This was a great action-packed read with two men who become unlikely allies and then unlikely friends and lovers. I really liked both Harry and Asher, they both had sad backgrounds and the job they did only made their loneliness and isolation from meaningful relationships more obvious. When they are thrown together because their lives are both in danger there are plenty of issues for them both to work through for them to learn to trust each other.
This novel was darker and much less sweet than some of NR Walker’s other novels, but I really enjoyed it and she did a great job of keeping my interest and conveying all the situations they were in, the different countries and areas they passed through and the many emotions these two heroes went through on their journey to find safety and love.
What scared me the most about the corruption situation in this novel was the thought that our governments and those in power probably are behind assassinations and manipulations throughout the world and we know nothing of this. Is this a good thing or a bad thing and who is policing those in power making those decisions?
While there was action, chaos and danger, there was also humour and plenty of chemistry between Harry and Asher which I really enjoyed. Even when they first met and didn’t trust each other at all, they had respect for each other and I liked how that respect grew into something more. Once this happened there was plenty of sweetness between them.
Thanks to Netgalley and BlueHeart Press for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
Blurb for THE KITE
Ex-Australian Specialist Response Group, Tim “Harry” Harrigan, has been running covert ops for almost a decade. A lone wolf, he’s single-handedly taken down terrorists and national security threats, or so he thinks. He’s been in the game far too long, and when he sees a familiar threat, he knows his time is up.
Asher Garin is a dangerous man. A man without loyalty, a man without a nationality, without a country, or a home. He’s also a mercenary for hire to the highest bidder. His next job is a face he recognises, and after a tip-off, he learns he too is a marked man.
It’s a different game now, and Harry and Asher have a better chance at surviving if they stick together. But it’s not just the game or the rules that have changed. The stakes have too.
Because on their own, they had nothing to lose. Together, they do.
Genres: LGBTQ+ Romance, Suspense
#EnemiesToLovers #GayAssassins #UsAgainstThem
Caution: on-page physical and gun violence. Reader discretion advised.
Harry crossed the street. No one crossed after him, but whoever was after him was closer now.
He could feel it.
That cold stab of dread, sixth sense, gut feeling. Like icy fingers down his skin.
And if someone was after Harry, it wasn’t good. He was the hunter, never the hunted. If he was the mark . . .
Christ. He was the mark.
Harry ducked past two women, slipping through a narrow utility alley, and he ran. He was being chased now, silent and fast. At the end of the alley, he turned left and went through an open door, up a set of stairs to the roof, his heart hammering.
He ran along the roofline, exposed but faster than on the street. He heard footsteps chasing behind him but didn’t dare turn around, and as the muted whirr of a bullet pinged past his head, he jumped.
He knew the sound of that gun. It was a SIG Pro 9mm with a suppressor.
French special forces, standard issue.
He landed on a first-floor balcony, using his momentum to leap again, this time to the ground. Pain shot through his ankle but he kept moving, down another alley, and through an open door and into a darkened hall.
Hands grabbed him, spun him and pinned his back against the wall as the door closed behind him. In half a disorienting second, Harry pulled his gun to his assailant’s head at the same time he realised he had a pistol pressed against his.
Eyes flashed in the dark, familiar and close. A man’s body pressed him hard to the wall, their chests heaving. A hand covered his mouth.
Harry didn’t dare breathe, his finger on the trigger, still aimed at the man’s head. The cold press of metal against Harry’s temple told him to wait.
The sound of feet outside came running. The crackle of a radio, a French voice just outside the door. “I’ve lost him.” The footsteps faded, and only after a long moment did the man move his hand from Harry’s mouth.
Harry could see then who it was.
Asher fucking Garin.
Adrenaline exploded through Harry’s veins and he started, pushing his pistol harder into Asher’s temple. Asher gnashed his teeth. Anger and defiance flashed in his eyes. “Keep quiet or you’ll kill us both,” Asher hissed, barely a whisper.
His words didn’t make sense.
Asher had saved him?
If there was anyone on the planet sent to kill Harry, it would be Asher. He was the only other man good enough. They were the top two government assassins in the world. Yet Asher had just saved him from the French?
Keep quiet or you’ll kill us both.
After an eternity, Asher released him, though he kept his pistol aimed at Harry’s head. “We need to get out of here,” he murmured.
Harry’s heart was thundering. His finger itched to pull the trigger. Itched. “The fuck?”
Asher held up his phone to show Harry the screen. “Sent to all agencies.” An assignment, just like any other. Just like any of the thousand he’d received in the last decade. Locations, dates, names, and photographs.
Harry’s blood ran cold, and his eyes met Asher’s.
Asher nodded, his stare intense. “You and me; double hit. They want us dead. You’re a kite, and your government just cut you loose.”
Harry grappled with his fight or flight instinct, his heart hammering, his ankle throbbing. But given two men had just tried to kill him and the fact Asher hadn’t killed him—and the assignment on his phone screen—Harry could assume what Asher said was true.
Asher must have seen the realisation in Harry’s eyes because he slowly lowered his gun. Just an inch. “We need to trust each other,” he whispered. “The only chance we have is if we stick together. Can you do that?”
Trusting any other person went against every cell in Harry’s body, but what choice did he have? If he said no, one or both of them died right here. If the assignment was sent to all agencies, there wasn’t a country or government anywhere in the world that could protect them.
Harry had no choice.
Answering without a word, he took his finger off the trigger.
“You were here to kill me?” Harry asked. “I was your assignment? Three days ago?”
Asher nodded, almost cheerfully. “Yes.”
“So why didn’t you do it?”
Asher shot him a wary look and chewed on the inside of his lip for a second before he concentrated on the traffic for a moment. “Because it was you.”
Harry stared at Asher, at his gorgeous profile, at the hint of a smile on his lips. “I never realised you were a fan.”
Asher laughed, not entirely a happy sound. “Not quite. But I thought about it, what it meant that they wanted you dead. I knew you wouldn’t have done anything wrong, which means they’re cleaning house, and if they’re getting rid of you, then I had to be next.” He shrugged again. “Then my informant sent me the picture this morning. I can only guess they sent me to kill you so we’d be in the same place at the same time. Convenient to have us both taken out.”
Harry thought about what Asher was saying. It made sense. Except . . . “You knew I wouldn’t have done anything wrong? So you are a fan.”
Asher rolled his eyes. “We’ve been doing this a long time, you and me. I’ve followed your work. Keep-your-enemies-closer kind of deal. And anyway, there’s a reason you’re the second best.”
“The second best?”
Asher looked right at him and laughed, and Harry hated that he found him attractive.
“You never received an assignment for me?” Asher pressed.
Harry shook his head. “No.”
“Shame,” Asher mused. “I’m a little disappointed they never sent you to try and kill me. It would have been fun, no? To finally see which of us would win.”
Was he enjoying this? He certainly looked like he was, like this was all a game.
Harry glared at him. He had more confirmed kills than Asher, and they both knew it. Asher was renowned for sniping, clean and efficient, from a distance; no one ever saw him. The man was an enigma. Harry was better on the ground, close combat. Oh, he could do stealth when he had to, but he had no problems backing himself in close quarters. “What’s in Morocco?”
Asher shot him a look. His jaw bulged. “It’s not Europe.”
Both men were quiet for a while. Traffic was light as they left the city. The weather was good. Harry did his best to ignore the pain that was now radiating through his ankle and foot and up his shin.
“How bad is it?” Asher asked.
“How bad is what?”
“You’re injured. You took pills before and you have sweat on your brow.”
He couldn’t let himself be a liability. If he slowed Asher down, Asher would simply rid himself of the deadweight. Harry knew this because he’d do the same.
“I’m sure it’s just a sprain,” Harry admitted. It felt worse than that, but he’d never admit it. Anyway, he’d endured worse.
“When you jumped off the roof,” Asher deduced. “That was stupid, by the way.”
“It was jump or be shot. I’d take my chances with the jump, thanks.”
They were quiet again, the miles flying by.
“So,” Harry said eventually. “What’s your plan? You didn’t just not kill me when you had a chance. You saved my ass. And I’m not buying the whole us-against-them bullshit.” He waited for Asher to look at him. “What do you need me for?”
Asher watched Harry sleep. Much like he’d watched him these last three days. Much like he’d watched him these last eight years. Harry had been on the scene for two years when Asher started, and he’d known of him by reputation before he’d ever laid eyes on him.
He’d never forget when he first saw him. Six-foot-three inches tall, three-feet wide. The man was a mountain. A ruggedly handsome mountain. How he’d remained off-radar was beyond Asher. He wasn’t exactly difficult to miss.
He had sandy blond hair cut short and blue eyes sharp enough to cut glass. His nose had been broken at some point. He had a scar above one eyebrow. His whole face had healed nicks and bumps, evidence of a decade of war.
It just made him more attractive.
Asher had considered, very briefly, in fulfilling his contract to kill Harry. Driving to Madrid, he was certain he could do it. Just another job. Safe distance, sight the target, pull the trigger. Easy.
Until he saw him.
What Asher had told Harry was the truth. The fact they wanted Harry dead meant Asher was also on that list. Of that, he had no doubt. Then he got the assignment screenshot. Seeing the French mercenary follow Harry into the street had put Asher into motion without him even realising it. His mission, his entire life, changed in a single heartbeat.
He’d wondered if Harry would try to kill him on sight. Sure, Harry had put his pistol to Asher’s temple, but he was never going to pull the trigger. Asher’s words had struck a chord. Not to mention the fact he’d saved his ass.
Seeing his eyes flash with recognition, with steel, had been unexpected.
Pressing him against the wall in the dark was another bonus.
Dangerous, exciting. Hot.
He looked like a different man asleep across from him now. Still annoyingly handsome but . . . smaller. Peaceful. That harsh set to his eyes was gone. The permanent scowl was softened.
It was almost a shame to have to wake him.
Except he didn’t have to. The man driving the boat made the mistake of opening the door with a thud, and in a split second, Harry was on his feet, pistol drawn, aimed at the intruder. The poor man fell backward in shock and Asher couldn’t help himself.
He motioned for Harry to back off, helped the man to his feet. “That’s why I didn’t want to wake him,” Asher said in Spanish. “He’s a little grumpy.”
***** BUY LINK *****
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
$40 Amazon gift card
Grand prize giveaway – ends Jul 7th
N.R. Walker Bio
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…
For more about N.R. Walker you can find her at:
Website Facebook Facebook Author Page Twitter Instagram Amazon Audible Bookbub Goodreads Email