Ethan Sullivan is a contract killer, and he’s good at his work. But killing for a living makes for a complicated existence, and it’s wearing on him. He’s decided to turn in his garrote and try to build a normal life. Whatever that means.
Honey Foster is a small-town girl, and happy with it. Even if all the men her age are married, and the dating pool is more like a puddle, and the only lover she’s had in the last several months requires batteries, she loves her life. She has her friends, her community, and her big, goofy dog to keep her warm at night. And that's enough, at least until Ethan comes along.
He’s hot and funny, and the air fairly crackles with sexual tension whenever they’re in the same room. But even though she knows he feels it too, he seems to go out of his way to get out of her way as quickly as possible. Because Ethan has resolved to stay uninvolved—after all, retired killers don’t get picket fences and happily ever afters.
He’s trying to keep his distance, but he doesn’t realize in a town this small, he’s going to see her everywhere. Backyard barbeque? She’s there. Local tavern for a drink on Saturday night? She’s there. Pretty soon all that resolve dissolves, and suddenly that picket fence starts to feel like it’s in reach. But when the shadows of his past come calling, he’ll have to expose his secrets to deal with the danger. And Honey will have to decide if love is enough, and if a flawed, complicated man is worthy of redemption.
honey and the hitman
COPYRIGHT © 2023 solitary vice publications
Most of the time when I sit down to write something, it’s the female character who comes to me first. Not this time. Ethan popped into my brain, fully formed, and wouldn’t shut up until I put him on paper. He’s probably the most flawed character I’ve ever written – he’s a contract killer, for God’s sake – but he’s also one of my favorites. I’m sure I made a lot of mistakes with his profession (I do not know any actual contract killers, and if I did, I’d probably have been too scared to ask what their job was like!), but the book isn’t about that. It’s about making peace with the past and finding love, even when you think you don’t deserve it.
behind the book
Honey’s temper spiked, she saw red, and her foot shot out to connect with his thigh. There wasn’t much behind the kick; he was too far away, and her feet were bare, but he staggered a little and gave a very satisfying grunt.
He scowled at her. “What the fuck did you do that for?”
“Why the fuck do you think?” she shot back and slid off the counter. She stalked out of the kitchen with him hot on her heels.
“Oh, I don’t know. Because you’re crazy?”
“Yeah, that’s it.” She stalked to the front door with as much dignity as she could muster with a faint limp and half her pant leg drooping around her calf. “I’m fucking nuts. You should probably get out while you still can.”
She yanked the door open and held it wide. “Bye.”
He stood, hands on his hips, eyes narrowed. “What’s your problem?”
“What’s my problem? What’s myproblem?” She saw Milo heading for the open front door out of the corner of her eye, and while she’d have liked to leave it open for impact, she didn’t have it in her to chase him down tonight. She flung it shut with a satisfying bang. “My problem is that you’re a jerk.”
“I’m a jerk.”
“I’m a jerk.”
“For trying to make sure you got home safe?”
She was so incensed she grabbed two fistfuls of her hair and yanked. “No. You’re a jerk because that’s twice you almost kissed me and then stopped. Twice. You don’t like me, you don’t even want to be in the same room with me, but you get this look on your face, and you lean in, and you’re just about to kiss me then you just...” she waved her hands in the air, “turn it off somehow and then you’re gone.”
She huffed out a breath and glared. “Jerk.”
He stared at her for a full ten seconds before turning away. “I don’t believe this.” He dragged his hand through his hair, leaving it standing on end as he whirled to face her again. “You’re pissed because I haven’t kissed you?”
She ground her teeth together so hard it sounded like gravel crunching. “No. I’m pissed because you almost kiss me, then act like I’ve got the plague the rest of the time. And when I try to stay out of your way, you end up following me down the street and tripping me, making me fall and scrape my face on the damn sidewalk!”
“You cock punched me,” he snarled.
“Because you threw me over your shoulder and forced me into your car! You deserved it!”
“Do you have any idea how much it hurts to get punched in the dick?”
“As I don’t have a dick, no. But I was aiming for blinding agony with debilitating nausea.” She spread her lips in a parody of a smile and batted her lashes. “How’d I do?”
“It hurt,” he growled, stepping forward so his booted feet nudged her bare toes, towering over her. “A lot. I didn’t puke, but it was a close thing.”
“Aw,” she said, her tone dripping with exaggerated and completely insincere sympathy.
“And it hurt a lot more,” he continued, his voice so low it was barely audible, “because I had a hard-on.”
She opened her mouth to retort, then realized she had no idea what to say to that. “What?”
“Yeah.” He nodded, his blue eyes blazing with anger and frustration and something else, something that made her pulse begin pounding in a thick, heavy beat. “And do you know why I had a hard-on?”
“Because you’re a guy?” she ventured.
“Because every time I get near you—see you, smell you, hear your voice—I want to lay you down on the nearest flat surface and fuck you until neither of us can move.”
Honey exploded. “Then why do you keep stopping?” she all but screamed, going up on her toes to push into his face, so mad and confused and aroused she wanted to punch him again.
“Fuck this,” Ethan muttered and reached for her.
It was all she got out before he yanked her against him, fisted a hand in her hair, and plundered.
This book is about a hitman, and his search for a new life without violence. It contains:
- Assignation on the page
- Discussion of past assassinations
- Stalking by someone out for revenge
Specific CW, Including Possible Spoilers:
- Assassination by poison on the page
- One time mention of domestic violence (spousal and child abuse)
- One time mention of child sexual assault
- Assault of a woman by a man on the page (backhanded slap)
- A man taking a woman hostage with a gun
- Multiple appearances of guns
- A dog biting a man’s face, causing serious injury