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“Secrets keep the darkness alive,” Harper tells me. But that’s not how I see it at all. Secrets keep me alive. The truth is overrated. Honesty is never the best policy. And everything you know absolutely can hurt you.
The contracts I fulfill are just agreements. Death is a business deal. Secrets are currency in my world. I pay my debts with them. I feed on them. They ground me in the present and they promise me a future. I’ve lived a life filled with secrets for so long—I forgot what it’s like to… feel.
Until I saw Harper. Until I saw how beautiful she’s become. How perfect, and pure, and innocent of all the ugly that goes on around her. And that dirty promise I refused the night her father turned me into a killer twelve years ago is suddenly on the table again.
Harper can be mine. No—Harper will be mine. All I have to do is complete the mission.
Death is a business deal.
And I just shook his hand.
Come Back took me totally by surprise, especially because Come didn’t completely do it for me. Harper and James are separated at the beginning of the story, because James has to pick up a ‘package’. And that ‘package’ turns out to be a person – Sasha whom I met in Slack. She’s a firecracker of a kid, and I love her. It was truly awesome to meet her again. Her snarky humor, all that knowledge – both secrets she shouldn’t really know, and the fact that she’s a great shooter – makes her a really good character to have on your side.
Who is on whose side? That’s a question I kept asking myself while reading Come Back, because it seemed as if none of the three characters were exactly forthcoming with each other. And it was impossible to figure out how Sasha knew so much, and if she was working a job or not. I loved getting to know James better, because it helped me both understand him, and love him. Harper showed another side of herself to me as well, and I enjoyed seeing how her mind worked when things were really difficult.
Come Back is fast-paced, with several people after the hazardous trio of killers. And I was utterly surprised by how fast and strong Harper could be. Between road-trips, mysterious text-messages and never truly being able to trust each other, Harper, James and Sasha could only really count on themselves. The writing is flawless – this is JA we are talking about! – and it’s in first person present tense, one chapter from Harper’s point of view, and the next from James’. The unknown was really Sasha, because she is great at hiding what she was thinking, and she seemed to be mostly concerned about number one.
The hot scenes between Harper and James were very well done, and Harper showed that she was able to say no when she felt that it was necessary. She also impressed James when they were driving like crazy through the desert to save Sasha from a madman on a motorcycle! I am still reeling over that one! There are some connections between Come Back and the whole Rook and Ronin universe, and there are several mentions of Ford, Merc and some stuff that happened in Slack and Taut. I think it would be easier to get the full experience for readers who have read all the Rook and Ronin books, as well as the spin-off series.
I can’t wait for the next book in this series, because Come Back ended with a cliffhanger! Not a huge one, but one that is sure to keep me waiting with adrenaline coursing through my veines until I get my next fix.
How does this bother me? After all the killing I’ve done? How can one dead body bother me so bad?
I start with her legs and wipe them down. She has a lot of tears but no sobs. And that is just sad.
Killers and tattoos seem to go together. But now I know why. He is beautiful. His body is not a blank canveas. It’s a masterpiece. Adding to it would detract from its perfection.
I’ve been looking for someone to save my whole life. Since the day I shook death’s hand and walked away from a dirty promise.