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Killer Instincts (Assassins in Love #1) by Tawna Fenske

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Dante didn’t set out to deceive. His favor for a pal in prison got him this farmhand job, and Jen needs help guarding more than her blueberries. Someone’s set on hurting her, and he’ll make damn sure they don’t. She can’t know who sent him or why he’s handier with a handgun than a hoe. But none of that matters more than keeping Jen safe.

To save the girl, he’ll have to pair old skills with new. A princess tea party and an old-fashioned gunfight? Why not. Grape stomping and grenades? Sign him up.

But as the enemy closes in, there’s one skill Dante finds he doesn’t have: The strength to walk away when the job is done.

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After reading the prequel (Killer Looksabout three lethal assassins with very different backgrounds, I couldn’t wait to find out what made these hot alpha men tick.

Dante is up first. He’s all broody, serious, and old school. He likes guns, Cheezits, treating pets as family, printed maps, and his dream girl, Jen. Oh, wait. That can’t happen. Jen is his buddy’s sister and there’s a bro code about that. His mission was to make sure Jen was safe and find proof to get her brother out of prison. But the woman he’s falling for is being threatened and he must keep focused on the job. Can Dante free his friend and save the woman he loves before it’s too late? Will she forgive him for his lies?

Jen is strong, self-sufficient, and has poor judgment in men. Her ex ran off with the Disney princess winemaker and now she’s falling for the big, bald, badass farmhand she hired. She’s struggling to keep her vineyard going, but everything is being sabotaged. Dante is her godsend as he doesn’t hesitate to help Jen find ways to raise money for her vineyard and find the culprit who is endangering her livelihood. Will she be able to keep the land and the man she loves, or is it too good to be true?

The unveiling of Dante and Jen’s attraction is a treat to watch. Dante is not good with words, but he gets high marks for protective instincts. His answers are short and to the point and his actions are oh, so swoon-worthy.  For example, his adorable interactions with the princess tea party and with Zsa Zsa the pig is nothing less than hysterical and book boyfriend worthy. Not to mention, his kind and gentle acceptance of an old woman in the throes of dementia and the joy he brings her made me fall in love with him. Dante’s persona as a hardened killer is wiped away by his unabashed pragmatism in doing the right thing at the right moment. He falls fast and hard for Jen who is so brave, but she sells herself short. She loves her family, but they worry about her because she is the baby of the family. She shows her moxy and her strength by facing her problems head-on and not letting the setbacks get her down. There was no doubt Jen would forgive Dante for his betrayal because, well, he’s a keeper and he proved his love and goodness many times over.  Also, with a little help from Dante’s friend Sebastian, they were able to clear Matteo’s name (Jen’s brother) and find the evil person who was preying on Jen (that was a big surprise). To wrap it up, there is a lovely “fresh start” happily ever after which will have me picking up the next book in the series as quickly as I can.

Jen’s controlling and overprotective brother Matteo is a savvy prisoner who is able to find out things before Dante does. Sebastian, The Dentist, (yes, he’s a real dentist) is hilarious and menacing at the same time. And, Jen’s sister Nic is a force to be reckoned with. Can’t wait to read Nic and Sebastian’s story. It’s gonna be amazing!

I highly recommend this quirky romantic suspense that will tickle your funny bone and surprise you. The characters are captivating, the animals are precious, and the plot had me guessing to the very end.

Thank you to Ms. Fenske for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Killer Instincts

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Tawna FenskeWhen Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA Award finalist, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. Stay up to date with Tawna by signing up for her mailing list:

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