Book Reviews, Dark Romance, Mafia/Gang/Secret Society Romance, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Lessons Learned by Marie James

Lessons Learned; Mission Mercenaries #1
(#1 within a series)

Publication Date: October 13, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Anti-Hero/Dark/Enemies-to-Lovers Romance

Author: Marie James

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars


Lessons Learned is dark…like extra, cacao dark chocolate dark. Please heed any TW’s, but if dark is where you live and breathe then Angel and Lauren’s story is one passionate and emotional tale to enjoy.

Both Angel and Lauren come from a twisted past. It’s defined their present and haunts their every day decisions. While they’ve taken very different paths because of their trauma, it has also led them to each other, just in very different ways.

Lauren works for the FBI, undercover, and feeds off the underbelly of the criminals she encounters to feed the demons that live in her soul. Loving the duality of taking out the filth while playing in the very playground that feeds the darkness inside her is what keeps her going, most days. This is where she first meets Angel, but it’s years later when their paths cross again.

Angel is a mercenary, working only for himself and his next paycheck. His only goal is his target and any casualty or person left behind is collateral damage. Useless people and anyone standing in front of his payday should learn their lesson and he was pretty sure Lauren would learn hers, but she seems to feed on his darkness. Now that she’s crossed his path once more, he’s set on teaching her one final time.

Lauren and Angel are explosive. Both of their inner demons only get more aggressive as they spend more time together. Remember how I mentioned this book is dark? I was riveted…First question was, would they make it out alive? Secondly, most hate-to-lovers romance…well, when they fall, they fall hard and I was so there for it. Lastly, this is the beginning of a series and I was totally invested in how this series was going to grow.

Lessons Learned is definitely in the deep, deep end of the dark pool, but I was so there for it!!

They call me a soldier of fortune, a hired gun, a man with no morals only looking to get paid—a mercenary.
That’s true… mostly.
From where I stand, I don’t see it as a bad thing.
Getting paid to do the dirty work, to take the jobs saner people refuse is my bread and butter.
I love the danger, the thrill, the warmth that attempts to spark something in my cold, black heart.
Why shouldn’t I get paid for that?
Does it really matter if I’m indifferent about who I step on to succeed? The job always gets done, and I never look back.
The same went for Lauren Vos, an undercover FBI agent working in some of the most dangerous trafficking circles known to man.
Our paths crossed on a job years ago, and somehow fate has thrown us together once again.
Only this time around she isn’t interested in letting me forget.
The problem for her is that I’m not the same man she thought she left for dead.

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