Tim “Harry” Harrigan has spent the last ten years working as an assassin for the Australian government, taking down threats across the world. It is a hard life and Harry spends it mostly alone, but he also knows he is doing good, stopping terrorists and drug runners and keeping the world and his country safe. Harry is the best at what he does, deadly and highly skilled. But when he spots someone following him, he knows his time might be about to run out.
Asher Garin is a mercenary who grew up without a family and without a country. He too works as an assassin, in his case for whoever has the funds to hire him. When he is hired to take out Harry, however, it is clear that something strange is going on. And when Asher is tipped off that he too is a mark, both men are definitely in trouble.
Harry and Asher know that if someone wants them both dead, their best bet of surviving is to stick together. It’s rocky at first, as they are both used to working alone and their personalities don’t exactly mesh. But as they spend more time together, a friendship and an attraction grows. But as Asher and Harry learn more about who wants them dead, they realize that they must uncover the truth behind their past missions if they have any hope of saving their own lives.
The Kite by N.R. Walker was an engaging and exciting suspense story, with sort of a road trip vibe and a nice dose of enemies to lovers. I have read a lot of Walker’s books, but this has a different tone than most of her others. This one is a lot grittier, along with the high intensity and intrigue. The story jumps in right away on the action as Harry is in the middle of a job and realizes someone has him in their sights and he is in big trouble. Asher finds Harry and shares the information he has and explains what he knows about the trouble they are both in. Basically, both men have seen and learned too much and someone has secrets they want to stay buried. Along the way, we learn more about what is going on, who wants the men dead, and what they are covering up.
Harry and Asher spend most of the story on the run, fleeing from place to place and often just moments ahead of their pursuers. As I said, there is kind of a road trip vibe, with a big helping of forced proximity, as they travel around mostly the Middle East, often holing up in dingy hotel rooms or having long car rides together. The majority of the story is just the two men together, with only incidental interaction with other people. I often enjoy this kind of close focus story where we are really zeroed in on the main characters, and it works particularly well with this type of suspense book. It really helps immerse the reader in the intensity of the situation for Harry and Asher, as we are following the two of them so closely. It also gives the men a chance to really bond with one another. They are both so used to working alone, and even as they both have handlers of sorts, they live such solitary lives. So to suddenly be thrust together 24/7 and have so little interaction with anyone else forces them to learn to work together and rely on one another.
The guys have a definite grumpy/sunshine vibe, which I love. Harry is a huge mountain of a man who is basically always scowling, while Asher is much more light-hearted and friendly. Asher loves to poke at Harry, trying to get him to talk and smile (and fuck him) and as much as Harry wants to pretend he isn’t charmed by Asher, he can’t help but fall for him. There is a fun dynamic between them and I loved the progression of their relationship. They start as wary allies, forced together by circumstance, and slowly begin to like one another (and even more slowly to trust one another). But by the end, they are all in together, willing to tear down the world to keep one another safe.
I found this one a lot of fun and enjoyed the intrigue and the suspense of the story. If you like thrillers, particularly with some morally gray men, definitely check this one out.