Book Talk Review; Bargaining With The Devil

I need more

Meta-State spy Jack Reardon believes it’s all been taken care of. He has his verbal agreement with his boss to “keep Blade happy,” and Jack is more than willing to do his best in that regard. He also has his bargain with Ethan, to keep seeing each other whenever they cross paths. Small victories, interspersed with exploding bombs, smashed cars and miffed co-workers, all while consorting with an international assassin.

Contract killer Ethan Blade values his security, and Jack’s the first time he’s found that with another person. Wiring a warehouse or outback shelter for safety, no problem. Keeping safe a prickly ex-soldier-turned-spy who’s a magnet for trouble, not so easy. Instead of faceless, nameless jobs, he’s poking his fingers into Jack’s cases—a car bomb gone awry, a Hen party gone wild—much to Jack’s mounting dismay.

They have a deal; neither one of them can seem to stick to it. It’s Jack versus Ethan as the two men learn to navigate their ever-evolving not-a-relationship without losing the benefit of the bargain.


I can never get enough of these two. I was so excited to get more of them. While I am dying for a full-length book this novella was able to hold me off for a little bit. 

Jack and Ethan are so good together, yet they're so alike they are taking their sweet time to get on the same page. After they made their casual agreement in Coda they go about their lives until they can reconnect. And we learn through a passing thought of Jack's that they're not exclusive and sometime in the months they were apart Jack slept with someone else. And while he admits to himself he can't even remember who anymore it broke my heart. Because I know that it's going to take a long time for him to realize he has feelings for Ethan. 

Slow burns are my thing. I love them, but Jack and Ethan have me frustrated. It's obvious how Ethan feels. After all he inserts himself into Jack's job multiple times because all he wants is for Jack to be safe. Jack has moments of wanting to protect Ethan at the times he seems the most innocent. Even though he's the last person who needs someone protecting him. 

While they fight and deny that this is anything but casual sex it seems to me the more they get together the less they can hide. Even though Jack still refuses to kiss on the mouth it's brewing. He's thought about it. He just can't do it yet. Because then he'll have to admit he has feelings for Ethan and neither one of them are ready for that yet. Even though I'm dying for it. Kissing is one of my favorite things. 

With the way Where Death Meets The Devil ended I prayed there would be more. I stand by my belief that it doesn't need a sequel, you can read my review here: 
I'm not going to lie and say I'm not over the moon about having more. With Coda I was pleased to see that there was more to the story. With this novella I'm thankful to see the way their relationship develops. I can only hope that this means book two is going to have them both come to some big realizations. 

I hope that eventually we'll get to see Ethan's side of things. He's such an enigma. I would love to get into his head and see what drives him, besides Jack. There's so much to him we still don't know. 

This novella was not nearly long enough. L.J. Hayward has me addicted to her writing and I cannot wait for more. I know for a fact that I'll never be able to get enough of these two characters. 


"Jack couldn't help it. He stared, mesmerised. It felt as if a grenade had gone off in his chest; a sudden burst of heat centred under his solar plexus. There wasn't enough air to fill his lungs. Not enough space to let him escape. His hands were in Ethan's hair before he knew what he was doing. Fingers digging into those thick, soft locks, he tilted Ethan's head back. Laughter dying away, Ethan caught his breath, as if he too was suffering his own internal explosion."  

"His heart tripped over the simple idea of Ethan being in his bed, not for sex but for comfort and care. Jack realised the reason he could get over his anger with Ethan so quickly wasn't because this thing between them was just sex. He didn't know what it was, but their arrangement wasn't it. 
Because this wasn't just sex." 

"It wasn't just the sex. That was part of it, a great part, but a lot of it was the man standing in front of him. This puzzling creature who'd wormed his way past Jack's defences with an odd mix of cold-blooded ruthlessness and innocence; who'd done his best to break Jack down, then done all he could to rescue him. A man with compulsions born of a traumatic childhood, scars from a life of violence and cruelty, with such a soft spot for animals that he was willing to let a wild dingo attack him. Someone who, once he was on a path, wouldn't deviate from it. Someone who broke his own rules because Jack refused to follow them. 
Getting to know that man was worth it." 

"I don't care how long it's been, Jack, or what we do. I just need you." 



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