Kill Without Shame
Author: Alexandra Ivy
Five soldiers became five brothers when they were held in Taliban prison for weeks of brutal torture. It’s been over two years since returning from the war, and now the men run a successful security firm in Texas. Lucas St. Clair, hostage negotiator, comes from a wealthy, well-connected family who expected him to be a big-wig statesman. Yet after his time as a POW, Lucas left his manipulative family for his brothers-in-arms, founding ARES Security. However, when high school friend Anthony “Tony” Hughes was murdered near ARES offices, Lucas is drawn back to his hometown of Shreveport, LA, and face-to-face with Mia Ramon — the one that got away.
Mia Ramon has come a long way since she last saw Lucas St. Clair, taking over her father’s small lawn mowing business and turning it into a successful landscape company. She doesn’t have time for Lucas to waltz back into her life after he broke her heart 15 years ago. Yet, when she learns that her friend Tony was murdered with a photo of her in his hands, she realizes that Lucas may be the only one to help her find Tony’s murderer.
Once again, Alexandra Ivy weaves a suspenseful tale that captured me from page one. Kill Without Shame is the second story in Ms. Ivy’s ARES Security series. Although there is a small overall story arc, the romance and mystery are very much standalone, with no connection to the first book. Lucas and Mia’s story is gripping and sweet. The romance and suspense are well balanced. I liked that Mia and Lucas had a strong history, which gave their romance solid footing in the perilous situations. And there was little confession of feelings at inappropriate times – something that is a huge pet peeve of mine for romantic suspense titles.
Lucas and Mia had a friendship and attraction that was easy to rekindle because neither ever got over the other. The author does a wonderful job establishing their backstory, filling it with strong emotions, which gave credibility and strength to the situation. While Lucas wanted to be all alpha-caveman, he listened to the good advice of his friends, meeting strong-willed Mia on middle ground when it came to the investigation. And both were upfront about lingering hurt from the past, allowing them to quickly move past the pain and onto the future.
The mystery of who shot Tony and what it had to do with Mia was engrossing and cleverly written. The author gave me enough clues that I was able to piece it together before the characters; however, I was privy to all the information, not just bits and pieces. And even after I mostly figured it out, the story still drew me in and captured me. I enjoyed watching Lucas and Mia put it all together.
I had one small issue with the Kill Without Shame, which came near the climax of the investigation. There is a scene when Lucas puts Mia in a dangerous situation, which is WAY out of character for this over-protective male. The thing is… there was absolutely no reason for it, which is why it felt off. If it had been out of Lucas’s ability to do something different, it would have been more believable. However, it did set up the final showdown scene, so I rolled with it.
Overall, Kill Without Shame is an entertaining, suspenseful story with great balance between action and romance. The love story worked well because of the pair’s history together with their open communication and compromises. I completely enjoyed Lucas and Mia’s story and look forward to more from the ARES Security series.
Lucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.
Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves…
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Series: ARES Security #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format(s): paperback (352 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley
Reviews in the Series:
Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy (ARES Security #1)