Deadly Alliance by Kathleen Rowland

Alliance
Deadly Alliance by Kathleen Rowland
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (117 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspects she knows about his company drain and hires her.

Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.

Les is alive. After cheating the Irish mob, he became their target. Mistaken identity took the life of his disabled twin brother. Now Les makes another deal—trading Amy and stolen drugs for their forgiveness. Stakes are high as Finn tracks assassins across the San Bernardino Mountains. If he gets her back, can he trust her?

Amy is trying to start fresh, but it’s a struggle. Working hard on her deadline in the evenings, she is desperate to land a regular nine-to-five job to help pay the bills and keep her afloat until her own business gets started. If that means working for Finbar Donahue – her ex-boyfriend’s old partner and ex-Army Ranger – then so be it. Finn is determined to work out who is embezzling money from him, and while he sincerely hopes it’s not Amy, he has questions about the timing of her application for a job. He knows her ex-boyfriend was shady. Could it be Amy wasn’t some duped innocent but actually in on it too?

This is a well-paced, action packed story that I greatly enjoyed. I found the plot complex and well layered – and while I guessed a few aspects there were still a number of surprises that delighted me and I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed sifting through everyone’s actions and motivations to try and find the “bad guys”. With so many strong secondary characters and the author’s suspenseful plotting I found this a highly interesting, convoluted story that I truly enjoyed.

I was a little disappointed that there were a few editing errors (an internal dialogue sentence highlighted blue, a sentence split into two paragraphs, etc) and these jarred me from the story and my enjoyment, but they were small things and could be easily rectified with another careful going-over. I really enjoyed the suspense and tension in the story, found myself eagerly turning the pages to find out what happened next. I feel mystery and thriller readers should thoroughly enjoy this story as much as I have.

The romance between Amy and Finn is also thick with chemistry and sizzling tension. While there is sexual intimacy in the book and more than a few steamy kisses – everything of an erotic nature happens “off camera”. I feel the author has done an amazing job of making the relationship between Amy and Finn passionate enough that spicy readers will enjoy it, but also subtle enough that more traditional readers won’t feel as if too much has been exposed.

Overall I found this a deeply complex, thoroughly interesting and entertaining read.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Fern, for your review of Deadly Alliance and also for the heads-up regarding editing errors. I am going to go through the book to find them and notify my publisher. Your time and care in reading and reviewing is greatly appreciated. I’m glad you enjoyed the story itself.

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