hitman's guide 3 coverRating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Just when Leland and Jackson think the worst they have to contend with is Jackson’s mother meddling in wedding plans, it turns out someone once again wants them dead. Well, this time, they want to kill Jackson. When Jackson gets shot, Leland is ready to tear the world apart to figure out who is behind the attempted murder. With some typical Leland ruthlessness, he is able to get some clues as to who shot Jackson, but the bigger picture as to why is still unclear.

Jackson has no idea who is trying to kill him or why. After years as a private investigator, he has probably ticked off loads of people. Keeping Leland from running off on his own is difficult, as all he wants to do is put Jackson in a bubble (a bubble guarded by 10 Dobermans), but Jackson is just as worried about his man getting hurt as Leland is and manages to convince him to work together.

With the help of Henry and Cassell, Leland and Jackson slowly peel back the layers of who wants Jackson dead and why. But keeping ahead of the killer isn’t easy, particularly when they have placed a hit on Jackson and danger is coming from all sides. Now Jackson and Leland must fight with all they have to figure out the mystery and stop the killer before it is too late

The Hitman’s Guide to Tying the Knot Without Getting Shot is the third book in the fabulous Hitman’s Guide series. It’s been about a year since the last book released, and I didn’t realize how much I had missed Leland and Jackson until I picked this one up. They are a couple with Winters’ trademark humor and banter and craziness. And Leland is totally insane on about a million levels. But what stands out most for me here is how intensely in love these guys are. It’s hard to imagine two men adoring each other more, and they basically have hearts coming out of their eyes around one another. Even as Leland is doing another crazy thing that should make Jackson annoyed, Jackson can’t help but find Leland endearing. Or at the very least, he can’t bear not to indulge every one of Leland’s ridiculous whims. I particularly enjoyed watching Jackson play along, sometimes giving as good as he gets when things get particularly outrageous. So I really had fun with these guys here and I loved seeing their incredibly strong bond (plus, we get a lovely wedding scene that made me all misty).

From a plot end, the main focus here is on who is trying to kill Jackson and why. Winters does a nice job keeping the plot twisty and engaging. There are lots of layers to uncover and each step forward leads them to another clue as to who is behind it all. While the plot is mostly the guys following these breadcrumbs, Winters keeps it interesting with a wide variety of crazy encounters (and opportunities to see Leland kill or maim people in bizarre ways). The book has that perfect balance of the action side as we watch Jackson and Leland solve the mystery, with a really strong sense of the emotional connection between the two of them.

There are, of course, tons of funny moments here, including Leland bringing home 10 guard dogs to protect Jackson, but in the end, this is really a story about the connection between Jackson and Leland and that part really shined for me. I enjoyed this one quite a lot and it continues to be one of my favorite Winters’ series.