Title: A Dangerous Dance
Series: Haven Hart Universe: Book Three
Author: Davidson King
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 242 Pages
At a Glance: The author did an incredible job of bringing Mace and Bill to life and giving them a story that was riveting from beginning to end.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Finally working for a man he can trust has given Bill a new purpose. His boss, Christopher Manos, commands respect and absolute loyalty, and Bill has proven himself worthy of a seat at Christopher’s table. Becoming best friends with Christopher’s husband, Snow, has further proven his allegiance and cements a place for him in the Manos family. When Snow’s life is in danger, Christopher places his full trust in Bill to destroy anything and anyone that poses a threat to his husband. But hunting and wiping out the enemy for the safety of everyone Bill cares about means partnering with the one person he has vowed to never see again.
Mace wears a mask of vain cockiness and uses his model good looks to his full advantage. Known to many as Without a Trace Mace, he’s a deadly assassin well known for wiping out whole families and getting away without a trace. With a dangerous past and an unknown future, Mace uses his veil of conceit to keep others at a distance, rarely trusting anyone. When his boss, Black–the one man he trusts above all others—gives him his next assignment, he learns his newest partner is none other than Bill, the man he’d do anything to avoid.
With the safety of the Manos family on the line at the hands of a brilliant maniac, Bill and Mace begrudgingly put their differences aside to ensure Snow, and his loved ones, are protected from harm. With their lives in grave danger and the clock ticking towards zero hour, they navigate deathly perilous situations and uncertain outcomes, hoping they survive long enough to keep the Manos family safe.
Bill and Mace’s traitorous hearts draw them closer together no matter how hard they fight the inevitable. With the lives of their loved ones hanging in the balance, they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous dance. But when the music stops, will they both be left standing?
Review: Fans of Davidson King’s Haven Hart Universe will find this third installment more aligned with the first in the series. A Dangerous Dance finds an old nemesis, thought long out of the picture, back with a vengeance and threatening Snow once again. Bill, who had been given a second chance by Christopher Manos, and who has become Snow’s best friend, is called on to neutralize the threat. The only problem is that he won’t be going in alone. Manos has called in a favor and gotten Without-a-Trace Mace to assist Bill in wiping out the enemy. Having a partner to watch his back wouldn’t be such a bad thing except Bill loathes the cocky Mace, and the feeling is mutual. Unfortunately, Mace is undeniably tops at carrying out massacres that never get traced back to him, and so Bill is stuck working with the man whether he likes it or not.
Having met both Bill and Mace in previous novels, it was no surprise that the author chose to give these two a love/hate (with emphasis on the hate part) relationship. If ever the enemies-to-lovers trope was well used, it was in this novel, and it was entirely believable that these two men both loathed and were attracted to each other. But this was not your happy-go-lucky romance, for the author never fails to remind us that these guys are murderers who do so with little compunction or regret. In many ways this novel hearkened back to the first, with its violence and unflinching iciness toward the idea that death was a given and brutality was a no-brainer. What saved this novel from being a bloodbath with no moral high ground were the constant clues as to how both Bill and Mace were not necessarily proud of their ease at being guns for hire.
We are privy to Mace’s backstory, and I have to say that if the next installment in this series focuses on his boss, Black, then this author has her work cut out for her to make that guy even palatable. The things that happened to Mace—the way in which Black influenced Mace and used him to destroy Mace’s own kin—was really horrible, and when that bit of backstory was revealed, I was appalled by it. However, it did humanize Mace, and that needed to happen if we were to focus on the relationship that was developing between him and Bill.
The action and violence in this story was non-stop, and while it must be said that the violence was integral to the story, the case can also be made that never once were we allowed to forget that Bill and Mace were cold-blooded killers who took pleasure in seeing the threat to those they loved neutralized. Yes, there was a romance of sorts, and the desperation both men felt each time they came together sexually went a long way in giving a strong indicator that they both had an active conscience that hated the profession they had chosen. In the end, this novel was a gritty and realistic portrayal of two men doing a job they never really wanted to do and were, in some ways, trapped in a life they both agreed to live in. There was no complaining or prevarication when it came to Bill and Mace admitting they had chosen their life, but there was also a decided core of humanity and some remorse inside each of them that made both men human and vulnerable.
A Dangerous Dance left me a bit conflicted in that there were no real good guys here, other than Snow, perhaps, who deserved to be rescued. But this novel never set out to convince me of that idea. Instead, it gave me a realistic portrayal of two men trapped in a life that both excited and disgusted them, and that meant the author did an incredible job of bringing Mace and Bill to life and giving them a story that was riveting from beginning to end.
You can buy A Dangerous Dance here:
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