Why the Devil Stalks Death (Death and the Devil, #2)
Jack Reardon uncovers secrets for a living, and the Meta-State spy is pretty good at it. Or rather he thought so until he met Ethan Blade—assassin, warrior, enigma. The unlikely pair have decided to give living together a shot, but Jack’s not entirely certain what he’s gotten himself into—or exactly who he’s in it with.Jack’s worries are compounded when he’s assigned to a police strike force hunting a serial killer. With each new puzzle piece, Jack considers the true nature of a serial killer—and how similar it is to an assassin. To one particular assassin who’s having trouble adjusting to retirement. Jack’s unsure how to help Ethan—or if he even can.When the killer strikes close to home, Jack must race against the clock to stop another murder, despite the price someone has put on his head. Could the matters be connected? Is a certain assassin at the centre of both? Surrounded by killers, the only one Jack wants near disappears, leaving Jack drowning in secrets. He’ll have to do what he does best—unravel the secrets, including Ethan’s—to stop the killer and save the life he and Ethan have only just begun to build.**Content Warning**Child abuse and child sexual abuse in a character’s history and not depicted directly on the page.

Why the Devil Stalks Death (Death and the Devil, #2) Details

TitleWhy the Devil Stalks Death (Death and the Devil, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 9th, 2018
Rating
GenreRomance, M M Romance, Lgbt, Mystery, Contemporary

Why the Devil Stalks Death (Death and the Devil, #2) Review

  • Simone
    January 1, 1970
    MIND. BLOWN. AGAIN. I'm pretty sure there are still sparks circling around my head... There really was only one person Jack wanted at his back these days. And he was part of the reason why Jack needed someone at his back. At this rate, Jack Reardon will probably swear off his birthdays for the foreseeable future... It's been two years since he 'celebrated' one in a torture shack in the Australian Outback looking death aka Ethan Blade in the face. One year since he met him again under pret MIND. BLOWN. AGAIN. I'm pretty sure there are still sparks circling around my head... There really was only one person Jack wanted at his back these days. And he was part of the reason why Jack needed someone at his back. At this rate, Jack Reardon will probably swear off his birthdays for the foreseeable future... It's been two years since he 'celebrated' one in a torture shack in the Australian Outback looking death aka Ethan Blade in the face. One year since he met him again under pretty unusual circumstances. Granted, the outcome, namely the beginning of a more than out of the ordinary relationship with the enigmatic assassin was worth it. Another birthday is looming now and it is once more not looking good and Jack finds himself in trouble all over again. Trouble that involves hand cuffs. And not the fun kind... "I'll see you soon". That's what Ethan told Jack when they parted ways just after deciding on taking the next step in their relationship. Seems like both men have a slightly different understanding of the word 'soon', though, since months passed without a call, a word, a glimpse. Not that Jack has much time to think about it since the search for a serial killer keeps him pretty busy, even more so when said case becomes personal. A bit too personal for Jack's taste because someone painted a target on his back and suddenly there is more than one guy with a gun breathing down his neck. To top it all off, he also has to deal with a former fling-turned-coworker who cannot seem to take no for an answer. Things get even more complicated when Ethan returns and the fact that Jack would like to keep the latter from him, stirs up old insecurities, doubts and half-truths he thought they had left behind. And in the end it all comes down to trust... Hands down, for me this is one of the best and most intriguing series ever!!! I mean, which other series can claim to have forty mini-cliffies in one single book? Yes, we are back to the non-linear storyline with chapters alternating between past and present, or in this case Before and After and no, I won't tell you what happened prior to/past that point. The non-linearity and the intricate mystery kept me once again on the edge of my seat, though, and even if my neighbor probably heard the one or other cry of frustration, this is definitely part of the charm of this series for me and makes it rather unique, only emphasized by the brilliant writing.And then there are Jack and Ethan... I love how far they have come in their relationship. Even if it's soon pretty clear that both guys are still walking a fine line between trust, feelings and ingrained habits, it's also clear that - as unlikely as it might seem - they could not be more perfect for each other. "In spite of the pain and the risk, in spite of everything and everyone else, I want this. I don't know what I'm doing, Jack, but I want to keep trying. With you." Ethan was at his most vulnerable here - sometimes even raw, bare and exposed - and I can't even begin to describe the feelings this evoked in me. There is more background on him in this book and insight into bits and pieces of his past which are downright painful, but these things made him the man he is now and I wouldn't want him to be any other way. Wounds healed and the scars they left were testaments of life. Ethan will always be my (anti)hero in this series, but Jack also grew more and more on me. There was one point I wanted to get in line and buy a ticket on him myself, but everything was forgotten with something incredibly sweet he did for Ethan and with something I (and probably everyone else who loves this series) waited a long time to happen.The ending was all I could have hoped for. Once again we get Ethan's POV and I was over the moon again to read his thoughts. Although this book does not end on a cliffhanger, the very last word made me a bit anxious about what will happen next.This series keeps getting better and better - if that's even possible - and it entirely earned its place on my best-ever-epic shelf. Highly recommended! ***ARC generously provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!***
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  • Renée
    January 1, 1970
    Who is Ethan Blade?We, along with Jack, find out in this book.Hayward continues to blow me away with her writing talent. She's just so clever! Every minute of this story entertained me, especially the relationship development. This is going straight to my best of 2018 shelf.The mystery in this one, once again, hits a little too close to home. Jack is especially vulnerable when forced to work with a past hook-up, which he doesn't want Ethan to find out about.These two flawed men finally open up t Who is Ethan Blade?We, along with Jack, find out in this book.Hayward continues to blow me away with her writing talent. She's just so clever! Every minute of this story entertained me, especially the relationship development. This is going straight to my best of 2018 shelf.The mystery in this one, once again, hits a little too close to home. Jack is especially vulnerable when forced to work with a past hook-up, which he doesn't want Ethan to find out about.These two flawed men finally open up to each other. A lot. Feelings are admitted, but it's still not enough. Neither man feels secure in it, and that's when things go awry. As much as they opened communication, my frustration lingers because there is still so much they aren't saying!But it was enough, for now. Secrets are revealed, and we finally get to see what has shaped Ethan to be the man that he is. Sigh. I just want to hug him and bring him home.This one is the best so far! They keep getting better. "You give me so much, Jack. Warmth and comfort and a secure place to be myself. You give me acceptance and understanding. You've given me the life I always wanted but never thought I could have." Ohhhhh….and there's an epilogue from Ethan's POV. I may have melted. A bit.
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  • Shile
    January 1, 1970
    This one gets 5++++++++++++ starsI am in love with this series. “It’s nothing to be worried about, Jack. I’m just . . . it’s a surprise. For you.”Jack feathered his lips over the newest bruise, a purpling patch under Ethan’s ribs. “What sort of surprise entails this?”“A good one, I hope.”“Nothing is worth you getting hurt.”Ethan cupped his hands around Jack’s face, holding him still and staring into him so deeply Jack thought he saw something flicker for a second in Ethan’s fixed pupils.“Some t This one gets 5++++++++++++ starsI am in love with this series. “It’s nothing to be worried about, Jack. I’m just . . . it’s a surprise. For you.”Jack feathered his lips over the newest bruise, a purpling patch under Ethan’s ribs. “What sort of surprise entails this?”“A good one, I hope.”“Nothing is worth you getting hurt.”Ethan cupped his hands around Jack’s face, holding him still and staring into him so deeply Jack thought he saw something flicker for a second in Ethan’s fixed pupils.“Some things are worth it,” Ethan whispered.Feeling raw and exposed, Jack asked, “Like what?”“Like you, Jack.” I was hooked from page one. Like book 1, the story is told in the After/before timeline. I have to admit at first i was confused then i decided to go with the flow and actually enjoyed this type of storytelling. The writing is so good. L.J knows how to write action scenes and the blend between action/mystery and romance is well balanced. The characters are so likable, I loved them from the moment they were introduced in book 1. I have to say Jack is kinda low-key dick! i wanted to shake him and smack him a few times while reading this book, for his smart-stupidity. Ethan on the other hand was really amazing, for an assassin, Ethan is one lovable guy. The Villain you root for. The character develop was so well done. We get to know Ethan better, some of the questions left pending in book 1 we get the answers here. This is one of those series where you get to experience and feel the MC's fall in love. We are not told, you just know because you feel it too. Or maybe it was just me.The sex scenes! dear Lawd!! are soooooo hawt! Damn! this author can right some scorching sex scenes. Cold shower people! Cold Shower!! There were so many firsts. Hard not to drown in ecstasy. Ethan closed his mouth over the head of Jack’s dick and sucked. A strangled, inarticulate sound escaped Jack. Thankfully it was so twisted by ecstasy it didn’t count as talking, and Ethan didn’t stop. He slid further down, moving slow but devotedly, his tongue and lips doing things to Jack he hadn’t felt in a very long time. GAH! I Loved this book!Now that the cat is out of the bag! Thank you so much Christelle! for this amazing gift.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    I have been hooked on this series ever since I read the first page of "Where Death meets The Devil". I fell in love with both Jack and Ethan (though Jack is the one that really cranks my engine) and I couldn't wait to see what was gonna happen next. This is not a figure of speech...I literally couldn't wait, and so I kind of ...stalked the author :P Now, I don't want to give too much away about this one, because this is a suspense series and I think it should be read without any spoilers. This m I have been hooked on this series ever since I read the first page of "Where Death meets The Devil". I fell in love with both Jack and Ethan (though Jack is the one that really cranks my engine) and I couldn't wait to see what was gonna happen next. This is not a figure of speech...I literally couldn't wait, and so I kind of ...stalked the author :P Now, I don't want to give too much away about this one, because this is a suspense series and I think it should be read without any spoilers. This makes writing a review a bit of a challenge ;) No worries though, I am up for it :P For all you Ethan lovers out there...this book will give you much more insight into your favorite assassin !! You will learn more about his (heartbreaking) past and how he came to be the man he is today...Out of all the books in this series, the long and the shorts, this one is definitely my favorite. It was also the most "emotional" one. Both men have admitted to "feeling" more but that's just not enough...There are still so many secrets and insecurities that need to come out and when they do...they explode... In spite of the pain and the risk, in spite of everything and everyone else, I want this. Jack's track-record with relationships is shit, so he is just waiting to screw things up. Ethan hasn't ever been (or wanted to be) in one before, so he has no idea what he is doing... It was painful to watch at times... I just wanted to shout out: TALK !! I guess it's a (badass)guy thing. Thankfully they do pull their heads out of their asses at some point :P And I was literally swooning when we got to the epilogue This book is written in the same style as the first book. Which means something major has happened, and we get a back and forth between the before, and the after... I normally don't like flashbacks and such but in this case, I am a big fan !!I highly recommend this series, it has definitely earned a spot on my "favorites of 2018" list.    My reviews are posted on Follow me  
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  • haletostilinski
    January 1, 1970
    Man, I was SO stressed out reading this until about 80 percent when everything was coming to light and we were learning all these things. Mostly because of this line early on that made me FREAK OUT. And then until it was revealed exactly what happened, I was tense and worried and freaking out. It got better the more we learned, but I was a MESS okay. Because in the 1.8 book, Jack and Ethan (view spoiler)[agreed to commit to each other, as in, just each other, to start a relationship. So seeing t Man, I was SO stressed out reading this until about 80 percent when everything was coming to light and we were learning all these things. Mostly because of this line early on that made me FREAK OUT. And then until it was revealed exactly what happened, I was tense and worried and freaking out. It got better the more we learned, but I was a MESS okay. Because in the 1.8 book, Jack and Ethan (view spoiler)[agreed to commit to each other, as in, just each other, to start a relationship. So seeing this line so early on of "If Ethan didn’t kill him for fucking someone else." Made sirens go off in my brain, okay haha. And also if you're checking under this spoiler tag, don't worry, Jack does NOT cheat on Ethan at all. This line was really just a mean trick by the author to make us think he did. Because while it's true Jack fucked someone else....8 months ago when he and Ethan weren't committed, it is not true that he fucks someone else, or has fucked anyone else, since the one guy between two of Ethan's visits real early on in their arrangement. (hide spoiler)]The only hiccup here is that Adam turns out to be a past hook-up and now someone Jack is working with, and Adam will NOT take no for an answer. I have to say that Adam annoyed me. He seemed like a cool guy and all...but I don't think it's endearing or cute or anything when someone continues to make flirty comments and made passes at you when you've said no MANY times. First couple of times, sure, I don't fault people for that. Or for even caring a torch for that person and pining for them, even if they said no. But if they persist and persist and the person clearly is not interested and says no, and they keep doing it...it's bothersome.And hell, idk, there have been times when I haven't minded persistence that much, if it's clear that the person saying no clearly doesn't want to and is saying it for other reasons than them not wanting the person. In that case, I can get past it.But Jack, while clearly still attracted to Adam - and thinks it clearly, annoyingly - he also thinks how it's never going to happen, because that's all it is, and Jack has Ethan, and for months and months now it's been all about Ethan for Jack. And now that they're committed, even when it's been 4 months since they saw each other, Jack says no. And you know, what's worse than just the insistence by Adam is that once he knows about Ethan and Jack, he still tries something - not that he succeeds - and it's really annoying. And I get what happens to him affects him greatly and I felt for him, but I also didn't quite like how he kinda blamed Jack for it - and didn't apologize once for how he behaved. Ugh, whatever, Adam in the end wasn't important. Ethan and Jack were.This followed along in the same vein as the first book, with the "before" and "after" for the past and present storyline - in this case, a month prior to the "after" in the "before" part is when Ethan comes back from whatever he was doing for 4 months since the end of the last novella in this series. We understand why it took so long when he tells Jack what he's been trying to do for almost a year now: (view spoiler)[he's quit being an assassin (hide spoiler)]Anyway, like the first book, we don't see Ethan in the "after" for quite some time - until late in the book - even though he's talked about, but we seem him plenty in the "before" It was torture, is what it was, and the author loves torturing us because as we were getting more and more great and amazing things between Jack and Ethan in the "before" while things were apparently falling apart in the "after" so we couldn't quite enjoy everything happening in the past. And I mean, it felt like an overreaction on Jack's part to what he thinks Ethan will do to him when he (view spoiler)["walked in" on him and Adam (which was really nothing, just Adam making one more pass at Jack and Jack of COURSE just about to push him away but Ethan seeing what Adam is trying to do right before that happens. OF COURSE. That annoyed me so much, that there was all this worrying and stressing over something that wasn't too big of a deal.) At least, Jack totally exaggerated because of COURSE Ethan wasn't going to try and kill him and of COURSE Ethan wasn't so blind with rage or jealousy that he'd try to kill Adam. Like, come on Jack, give the man you love some credit. (hide spoiler)]In the end it felt a little used for the drama of it all - and to have me on the edge of my seat - which frustrates me a little but is also something I can get past because it fucking worked, okay! I was a total mess! lol. But really, in the end it does work out and these two men just become all the closer. And yes, (view spoiler)[WE FINALLY GOT A KISS. WE ACTUALLY GOT MULTIPLE KISSES! ALL THE KISSES!!! YASSS. And it was glorious and wonderful and everything I ever wanted! I want these two to kiss all the damn time now. ADJshkashdk (hide spoiler)]So yes, miss Hayward, I was a ball of angst and stress while reading most of this and I could NOT. PUT. IT. DOWN. So, mission accomplished. But ohhh, it was so mean! Because it all turns out okay and they work through and we get them so much closer to a happy ending, or beginning, whichever way you want to look at it. A HEA, I should say :P.And also (view spoiler)[Ethan finally fucks Jack and it was glorious and hot and passionate and I've been waiting for it even if it's not been as much of a desire as my desire for the kiss. (hide spoiler)]Also we get to learn more about Ethan - and it was fucking heartbreaking - but I was happy to learn more about Ethan, even though it was devastating, just because I love Ethan so much and I want to know all about his character, almost as much as Jack does ;) And I loved Jack too, for finally getting his head out of his ass and seeing what he had right in front of him. Not that he didn't see Ethan, just that...he was still holding back for so long, and he didn't need to anymore, and you can see the change in him by the end when he gets his head right out of his ass, and it's amazing and awesome and I. LOVED. IT!!! And okay aside from the huge relationship - and character - development that was my favorite part(s) of this whole novel, the plot was really well done too, and it weaved so seamlessly together, and it was nail biting and when we find out how exactly a serial killer is tied to Ethan's past, it's shocking but also...kind of expected at the same time. Or more, it just makes so much sense once it is revealed. And gahh, Ethan...what he did for Jack, to protect him? MY HEART.Okay okay, gahh, I love these two together SO much and I love this series and I absolutely loved this book so much, despite the stress and heart palpitations it caused me. Loved, loved, loved this. I can't praise it enough.And oh yes, I totally did tag "cliffhanger" because of the last two lines. It makes me want the third book - or more .2, .4 and such books if there are going to be (idk, I want there to be. I don't want this series to end) - really bad, SO bad. But don't worry, it's no cliffhanger relationship wise. I also tagged this HFN, because they truly do get to that place, and on the most solid ground in their relationship in this entire series that we've seen so far.And yeah, Jack and Ethan clearly have a bit to go before firming up that shaky ground at their feet, but I look forward to seeing them get through those hurdles (in the 3rd book or next few novellas, whichever happen). So, yeah! HIGHLY recommend this, I absolutely adored it, I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn't get enough. A must read if you've loved this series so far! <3
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  • Jewel
    January 1, 1970
    Everything I hoped for. ❤❤Thank you Elf sleuthing a la Elmer Fudd for gifting me this! WOOT! You just made my Monday!! <3 Everything I hoped for. ❤️❤️Thank you Elf sleuthing a la Elmer Fudd for gifting me this! WOOT! You just made my Monday!! <3
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  • Ele
    January 1, 1970
    Best of the best. Mystery and romance are perfectly balanced. Hayward has some mad skills. Can we get a story for Adam too, please?
  • Fabi
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to have to think about this one. RTC...later...I finished this morning but I still don't know how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I love, adore, and can't get enough of Jack & Ethan. I love their unusual relationship and all of their life risking adventures. Two alpha males who are as smart as they are tough, making it even more special when we catch a glimpse of either of them letting down their defenses with each other.The first book in this series, Where Death Meets th I'm going to have to think about this one. RTC...later...I finished this morning but I still don't know how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I love, adore, and can't get enough of Jack & Ethan. I love their unusual relationship and all of their life risking adventures. Two alpha males who are as smart as they are tough, making it even more special when we catch a glimpse of either of them letting down their defenses with each other.The first book in this series, Where Death Meets the Devil, is my favorite book of the year. The four novellas that followed it are a must read as they continue the story for Jack & Ethan.In this book, the 1st full-length follow-up one, we learn so much more about Ethan. His past catches up to him and Jack has to scramble to figure out how to maintain a relationship with someone he loves but has yet to fully understand.It's a great crime/mystery plot. I enjoyed it. However, what didn't work for me this time was the time jump between chapters. The "before" and "after" that occurred at every!single!chapter! I found myself first annoyed, then confused, then annoyed again. This format DID work for book 1. It DID NOT work for book 2. It only added unnecessary confusion to what is actually a very interesting plot.I'm going to go with 3.5 stars. I really liked the story, but wish it had been told in a linear time frame. There are a few typos that still need to be cleaned up so I'm going to round down this time for GR's strict star rating system.
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  • Ky
    January 1, 1970
    *5 stars*Definitely one of the best series I've read this year, The Death and the Devil are back with some mystery, action and a good deal of jealousy and angst.Jack and Ethan have come so far from their first meeting in the desert and their relationship is slowly but steadily moving forward. These two are perfect together, not because they are destined to be so, but because they see each other for who he really is and they don't back down, they don't want to change the other in order to fit the *5 stars*Definitely one of the best series I've read this year, The Death and the Devil are back with some mystery, action and a good deal of jealousy and angst.Jack and Ethan have come so far from their first meeting in the desert and their relationship is slowly but steadily moving forward. These two are perfect together, not because they are destined to be so, but because they see each other for who he really is and they don't back down, they don't want to change the other in order to fit them. They are vulnerable together and they aren't afraid to be real. Ethan doesn't back down in the face of Jack's supposed actions in this book, but soldiers on and fights for what they have. Likewise, Jack sees Ethan for who he is and wants him for everything - his faults, his good qualities, his burdens...In "Why the Devil Stalks Death" we get a lot of background information about Ethan and finally a few aswers about him. There is still so much mystery surrounding him, he is Ethan after all, but after reading this story I feel like I can understand him a little bit better. Did you ever wonder why Ethan feels so strongly about always keeping his socks on? It certainly isn't because his feet are cold, and that's far from the only thing we learn about him. We also get a delicious little Coda at the end of the book that is narrated by Ethan!Only the second book in the series and so much has happened already! A lot of that is due to the novellas that take place between the events of the main books and are essential to the plot, the characters and the progression of their relationship. Another part is L.J. Hayward's quality to pack her books full of interesting scenes and meaningfull events insted of bland pages that are just space-fillers.Little tip-warning: Don't even try to read this as a standalone, other than the fact that you would most likely be lost, you also would make a huge mistake in missing out the whole amazing story of Jack and Ethan. Start at the beginning and enjoy the journey!There's no cliffhanger at the end, but there is a clear indication that this is far from the end of the road - that little word at the end was full of promises and possibilities!Now I'm going to very patiently sit on the edge of my seat and anxiously wait for the next part in Jack and Ethan's story. With the way we left them it's bound to be very interesting! *An ARC of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
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  • Ariana
    January 1, 1970
    Waiting for this one was really hard.Was it worth the wait?Well, that was me once I started and it says it all. I was glued to my seat from the very first word to the last.Just like in book one, L.J.Hayward takes us on a journey between two timelines: before and after.And again she uses this to maximise the tension and emotional turmoil of both, the mystery plot and the relationship development between Ethan and Jack.Seeing the two men happy and bonding in the 'before', but finding them hurt and Waiting for this one was really hard.Was it worth the wait?Well, that was me once I started and it says it all. I was glued to my seat from the very first word to the last.Just like in book one, L.J.Hayward takes us on a journey between two timelines: before and after.And again she uses this to maximise the tension and emotional turmoil of both, the mystery plot and the relationship development between Ethan and Jack.Seeing the two men happy and bonding in the 'before', but finding them hurt and at odds with each other in the 'after' was more than agonising. What the heck had happened? Did Jack really do the unthinkable as we are made to believe? And what is it that Ethan keeps secret?And this is just the beginning of many questions asked and answered: about Ethan's past, Jack's relationship with Adam, their work and most of all: does IT finally happen? You know what I mean, don't you?! The thing we've all been rooting for so badly!!!What can I say but ... that moment is one of the most sigh-worthy I've ever read. LJ Hayward writes heat, love and vulnerability beautifully on all levels. And it isn't only Jack that opens up in every way. Ethan does do. When those hurdles between them fall, they don't just topple over quietly, but they crash loudly in such an earth-shattering way, I was virtually blown away, and had to reread again and again. Absolutely stellar!As is the Coda written from Ethan's POV! So appreciated and so moving and hot! What a fantastic end! (Oh, and I loved that last little surprise!) I can only but wonder what on earth Miss Hayward is going to put these two through in the final book!This series, without any doubt, will be one of my most favourite ever. Book 3 can't come soon enough! Highly recommended!
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent! Ethan & Jack are my favorite book boyfriends right now. Like the very first book, the chapters alternate between two time periods, months apart. Maybe it’s just my brain being extra fuzzy but I found it more confusing than the first one. I think I still have a couple of things mixed up. That brought my rating down but when I read it again, maybe it will be easier. We’ll see. Ethan has “retired” to live with Jack and they’re great together, right up until they aren’t. There’s a ser Excellent! Ethan & Jack are my favorite book boyfriends right now. Like the very first book, the chapters alternate between two time periods, months apart. Maybe it’s just my brain being extra fuzzy but I found it more confusing than the first one. I think I still have a couple of things mixed up. That brought my rating down but when I read it again, maybe it will be easier. We’ll see. Ethan has “retired” to live with Jack and they’re great together, right up until they aren’t. There’s a serial killer plot but more importantly, Jack and Ethan are trying to figure out how to fit their jagged edges together while still holding on to secrets. Their trust in each other is sorely tested. Ugh, it was so full of feels. My impatience and anticipation were raised to fever pitch waiting to find out if they were ever going to kiss! Then poor Ethan takes some unexpected emotional hits, some of which his life before Jack didn’t prepare him for. He almost broke my heart! The final chapter was glorious, as it gets told from Ethan’s viewpoint and he and Jack will make you melt. I absolutely adore this series. If we’re lucky, there will be more of the novellas while waiting for book three. Don’t worry, this book is a completed story but I can’t wait to find out what they’ll be pitted against next.
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  • fleurette
    January 1, 1970
    I’m confused, I have so many mixed feelings after reading this book. I love it but I’m still disappointed at the same time.I’ve been waiting for this book so much! I’ve even read the short stories in between that I normally rarely read. And the shorts are so good, I expected something spectacular from the second full book in the series. But mostly what I expected were Jack and Ethan living together, working together and generally working out how to be together. And unfortunately for most of the I’m confused, I have so many mixed feelings after reading this book. I love it but I’m still disappointed at the same time.I’ve been waiting for this book so much! I’ve even read the short stories in between that I normally rarely read. And the shorts are so good, I expected something spectacular from the second full book in the series. But mostly what I expected were Jack and Ethan living together, working together and generally working out how to be together. And unfortunately for most of the book they don’t. In the very first chapter we learn that Jack seriously f*cked up and we meet Ethan only later in the story. (view spoiler)[Their reunion is great and I love this part but I couldn’t fully enjoy it already knowing that they will split up over something. I wanted for them to work arm by arm over this serial killer case. (hide spoiler)]The whole book is again divided into two parts. Every chapter of the present plot (“after”) is followed by the “before” chapter. I’m not sure I really liked it. It’s great to add more tension to the story but I’m not sure this is exactly what this story needs. I can give it to the defense of this idea that both plotlines are excellent and totally grab you. Why I’m not fully amazed by this book, beside little time Jack and Ethan spend together, is the amount of drama. Everything is rather extreme. I do like the way the feelings between Jack and Ethan evolve, it’s believable and really well-done. But there are all those dramatic actions and quarrels and doubts. Sometimes I felt like there is too much of that. There are not enough sweet moments to me. Especially that there are some of them in the short stories.All in all, I really like where the relationship of Jack and Ethan goes. (view spoiler)[Yay, those kisses! (hide spoiler)] Still, I would like to see them working together on some case. And I can’t wait to read another book in this series.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Wow what an intense ride ... I adore Ethan Blade, his ability to compartmentalize and yet show such loyalty and vulnerability to Jack. He is all things dangerous and all things beautiful. While the writing style of past / present was bloody frustrating, it kept me holding on for so long as I was trying to piece everything together... a fabulous installment..Jack & Ethan are simply perfect together in their imperfections ❤ Wow what an intense ride ... I adore Ethan Blade, his ability to compartmentalize and yet show such loyalty and vulnerability to Jack. He is all things dangerous and all things beautiful. While the writing style of past / present was bloody frustrating, it kept me holding on for so long as I was trying to piece everything together... a fabulous installment..Jack & Ethan are simply perfect together in their imperfections ❤️
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  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    I'm completely mind blown by this series.This second book was everything I was waiting for and more...We finally reunite with our 2 badasses.- Ethan Blade, Assassin extraordinaire. who decided to retire to be with Jack. But the life of an Assassin is not that easy to escape.I ADOOOOORE Ethan. So deadly and yet so cute and adorable when it comes to Jack! - Jack Reardon, Agent for Australian intelligence. Go undercover with a law enforcement agency to find and neutralize a serial killer.I love him I'm completely mind blown by this series.This second book was everything I was waiting for and more...We finally reunite with our 2 badasses.- Ethan Blade, Assassin extraordinaire. who decided to retire to be with Jack. But the life of an Assassin is not that easy to escape.I ADOOOOORE Ethan. So deadly and yet so cute and adorable when it comes to Jack! - Jack Reardon, Agent for Australian intelligence. Go undercover with a law enforcement agency to find and neutralize a serial killer.I love him very much too. His feelings for Ethan are so raw and everything. I love his mind.We still have only Jack's PoV (except for the little Coda chapter at the end).At the beginning I was a little frustrated because it was like Ethan was in the backseat and we didn't know where he was and what happened but that was the point and that fact made me even more avide to know what the fuck was happening...Like in book 1 we still have a 'Before' and 'After'. I really liked this.We learn more about Ethan and his past. Jack is finally completely in this. And we finally have what I was waiting for...Okay, I LOVED everything, EVERYTHING about this book and I hope that like for book 1 we will have some novellas to help us wait for book 3
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  • rowenalovelace
    January 1, 1970
    Finally! I just can't express my love for these two enough... Such an exciting and rewarding story!(view spoiler)[I LOVED Ethan's POV and I want to read more from his POV. We all knew Jack was a dumbass but God, it was even more obvious when I read that final scene and see from Ethan's eyes. Not that there was anything other than adoring and loving coming from Ethan but you see it more clearly when Ethan described the intimacy of their love making and how trust that required and bam. Jack was th Finally! I just can't express my love for these two enough... Such an exciting and rewarding story!(view spoiler)[I LOVED Ethan's POV and I want to read more from his POV. We all knew Jack was a dumbass but God, it was even more obvious when I read that final scene and see from Ethan's eyes. Not that there was anything other than adoring and loving coming from Ethan but you see it more clearly when Ethan described the intimacy of their love making and how trust that required and bam. Jack was that oblivious, yeah. I just wanted the shake Jack around the shoulders most of the time. Anyway, hopefully Jack is on the right track finally!And the Kiss😍 It was so genuine and so Ethan, it came first from Ethan when we are all like, Come ooon Jack kiss him already! I LOVED Ethan's kiss and the many more from Jack that came after that. (hide spoiler)]Goes right to the all time favourite shelf! and my dear author, I want more, you made an addict out of me.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    Another great installment. I just love these guys. The before and after style of writing didn’t work as much in this book as it did in the first (IMO). I was confused at times and a few things still aren’t clear to me. But that could totally be a case of “it’s me not the book”.No matter though because I still love these fellas!!And we all know by now that Ethan is not going to kill Jack. Why doesn’t Jack know that? The constant mention of Ethan possibility hurting or killing Jack caused several Another great installment. I just love these guys. The before and after style of writing didn’t work as much in this book as it did in the first (IMO). I was confused at times and a few things still aren’t clear to me. But that could totally be a case of “it’s me not the book”.No matter though because I still love these fellas!!And we all know by now that Ethan is not going to kill Jack. Why doesn’t Jack know that? The constant mention of Ethan possibility hurting or killing Jack caused several eye rolls from me. I mean come on...who are you trying to fool L.J? I hear the next book will be the last. I wish this could go on forever 😢
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  • Lisazj1
    January 1, 1970
    Everything I could have wanted, except for more! <3
  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone… I am in love!!! I already loved Where Death Meets the Devil, thought it was a very one of a kind romantic suspense action novel, but this book has truly cemented it’s place in my heart. Wow what a journey this was. It was a roller coaster of feelings and I’m still trying to get down from the high, so I apologize in advance if I go on rambling here.The author has a way of writing that keeps you on your toes for every single page and it’s very difficult to even imagine putting the book d Everyone… I am in love!!! I already loved Where Death Meets the Devil, thought it was a very one of a kind romantic suspense action novel, but this book has truly cemented it’s place in my heart. Wow what a journey this was. It was a roller coaster of feelings and I’m still trying to get down from the high, so I apologize in advance if I go on rambling here.The author has a way of writing that keeps you on your toes for every single page and it’s very difficult to even imagine putting the book down. This book follows the similar before/after timeline like the first one, but thankfully it’s easier to get through this time around because we are already familiar with the style. The suspense is masterfully built up and I saw nothing coming and every twist was spectacular. Atleast half the chapters end on cliffhangers of their own and it just increases our curiosity as a reader, trying to guess what might happen next and feeling thrilled when the author goes in a whole other direction. The author skillfully blends suspense, action and chase sequences with an adorable love story and I have no words to describe how much I enjoyed this ride.Jack and Ethan are finally living together and the awkwardness is off the charts. It’s a struggle learning how to share a life, but as they slowly progress in their relationship, it was an absolute delight to watch. Though the story is still from Jack’s POV, we get to know so much more about Ethan – his personality outside of his identity as an assassin, his quirks and compulsions and vulnerabilities, his insecurities and some much needed truths about his childhood. It’s a heartbreaking story that only endeared me to him more and I don’t think I’ve ever loved an assassin character this much before. Jack is also dealing with his insecurities, isn’t sure if he can make his relationship work and his case of finding a serial killer is wreaking havoc on his mind. He did some very ridiculous things here, hurting Ethan in the process and I just wanted to shake him up and make him see sense. However, it’s Jack and Ethan and I knew that despite all the odds, they will find their way back to each other and it’s wonderful to watch that happen.And that ending… it was GLORIOUS!!!! The “thing” that I have been waiting for to happen through two books and four novellas finally does, and it just blew my mind. The expression of their love for each other is so damn romantic and passionate and I just kept wishing that it would go on and on. After those two beautifully written final two chapters (the epilogue in Ethan’s POV is just the BESTTTTT), all I want is more Jack and Ethan and it’s so difficult not knowing when we’ll get the next book.If you like spy thrillers with a good dose of awesome romance, then this book is perfect for you. This series is a thrilling ride, with loads and loads of twists and turns, and two main characters whom you don’t think you will like, but will eventually fall in love with. A masterful lesson on how to keep the readers hooked. Please make sure you read all the novellas in the order of release before this second book so that you don’t miss the progression of Jack and Ethan’s relationship.
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  • Zuzu
    January 1, 1970
    I love Jack and Ethan so much. And I love this series so much. But . . . the "before and after" chapters in this book didn't work as well for me as they did in the first book.I guess it may be because the timeline was so close together, but I kept getting lost. I couldn't remember what happened previously when the timeline changed with each chapter and I kept having to go back to the end of the odd or even chapter to keep up with the storyline. This may just be MY problem but it really made read I love Jack and Ethan so much. And I love this series so much. But . . . the "before and after" chapters in this book didn't work as well for me as they did in the first book.I guess it may be because the timeline was so close together, but I kept getting lost. I couldn't remember what happened previously when the timeline changed with each chapter and I kept having to go back to the end of the odd or even chapter to keep up with the storyline. This may just be MY problem but it really made reading difficult.I absoultely love getting Ethan's POV, so the Coda was a real treat.It's sad to know there is only 1 more book in this series. Can't wait to read it!
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  • Nazanin
    January 1, 1970
    The before/after timeline didn't work for me. It's a shame because Ethan and Jack are still one of my favorite M/M couples of all time. I wish the story was written in the same format as the novellas.
  • Stephanie GooglyEyes
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of my absolute favorite series of this year, and pretty much all time, and there is a reason for that. L.J. Hayward GIVES GREAT STORY!!! I think my favorite part of this story was how each chapter rotated between the "Before" or "After". You're probably wondering: Before and After what? I won't be the one ruining that for you though :)It kind of starts in the middle of the story and one goes backwards through the before chapters while the other (after) works forward, and then it kind This is one of my absolute favorite series of this year, and pretty much all time, and there is a reason for that. L.J. Hayward GIVES GREAT STORY!!! I think my favorite part of this story was how each chapter rotated between the "Before" or "After". You're probably wondering: Before and After what? I won't be the one ruining that for you though :)It kind of starts in the middle of the story and one goes backwards through the before chapters while the other (after) works forward, and then it kind of meets towards the end to where it started and then moves forward more, if that makes sense LOLThe way it unfolds, I swear I thought they were going to tear me apart!I was so scared for these two, LJ kind of leaves you with impressions of one thing happening which may lead to another thing. and the whole time you're thinking "no! Jack wouldn't do that!" And "no way, Ethan wouldn't do that!" I loved and hated all the second guessing. Loved it, because I was so entranced by the story and hated because I didn't want to happen what I thought might happen. Ethan is still an enigma, but we learn oh so much about his past, finally! Even though this story unfolds and tells so much, there's still more to tell, at least that's the impression I'm left with. I really hope so because I seriously can NOT get enough of these guys. This series is so freaking brilliant I'd love to shout it from a rooftop if it didn't make me look like a nutter!!5 dynamic stars
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    ETA: Annnd Done! OMG. What a ride. So so so so good. I mean, WDMTD is pretty much my best read for 2018. This whole series is one busload of thumbs up.Ethan is still my innocent cinnamon roll deadly assassin. I yelled at Jack a lot. But Ethan also got yelled at too. SPOILERS BELOW. I mean it. SPOILERS. I ramble and blurt out stuff.Original: LJ was kind enough to send me an ARC.And by kind, I mean devilish, because I can't READ the thing until I turn in Twisted Wishes #3 to my editor. *sobs*(view ETA: Annnd Done! OMG. What a ride. So so so so good. I mean, WDMTD is pretty much my best read for 2018. This whole series is one busload of thumbs up.Ethan is still my innocent cinnamon roll deadly assassin. I yelled at Jack a lot. But Ethan also got yelled at too. SPOILERS BELOW. I mean it. SPOILERS. I ramble and blurt out stuff.Original: LJ was kind enough to send me an ARC.And by kind, I mean devilish, because I can't READ the thing until I turn in Twisted Wishes #3 to my editor. *sobs*(view spoiler)[OMG will you two TALK TO EACH OTHER??? sheesh. But they did and that's better.I did figure out it was Toomey before Jack did, but not who he was. (Also, Toomey is the last name of my hideous Republican senator, so I kind of didn't like him to start with.) It's kind of chilling that it was all about Ethan... stalking Jack. The second set of murders. It was all 2's way of controlling 13, since he left.And I am sure we haven't seen the last of the Cabal. The whole revelation of what Ethan went through was gut-wrenching. But also, I had had my suspicions about that. And I hope they take down that org. Very glad Jack finally got his head out his ass. Was so worried he actually slept with Adam behind Ethan's back, but WHEW. Good boy, Jack. THE KISSES. Yes! Finally! Whew.Adam is intriguing, and I'll like to know more about him, but MAN it was infuriating that he didn't take no for an answer. Dude... just stop. It occurs to me that Ethan's probably demisexual. Also the Coda was perfect, down to the revelation that Ethan has an implant too, and that ominous ping. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Lyra
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, so here we go!First off, this book is absolutely glorious. I love it. It's one of two series that I'm buying as soon as I can because I adore it so much. Furthermore, I didn't expect it to be a series where that happened, because it's a kind of cop/military series, and I tend to be pretty "eh" on cop/military series. This series blew me out of the water and I didn't see it coming.Second, Hayward has done something unusual with the novellas. With most other series (all other series I've read) Ok, so here we go!First off, this book is absolutely glorious. I love it. It's one of two series that I'm buying as soon as I can because I adore it so much. Furthermore, I didn't expect it to be a series where that happened, because it's a kind of cop/military series, and I tend to be pretty "eh" on cop/military series. This series blew me out of the water and I didn't see it coming.Second, Hayward has done something unusual with the novellas. With most other series (all other series I've read), the novellas (the 1.5s, the 2.4s, whatever), they are bonus material. You can read them if you want, but you don't need to read them for the main novels. The main novels may reference events in the novellas briefly as a kind of bonus shout out, but you aren't really missing anything. And the main novels may not even make a reference to the novellas at all; in the main novels, it may be like the novellas didn't happen. This is not the case with the "Death and the Devil" books. With the "Death and the Devil" books, if you skip the novellas, you're going to be really feeling that fact. There are going to be stuff going on you miss, serious references you don't get. Plus, because the novellas are so tied up with each other, I don't even feel like I can say, "Buy this novella but not that one." I think you need them all. I can't really chase down all the things that won't be clear to you if you don't read the novellas, but I'll leave you with one giant example: Harry. Basically everything about Harry.With that out of the way, let's get back to how much I adore this series. I loved watching these two flawed, nuanced, carefully crafted men work themselves out together and apart. I loved the way they had issues that continued across time, and that these issues were meaningful. I loved the way they were important enough to work on these issues. I loved the way they made progress. I loved the way the world existed outside of their relationship and impacted them individually and yet also impacted them as a couple. I loved it all so much.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I am in love with these books! Ethan has to be one of my favorite characters and I adore that we get some of him in the last two books (although I am hoping for more of Jack and Ethan🤞🏻). Ethan and Jack have definitely had their ups and downs. They start to figure out each other’s feelings and then lack of communication, half truths, secrets and doubts set them three steps back ( I wanted to throat punch Jack for a minute in this one). There is so much that happens in this installment but it def I am in love with these books! Ethan has to be one of my favorite characters and I adore that we get some of him in the last two books (although I am hoping for more of Jack and Ethan🤞🏻). Ethan and Jack have definitely had their ups and downs. They start to figure out each other’s feelings and then lack of communication, half truths, secrets and doubts set them three steps back ( I wanted to throat punch Jack for a minute in this one). There is so much that happens in this installment but it definitely ties up some stuff missing from Ethan’s background and helps to put into perspective my he is the way he is. Ethan is trying to feel like he can be the man that Jack deserves but he has his doubts. He can’t see how a man with his past can ever deserve a man like Jack. Jack doesn’t see Ethan as a damaged, deranged assassin. He sees him as Ethan: strong, resilient, clever and HIS. The trouble with Jack is half truths, secrets and self-doubt. He doesn’t think he can do relationships. He feels he always messes them up so Ethan will be no different. A self-fulfilling action. Until he isn’t willing to give up. I adore Ethan and Jack. I highly recommend this series. Really. Don’t miss any of it 😉
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  • Bev
    January 1, 1970
    Just a few words...brilliant, booshit [I like that one, it's Aussie apparently 😉], fantastic, outstanding, magnificent, superb. An absolutely AWESOME book 2...just couldn't be bettered. Honestly.
  • gimmethosebooks
    January 1, 1970
    GAH
  • Angelmira
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, half of the book I was so freaking mad at Jack, but... all is forgotten now. Like seriously. I LOVED IT. I LOVE THEM. AND I LOVE LEWIS.
  • JustJen
    January 1, 1970
    The series about these two complicated characters continues in the same vein as book 1 in that it takes us back and forth between what is happening now and what happened then. Ms. Hayward feeds us tricky little tidbits to mislead and confuse and to keep us from figuring things out too quickly. Jack and Ethan have decided to be in a committed “relationship” and Ethan has agreed to move in with Jack. But, there are so many things going on with these guys, eggshells that must be walked upon, especi The series about these two complicated characters continues in the same vein as book 1 in that it takes us back and forth between what is happening now and what happened then. Ms. Hayward feeds us tricky little tidbits to mislead and confuse and to keep us from figuring things out too quickly. Jack and Ethan have decided to be in a committed “relationship” and Ethan has agreed to move in with Jack. But, there are so many things going on with these guys, eggshells that must be walked upon, especially where Ethan is concerned, that make it feel like he is a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Here, Jack is working to find a serial killer dubbed the “Judge.” He’s lent out undercover as himself (not as super agent Jack), where he ends up working with Adam Quinn, someone with whom he shares a bit of a past. There is a lot of miscommunication, for lack of a better word, where this is concerned. In the now, it is hinted that Jack cheated with Adam after he and Ethan committed, but rest assured, all is worked out as we are shown the rest of the story. Now, as Jack struggles to solve the mystery, it seems Ethan is more involved than Jack would like, but as Jack made Ethan promise to never get involved in his work again, he keeps things to himself and attempts to take care of things his own way.I really don’t want to give anything more away here, so I’ll just say that we get to see more mystery, more excitement and a few oh no, and omg moments. But we also get some of the whys behind Ethan and his actions, the struggles he faces with his “job” and getting out of it, along with his fears and insecurities. And, we also get to see him learn it is possible to be more of the Ethan that Jack sees, getting more than he believed he deserved, and learning to fully trust in someone and let go. No matter what these guys go through, they never fail to feel like they are exactly what the other needs, a perfect fit and yin to his yang. There are certain things many have been longing to see in this story (if you’ve read this far, you know what I mean), and I was thrilled to see they were finally achieved and so worth the wait. Many questions are answered, mostly about Ethan and his childhood, sugar babies, his scars, his need to wear socks at all times, etc. But, Jack does quite a bit of growing here as well.When this story ended, I felt a major sense of contentment and could easily be happy with this being the end, although I would always be thrilled to see more of these guys. Thankfully, there is still more to come. This really picked up in the last 3/4 of the story, and it ends with a somewhat ominous held breath. Just enough to make you wonder what is in store for these guys now, and given all of the new information we (and they) have learned about both of them, it looks like things will get even more interesting when things pick up. Highly recommend this series! Review written for Love Bytes Reviews.
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  • Joyfully Jay
    January 1, 1970
    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.75 starsWhy the Devil Stalks Death is the followup to the incredible Where Death Meets the Devil by L.J. Hayward. I went crazy for that first book, so I was thrilled to see Hayward was continuing the Death and the Devil series and reuniting us once again with these fabulous characters and her taut thriller style. When I read the first book, I was blown away by the storyline, but also by the way that Hayward weaves together two timelines, and this book continues that styl A Joyfully Jay review. 4.75 starsWhy the Devil Stalks Death is the followup to the incredible Where Death Meets the Devil by L.J. Hayward. I went crazy for that first book, so I was thrilled to see Hayward was continuing the Death and the Devil series and reuniting us once again with these fabulous characters and her taut thriller style. When I read the first book, I was blown away by the storyline, but also by the way that Hayward weaves together two timelines, and this book continues that style. One storyline takes place several months ago as Jack is assigned to help the police with the serial murder case. On the personal side, it has been months since he has seen Ethan and he is a little uncertain about things between them. The second timeline takes place in present day as the serial killer case is moved to the Office and Jack is starting up investigating the same case, this time with his colleagues as they try to uncover the killer. We learn that things are dicey with him and Ethan, but we don’t learn why right away, just that Jack did something that caused a conflict between them. Jack also learns that he has a contract out on his life, and so he needs to evade one killer while searching for another.Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.
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  • Elsbeth
    January 1, 1970
    My gawd, I was so tense reading this installment. I'm so in love with Ethan. (view spoiler)[Who would've thought in the end he would initiate the move... *cheeky devil. (hide spoiler)]The mystery had me on edge all the time. Was so scared for some of the characters. But I'm very satisfied with this read. It was everything I could hope for. "Crazy basterd.""Half right, Jack." There will be more Jack & Ethan. I'm sure of it.#ping
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