Reviewed by Tori
“Let’s talk about why you’re really here.”
“Sex. I want your body.”
Lar Delancey has spent his life under the thumb of his Uncle Frank, a mob boss. After Lar learns some interesting secrets about the past, he now wants out to start his own agency that offers their services to the highest bidder but has to do one final job to be free. He has to assassinate the person who had his cousin and brother killed. He is shocked when he discovers the target is an ex-girlfriend who supposedly died in that same explosion that killed his family members.
Moira Collins is an intelligence agent. Her family was all killed in a suspected IRA bombing and she was raised by distant family members. Eventually she was co-opted into the British Intelligence Agency. Five years ago her mission was to gather information on the Delaney’s and she used Lar to do it. She fell in love with him but knew nothing could come of it. When she is abruptly pulled off the mission and sent on suspicious hiatus, she decides to use her contacts to discover who killed her family and why before she leaves the agency for good.
Final Target is a spin-off of the Bellybeg series. Different than its parent series, this series is darker with its violence, mystery, and suspense. Set in dual locations, Dublin and Boston, it focuses on the Delaney family and their history with the Irish criminal underworld. Heavily character driven with a strong balance between the romance and the main conflict, Keane builds an intriguing crime/spy-driven plot line that uses the past and the present to bring closure to a pair of lovers. Strong narrative, engaging suspense, and just the right amount of humor will keep readers hooked till the end.
Lar and Moira were minor characters introduced in two separate books and series. Readers first met Lar in Keane’s original Bellybeg series-Love and Shamrocks. The very sexy, bad boy, baby daddy of Clio Havlin; he is painted with a very prejudicial brush by Clio. We met Moira in book one of the Bellybeg Bad Boys series novellas-Her Ex Treasure Hunter. A spy who used her looks and wit to gain her admittance onto a treasure hunt. She was a very bad girl in that one. :) I was intrigued by the small amount of information we were given about both of them and excited when I learned Keane was pairing them together for their own story.
The cop versus the criminal. Lar is an enigma with his criminal history and dubious morals. He never claims to be a saint nor does he make apologies for his part deeds…yet you can see the heart of him when he interacts with his daughter. He has an honor code, it’s just skewed. Moira seems like an upstanding citizen compared to Lar with her extreme loyalty to the agency and her zest to capture the bad guys…but her morals are just as suspect as Lars. She too has crossed multiple lines and committed some questionable deeds; the only difference is she is granted autonomy from the government. They are perfect together. Like two pieces of a puzzle.
The chemistry only increases your feelings of this couple’s compatibility. It is an appealing mixture of hot combustible heat and sexy playtime. I love a couple who can laugh and enjoy each other in and out of bed. Their reconnection starts out slow, neither trusting the other. Too many secrets and lies separate them but their sexual attraction is a like a magnet that pulls them to one another regardless of their intentions. Well written sex scenes add to the overall appeal. All I can say is VIP room. WHEW!
A dynamic cast of personable characters help to round out the story and explain the deep and long standing history that exists between Lar’s and Moira’s family. Lar’s daughter makes an appearance and I like she is developing a stronger relationship with him. Lar’s family is a rambunctious lot whose noses get into everything. I loved meeting his cousins and I suspect their stories will come next. Keane trots out clues and details selectively, keeping readers on their toes as we learn more about who was behind all the murders and why. Everyone in here has a secret and some of them are quite shocking. A second storyline flows underneath the main one, setting up the next book and hero (and hopefully the heroine I want).I admit I am very interested in seeing where this particular plotline leads.
Final Target was all in all an enjoyable read that offers readers a hot second chance romance and an intriguing and suspenseful who dun it mystery. There were times when the sheer amount of information, especially concerning Ireland’s past regarding the IRA, the Sinn Fein, and then Orangemen, made it a wee bit confusing to sort through. Regardless, I like this new series spin off and am looking forward to the next book in this series-Kiss Shot-set to release in July.
Overall Rating: B