My review of Heart of a Killer by Yolanda Wallace is going to be a mixed bag. There were some elements of the story that I really enjoyed. There were others that made me go ‘hmm’. There were a few elements that just did not work for me at all.
The story is a mystery and intrigue/romance tale about Santana Masters and Brooklyn DiVincenzo. Santana is a contract killer and has been for a good many years. She lives a solitary life, moving from one assignment to another, and staying far away from emotional entanglements. That works for Santana until the night she meets Brooklyn one New Year’s Eve.
Brooklyn is the owner and CEO of a thriving tech company. She is devastated when she witnesses the murder of her best friend Charlie. Instead of turning to her family and friends in her grief, though, she looks to Santana, the woman she met at a New Year’s party. The attraction she felt that night was electric, but Santana is secretive and mysterious. Brooklyn’s decision to trust Santana could end up costing her a lot more than just her heart.
I enjoyed reading the romance part of this story. It is well done with the two main characters who had obvious chemistry. The flow of the romance is good with just the right amount of angst where it is needed.
I had problems with the mystery and intrigue part of the tale. First, the character of Santana did not feel like an assassin to me. She supposedly has been killing people at least half of her life even if she does so reluctantly, and was trained from an early age to do this. A person from that background should be much harder, more cynical and jaded than Santana seems in the story. I had trouble seeing her in the role she is assigned in the story. The intrigue part of the book just did not feel real to me. It just didn’t work.
I’m glad I read this novel for the romance in the story, and if this had been just a romance, my rating would have been higher. Ms. Wallace is an accomplished writer, and I’ll be looking for more of her works to read.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.