• book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: King Slayer by Layla Reyne

    52143198. sx318 sy475

    Fog City: King Slayer – Layla Reyne

    Never fall for a mark. Mission fail.

    Christopher Perri—a.k.a. Dante Perry—infiltrated the Madigan organization with one goal: vengeance for his murdered partner. Falling for the assassin at the head of the table wasn’t part of the plan, but Hawes Madigan is not the cold, untouchable Prince of Killers Chris expected. Everything about the newly crowned king is hot, and every inch of him eminently touchable…and off-limits once Chris’s cover is blown.

    Exposure couldn’t come at a worse time. Hawes’s throne is threatened, and Chris suspects the same person who killed his partner is behind the coup. Working with Hawes benefits them both, but Chris’s employer has other ideas. Dismantling criminal organizations is what Chris does best, and his boss expects the King Slayer to deliver.

    But Hawes is taking the Madigans in a new direction, one Chris can get behind, and the two men form a shaky alliance strengthened by the irresistible attraction between them…until Chris learns who killed his partner. Once he knows the truth, the King Slayer is unleashed, and Chris will stop at nothing to destroy those who betrayed him, including the king who stole his heart.

    Twists and turns—and cliffhangers—continue in book two of the Fog City Trilogy. Read at your own risk!

    King Slayer picks up immediately from the very last part of book one, where Hawes was handcuffed to the bed and Christopher Perri turned the world upside down with his shocking revelations. Plans of working together were proposed but trust was in short supply. Hawes was burned all right but didn’t stop him and Chris from getting into each other’s pants yet again.

    I mentioned before that Hawes wasn’t that badass for somebody who leads a family of assassins. Seeing him from Chris’ perspective, the parts of the King that other people, me included, see as weaknesses only that proved he had a soul (also that his badassery is there when he needs to be, not something he flaunts). Hawes fought hard to keep that part of him. The assassin was always described with sharp edges but there’s a softness to him that makes it easy to see why Chris would fall for a mark like that.

    Still not into Dante/Chris, but I liked the story better from his POV. My earlier impression was that of him being a manipulative bastard so I feel a lot better understanding his motives this time. And he was willing to do more than just blur the lines as he fully committed himself to the mission. Many times, he outright lied to his coworkers about the details of events to protect the Madigans. I was left wondering if he still has a job after this. Then I remembered, this was his last hurrah. The guy had nothing to lose. Knock yourself out, Chris! I have an idea what he’s going to do after all this is over. Can’t wait!

    I liked how Fog City connects to the bigger Layla Reyne universe. Definitely enjoying those little references to the FBI and that SAC with an Irish accent ( ~ _ ^ )b. New characters were introduced including a by-the-book agent, Scotty Wheeler, who turned out to be not so bad after all. I wouldn’t mind reading a book about him. I could see an opposites-attract enemies-to-lovers thing going for this agent. Make it happen, please!

    King Slayer clocks in at 5+ hours, relatively short but very twisty. Major hints of who’s behind the plans to get Hawes out of the picture dropped like a bomb. Who that person was was surprising and in hindsight, made a lot of sense because who else had a vested interest in the future of the business? The most surprising part of it all was that their interest was serious enough to make it worth eliminating someone as closely connected as Hawes. Damn! How would this play out? Can Hawes pull the trigger when the moment of truth arrives?

    Like Prince of Killers, I was swept along by the fast-paced writing. It’s still as tight and suspenseful as ever, but there’s less of a rushed feeling and more getting into the moment. I loved the ending for this book. Still very cliffy but satisfying because some questions were answered and finally, Hawes and Chris are in sync.

    Saw the cover for book 3, A New Empire. Oh-em-gee! I know Chris is retiring but whatever you do, stay in business, Hawes.


    Layla Reyne book here

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: King Rides By
    Artist: Cat Power
    Album: What Would The Community Think

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Prince Of Killers by Layla Reyne

    45178448. sy475

    Fog City: Prince Of Killers – Layla Reyne

    No indiscriminate killing. No collateral damage. No unvetted targets.

    These are the rules Hawes Madigan lives by. Rules that make being Fog City’s Prince of Killers bearable. Soon, he’ll be king—of an organization of assassins—and the crown has never felt heavier. Until the mysterious Dante Perry swaggers into his life.

    Dante looks like a rock god and carries himself like one too, all loose-limbed and casually confident. He also carries a concealed weapon, a private investigator’s license, and a message for the prince. Someone inside Hawes’s organization is out to kill the future king.

    In the chaos that follows the timely warning, Hawes comes to depend on Dante. On his skills as an investigator, on the steadiness he offers, and on their moments alone when Hawes lets Dante take control. As alliances are tested and traitors exposed, Hawes needs Dante at his back and in his bed. But if the PI ever learns Hawes’s darkest secret, Hawes is sure to get a knife to the heart—and a bullet to the brain—instead. 

    There’s no shortage of twists and turns in this new romantic suspense trilogy from Layla Reyne. Prince of Killers is book one of three. Fair warning: buckle up, cliffhangers ahead!

    Like many Layla Reyne fans, I was super excited to start on her new series. Obviously with all the glowing reviews, my expectations were skyhigh. Now that I’ve read it, in a word, Prince Of Killers was FAST.

    So fast that I was still savoring my tour of San Francisco with the Madigans before I realized it, they were already about to do the big reveal. I hardly felt the 5+ hours of the audiobook. Even with that kind of pacing, the story didn’t feel incomplete. The author was able to establish the need-to-knows, build-up, conflict and mystery efficiently. It’s just that I was lulled by the great writing and Tristan James’ narration. I had fun listening to Hawes and his siblings going about their business. Assassins going through the step-by-steps of their jobs never failed to fascinate me and I could listen to that kind of shit all day.

    I was expecting many twisty and shocking events though, but there were only one or two twists that were actually surprising.

    Dante Perry literally walked into Hawes’ life and I was taken aback at how easily the Madigan scion trusted this stranger. This from the leader of a family who trusted no one. Then Dante proceeded to breeze through everything.

    They started sleeping together from day one and from that point on, Hawes fantasized about his getting his HEA. He knew not everyone would be as lucky as his grandparents, Papa Cal and Rose, given his line of work. Still, can’t blame a man for being hopeful. But really? Day one? His brother Holt hasn’t even finished vetting the PI.

    I liked Hawes but for a master assassin, he came across as, well, not bad-ass. I know giving him ‘weaknesses’ was intentional in order to emphasized his humanity, especially to Dante, but I share the sentiment of those who gave lower ratings. Him making this poor a decision on something as major as to who he lets into his inner circle doesn’t ring true to his character. What would Papa Cal say, Big H?

    All this griping aside, I have faith in Layla Reyne and gladly suspended disbelief. One of her strong suits is creating characters you can root for and their awesome family dynamics. She did it in Agents Irish and Whiskey and its spin-off, Trouble Brewing. She also did it again here. She made me rally for the Madigans. As to Dante, I need to get inside his head first. Not warming up to him yet.

    Hawes for all his weaknesses and grey morality, his heart’s in the right place. His twin, Holt, best hacker in town and father of the year. Helena, their sister, now she is bad ass. A ninja moonlighting as a lawyer. Emilia, Holt’s wife, devoted mother and their on-call nurse, is a woman who can do scary things with your pressure points. Together they form a warm, cozy family who just happened to have a deadly business on the side. I really liked how they worked together which why I had a rude awakening when they finally unmasked the traitor. Tsk tsk tsk! To think I liked that character. Too bad. A great twist nonetheless.

    Which made me expect a big Madigan showdown. It was anti-climactic. The boss fight was over in a snap. I nearly missed the part and had to replay it just to be sure. Oh well, they did promise not to hurt the traitor.

    Prince Of Killers is a good series opener. It’s a fun, suspenseful book that promised more action-packed goodness in the future. It did not entirely not wow me but that’s par for course with many series openers I’ve encountered including LR‘s series so no biggie. I know the next book is going to be EXPLOSIVE. I am so hyped up for King Slayer because damn that cliffhanger! Also, Dante’s POV!

    I recommend the Fog City series if you like high-stakes romantic suspense stories about assassins with souls and LEOs finding love outside the law.


    Layla Reyne books here.

    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: Shot In The Dark
    Artist: Ozzy Osbourne
    Album: The Ultimate Sin