In a battle of wills, stubbornness could cost you your life.
Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.
Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie — a man who captures his attention and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.
But Elliot is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.5 stars- I’ve enjoyed the romantic suspense series Cari Z co-wrote, so I decided to try one of her solo books. Friendly Fire had a lot of the hallmarks I love- interesting characters, punchy dialogue, fast-paced action scenes, and some hold-your-breath suspenseful moments. Sadly, although I loved a lot about this book, it did take a while for the characters to grow on me and I felt there were some missed opportunities. Elliot’s past sparked my interest from the get go and as he filled Lennox in on the full story, I was even more intrigued. Similarly, I liked the idea of an ex-military soldier dealing with PTSD while adjusting to civilian life and being a good, reliable father to his daughter. Though both characters had interesting backstories, for much of the book they lacked some depth- both individually and then as a couple. Even the romance felt a bit superficial- the men got together fairly quickly and their relationship seemed more lust-fueled than a budding chemistry. As the story progressed, I could see Elliot and Lennox working as a couple, I just wished it had more time to fully develop. I did really enjoy the intensity of the action scenes in Friendly Fire, as well as the unexpected twists as the story wrapped. Overall, I liked the book and would definitely look for more of this author’s solo projects going forward. *Reviewed audiobook for Alpha Book Club*
This is a romance about two men trying to move forward from troubles in their pasts. It's also a suspense because a bit of trouble is still to come for them. Elliot has completely turned his life around. He was a lawyer tangled in illegal activities with dire consequences. Now, he's running a successful company that focuses on helping and supporting others who have also made mistakes and then positive life-changes. Lennox works in security. He's a good man struggling with burdens and regrets. He made an impossible call which resulted in some soldiers dying by shots from their own people. Everyone knows there was no way to have known, but he can't move past the guilt. Friendly Fire has awesome supporting characters. Holly is a cute dog that steals the spotlight. Lee, Lennox's daughter, and Serena, Elliot's personal assistant and Lee's aunt, bring a lot of personality to the story. They also really push the relationship along between Elliot and Lennox. If you're looking for a contemporary romance with some action, mystery and suspense, check this out.
A Treat! There are three distinct things I loved about this book. 1. The writing: Every so often a book comes along that is so well written that the writing doesn't even factor in to the story as a perception for the reader. That's a rather convoluted way of saying "I forgot I was reading." I became completely immersed in the story and never once ran across anything in the writing that distracted me enough to look up and remember I was reading a book. This is always a super treat for me since it happens infrequently. 2. The plot: This is a gay suspense romance. Most of the gay romance I read focuses on the gayness of the characters and possibly the challenges they face either with themselves or with others around them. This plot accepts the characters sexual orientation as a given and does not depend on gay drama to enrich the plot. Such a refreshing treat! 3. The characters: Elliot and Lennox are fully grown men. They have lived and learned and experienced life before they meet. These are mature characters that do not play any type of childish games in their romance. We do not need the miscommunication device or the hurt feelings one or any of the other overused ways of creating tension and artificial angst. These characters live in the story without need of any fabricated anxiety. I am so impressed with this author. She managed to write a suspense novel with a huge helping of gay/bi romance without falling on any of the exploited devices of the genre. ARC received via NetGalley thanks to Riptide Publishing