Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Deadly Lover (Exit Strategy #1)” as Want to Read:
Deadly Lover (Exit Strategy #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Deadly Lover

(Exit Strategy #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,334 ratings  ·  225 reviews
Justin Mallory has years of bad decisions to make up for, starting with agreeing to join the CIA after being recruited out of the Marines. Now he chooses the jobs and he works alone. It’s safer that way, and he can make sure the good guy always wins.

But this job…he can’t do alone. Two pharmaceutical researchers are dead and a dangerous drug is on the cusp of winning FDA
Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published October 26th 2018
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,334 ratings  ·  225 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Deadly Lover (Exit Strategy #1)
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
***3.5 Stars***

Okay, I'm going to generously overlook a few things here...
That rib it!

No, not that! How could I? ;-)

But how these supposedly hotshot and top of their league ex-military/former-government/avenging-angels turned freelance-assassins survived this long is beyond me (bloody amateurs, if you ask me). I'm glad they did, though, because Justin and Gabriel are still two endearing characters, although Justin overacted sometimes a bit on his goofiness in my opinion. But Gabriel gave off this t
~Mindy Lynn~
This would have been a 5 star read but unfortunately it needs a bit of a clean-up with the editing. Still, I look forward to reading the next one.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, ku
**** 3.75 Stars ****

Dammit! That sneak peek just did it!!
Everything happened so fast, with the story spanning around 3 weeks or so. That got me worried, as the counting for the end was fast approaching and I didn't want to be disappointed by an insta-love story with the "L" word being carelessly used.

Therefore, I absolutely loved the way the author ended it. And the sneak peek was cleverly done, at least it was crucial to me to make the story deserve a rounding up 4 stars.

The story-line was eng
Lorraine Lesar
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m feeling really disloyal here, but I found it overall lacking in the storyline itself - at one stage, I was considering exiting myself. If it wasn’t for that tantalising sneek view of the next book, it would be been a passable 3*.
Anne Boleyn's Ghost
Deadly Lover was an entertaining read, falling into "good but not great" territory.

Let’s get what made it "not great" (for me) out of the way:
*The poor editing. Since multiple other reviewers already addressed it, I won’t belabor the point. I rarely comment on editing errors because mistakes are inevitable. But this went beyond a typo here and there. It was legitimately distracting.
*The relationship trajectory. I liked the premise of Justin and Gabriel’s burgeoning relationship, but it sometime
4.25 stars!

Man, I would have given this one 5 stars, I really would have, if it hadn't been for the typos. It was bad in this, and I have no idea why. This author with Rinda Elliot doesn't really have these typos or these many typos, but in this they were everywhere, so much so that it got really annoying and distracting. It was a lot. Maybe every couple of pages or so, on average - sometimes even less- there was a typo, and more often then not there were several typos on a page. When there is s
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Is it just me or does nothing really happen in this book?! 🤔
Shin Mon Thway
When is the audio of the second book coming out because Mama needs it like now! 😁 What a gloriously thrilling and exciting audio it is! ❤️ I loved this fast-paced, action-packed, antiheroes romance. It was refreshing, exciting and simply enthralling! 😍

Justin Mallory is really good at what he does, otherwise he wouldn’t survive more than a decade in this espionage world. But now he has a new job, a job with the pay that could possibly lead to his retirement but comes with equally greater risks. A
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The opener in Jocelynn Drake's new romantic suspense is a fast paced romp which introduces the reader to two completely opposite characters.

Justin is American, confident, a little bit brash and goofy. Gabriel is Russian, quiet, deadly, serious, troubled.

Together the mercenaries are tasked with finding out who was responsible for ordering the deaths of two doctors at a big pharmaceutical business working on a cancer drug.

There's no great surprises on the way in this one, but I loved how the two
Denise H.
**** I love these hard core, solid, strong men who work in the corners of the world, taking out the bad guys.
Both men are in their early 30s; * Justin is tough, muscled,

and former Military and CIA.
* Gabriel, a tattooed Russian, former KGB, has been a hired assassin for about 12 years.

* Two dead doctors spark questions about a current drug trial by a "big pharma" company. His handler, Marilyn, offers Justin the contract to investigate, hack, and take out the evil doers. For this huge $$$ pa
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
It pains me to only give this 3.5 stars, but considering how bad the editing was here, I can’t justify giving it a full 4 stars. It seemed like every page or two had something, either missing words, wrong words, character names in places where the character wasn’t. I saw at least two instances of name swappage.

The story, on the other hand, has good. Definite Ty&Zane vibes, for so if you liked them, you’ll enjoy this.
3.4 Stars.....

The fact that Kenneth Obi narrated this meant I enjoyed it a lot more than I would have reading it on its own. Why? It’s a bit thin on the mercenary procedural angle and highish on the OTT scale.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but this could have been much more. Take out some of the sex, some OTT phrases, add in more mystery, more edge, then we would have had a winner. Alas, that was not to be had.

Two mercenaries—assassins for hire, ex-Special forces, CIA, KGB, you get the idea—a
***update 6/11/18. A very kind soul has informed me that an edited version of this story has now been released - thank goodness. Thanks Jenni Lea***

Please employ an editor for the sequel. Typos galore and some weird sentence structure errors...which is a real shame cos I liked the two MC's. Methinks it has been rushed out.... 3.5 stars rounded up.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reread 6/1/19 Too Many Typos!

I loved the romantic suspense series the author co-wrote so I was excited to see her solo style. I enjoyed this quite a lot, anyone that knows me knows assassins are my crack. Justin is more of a hacker but has extra skills to use when he needs to. The job he’s offered requires two people though, so his handler introduces Gabriel and it’s irritation, annoyance and lust at first sight.

There’s plenty of action sequences that kept me in anticipation, although I kind o
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
5 stars for the chemistry between the MCS.
3 stars for the story.

I really loved Justin and Gabriel in this story of mercenaries with morals. The chemistry was just scorching! I wanted their backstories to be more flushed out though. Also, this ends in a relationship cliffhanger, so buyer beware. Tbh, there were more editing errors than I would've liked. The wrong name used,words that should've been plural, etc. It surprised me because the co-authored series had no such problems, so I wonder if th
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it

Justin Mallory, American mercenary who never targeted children and rarely women is hired to track down the missing proof that something was wrong with the drug as well as uncover who was hiding it. after two doctors researching a cancer treatment drug, were killed. Justin is very interested, especially with the twenty-two million dollars paycheck, but “It’s a two-man job.”

Gabriel Prescott, is the second Russian mercenary brought in to finish the job.
While working the case the two men grow close
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well that was way better than I expected... this was gritty, clever and humorous with a sarcastic twist. A strong plot and two damaged assassins who find some element of peace with each other. Very much looking forward to book 2
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Book Reaction:
Rating: 3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
Listened to this in audio and loved the new-to-me narrator Kenneth Obi.

The story was a good start to the series and I liked reading about the development of the relationship from unwilling partners to lovers and then boyfriends? It had a good mixture of humour and action and I liked how everything went down.

As you may have guessed, this was HFN because I think there are like 3 more books in the series so there's way more to come for Gabriel and Justin!
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a very good and interesting story, although I admit that I focused much more on the love thread than on the suspense part.

For my justification, however, I can say that this thread is more developed. It may even be a pity because this suspense thread could be really interesting if it was more developed. Fortunately, Justin and Gabriel are great characters, which compensates for this situation.

I fully admit that I have a big soft spot for any kind of assassins. And here we have two of them. I
Michelle Young
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Severe grammatical errors and multitude of typos takes away from the fluid reading of the awesome plot in the book.

I'm a huge fan of the Unbreakable Bonds and Ward Security series. Those books were meticulously written, no typos, grammatical errors,or little if I can remember. In this book, you at times wrote Jason instead of Justin and you inaccurately used Justin's name when it should be Gabriel 's name and vice versa. In other words, I was expecting much more and was very disappointed with th
3.5 stars. Thanks again to elf hermazo on spree for the wonderful gift!


Somebody must have told elf hermazo on spree a big ol' lie that I've been awfully good, because they were insanely generous in gifting me this book and others. Thank you so SO much! xxx PS - this may or may not have been another one of those books that made me make that noise again! *squee*
Joyfully Jay
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: camille
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

Overall, this is a quick, fun read. It’s chock full of drama in the form of enemies-to-lovers Gabriel and Justin. On the one hand, there are some strong elements of instalove, but Drake does a respectable job establishing that both characters are physically into one another. There are also plenty of sex scenes between Gabriel and Justin to boot. The actual mystery of who would want a pair of doctors dead—and by extension, Justin and Gabriel themselves—seems nigh uns
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This barely made it over the line to the two star rating.

The main characters are cardboard cut-outs. One likes to wear jeans and t-shirts and makes stupid jokes all the time! The other is super mysterious, wears suits and has a stick up his butt! Tell me if you haven't read that pairing a bajillion times.

When done right this can be fun. In this case it does not work AT ALL. The funny guy is painfully unfunny. Mysterious suit hottie whines like a 14 year old girl if it was written by a man who ab
I devoured this book in 1 sitting, and it is awesome!! This is an exciting, fun, fast paced, suspenseful read. I fell in love with Justin and Gabriel. Two loner assassins forced to work together not realizing how much they need each other, until they do. The dialogue and snark, as one has come to expect from Jocelynn, is excellent, not to mention smoking hot!! Bullets?? Did I mention there are flying bullets?? LOL I need more of Justin and Gabriel like now! BTW I admit I am #TEAMJUSTIN!! Congrat ...more
Audiobook review

3,5 stars

Reading the blurb (something that I missed with the previous book I listened to and it caused some confusion on my part), and looking at the cover, I expected something a bit different from this book. I expected murder and mayhem, something on the grittier side, and most definitely more mystery and suspense. I mean look at that cover - doesn't that scream darkness and danger to you? Alas, expectations...

Justin Mallory and Gabriel Prescott, alike yet so different. They r
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lbr, ebook, mm

Nice start to a new series by one of my faves. This was exciting and interesting with mystery and suspense, tied together with two sexy mercs. Justin and Gabriel had amazing chemistry as they worked together to solve the mystery and fulfill their respective contracts. This is definitely the beginning of their story together and thank goodness for that, because there is still a lot we need to learn about these two. It was like a mystery within the mystery, and I just wanted to gobble up the detai
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steamy, suspense
This was good. Assassins falling in love... What's not to love!!
The typos were annoying and surprising from this author but I could go past them.

The cliffhanger though... I hate that! A warning would have been nice because, my patience being non-existent, when I know a book end in a cliff I prefer to wait a few books to start...
The story was good. the end of the crime aspect a bit disappointing but the chemistry between Justin and Gabriel was so good that it didn't bothered me that much.

So Just
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars..

It was an okay book, it took me a long time to finish because I just wasn't that invested in the story... I wanted more action, a little bit more mystery but it was all clean and resolved fast.

Another issue this book has and lost most of the stars from me is the editing of this book. It really frustated me at times. I had to go back and read sentences again and again. I usually forgive mistakes, but when they are so many it puts me off.

I was more interested in Gabriel than Justin. To
Nov 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get into this one. I started skimming at about the 50% mark. The editing is terrible and the story seems like it should be sophisticated but the plot just isn't. I have so many questions and then we come to the end that isn't an end. Not even a HFN.

Justin and Gabriel could have been so much more than all the cliches they ended up.

ETA: When I went to return the KU book, I noticed an update listed as "newly edited" which I infer to mean it wasn't properly edited to begin with ...k
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Remote Access (Thick as Thieves, #1)
  • Collide (Out for Justice, #2)
  • Ricochet (Out for Justice #1)
  • Join the Club (Four Kings Security, #3)
  • Prince of Killers (Fog City, #1)
  • Ground Zero (Zero Hour, #1)
  • King Slayer (Fog City, #2)
  • Diamond in the Rough (Four Kings Security, #4)
  • A New Empire (Fog City, #3)
  • Kept in the Dark (Locke and Keyes Agency #1)
  • Zero Divergence (Zero Hour, #3)
  • Devil's Hour (Zero Hour, #2)
  • Rampage (Out for Justice #3)
  • Drew and Mr. Grumpy (Pineapple Grove #1.5)
  • His Hart's Command (Nothing Special, #6)
  • Destruction (Out for Justice, #4)
  • The Truth Within (Pelican Bay #3)
  • Inside Affair (Prime Time, #1)
See similar books…
New York Times Bestselling author Jocelynn Drake loves a good story, whether she is reading it or writing one of her own. Over the years, her stories have allowed her to explore space, talk to dragons, dodge bullets with assassins, hang with vampires, and fall in love again and again.

This former Kentucky girl has moved up, down, and across the U.S. with her husband. Recently, they’ve settled near

Other books in the series

Exit Strategy (3 books)
  • Vengeful Lover (Exit Strategy #2)
  • Final Lover (Exit Strategy #3)

News & Interviews

  Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa’s highly anticipated new book, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, arrives...
6 likes · 0 comments