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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review: Innocent Target by Katie Reus

Excuse me while I get super excited about this newest book in the Redemption Harbor series.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: KR Press LLC
Release Date: May 22, 2018

He wasn’t supposed to fall for her…

She was a target. A contract that came across his desk by mistake. Axel was simply going to warn her that she was in danger and get out. Then he got a taste of her and fell hard. But they’re from two different worlds. Not only is she innocent, she’s out of his league. He should keep his distance, but he can’t. Not when someone wants her dead. Now he’s driven to protect her, to keep her safe.

What happens when she discovers who he really is?

Hadley moved to Redemption Harbor for vet school and to be closer to her new family. Now that her billionaire father knows about her existence, her life has changed drastically. She just never imagined that she might be targeted because of her family. And she definitely never imagined she would fall for the one man she should never want. A man who kills for a living. A man who’s obsessed with her. A man who will do anything to protect her from the danger lurking in the shadows.

What’s it About? Moving to Redemption Harbor was supposed to be easy for Hadley, she wanted to continue veterinary school and get to know her half brother and her father. But then she’s attacked in the school parking lot only to be saved by a man more dangerous that she’s ever encountered. Axel was only supposed to warn her that she was in danger but the minute he sees Hadley he just can’t walk away. He knows she’s innocent and that he’s far from that but their connection is intense and with the danger to Hadley increasing, Axel won’t walk away from her any time soon.

Overall reaction to the story? I never tire of Katie Reus’ romantic suspense stories and I hope she never stops writing them because she has a way of making men look heroic without having to “dumb down” a woman.

Not gonna lie though, I was concerned when I found out Hadley was going to be the heroine of Innocent Target. I thought she was too young and therefore would end up being stupidly naïve and that there was a high probability that she would be a virgin, which I don’t care for in contemporary romances.

Hadley is a bit naïve and innocent, I’m not going to lie, she’s really young compared to the rest of the cast of the Redemption Harbor series and I’m not talking about chronologically. She is SOOO a fish out of water among the hackers, former army rangers, possible assassins, and a whole host of dangerously impressive skills. Meanwhile she’s trying to find her place in her new life where she has a half brother and a whole mess of extended family through him. It’s pretty chaotic for her emotionally. Added to that is that someone is trying to have her kidnapped and/or killed which brings tall, dark, and dangerous Axel into her life. Both characters were much more than I assumed they’d be. I never got bored with Hadley, even though she lacked the mileage on her soul to be considered a seasoned character. She’s brave, smart, and while inexperienced, she wasn’t stupid enough to hand over control of her life to anyone and I loved that about her.

Hadley and Axel are an unlikely couple too, she’s young and in some ways inexperienced and he’s older and jaded. What could they offer each other right? Well for one thing, they balance each other out. Axel has seen the worst humanity has to offer and he is a tired soul. In Hadley he finds that little bit of goodness he needs so that he doesn’t lose himself completely. He sees the bit of good life has to offer with someone like her. He can let go of some of the weight he is carrying around and he can let himself be a good man. I loved that bit of redemption and acceptance he found with Hadley because while she didn’t like that he has killed before, she isn’t one to stick her nose in the air about it.

Hadley benefits from Axel’s presence in her life as well. Like I said, she’s young and a bit inexperienced. Axel’s life experience helped ground her to reality instead of an idea of the world that was giving her a false sense of security. She was able to see the danger she was in more clearly with him around while still being protected and that was something I felt she needed. She wasn’t a TSTL heroine, just sweetly naïve but willing to learn and adapt herself to her new surroundings. I enjoyed both characters’ growth and of course I should have known better than to think Katie Reus would ever write a female character that wasn’t strong, capable, and intelligent enough to know what she wanted no matter what her age was. There was an instant interest and a strong connection between the two characters that while hot was also a slow burn, with Axel being more of a gentleman than Hadley expected. I loved that about their relationship. It wasn’t about Axel taking control; it was about him giving Hadley the space and time she needed to figure out what she wanted to do about him. He never used the situation to manipulate his way into her bed or to make her feel like he was the only one who could protect her. He just wanted to help and figured an extra set of skills wouldn’t hurt. I also loved how Axel never got between Hadley and her family. She had spent most of her life being kept away from them and she was in the middle of getting to know them better so Axel respected that.

Innocent Target can be enjoyed as a stand alone romance but I would suggest starting with the first book and reading in order so that you don’t miss out on the amazing characters and the dynamic between them as a team of close knit friends. Skye in particular is my favorite character. She’s just so bad ass! I love how each book connects in the smallest ways but all of the characters tend to book hop so it’s like getting mini reunions with each passing book. Hadley and Axel are different in the way that they didn’t start off knowing the group that runs Redemption Harbor Consulting. They’re technically outsiders, Hadley’s familial connection to one of the members is what brings these two into the fold.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. The whole series has been one solid book after another and Innocent Target is no exception.

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