Books Release Day Review: Perfect Strangers by Edward Kendrick
Release Day Review: Perfect Strangers by Edward Kendrick
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May 10, 2016
Read the excerpt at Pride Publishing.
Opposites attract—but is that attraction enough to bring two strangers together? Raphael Koenig is an assassin working for a covert outfit. He also uses alcohol to fend off terrifying nightmares. After completing one too many kills and dealing with one too many nightmares, he’s close to burning out. So, he takes a break—a two-week vacation in New Orleans.
Alden Durant lives and works in New Orleans. One afternoon he happens to see a sad, lonely looking man—Raphael. When they run into each other again, Alden offers to show him the city and they strike up a tentative friendship that leads to a casual sexual relationship that they are certain will end when Raphael’s vacation is over.
Raphael is called back early for another job, and both men believe they will never meet again. Then, fate steps in when Raphael is sent to New Orleans to take out a hired killer. He and Alden reconnect, but will they be able to handle the revelations that ensue? Or will those revelations drive them apart this time—permanently?
The Hitman and – the What???
Raphael witnessed a horrific tragedy when he was a teenager that set him on his path in life taking out the perpetrators of crime for whom justice did not prevail. He has dedicated his life to serving those whose lives have been irrevocably damaged by the most corrupt of individuals. While he doesn’t enjoy killing, he sees it as a necessary tool when the court system fails to give victims resolution.
Alden has also dedicated his life to serving people, but in an entirely different manner in New Orleans. When he sees Raphael looking sad and lonely one afternoon, he can’t help but be drawn to the man, but he never expects to be confronted for looking. That leads to a whirlwind take-me-as-I-am vacation fling that neither expects to go anywhere else, especially when Raphe is called back from his down time for another job, but the memories remain strong for them both.
After a few months, another job comes up for Raphe, this time back in New Orleans. What are the chances he’ll run into Alden again in a city of more than a quarter million people if he doesn’t seek the man out?
I read this through the first time, then set it aside to percolate in my brain for a while. I initially had a hard time with a man of Alden’s profession being okay with an assassin, and I wasn’t sure I could wrap my mind around this pairing. So after a couple of weeks, I went back and read it again, and I’m *so* glad that I did. I picked up on some nuances that I missed the first time, I definitely had a more open mind, and I discovered that I loved this story!!
Raphe is very practical. He does what needs to be done, and he’s happy working construction any other day. Alden is much more circumspect, yet he is also pragmatic. While he (of course) has an issue with Raphe’s special skill set, he is also willing to listen to the whys and wherefores behind the assassin’s dedication.
This book has a great plot and never gets bogged down in its pacing. The subplots pertaining to Raphe’s job are compelling in their intensity and the way in which Raphe handles them. The main characters are fully fleshed out, visceral and appealing to the reader. The peripheral characters are few, but they add to the overall satiety of the book in that the world feels more real because of their brief interactions with the two men. The world building is lovely – I can see New Orleans through the characters’ eyes, ears, and noses, vibrant and redolent. You don’t want to miss this – it’s an amazing story fully worth all four stars!
**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
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