Being the gay son of a presidential hopeful is difficult in the best of circumstances, but when the senator hires a hitman to make you disappear in order to ride a sympathy vote, the impossible turns deadly. When the mysterious “Lord” shows up to assassinate Noah and then turns the table by giving him incriminating evidence against his father, Noah hightails it to his Grandfather’s estate and begins work in his labs under intense security. There he meets the new head of security, Cain. Cain has an intense and instant attraction for Noah and vows to keep him safe at all costs. However, the senator is not done with his son and, despite every precaution being in place, Noah realizes he is in more danger than anyone every thought.
Death Or Life by T. A. Chase is a second edition that had the bones of a good story with some unfortunate flaws. Cain and Noah are a compelling couple that have hints of a dominant/submissive flavor that only makes their relationship that more exciting. While theirs was an insta-attraction, thankfully this was not some lame insta-love trope played out with a few mystery elements thrown in for good measure. Instead there was a great deal of action, with more than a few surprising twists which include the reappearance of Lord who turns out to be much more than just some killer for hire.
In fact, had the author done some editing to this novel my review would be much different. Instead, I’m afraid that there are more than a few instances where different plot points seemed just too far out there to be plausible. For instance, Cain is described more than once as stern, lethal, and rigid—a no-nonsense chief—yet despite all the heightened alerts on the campus, Noah’s father sails right in with three goons and whisks Noah away right under their noses. If that weren’t enough to give me pause, Noah’s beating is rather visceral and on page so when his broken bleeding nose and split lip, fractured ribs, and assorted bruises are described I certainly believed it. Yet a few pages later when Cain rescues him, we see evidence his ribs are hurting, but then given a description of how they are giving each other deep, long lasting kisses—with a split lip, multiple bruises, and a broken nose? I just couldn’t buy that. Nor could I get on board two days later when Cain nearly bent Noah in half for a sex scene that simply could not have happened with two fractured ribs.
Death Or Life had all the makings of a great mystery novel with intense action and more than its fair share of interesting and shady characters. However, a second review of this previously published work for what were some obvious flaws could have made this novel really shine. Author T.A. Chase is a good writer—this is simply not one of her best.