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

cover123581-mediumTitle: Kill Game (Seven of Spades, #1)

Author: Cordelia Kingsbridge

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Publication Date: October 23, 2017

Genre: MM Romance, Mystery

Format: eBook, Print

Length: 304 pages / 78,500 words

Rating: 4.5 Stars rounded UP


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.

♦ Personal Thought ♦

What an awesome start to a new series! I have only read a fantasy story of Cordelia Kingsbridge’s before (and once at that, mind you) so I really have no idea as this is a totally different genre. The blurb piqued my interest though, and boy do I get a treat!

Kill Game is the first to “Seven of Spades” series which centers on serial murders of people who got away from legal system with their crimes. Tangled-up on the investigation and catching the killer’s eyes are LVMPD homicide detective Levi Abrams and former army turned bounty hunter Dominic Russo. It’s a dual POVs, fast-paced, exhilarating cat and mouse game, with a very ingenious and methodical mouse with mounting body counts.

Other than the whodunit aspect of the book, what draws me in are the characters. Both got personal baggage of their own (that they still carry) and came out of it a better person. They couldn’t be more different from one another, and the rapport between them (from mild hostility, faked indifference, to open interest) just amuse me no end. Theirs is one of the most balanced pairing I read; their physiques, capabilities, and personalities.

To compliment the MCs are some delightful supporting characters, such as Levi’s partner, Dominic’s best friends, and – OF COURSE! – his dog Rebel. Dominic Russo is a darling! But I won’t deny Rebel being with him contribute to my being smitten with his character! I think my only issue in this book is romance-related; mainly that I feel Levi’s former partner wasn’t given fair portrayal a character, that he’s only shown as controlling and disregarding Levi’s choices. It’s like the case of the grass is greener is always greener on the other side of the fence when Levi starting to feel the pull toward another guy. 

As readers can guess from the series’ name, Kill Game is an open-ending sort of book; setting the tone and premises to this ongoing series. This captivating mystery with a side of romance is a highlight of my reading this month. I sure as heck will look forward to the next entry and adding the Ms. Kingsbridge on my look-out author.

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

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Riptide Publishing