Rating: 4 stars
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Love Bleeds Deep is the second book in the Fatal Fidelity series and the books are intended to be read in order. Reading this review will then reveal spoilers for the first book, Love Kills Twice.
Justine is ready to move on with her life. After years of suffering abuse at the hands of her husband, he is now dead, and Justine is looking ahead to a new life with Campbell. The two of them fell hard and fast for each other and Campbell is taking Justine to France with them on a working vacation, where Campbell will discuss the assassination for a new, high profile contract.
In France, Campbell meets a diplomat who wants her ex-boyfriend eliminated. The man is dangerous and has been stalking her and the threats and violence are escalating and it’s not something she can bring to the local authorities. This new target is also ex-military and has experience as an interrogator, making him a dangerous man to catch, let alone kill.
Campbell is used to working alone, but Justine grounds them and makes them reach for a life that they didn’t think was ever possible for them. But Campbell has a lot of unresolved turmoil and PTSD from their time in the military and when old memories surge forward, it could be enough to take them down for good. With Justine on their side and in their bed, Campbell climbs back from the emotional brink. But there is a reason that Campbell works alone and if Justine gets caught in the web of their work, that is something Campbell will never recover from. It’s not easy loving an assassin.
It was great to see more from Campbell and Justine, as I like the vibe of their relationship and reading about Campbell and her life as an assassin. Justine and Campbell met when Justine hired Campbell to kill her husband and they fit together, in bed and out. Because of how they met, Justine already knows that Campbell is an assassin, but Campbell doesn’t think she deserves Justine. However, Campbell is so enamored of her and dotes on her just the same.
We get more backstory here on Campbell and their time in the military. It still isn’t gone into in any great depth, but there is more to work with to give a more complete picture of them. In the first book, Campbell came across as incredibly strong and here we are shown the vulnerabilities and cracks caused by trauma and PTSD. We also see more of how Campbell views themselves and I find them to be an interesting character. They are a respected assassin and fly all over the world for jobs with high price tags and where they have always traveled alone previously, Justine becomes their greatest strength and their greatest weakness. We also see Justine settling into her life after years of abuse at the hands of her husband and a trip to France allows her to get back to her love of painting and allows her to spend time crafting her relationship with Campbell and they develop an intense intimacy between them.
The contract takes up a good portion of the book and it flows well between Campbell’s personal and professional life and both storylines were interesting to read. However, for most of two books now, Campbell has been built up to be a top-notch assassin with incredible skills. It was then unfortunate that a series of simple, beginner mistakes became the tension in the story and that part didn’t work for me as it really undermined the character that had been built for them.
The ending not only leaves Justine and Campbell in a great place, but opens the page for another book for them and I will be definitely looking forward to seeing how their relationship continues to build and where their travels take them.