Retro Read: Criminals Books 1 and 2 by Erin M Leaf

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/series/223385

The Nullifier

Blurb

Contract killer Felix Zamaro isn’t looking for love—at his age, all he wants to do is retire. When he interrupts a robbery-in-progress, he stumbles into a mess: Nick Banner is in town to help his sister kick her loser boyfriend to the curb.

Nick never thought he’d meet a hot-as-hell assassin in the middle of a random coffee run, but watching Felix take down a couple of thieves in a crappy gas station has him questioning his rule against playing with straight guys.

When Felix’s next mark turns out to be none other than the boyfriend of Nick’s sister, all hell breaks loose. When Nick moves into the house next door to Felix, both men think fate is messing with them. However, it’s Nick’s unexpected career choice that really throws Felix off his game, and for a killer, that could be a fatal mistake.

Review

I admit that while I love Erin’s writing style and her characters, I love her paranormal story lines more than her contemporary. IMHO her paranormal plot lines and world building takes up more of the page time and while they all have loads of smexy times – the paranormal has less focus on it? I might be wrong but that’s what it feels like.

The other thing I find in a lot of Erin’s stories: evil women. While I can respect that in a world of men and women at least 50% of the time the bad guy will be a female, but I think a disproportionate number of her villains are women. Just sayin’.

I love a good “anti-hero” story and I think this fills the bill. Felix is not what you typically expect in a hero and he’s a kick in the pants. Matching him up with the naïve but yet almost equally “off color” Nick was genius and I love them as a couple.

The story line (non romance) was ok, interesting but not fascinating.

All in all I liked it and thought it was good.

3.75 rounded to 4 of 5 stars

The Fixer

Blurb

When Zero Graham wakes up in the hospital, he has only one thing on his mind: revenge on the mastermind who shot him and trashed his home. He’s the best fixer in the business, and that means he has a reputation to uphold.

Julian Amon doesn’t want to check up on his mother’s patient, but he can’t say no to her, and he finds the older man intriguingly hot. His decision to tag along when Zero checks himself out of the hospital borders on crazy, but the older man interests him, and Julian has always enjoyed a good mystery.

Zero doesn’t want or need a babysitter, but Julian’s physical competence and lack of fear push all of his buttons in exactly the right way. Violence is his kink, and the younger man doesn’t seem to mind the scent of blood, but will Julian be able to handle the pressure when Zero closes in on his enemy?

Review

I wanted more for Zero – he was such a neat character in book 1 and I thought this didn’t do him justice.

I don’t like the cutting and bleeding and there were times I wasn’t sure everyone was on the same page. Zero became more of a parody in this than he was in book 1.

This didn’t sit as well with me as book 1 but I still enjoyed Julian and Zero as a couple.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Copies purchased for review

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