Title: Red Rose (Blood)
Author: Michael Kudo
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: “I don’t like to be called an Assassin, I prefer the term problem solver.”
My name’s Alex. I’m an average guy. I kill people for a living. But don’t judge me.
I don’t take jobs on just anybody though. I only kill the really annoying people, like cheaters or abusers. So if you think about it, I’m actually doing God’s work—okay, maybe that’s stretching things a bit.
Other than the whole committing murder and trying to get away with it thing, my life is simple.
Well… except for the fact I’m in love with a fellow assassin who happens to be my mentor. I also have to make sure I’m careful when I’m on the job because if I ever fail a hit, I’ll be considered a “liability” and be executed promptly. Oh, and there’s a small chance someone in the organization is trying to have me killed. But I’ll figure that out, eventually. Did I mention I’m gay?
Okay, maybe my life isn’t so simple.
Review: I have been looking forward to the release of Red Rose (Blood) for awhile, and I was so excited to finally get this book on my Kindle. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed.
Normally when I read about assassins, I expect there to be the full on Alpha male type character, who is a loner, quiet and just bad to the bone. That isn’t quite what we get here with Alex. Alex is lethal, don’t get me wrong, but he has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor that just ticked all my boxes.
The story begins with Alex meeting a potential client and getting the info he needs to carry out a hired hit. The guy he is hired to kill sounds like a real piece of work, and soon Alex succeeds in completing the hit. I have to say this was one of the more creative methods of murder I have seen, and it was kind of scary to think of how many everyday “accidents” just may not be accidents.
A few months later, Alex is called in to meet with the head of the “company” he works for, and he finds out that he is being assigned a trainee. This is the last thing a man like Alex wants and when he meets the woman he is going to be training, he is horrified to find she has the same acerbic personality he does. The back and forth between these two was an absolute joy to read, and I found myself laughing out loud while reading some of their sparring sessions disguised as conversations.
This visit to headquarters also introduces us to Alex’s ex and his trainer in the company. This man…I haven’t decided yet if I like him or not. In one breath he is looking out for Alex and giving him some good advice, in the next, he is using and discarding Alex. This is one of the first times we get a peek at the vulnerability that Alex usually keeps hidden away.
While out on their first job together, Alex and his new partner end up on a mission that is pretty much FUBAR from the start. Alex ends up hurt badly and the big boss wants to see him. His boss’s recent behavior has Alex nervous, so when he has the chance, he does some recon on his new partner. What he discovers changes everything Alex thought he knew.
This story is very well written, and Alex has turned out to be one of my favorite characters of all time. I love his snarky mouth and I love the soft side that he keeps entirely to himself. The action scenes in the book are well written and fast paced to the point I found myself holding my breath in some parts. Though there was very little romance in this book, there was a definite set up for more in the future installments of this series.
I understand there will be a total of four books in all, and I just hope that Michael Kudo can write these quickly because I am already dying for the next one. I highly recommend you go and grab your copy.
You can buy Red Rose (Blood) here: