Wendy reviews Taste of Fear (Joker’s Sin Book 4) by Davidson King. Published March 8, 2021 196 pages. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Taste Of Fear
Joker’s Sin book 4
MM Romance/Action/Suspense/Close Proximity
Release Date: 03.08.21
Ciro Navarro has never had it easy, but he learned to survive. Nightmares of a past he cannot erase plague him but thankfully, much of his horrible life is in the rearview mirror. He lives in the present, focusing on his found family, lifelong friends, and the job that fulfills him. Ciro’s circle is small but tight; if you’re in it, you are his world. And somehow he’s become a rescuer—at the slightest hint someone he cares about is in trouble, he comes running.
After years of hard work and patience, Xander has fulfilled his goal and made a name for himself as a world-renowned chef. He lives his dream every day: cooking up and serving recipes that bring people joy. Though he has restaurants in several locations, it’s Haven Hart Xander calls home, and he can’t imagine settling anywhere else. Life is good. In fact, everything in Xander’s life is perfect…until people from his past start turning up dead.
When word of a serial killer hell-bent on ending Xander comes to light, Ciro’s instincts kick in and he vows to keep Xander, the sweet and humble man he finds himself gravitating toward, alive. The seriousness of what is happening rattles Xander, and he allows Ciro into his home to protect him. Close proximity heats things up and shows Ciro and Xander how much they’ve come to mean to each other, but the precautions they’ve taken may not be enough to keep them safe.
When the unthinkable happens, they are put to the test. Can Xander and Ciro survive the crazed serial killer who stands in the way of their forever?
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgg9Bv
I found myself wondering what he’d order as we walked up to the counter. What did a chef get at other food establishments? What kind of coffee?
When the woman asked what we’d like, I gestured for him to go first. “Hmm, maybe just a black coffee, medium, please.”
Black coffee? “You’re a monster,” I said, and he looked over at me with wide eyes.
“Black coffee? That’s not right, not at all.”
He chuckled. “And what is right?”
“I will have a hazelnut coffee, with hazelnut swirl, and cinnamon, large, please.” I quirked a brow at him after I ordered.
“No. Not even a little of that is right. All sugar.”
He moved down to the pickup area and I followed. “You’re a chef, you’re supposed to order things like truffle coffee with gold flecks of vanilla sprinkles or something.”
He laughed so loudly, the few people who were in the place turned toward us. “That’s such a stereotype.” He took his coffee when the woman handed it to him.
“But…black? It’s tasteless sad water.”
He shook his head, brought the cup to his lips, and sipped. “Mmm.”
Oh, shit. My mind was off coffee and on to how I liked the way he hummed.
“So good,” he said with a smile.
“No. I like my coffee happy.” I took my cup, dropped a tip for the barista on the counter, and moved toward the far booth. I sat, my back facing the wall so I could see all the comings and goings. Xander sat across from me.
“I remember about a month ago, Max, who works at Joker’s Sin with you, came into the restaurant to pick up an order. He was going through the carryout bag, and I asked him what he was looking for. He said he had to make sure the hollandaise sauce was in there, or ‘he’ would be upset.”
Oh, fuck… “Well, Max is weird, so.” I drank my coffee, hoping the conversation would drop.
“Are you the ‘he,’ Ciro?” He was enjoying this.
“How’s your sad coffee, Xander?”
He took another sip and smiled softly. We sat in companionable silence for a few minutes. I wanted to bring up what was going on, to ask what was so bad in his life that he had the HHPD as bodyguards, but he was so at ease, and I didn’t want the scared man I’d seen earlier to return.
“Go ahead and ask.” Xander looked at me, worry marring his beautiful face.
I took a deep breath and asked, “Who wants to hurt you, and why?”
Why I read this book: I love this series
Haven Hart and its residents have become very dear to me, the tight-knit group over at Joker’s Sin especially. I’m always happy to see them get their hard earned HEA and I enjoy the mystery and suspense more than I thought I would (It’s not my usual cuppa).
Ciro and Xander had a head’s up so to speak on the danger they were facing from the start of the book. I found that I really liked that. It meant that I could concentrate on the story and not worry too much about trying to put each and every single piece of the mystery together. I know that some people like that and I do occasionally, but this was a nice little break while still having my bit of thrilling suspense.
Ciro is one of Joker’s… well, employees doesn’t seem to quite cover it. More like one of the tribe of broken men who gather under Joker’s leadership to heal and still be valued members of their little group. So, Ciro works for Joker’s Sin but is given the time off to guard and protect Vance. I knew that he was a little bit broken but, oh man, I was not expecting his back story. My. Heart. Broke!
Xander, an up-and-coming celebrity chef did what most do in his industry. Work long hours and make the business their world because really, it is the only way to succeed in this field. So he was completely blind-sided by the news of his fellow schoolmates that were also housemates deaths.
They really evolve nicely as a couple and work well together. I liked the way their relationship grew and flowed, it felt very natural.
This story didn’t feel quite as polished as the others in the series, but it was very enjoyable. There weren’t many surprises or plot twists and that works for this book. It felt realistic.
My rating is 9/10 pots of gold.
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children. If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.