Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on April 6, 2009
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
Dr. Jack Francisco was just minding his own business in the parking garage when he stumbled upon a murder. He managed to hide and escape with his life, but as a witness to a crime connected to a notorious crime family he can’t just go home. And he finds himself placed into witness protection with a new identity and a new home.
D is a hit man, but he’s a hit man with a bit of a heart. He will only take a contract on someone who he feels deserves to be taken out. No innocent people. No cases where the client just wants someone out of the way for convenience. But he finds himself blackmailed into accepting a job to take out a witness in a murder trial.
When D comes face-to-face with Jack, however, he can’t go through with it. Despite the blackmail, there are some rules that he just cannot break. But he knows that by not carrying out the hit, both he and Jack are in danger. And so they set out on the run–from the people who want Jack dead and the people who want D to be the one to make it happen. And when they’re on the run with only each other to turn to, who knows what could happen…
I very much appreciate that this didn’t go right into a “I’m immediately in love with the man who saved my life” type of story, as that’s where I was worried it was headed when I started reading. The relationship develops over some time, and both men also spend some time dealing with how they feel about both themselves and each other. Overall, it probably runs just a tiny bit longer than I would have preferred, but the action-packed scenes around the climax of the story definitely make the build up worth the wait.