Dorcester, $6.99, 319 pages, Amazon ASIN 0843960361 Part of a series
This is the first romance I've read told completely from the hero's POV (and the terms "romance" and "hero" really don't fit here). For first person POV to work, I have to like the character. In this case, not only did I not like the hero, I hated him. He's an immature and immoral womanizer.
Dakota Bombay – or Dak – is a 37-year old assassin from a family of assassins (the age is important, because he acts, and thinks, for most of the book, as if he's 15 or 16 at best). He normally has to make only one or two hits a year while spending the rest of his time "sampling" the world's "buffet of blondes." At one point, Dak indicates that he "does" over 100 blondes a year - so many in fact, they are interchangeable, and he can't remember their names (if he ever knew them to begin with).
The Bombay family business has been highly lucrative since 2000 BC. Even though members of the family have $100 million trust funds, granny - the head of the family business – wants Dak and his cousin Paris to develop a marketing plan (with logos, Web sites, etc.) to help their declining business. The cousins discover that another firm of assassins has underbid the family for the past few years and Dak and Paris are ordered to kill their rivals.
As all this is happening, child services dumps a six-year old – Louis – on Dak's doorstep. Louis is Dak's son by a woman, now dead, whom Dak can't remember. Although Dak is less than thrilled initially, he quickly decides that he likes Louis. While I actually liked Louis, I found some of his behavior to be problematic. Given that his mother had just died, I didn't find Louis' instant acceptance and love of Dak to be believable. I also wanted better for Louis than Dak. I really didn't want Louis to begin his assassin training. Oh yes, the family starts all of the kids in assassin training from a very young age; Louis, at six, is already behind.
The remainder of the book focuses on the hits Dak and Paris make on the rival firm and on Dak's almost instant love of Leonie, a red-haired funeral director. In a series of unbelievable coincidences, Dak runs into Leonie at a luncheon, a library, and the funeral of a former teacher. Leonie doesn't appear in that many chapters, and it's hard to figure out why Dak is suddenly in love with her. It's even harder to figure out why Leonie would even have coffee with Dak, let alone become involved with him.
I know the book was supposed to be funny, but I didn't find it to be. In a particularly objectionable scene, Dak and Paris use the family's young children, including Louis, as a cover for a hit at Disney World. They kill the rival assassin, working as Mickey Mouse, in front of the children.
Although labeled a "mystery romance" I found nothing romantic about the book. It also doesn't fit as a mystery. We know who the killer is in this book – it's our "hero."
Guns Will Keep Us Together has so many ick factors, I lost count ten pages in. I debated about giving it an F, but finally decided that since the prose isn't awful that probably wasn't justified. However, there's nothing I can recommend about this book. I hated it.
-- LinnieGayl Kimmel
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