Saturday, October 21, 2017

ARC Review: Kill Game (Seven of Spades, #1) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Kill Game (Seven of Spades, #1)
Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo.

Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.

The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them.

This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.

Jewel's rating:

Ok, I need more of this story, now. Yeah, now. There wasn't much romance in Kill Game, just the bare beginnings of it, but I can tell that Levi and Dominic have the chemistry and I'm looking forward to their romance ramping up! We've got ourselves a slow burn, folks, and I can already tell it will be delicious. Also, there are at least 5 planned books in this series and the plotline of Kill Game is not wrapped up at the end. At the moment, I am expecting that story arc to continue throughout the series, but I don't know the author's plan for that.

I know many of you prefer to wait until a series like this is complete before starting, and I can't blame you. If I were a more patient person, I'd be waiting right along with you. But I'm not, and I love most of what I've read from this author, so here I am!!!!

I love romantic suspense and Cordelia Kingsbridge knows how to work it. Kill Game was engaging, the writing was good and I was completely invested in the characters -- even some of the secondary characters. About halfway through, something occurred to me and I even have a main suspect for the serial killer -- only time will tell if I'm right, of course. We've got at least 4 more books in this series, so we've got a ways to go, yet. I could easily be wrong this early in the game, and honestly, I'll be shocked if it turns out I'm right.

At the start of the book, Levi had been in a relationship for the past three years and things were very serious between him and his boyfriend, Stanton Barclay, who owned one of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. Stanton talked a lot about marriage and children and the future, but Levi was less and less sure he wanted to go that direction with Stanton.

I was hoping I would not like Stanton, but truthfully, I did. That isn't to say I was rooting for him and Levi to work things out, at least not once I met Dominic, but Stanton was a nice guy, and he deserves to be happy. He hated Levi being a cop, though, and he wasn't very subtle about his efforts of trying to steer Levi onto a different career path. However, Levi hasn't ever really wanted to be anything other than a detective, and so Levi's job is a huge source of tension between them. It was a little heartbreaking, though, to watch them implode, even though I really really wanted to get to the part where the romance between Levi and Dominic began.

Dominic has his own issues, too. He's a former Army Ranger and he's really good at what he does -- bail enforcement, aka bounty hunter. His size is intimidating, with him being 6' 4" and built like a tank wet dream (IMO) of the Italian-American variety (YUM). Dominic's ever--involved-in-his-life mother has been pressuring him to find a less dangerous career that could also give him a future. He makes a difference, though, and he enjoys it most of the time.

Dominic is also a compulsive gambler, in recovery. I know what you're thinking -- isn't Las Vegas a really really bad place for a compulsive gambler? I know you're thinking that because I did, too. However, his whole family is there and they are his support system. So, he goes to meetings when the urge gets to be too much and stays in control.

There are three sex scenes in Kill Game, but only one of those is between Levi and Dominic. Let me tell ya, though, that one scene was worth the wait, spectacularly hawt, and came on the heels of one hell of an adrenaline rush. Both Dominic and Levi know that Levi is nowhere near the right head space to start a new relationship, though, so while the chemistry is there in spades, the romance doesn't really start until really late in the book. I love a good slow burn, as long as I do see a burn -- and it is there.

I'm really looking forward to seeing where the author takes this story and these characters. I think that Kill Game was an awesome start to the series and I am totally invested in seeing where it goes.



ARC of Kill Game was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review

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