K R Allen
K R Allen
Cover Artist: Fiverr
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Action/Adventure/Spies
Trope/s: Gay for You
Themes: Authenticity, acceptance
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 122 917 words/ 296 pages
Australian secret agent Cole Pearson never could stay out of it.
Now he is AWOL and on the run with Sean Trammel, analyst for mining giant ARBUS dodging killers and cut off from help as he never is overseas. As they try to uncover the reasons behind the attack on Sean, Cole unexpectedly realises that he has reasons purely personal and increasingly physical for wanting to keep this man safe. And as they discover the stakes for their hunters they know that it is going to take more than Cole’s charm, guns and wits to keep Sean alive and out of their clutches.
It was the skulking action that first caught his eye. Even without the dark grey fatigues, not couture de rigueur for urban Brisbane, the light step and hurried, almost sneaking motion was deeply suspicious. Cole sat up straighter in his car, the boredom from sitting for five straight hours disappearing in an instant. The skulker slid along the side of the office building heading towards the back. Any legitimate visitor to the building would go through the front door, check in at the counter maybe. It wasn’t the building Cole was supposed to be watching and it was extremely unlikely that the skulker was the Indonesian intelligence officer he was looking out for but he was intrigued nonetheless.
“Now what are you up to buddy?” he muttered. A moment later he saw the man wasn’t alone. Two more men dressed in similar dark grey fatigues followed his path. Cole looked up and down the Spring Hill street. People were coming and going and not paying the slightest attention to him or the men moving into the building across the road from him.
Cole tapped his fingers against the vinyl of the steering wheel. He knew he should mind his own business. It wasn’t what he was there for and he knew he’d only been given this surveillance detail as punishment for his latest misdemeanour. He didn’t think his career could stand many more infractions. Anyway, it was warm in the car and while it was a sunny day out and midday, outside the air was chilly in typical Brisbane May weather. Still...he caught sight of another two figures and pursed his lips. Someone’s day was about to go to crap, he thought reasoning with himself. And really he could do with some movement. For an hour he had sketched passersby and played license plate poker on and off but mental stimulation didn’t keep the blood pumping. A moment more of internal debate and he grabbed his gun from under his jacket on the passenger seat and slipped out of the car. He was just going to take a look he told himself.
On this street the buildings were actually accessed at road level half way up the building with at least four floors below due to the way a hill had been cut into years before. The skulkers had wound their way from street level up the maintenance gangways which wrapped around the sides and presumably the back of the building like a mesh exoskeleton, up two floors so Cole followed at a distance. He saw the lead man jimmy open a door and the whole string of them, bar one who stayed by the door as look out, slipped inside pulling on ski masks as they did so.
‘Just taking a look’ would end now, Cole thought. No matter how he spun it. He’d clearly seen them go into a building he wasn’t supposed to be monitoring. At most he should call the Police. Instead, he double checked the magazine in his pistol and set to finding another way into the building.
Cole went back down one floor and used a fire extinguisher to break open a door and found himself in a back hallway near a couple of storerooms and the toilets. He slipped his gun into the back of his pants pulling the buttoned shirt free of his waistband so it could hang over the top to hide the gun. Following the hallway he entered an open area with a kitchenette along one wall and an open eating area with a floor to ceiling window looking out onto a courtyard type arrangement. When he encountered a couple of people, he adopted his best ‘yep, I’m meant to be here’ countenance and kept steadily on. He’d had a lot of practice blending in and it did not fail him here. Pretty much everyone ignored him. Just beyond the kitchen was a void through at least five levels with stairs to the next level up and down. The timber stairs squeaked slightly at his steps but still no one gave him a second glance. It was the usual thing, he thought. If you were in everyone just assumed that you were supposed to be.
About the Author
Kathryn Allen is an Australian cross-genre author of magic realism romance Ever Man and male/male action thriller Last Loose End along with a frankly ridiculous number of in-the-works fantasy, action and drama novels. For added confusion, she also writes under the names K R Allen and Kathryn R Allen. She enjoys writing about characters taller, bolder, quicker with the comebacks and infinitely better shots than she is.
Find out more about Kathryn at her website
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3.75 out of 5 stars
Last Loose End by K.R. Allen centers around Cole Pearson, who impulsively rescues Sean Trammel and lands right in the middle of a dangerous and confusing op where all of the “rules” are being ignored and the goal is to stay alive. Things are complicated by Sean’s ignorance of why killers are after him and his reluctance to comply with this mysterious and sexy man who is much too deadly and proficient at dealing with all of the horror that his life has become.
This intense m/m thriller is an action-packed and exciting tale set in Australia. The violence keeps mounting and spirals out of control and the reader is dragged around Queensland with glimpses of the out-of-the-way places where one can hide out temporarily. The author does a great job of creating a sense of danger and giving glimpses into the darkness of the spy game, but there are so many dangling threads, with dips into another point of view, that I was still confused and unsatisfied at the end, even though I was breathless and exhausted by the guys’ adventures.
Squeamish folks should be warned that the body count is constantly mounting and there are several gory scenes, but those who enjoy James Bond-type adventures will undoubtedly be enthralled by the non-stop action, the hidden message deliveries, and the virtual indestructibility of the heroes. Their increasing attraction for each other is a nice addition to the saga but one should be warned that this is a happy-for-now story rather than a HEA. Those who are concerned with such things should be advised that there is a shifting point of view, but I think the exciting events provided a great distraction.
I hope this is the first story in a series because I am sure these guys have plenty of other adventures to share, and I am curious about the path that Sean has been forced on and the bond he has formed with Cole. Hopefully they’ll be back again soon.
A copy of this title was provided for review