REVIEW: A Kiss to Die For by Gail Barrett
An unlikely pair meets when fighting off a gang, trying to protect a group of unwed, runaway teen moms-to-be. With an unknown enemy wanting the shelter owner dead, an army veteran with enough problems of his own steps in to save her. Can two broken people heal together and earn a happy-ever-after?
REVIEW: A Kiss to Die For by Gail Barrett
Series: The Buried Secrets Trilogy, Book 2
Category: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin (released August 6, 2013)
Rating 4 out of 5 Stars
Review Courtesy of Romance Junkies.
A KISS TO DIE FOR picks up where FATAL EXPOSURE left off, so if you haven’t read book one in THE BURIED SECRETS TRILOGY yet, I suggest that you read it first because it kicks off the trilogy so well that you’re missing out if you don’t read them in order.
Haley Barnes runs a shelter for unwed teen runaways because, much like herself as a teen, they have no one else and nowhere else to go. When one of the teen mothers-to-be wanders off, Haley tries desperately to find her before the local street gang does. She never suspects that the gang will try to shoot both of them and is grateful when an army veteran, who she suspects is homeless, comes to their aid when the gang tries to gun them down.
Staff Sergeant Sullivan “Sully” Turner lives at his best friend’s row house because he inherited it when his friend died in Afghanistan. If living is what you call it, considering that he is drowning the flashbacks and his injured leg with alcohol, unable to kick the nightmares of the day when he lost his entire squad. When he sees a woman and a girl face annihilation by a gang looking to show their strength, the sleeping warrior inside him is unleashed. Rushing to their location outside his row house, he returns gunfire to, hopefully, scare off the gang long enough to get the woman and the girl to safety.
Without any time to waste, they arrange to transfer all the girls from Haley’s shelter to another, in order to keep them safe until they figure out why the gang has targeted them. When Sully realizes that Haley plans to move her girls to safety on foot, through the very same streets patrolled by the gang, he insists on escorting them. The gang attacks and Haley ends up knocking one of the attackers out, when they learn from his cell phone that there’s a price on Haley’s head, and it’s a bigger price if she’s dead. Sully has no choice but to help Haley find who ordered the hit, or forever have the guilt of another death on his hands.
Haley isn’t sure why she feels safe with Sully but she does, so she insists that he be the one to guard her when she goes to a fundraiser for shelters. They suspect that someone connected with her father is orchestrating the hit on Haley and her parents will be part of the high society members attending this gala event. When Haley and her two friends were homeless teenagers, there was an execution-style murder that one of them witnessed and they made a pact to bury the evidence and go underground to stay safe. By changing their names, they eventually restarted their lives, always aware that someday that murder may come back to haunt them. Even though Haley has had no contact with her parents since she ran away, it still appalls her that her father could be involved with someone wanting her dead. The only way to find out is to confront her parents and she needs Sully by her side when she does it because he’s the only one she can trust.
Sully and Haley are both running away from their past, so they have an immediate connection. Haley wants to help Sully realize that he’s a man to be respected, and Sully wants to protect Haley from everyone, including himself. Haley’s nurturing qualities are no match for Sully’s resolve, and even though he knows it’s not a good idea to spend so much time with someone he’s so attracted to, he can’t say no. Haley knows Sully is broken and can’t help wanting to fix him. At first, Sully seems broken beyond repair and I wasn’t sure that he would ever be right for Haley. But Haley has more problems than are apparent, so whether they can ever have a lasting relationship is questionable off and on throughout their journey. That doubt also leads to some very emotional moments.
A couple of the characters in this book might incite your inner mama-bear as much as they did mine. Author Gail Barrett has a real talent for making you think about her contemptible bad characters, shaking your head, wondering what makes people do what they do because they seem so real and inexcusable. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “reach out and touch someone”. A good bop in the head might be good. LOL
A KISS TO DIE FOR is a fast-paced, wild ride through gang and crime filled streets, where the real enemy hides and waits. Even though the hero and heroine have faced insurmountable odds throughout their lives, this time they can’t trust anyone because the person who is calling the shots is unknown, plus, he always seems to be one step ahead of them. Even though there are cameo appearances of characters from book one, the main focus of this book is on Sully, Haley, their romance and the evolving suspense. Despicable villains, good friends, family and foe, a sinister, riveting suspense and true love round out this adventure-filled novel, which builds the anticipation for book three, SEDUCED BY HIS TARGET, available in December 2013.
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