Innocent Target by Katie Reus
Redemption Harbor #4
Hadley Lane has only recently connected with her father and step-brother, Douglas and Brooks Alexander, but it’s been the best decision she ever made. A bitter mother has left Hadley closed off from others, but she’s finally living the life she’s always wanted. But that all changes when Hadley is attacked at her college campus and a mysterious man saves her but disappears before she can identify him. Axel O’Sullivan lives in the shadows, a grim reaper who hunts and kills criminals that slip through the justice system’s cracks. When a contract for Hadley’s kidnapping comes across his desk he knows he has to protect her — she’s too innocent to be targeted this way. But instead of revealing who he is and why he’s in Redemption Harbor he finds himself on a date with Hadley and completely captivated by her beauty, intelligence, and sweet nature.
I was intrigued by the idea for Innocent Target and was looking forward to how Katie Reus would handle a contract killer falling in love. It was immediately clear that Axel might be a killer but he’s a big marshmallow on the inside. His methods are illegal but his intentions are noble and he takes it upon himself to get rid of the truly evil. Axel is an incredibly honorable man regardless of his “career” choices and I’m glad that Hadley so easily recognized that once she knew everything. Even with his overpowering attraction, Axel still takes things slow with Hadley (or tries to since she’s got plans of her own, yowza!) and respects her boundaries in their new relationship.
“Sexy, dominating and toe-curling. That was Axel.”
At such a young age, Hadley is a very responsible and together young woman and this maturity allows her to look at Axel’s job, and the work that her brother does for Redemption Harbor Consulting, and see the good they are doing while living in the gray. It’s pretty much love at first sight for Axel and Hadley is close to follow, which was a bit surprising considering both their backgrounds. I would have figured them to be more hesitant instead of just jumping right in with their emotions. However, that hard-lived past has finely tuned their survivor skills and their ability to recognize someone’s true nature. Even with Hadley and Axel taking things a slower they still have a ton of chemistry and fireworks. I loved their first intimate interaction because it’s a little different than the usual romance novel but I won’t spoil it, you’ll just have to read it on your own.
In addition to Hadley and Axel’s romance, the reader also gets a bunch of scenes told from the point of view of Skye (from Resurrection) which was pretty entertaining because Skye is acerbic, tough, and a bit bloodthirsty when it comes to protecting those she loves. Sometimes I felt this took away from the development of our main character’s relationship but overall they were a nice bonus to the story.
4 out of 5 stars
Heroine is attacked on her college campus
He wasn’t supposed to fall for her…
She was a target. A contract that came across his desk by mistake. Axel was simply going to warn her that she was in danger and get out. Then he got a taste of her and fell hard. But they’re from two different worlds. Not only is she innocent, she’s out of his league. He should keep his distance, but he can’t. Not when someone wants her dead. Now he’s driven to protect her, to keep her safe.
What happens when she discovers who he really is?
Hadley moved to Redemption Harbor for vet school and to be closer to her new family. Now that her billionaire father knows about her existence, her life has changed drastically. She just never imagined that she might be targeted because of her family. And she definitely never imagined she would fall for the one man she should never want. A man who kills for a living. A man who’s obsessed with her. A man who will do anything to protect her from the danger lurking in the shadows.
Published by KR Press, LLC on May 22, 2018
Redemption Harbor reviews
Click on a cover to see the review