Liam that he wasn’t interested in helping Liam experiment with a man, Liam apparently found a lover to experiment with and Sully realizes he screwed up royally. This parallels Cate and Ash’s story where Cate wanted Ash to be her first but he tosses a naked Cate out of his room, she eventually loses her virginity to some random hook up and was quite disappointed by the whole experience.
Why I say there was more to Liam and Sully’s relationship than Cate and Ash is simply there was more passion and more play between them both in and out of bed while Ash was more of a “plow ’em as fast and hard as possible” kind of guy. There was little build up between them, while Liam and Sully built up the pressure until they could get the other begging for release.
Liam and Sully was the relationship I was looking to finally get a resolution on and I am happy the way it all worked out.
As far as a final story, Elle Kennedy didn’t disappoint. It was all action and excitement and certainly worth the read.
He reached for the bar of soap in the built-in tray on the tiled wall and started lathering up. He was just rinsing himself clean when footsteps sounded from the door.
Anyone but Sullivan. For fuck’s sake, let it be anyone but–
It was Sullivan.
Yeah, somehow that didn’t surprise him. After what went down between them last night, he’d known that Sully would eventually track him down.
Theirs eyes met across the steam-filled room. Liam’s throat ran dry as Sullivan flicked the lock on the door.
“Really, mate? You seriously think you can suck my cock and then walk away like that?”
Sully took a step. He wore camo pants and a white T-shirt, but the clothes didn’t stay on for long. As Liam watched in a dry-mouthed dismay, the man peeled off his shirt, exposing his heavy, muscular chest. Then he kicked off his boots and removed his pants.
Liam’s heart stuttered. Sully wasn’t wearing any boxers. He was buck-naked, all golden skin and rippled muscles and an impressive erection that stirred Liam’s groin.
Ignoring the pile of clothes at his feet, Sully stalked forward in predatory strides.
By the time Sully reached him, Liam’s erection was at full mast. Neither man addressed their state of arousal. Their gazes remained locked.
“Where’d you sleep last night?” Sully’s voice was smooth as cream and laced with accusation.
“I crashed in the comm room. Left at dawn for the city with Ethan.”
The big, blond main nodded.
Liam didn’t know what that meant. And he was valiantly forcing himself not to look at his friend’s crotch. No, his former friend’s crotch. The days of their tight-knit friendship were long gone–that was the only reason Liam had allowed himself to succumb to temptation last night.
He wouldn’t have touched Sully if the man hadn’t made it abundantly clear that there would be no consequences. No friendship to ruin, no awkwardness to deal with. Liam had no doubt Sully would disappear right after this job, the way he always disappeared. He’d run off and hide on his boat, where he’d pretend he didn’t give a shit about the world.
“What do you care where I went?” Liam asked quietly. “You looked more than satisfied before I left last night.”
“Satisfied?” Sully made a disgruntled sound. “Why? Because I came in your mouth?”
His cock twitched at the dirty memory.
“You think I just rolled over and fell asleep?”
“No, mate, I didn’t.”
With feigned nonchalance, Liam turned to face the shower, letting the water soak his face. He rubbed his palms over his cheeks and then sliced his wet hair back. “Why’s that?” he asked without looking over.
“Because we weren’t done last night.” There was a pause. “We’re not done now.”
He jumped when he felt a warm, male hand on the small of his back. Then, before he could blink, Sullivan twisted him around and pressed him up against the tiled wall, his mouth landed on Liam’s in a harsh kiss.
The greedy stroke of Sully’s tongue sent lust surging through his blood, and he was gasping for air by the time the man released him. Gray eyes, burning with desire, pierced Liam’s face, speeding up his pulse. This was such a stupid idea. It would lead nowhere. It always led nowhere. But he still wanted it. He wanted it more than he wanted his next breath.
From the hot look in Sully’s eyes, he wanted the same damn thing.
Without a word, he slowly brought his mouth back to Liam’s, but instead of another tongue-tangling kiss, he dragged his tongue over Liam’s top lip and lapped at the droplets of water clinging to it.
“You made me beg last night,” the blond man murmured bringing his lips close to Liam’s ear. “I don’t like to beg but I did. For you. And now you’re going to do it for me.”