I have to be completely honest. The main reason I wanted to read this book was the cover. The plastic model of a hero, the most relaxed boat-ride hair I’ve ever seen on the heroine, and they both look so bored! Then I read the synopsis, and said to myself “Huh, that could be interesting.”
Well, just to let you know, the synopsis is actually not at all what happens in the book. Not really. And their lovely boat ride on the cover? I just flipped through the book again trying to find a boat ride. Lots of motorcycles, very few boats. And for a good portion of the book, the heroine is kinda beat up. Literally. Also, there is an entire other couple whose romance (read: sexy fun times) takes place at least half the time, and they aren’t mentioned on the back cover at all. Which is sad, because of the two couples, I liked the second couple more.
So what really happens? Ben Mercy has a bit of a troubled past. Luckily, with the help of a coworker and friend, he is able to put that past behind him, and finally get his bounty hunter’s license. The very same day he gets it, however, is the day Wolf Marley shows up on the trail of the Mulligan Stew assassin, Micah, who used to work for King Fugitive Apprehension, the same company Ben works for. And who was Ben’s friend before he disappeared. And who happened to help Ben with his past troubles. Needless to say, Ben (and his bosses the Kings) still feel friendly towards Micah, and so Ben follows Wolf to try and keep him from apprehending Micah.
In the little town of Zounds, Angelina (Angel) has two good friends: Maggie and Zooey. Maggie is a bit of a recluse, and her husband never comes to town. Zooey is the unfortunate daughter of the wealthy crime lord/all around bad guy Emilio Cortez, who owns the bank, the various storefronts, and several cops in the town. When Ben and Wolf come to town, however, Zooey and Angel are both intrigued (though with wildly different reactions), and the four of them may be the only ones who can end Cortez’s reign of power, and end the mysterious disappearance of the Mulligan Stew assassin for good.
Personally, I found the book surprisingly violent and pleasingly sexual. The bad guys in this book are actual bad guys, not just an antagonistic plot device. Zooey is literally beaten at one point, and in desperate need of rescue. The threats towards Angel and the other shopkeepers (and to everyone else, really) are actual threats – losing their businesses, physical violence, etc. And the sex scenes – wow. The word “sizzling” comes to mind. The contrast between Angel and Zooey, their lives, their experiences, their personalities, is well done. And Wolf is the perfect anti-hero come to life – a nice balance for Ben, who seems to be more on the side of average handsome good guy.
But it also isn’t the best book in the world. It tends towards the ridiculous. It’s convoluted, and with so many things going on it was hard to follow who was doing what where, and how the different narratives matched up, time-wise. Luckily, it was ridiculously fun. Ben and Zooey annoyed me a bit as a couple, but Wolf and Angel were pretty hot (even though they had the more ridiculous name pairing. I mean, come on, Wolf and Angel? Really?) and actually had an adult relationship, which was a nice change. And the bad guy was pretty awesome as a bad guy. The perfect mix of straight-up nasty and creepy-smooth.
So, basically, ignore the cover altogether, ignore the blurb on the back, and if you don’t mind sexy times, give it a whirl. I thought it was fun, and really, what is more important? I go with enjoyable experience every time.