REVIEW: Cold Light by Michelle Frost
Criminal Delights: Assassins: Cold Light – Michelle Frost
Being an assassin wasn’t something Lexington Campbell ever envisioned for himself, but after spending eight years doing just that, he’s prepared to take his place at the table of his father’s motorcycle club, The Iron Heretics.
Arden spends his nights dancing on stage at Spritz, one of St. Louis’s hottest night clubs, and waiting for Lex to pass back through town. After being orphaned young, he fears letting himself get too attached to the distant, bearded Lex, even after three years of inviting the man into his bed.
When Lex finds himself with a price on his head, he unknowingly pulls Arden into the darkness with him. When things aren’t what they seem, and enemies abound, will they find themselves still standing together in the cold light of day?
This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.
Cold Light reads like a Dreamspun Desire offering. Sweet and cute. Nowhere near dark. Almost a fairytale even. One where daddy bear Lex plucks his boy, Arden, from a brothel, showers him with gifts, saves him from the bad guys, finds the treasure and they live happily ever after.
Which is fine if you’re selling fluff but underwhelming if you’re advertising stories designed to disturb. And I was ready to be disturbed.
I was awww-ing instead.
They even have a lovable mutt named Pipsqueak, ffs!
I would have preferred Lex to do a few dastardly deeds. As an assassin, he did kill some people but everybody was so blase about it, you’d hardly noticed. He didn’t feel like an assassin, not because he was really, really nice to Arden but because he seemed to lack that killer instinct. I didn’t sense any danger coming from him.
There were other darker aspects present. A troubled past and an attempted sexual assault. There was also a torture scene but not gratuitous. Any resulting angst or trauma was not dwelt upon too deeply by the story.
Taking it for what it is, a daddy-boy romance with a side of MC, I think many people would enjoy this. It’s not a trope I usually go for but Lex and Arden had this fantastic chemistry going, they made the experience worthwhile. The rest of the characters were likable and interesting enough, their books, if any, might be worth looking into. Mason, Lex’s mentor, I’m shipping with Pax, Arden’s friend. Lex’s dad, Jeb, with whom he had a complicated relationship, turned out to have a few surprises of his own. On the other hand, the bad-guys were given cardboard personalities so you know right away they won’t live long.
Plot-wise, the premise was intriguing. For the most part, it was delivered well and wrapped up neatly. It could have done with some more action and suspense and also possibly, deeper exploration of Lex’s and Arden’s backstories. There was a lot of history going on that were only hinted upon so if there is a second book, I’ll gladly read it.
This is another Criminal Delights installment that’s different from what’s expected (for sure, this series never lacks surprises). I love assassin stories, the kind that leans more towards the job. Cold Light turned out to be the less killing, more cuddling variety. Luckily, I like fluff so it’s still a win.
Criminal Delights books here
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
Soundtrack: Cold Light
SOUNDTRACK: Cold Light by Fenech-Soler
Soundtrack to Criminal Delights: Assassins: Cold Light by Michelle Frost