ARC Review: Friendly Fire by Cari Z.

cover94474-mediumTitle: Friendly Fire

Author: Cari Z.

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Expected publishing date: October 17, 2016

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Page/word count: 252,  ~82,800

Format: eBook, Paperback

Rating: 3.5 Stars


Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.

Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie—a man who captures his attention and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.

But Elliot is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.

♦ Personal Thought ♦

Any books of Cari Z.‘s that I have read so far never fail to entertain me, whatever genre the story’s in. She has ways to spin her tales that just click so well with me. And this one is no different. Despite, or I should say: especially, since both MCs had no sterling past – they made mistakes that cost people their life – made both men more real and thus endear them to me. An added bonus the fact that one MC was in good terms with his ex and her whole family (which I don’t find that often).

Friendly Fire was a story with second chance at its core. Elliot and Lennox, having survived past mistake with grievous impact, carried ugly scar deep inside and struggled to redeem themselves to their nearest and dearest. The portrayal of both characters – and the burden they carried – was just so heartbreaking, I felt the ache and regret along with them.

That saying, I was hoping – on things concerning protection and safety – that Lennox could be more proficient than shown here (with his former army and current job background and all!). I also felt the way each chapter started, while gave insight into the characters, made the story rather disjointed – at least it felt that way for me. On top of that, the things with Elliot and his family was too vague for my liking (personally, I felt that Elliot gave too much credit to his sister and that she was an ass for forbidding the contact). But overall, I still liked the story and definitely would look forward to more books written by this author.

Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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