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Love Kills Twice

(Fatal Fidelity #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  36 reviews
She needs an assassin.
They’re the best in the business.
Falling in love was never part of the deal.

Desperate to escape her abusive husband, Justine hires a contract killer. Campbell’s services come at a high price, and their dark, seductive charisma leads Justine right into their bed. Hiding an affair while Campbell designs the perfect murder has Justine walking a tightrope
Published January 18th 2021 by NineStar Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Lex Kent
3.50 Stars. A dark and steamy read. What happens when you fall for the assassin you hired to kill you husband? That premise was enough to make me say yes please. I love a morally grey main character and in this book we actually get two of them. And while I guess you could put the crime tag on this book, this really was a steamy romance.

While I was really excited about the premise, I was also happy that this was a romance between a woman and a non-binary character. I have read a few books now wi
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
"Love Kills Twice" is a sexy and dark-ish romance about a woman and the assassin she hires to kill her husband. This comes with the slight twist that the same assassin has been hired by her husband to kill her as well and then the wife and assassin fall in love!

Justine, the wife, and Campbell, the assassin, quickly start an affair after payment is made for the husband’s murder. Justine is looking to be noticed after years of neglect and abuse from her husband. Campbell likes that Justine knows w
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was really surprised as to just how much I enjoyed this storyline. At first glance from the blurb I thought I’d enjoy another character on the outskirts of right and wrong (in this case, very wrong) but I was genuinely surprised just how much Gray hooked me into liking this premise.

The story centres on an assassin - Campbell - who has been hired by both a husband and wife to kill each other. The point of view in the book alternates between Campbell and Justine - the wife.

Whilst Justine is an i
3.75 stars. This novella is so hard to rate. I loved parts, but there were also parts were my rational thought interfered. The novella has a non-binary protagonist, lets us look through the eyes of an assassin and has this dark broody and very sexy atmosphere that I enjoyed immensely!

What the book comes down to; Justine hires assassin Campbell to kill her abusive husband, but she doesn’t know that her husband hired said assassin as well. Campbell is mysterious and sexy and there is almost immedi
Jude in the Stars
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
What are the odds of a husband and a wife both hiring the same assassin to get rid of the other? And what are the odds that the wife will fall for the assassin?

Love Kills Twice is a dark and very hot first book – its length puts it right at the limit between novella and novel, so call it what you will – in a new series and, I think, a debut (there’s a link to a very well-written short story on the author’s website).

The writing is really good and I absolutely loved the atmosphere. It took me a li
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
My eyes drift across her skin, every inch that I’ve touched and learned. The difference between life and the end is an escalation of pressure.

I loved the heck out of this. A super sexy romantic suspense novel between an artist and the suave assassin that she hires to kill her cheating, abusive husband. The only catch? Her husband hired the same assassin to kill her.

This had me hooked from the very beginning, with smooth prose and compelling dialogue. I sympathised and identified with Justin
Aj Smith
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
I full on devoured this book, it is a kick ass noir thriller with two well written lead characters. Justine is sick of the life she settled for when she married lazy, philandering academic Richard. She sacrificed her dreams of being an artist to support his career and got nothing but contempt in return. What's a woman to do except hire an assassin?

The chapters alternate between Justine's pov and that of her hired killer, Campbell. Despite this they are a deliciously mysterious character and some
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Plot sounded intriguing to me, and I expected hiccups in the story flow. But it was well thought out, and book flowed way more smoothly than I expected. Great read, and author writes well. Love to read more work from them.
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, arcs, 2021
I received a free copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much to Netgalley for sending this to me!

Love Kills Twice by Rien Gray is a book so far up my street that I pretty much live there. We have a non-binary assassin who is hired to take out the cheating scumbag husband of an art dealer, only to end up seducing her at the same time – a concept that hits so many buzzwords it made my head spin. Vengeance on a terrible husband! Assassin! BDSM!! It’s like the
Jan 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: action-lesbian
It was a really great book. Gray is a nonbinary author, and they wrote a nonbinary protagonist, an assassin. I really liked Campbell, they're misterious but have a good heart. Justine is an artist who is overshadowed by a husband who abuses her and cheats on her constantly, so she decides to have him killed, and that's when Campbell comes in. Only Justine doesn't know that her husband made the same deal with the assassin to kill Justine. The attraction between Campbell e Justine is off the chart ...more
Joyfully Jay
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: michelle
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

Rien Gray is a new author to me and I really enjoyed getting to know Campbell and Justine. It’s a shorter book that moves quickly as revenge is played out. The book starts already in motion as Justine has already contacted Campbell to murder her husband. Campbell is an intriguing character and Justine is attracted to them from the start and Justine isn’t quite sure what to do with that. Campbell’s intense attraction to Justine surprises them and Campbell at first t
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
the publisher kindly provided me with an arc through netgalley

I sped through this book, it took me a couple of hours to finish. I enjoyed this book, the premise was interesting. I think the characters were interesting enough. I'm not always the biggest fan of explicit scenes because often times I don't like how it's written but the author did very well. They managed to make it sexy and not cringy in my opinion. Sometimes you just need a book that isn't too complicated and this was just that. I
Justine is a woman who has thoroughly had it with her abusive, domineering husband, so she makes the decision to save up fifty thousand dollars and hire an assassin. Campbell, the assassin, is mysterious and alluring and the more that Justine gets to know them, the more she’s interested. What she doesn’t know, however, is that her husband Richard is looking for an out and has happened to hire the exact same assassin. With the growing attraction between Justine and Campbell, how in the world is t ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it's gay AND it slaps (ass)

Okay, now that the meme is out of the way: I'm giving it five stars because I got out of it EXACTLY what I was looking for, and am deeply satisfied for it.

The premise is simple but absolutely terrific, an assassin who is one of the best in the business and a woman who has been broken down to the point where a divorce wouldn't suffice, she needs all ties to her husband cut permanently. Anyone who's lived in close proximity to a destructive and abusive relationship's di
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
There’s something very seductive about the narrative of this book, and it’s easy to get pulled in to the rhythm of the story: assassin Campbell is hired by both husband and wife, unbeknownst to each other, and finds themselves drawn to beautiful, vengeful Justine despite the very good reasons not to get entangled with a client/potential victim.

There’s a deliciously noir feel to the whole thing: Campbell’s identity, motivations, etc. are so opaque, and Justine herself has some serious femme fata
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
*Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.*

Wife hires assassin to kill husband. Husband hires same assassin to kill wife. Wife falls in love with assassin and makes everything that much harder.

This book was different in many many ways. Firstly, it's the first book I've personally ever read that featured a non-binary character and I liked the fact that it wasn't a major focus. It just fit into the story and it read very well a
Rue L
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
(This review was originally over on another site, but felt like I should move it to a more open space to be seen)

In a few words, an enjoyable read with a good flow that gave me a sense of watching a well written and acted film, with quality dialogue and direction to the characters.

In more than a few, if you read the one-hundred-and-twenty plus words that describe this book and are interested, give the book a read, if you enjoy quality and descriptive scenes explicit in nature, go ahead and read
Kristel (hungryandhappy)
*arc from Netgalley*

A non-binary assassin taking a job from both husband and wife and falling for the wife?? Well, of course I was interested!! I thought it was going to be a bit rushed since it was fairly short, but it managed to fill a lot of things in just a few pages.

Was this insta-lust? It was. Was this insta-love? Again, yes. But somehow it didn't feel forced. The only thing I had complains about before noticing there were going to be sequels, was that we didn't have many details about
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book this is. Short enough to devour in one or two sittings, sexy as hell, and with such instantly lovable characters. Amazing representation of two main characters who are both sorting through their own trauma and aren't expected to heal one another, as well as a queer relationship with chemistry that leaps off the page. Non-binary love interests are sadly still a rarity in romance novels, so if you've been looking for one to swoon over look no further than Campbell in this nov ...more
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Kindly provided to me by netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars rounded to four

So this wasn't really what I expected given the description but was a fun little story nonetheless. For anyone else thinking of reading this, it is a lot more focused on the romance than I expected and contains explicit scenes. I've rounded up because I think going in with the right expectation would give you a better experience.

I enjoyed that this had queer and nonbinary rep without it being
Mar 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Crystal Cooper
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Thank you to Net Galley for letting me read this before the release date.

I sped through this book because it was fast paced, and I enjoyed it. The romance was super steamy and it never felt forced. The tension between these characters was insane and I shipped them right off the bat. This book is a great read if you are looking to escape the real world for a few hours.

I really adored the nonbinary representation in this book. Campbell was such a badass character. I wish that we got a little bit
Marcus Laurence
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'll happily give 5 stars to a tightly-written romance that features a NB protagonist. This story is like being handed a meal without any side dishes, simply because the chef is confident in their ability to create a satisfying experience with one dish alone. Why plate out so many accompaniments when the heart of the meal can speak for itself, and boldly so?

This work is on the shorter side at roughly 40,000 words, but I find the point moot. This is the first of a trilogy, and when the next insta
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
“I’m not what you expected, am I, Justine?”

An abused wife seeking the means to an end to her suffering hired a contract killer to remove the source of her agony, her

The premise certainly caught my attention, especially when said wife not only got involved with her hire, she discovered that her husband wanted her dead too.

The dark and sexually explosive nature of Justine and her hire, Campbell’s relationship has this draw that makes you crave for more of the pairing and wish they end w
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I started this book because I wanted to read a well done description about a non-binary lead. And I absolutely got what I was looking for.

In the end there is an excerpt of the sequel which describes best how the reader perceives Campbell (the non-binary MC) throughout the book: Justine (the female MC) wants to know their full name and Campbell hands over their passport. Justine reads it - and while she memorizes the name, we never learn it, just that there is an X as sex.

Besides that I found an
Junee Lim
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a compelling read. I've blazed through this book in two nights and it's been a while since I've done that. The pace keeps me moving along, prompting me for just one more page, one more chapter. Campbell — a perfect blend of mystery, angsty backstory and competence. Justine — the stand in for the reader, her plight, her anger and her interest in Campbell — it's oh so delicious. The smut is excellently written and that rush to the end made it impossible to put the book down. Oh and one imp ...more
Devan Soyka
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An exciting, excellently-written romance that delicately balances dark elements without making the reader uncomfortable. Campbell is a FANTASTIC romantic lead, competent and quietly intense in ways that make you as curious to get to know them as Justine is. The prose is phenomenal, poetic but never sacrificing flow and keeping the pace quick enough to sweep you forward. I also liked that Campbell's pronouns are already established and then never commented on; it normalized a lot for me as a read ...more
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When I read the summary, I wondered how a NB character was going to fare in one of the most patriarchal film/lit genres.

The answer is : really well!

Campbell is smoothness incarnate. I pretty much fell under their spell and could totally relate to Justine, the femme fatale.

I also liked the writing style, concise without sounding abrupt, and the pace, fast without being rushed.

I can't wait to get my hands on the 2nd part!
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5. This is my first time reading romantic suspense, and indeed it was fascinating. Campbell and Justine have scorching chemistry. Yet, the reason I downgraded is that I would have liked more balance between Campbell’s dealings with Justine and Richard, since they supposedly were hired to eliminate them both. Also, Richard was a weak antagonist. Sure he was a sleaze, but it was more tell than show. I would have liked to hate him more.

Will look forward to more of this series, however.
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Love the nonbinary representation. It was a fun ride that went by quickly. Was a bit predictable, but I am not mad at it.
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