Rating: 4 stars
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Be Brave is the second book in the Angel & the Assassin series. In the previous book, we were introduced to Kael Saunders, a MI6 assassin and 6’5” of all-around bad ass. His life was dangerous but uncomplicated. He was sent out on hits all around the world, but when he wasn’t working, he was training and having frequent anonymous sex. He even became a legend at his job, not only for the precise work that he did, but also because he would often have sex with his willing victims before he killed them. He lived life according to his own emotionless, amoral code, until he met Angel.
When Kael was sent out to a job to kill an arms dealer, he found a terrified Angel had witnessed the assassination. Kael knew he must kill him, but instead Angel took him home and slowly fell in love with him. Now, months later, they are happily living together in a full-time, loving, Daddy/boy relationship. Angel is attending college full-time and Kael has taken a teaching job in order to be home for his boy. It was destined to be short-lived, however, as being an assassin is as an essential part of Kael as breathing.
Kael returns to his work as a hired killer and, on his first job, is dispatched to bring back a man who is essential to an important trial and the conviction of some terrible men. As he’s attempting the extraction, however, Kael falls smack in the middle of a human trafficking ring and is horrified by the ages of the young girls. He has to leave them behind, but he can’t get them out of his head. He is determined to save them, and, when things go south, there’s only one person who can bring his Daddy back alive — his Angel.
I enjoyed revisiting Kael and Angel. Oftentimes in a series, once the main couple has gotten together, it ceases to be as exciting. In this case, I think the fact that Kael and Angel are now in a stable, committed relationship works to their advantage. One of the qualms I had with the first book in the series was the quick and dangerous manner in which Kael brought Angel into his world of BDSM. As you’ll recall, he didn’t hesitate to introduce this 18-year-old novice to fisting about 20 seconds after they met. In this book, Kael still keeps the play in the dungeon on the extreme side, but their familiarity makes it much more palatable.
Angel is bringing out a different side of Kael, and combined with his gruff, sexier than hell exterior, he basically becomes irresistible. Kael’s madly in love with his boy, and his protectiveness is sweet and seductive. Angel still seems very young, but he also has an adorable devotion to his Daddy. I still found the frequency of the “Daddy” term to be annoying, and Angel oftentimes seemed to have the maturity level of a 13 year old, but it’s hard to begrudge these two their doting relationship.
The action is intense and will keep your attention. Without giving anything away, I did have a bit of a problem with the manner in which Kael handles the rescue of the young girls. He is described as basically infallible, and he’s, well, not. It seems abrupt and convenient to the plot, but isn’t consistent with what we know of Kael.
I also became a little annoyed that everyone fell in love with Kael. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got that whole big hot bad-boy vibe going for him, but he really is not familiar with social niceties. He’s basically stand-offish and mean to everyone he meets, yet everyone from the next-door neighbor to Kael’s heterosexual boss to his partner of only a few hours are declaring their love for him. It’s a bit over-the-top.
I’d say “over-the-top” adequately describes this book, as does “guilty pleasure,” and “book crack.” Maybe it’s not the most well-written thing you’ve ever read. Maybe the Daddy/boy thing tends to be kind of weird instead of sexy. Maybe you’re not even sure what keeps you reading. But something does, and it will keep me reading right through book three. It’s kind of the book equivalent of a Michael Bay film, but sometimes you just want to pop some popcorn and indulge.