Review: Justify Me by J. Kenner (Stark International #4.5 / Lexi Blake Crossover Collection #3)

Note: This ARC was provided by the publisher via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

Justify Me is a novella written by J. Kenner in the Lexi Blake Crossover Collection set in the Masters & Mercenaries universe created by Lexi Blake. It's also part of Kenner's own Stark world, and even includes cameo appearances by Ryan Hunter from the author's Stark International novella series and security chief of the Damien Stark-owned Stark International conglomerate and Lyle Tarpin from Wicked Dirty, the second Wicked Nights novel. It's actually Lyle's best friend, thirty-six-year-old Riley Blade, who is the male main character in the romantic suspense Justify Me and is an operative with McKay-Taggart, as well as Lyle's personal assistant, thirty-year-old Natasha Black, with both Riley and Natasha being supporting characters in Wicked Dirty. Yup, they finally get their happily-ever-after!

Riley Blade has never made a secret of his dislike for the City of Angels, aka Los Angeles, California. Sure his closest friend may call it home, but Riley has his reasons for avoiding the place like the plague. So what if the woman he has never been able to get out of his head also lives there? Natasha Black has, time and again, made it clear that she doesn't want to have anything to do with Riley. But all it takes is a call from his best friend, who just happens to be Natasha's boss, asking him for a recommendation for a bodyguard. It looks like someone's been stalking Natasha. So off to Los Angeles Riley goes, even if it's the last place in the country Riley wants to be at. He simply needs to make sure Natasha is protected from whomever wants to hurt her. Can he show her he isn't one of them?

You don't need to read Wicked Dirty in order to enjoy this novella, although feel free to go ahead and read it anyway because it IS a sinfully good read. There was always this tension between Riley and Natasha back then, but the history that they share is nicely explained in this novella of theirs. The reason behind the stalking of Natasha and the identity of the stalker was the twist in this story, and it was one I didn't see coming until it was nearly right there in front of me. J. Kenner was a great pick for this crossover collection because she definitely has the chops when it comes to writing a story that has both romance and suspense, and she's given Riley and Natasha a story worthy of Kenner's Stark universe books and Lexi Blake's Masters & Mercenaries series. Four stars for Justify Me. ♥

Date Read: 09 April 2018

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