Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Friendly Fire
AUTHOR: Cari Z
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 252 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 17, 2016
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 Elliott 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.
Elliot McKenzie is a man living with regrets but in the five years since he’s lost everything, he’s built his life back up and has made something of himself that he can be proud of. When he starts receiving threatening letters, he ignores them, certain he knows who they’re from and that things will eventually blow over. When the letters escalate into random gifts and then death threats, however, Elliot finally admits that he needs some help. Lennox West is a man dealing with his own problems and regrets but when his ex-sister in law comes to him begging for help with her boss, he can’t say no. Setting the man up with a security system was the plan, setting himself up in the man’s bed wasn’t but Lennox certainly isn’t complaining. There’s just something about Elliott that draws him in. When he gets a call from Elliott asking for help, Lennox didn’t hesitate to accept and really, it isn’t his fault he has a hero complex or a thing for those in distress. With time running out and the threat escalating, Lennox will have to be at the top of his game if he wants Elliot to survive and to see if a relationship forged in the fires of adversity can withstand the test of time.
Wow, this was a great read! I loved Elliott immediately; he’s a man who messed up, who knows he messed up and he’s never once made any excuses for himself or his actions. He’s built a damn good life for himself out of the wreckage he’s left behind and he strives everyday to be honest and work hard to both redeem himself in his own eyes and in the eyes of his family. Lennox has his own demons to slay in regards to his time in the military but he’s trying to work through his problems so that he can be a better father to his daughter. Both men had their problems but I loved seeing how they were trying their hardest to work through them.
Both men together just totally worked for me and I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions. Getting to see Elliott together with Lennox’s daughter was fantastic and it was really nice to see them together multiple times over the course of the book. The mystery portion of the story was also really, really good and while I found myself with multiple theories about who was doing what and why, I never had anything completely figured out or confirmed until the end of the story and that was great! I love how everything was put together from start to finish; I was never bored with the book and my only major disappointment is that I don’t get to see more of these characters. I do wish that more of Lennox’s struggles with PTSD had been shown but you can’t have everything, I guess, and the book was so good that I’m not too miffed over it anyhow. 🙂
This was such a good book! It had great characters and a fantastic mystery that will keep you guessing and I can only hope the author will write more books along these lines in the future. (Don’t get me wrong, I love her other books but this was so good I’d hate to not get another like it!) If you’re a fan of self made men, men with a hero complex and/or a good mystery, this could be the book for you!