Marked is the fifth book in the Blood Brothers series by Samantha Wilde. Detective Sophia Aldridge has a mission: to arrest contract killer Cole Holmes. The sparks fly when the couple encounters each other at the scene of one of Cole’s hits. Cole does the unthinkable and lets the detective live when she sees his face. Later, Sophia’s daughter, Bella, is kidnapped, and Sophia knows it has to be Cole who did it. After a confrontation that proves Cole is innocent of the kidnapping, Sophia makes a deal with the devil to get Cole to help bring Bella home before it is too late. What the couple doesn’t expect is the fiery, undeniable attraction that consumes them.
Cole is the best villain-to-hero I have read in a while. I like that Cole does try to be a better man eventually, but he doesn’t make promises he can’t keep. Cole is a cold-blooded killer, yet his mesmerizing personality almost made me forget that fact! I loved Cole’s journey in finding comfort and love when he had never had them. Cole changed during this journey, yet he always stayed true to himself.
Sophia is an excellent detective. I could feel her heartbreak and turmoil when she discovered Bella had been kidnapped. Her desperation when asking Cole to help is palpable. Sophia is strong and has a fierce moral compass, yet she can also see the grey areas when what she loves most is taken from her.
The connection between Cole and Sophia was hot, hot, hot! They both knew growing closer was a monumental mistake, yet they were helpless to stop the growing attraction and burgeoning feelings. Even though Cole is on the wrong side of the law, he makes Sophia stronger, just as Sophia makes Cole a better man.
This is a fast-paced, action-heavy contemporary romance. I couldn’t put this book down! This was my first Samantha Wilde book, and I am going back to read the previous books in the series. Marked grabbed my attention instantly and ruthlessly and led me through an action-packed, passionate, intelligent romance.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: December 27, 2022