The Assassin’s Heart, by J.A. Kazimer: Professional Killers Torn Between Love and Duty

assassins_heartThe man who has a shot at winning her love may end up shooting her instead.

The Assassin’s Heart ($13.95, 250 pp., ISBN: 978-1-60381-975-6) is a work of romantic suspense by J.A. Kazimer about a female assassin who tries to quit the business, only to find that her ex-partner has been assigned to kill her.

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4 1/2 Stars (Top Pick/Gold): “Kazimer’s debut romantic suspense deserves a spot at the top of the genre. Not only is this novel sassy and fun, but the author’s research into the CIA and the life of an assassin is reflected in her work, making it not just a fabulous romantic suspense tale, but a fantastic work of fiction, period. Hannah ‘Six’ Winslow stands strongly on her own and has none of the characteristics of a damsel in distress–which makes this novel that much hotter and sensual.”

–Sarah Eisenbraun, RT Reviews

“Ms. Kazimer weaves a great tale and the reader will get thoroughly engrossed in the storyline. The characters are all well developed, and the edge of your seat suspense pulls the reader in.”

—Lindy Gomez, A Bookish Escape Blog

“A Deadly, exciting romance that keeps you reading: I started reading this and didn’t put it down till I was done. The Assassin’s Heart has mystery, intrigue, excitement and romance. It’s a fast paced story that is great for an afternoon with time to read.”  Read more ….

—Shellie Surles, Fresh Fiction

“A fast-paced, engaging novel, The Assassin’s Heart by Julie Kazimer draws you in with action, twists, and charm. Well written and riveting, this adventure/romance is a great escape with heat. Julie engages the reader in intrigue and physical attraction with real romance on an ever closer horizon. Not a hearts and flowers book, this gritty, sincere story is a fun read.”

—S.V. Farnsworth

When CIA assassin Hannah Winslow mistakenly kills the wrong man, she vows never to take another life. Unfortunately Hannah’s superiors believe the killing was intentional. Now Hannah is the target.

Hannah always knew it might come to this. Surprising her colleagues, she manages to disappear completely into a new, screamingly dull life, assuming a fake identity, shacking up with an overweight cat, and starting a new career as an ad executive.

Hannah’s past finally catches up with her at a company retreat in Hawaii, where her former partner Benjamin Miller has tracked her down. Is it a coincidence that assassination attempts on her life are now as common as rum, suntan lotion, and tiny umbrella drinks? What is the real reason for Ben’s presence? Will he be her savior or her assassin?

Says the author, “As a longtime fan of the romance genre, I’ve read hundreds of novels where the hero saves the heroine, and the day. While I enjoy these books, as a woman, I’ve always felt cheated somehow. Why couldn’t the hero and heroine work together to save each other? And The Assassin’s Heart was born. The main character isn’t a pushover. She’s a trained assassin capable of saving herself. The hero is just as skilled. Yet neither knows how to have a happily-ever-after.”

J.A. Kazimer lives in Denver, Colorado. Her other books include The Junkie Tales, The Body Dwellers, CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale, Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons, Dope Sick: A Love Story, SHANK, and Froggy Style. When Kazimer isn’t looking for the perfect place to hide the bodies, she spends her time surrounded by cats with attitude and a little puppy named Killer. Other hobbies include murdering houseplants, kayaking, snowboarding, reading and theater. After years of slacking, she received a master’s degree in forensic psychology, mostly to fill an eight by ten blank space on her wall. In addition to studying the criminal mind, Kazimer spent a few years spilling drinks on people as a bartender and then wasted another few years stalking people while working as a private investigator in the Denver area. Click here to find her online.

Keep Reading for an excerpt:

Her eyes searched his face for any signs of betrayal or deceit. Finding none, she relaxed slightly, shaking her head at her own paranoia. Zach was nothing more than a frat boy turned surfing CEO. She couldn’t picture him with a weapon, let alone the cold calculation needed to kill. Briefly she recalled the hard glint in Ben’s steely eyes.

“I moved after college,” he said, bringing her back to the present. He smiled, his eyes intent on the riot of colors on the horizon. “San Diego will always be my home though. Nothing like waking up at dawn to surf and then heading in to the office.”

She smiled, liking this man in front of her. He was smart, funny, self-deprecating, and gorgeous. ‘Linda’ could fall for him. It would be so easy. One little kiss. Like the fairytales he could turn her into a real girl instead of a number.

A branch cracked nearby. She spun to face the danger, her fantasy vanishing in a wink. When nothing appeared from the brush, her heartbeat slowly returned to normal.

“Must be a bird,” he said with a laugh. “Don’t tell me my fearless marketing director is scared of a little birdy. Why, I’ve seen you facedown even the most daunting of ad copy.”

The way he said the words should’ve been charming, but to Six, they sounded almost patronizing. Damn, there went her fairytale life. Rather than tell him off, Linda gave a flirty squeal, much to Six’s dismay. She batted her eyelashes. “What if it wasn’t a bird, but a big, bad wolf?”

“My, what big teeth you have.” He smiled wider, pulling her into his muscular arms. He smelled of soap and man, and for a second, she allowed herself to feel the rush of chemical attraction. It had been so long since any man had touched her.

Not since Davis ….

His hands slid up her shoulders, pausing at the curve of her neck, pulling her into a kiss. Their lips met, softly at first. Not bad, she thought seconds before his tongue swept into her mouth. The kiss deepened, growing hotter as lava pulsed underneath their feet. Heat pooled low in her stomach. She wrapped her leg around his thigh, increasing the reckless energy between them.

It felt so good to be held, to feel the touch of another human being without questioning his motives. She wanted this feeling to last forever, to unfreeze the coldness locked in her heart. A coldness left by Davis’ death and Ben’s betrayal. The pain, anger, and sadness surrounding her feelings for Ben quickly cooled her ardor as she pictured her former partner and compared the man who held her in his arms to a man she might never forget or forgive.

Zach broke the kiss, his breath coming in short gasps. “Wow … ummm …I—”

Gunfire cracked.

Bits of bark from the tree next to the couple exploded, sending toothpick-sized shards into her skin. Acting on pure instinct, she wrapped her arms around Zach and dove off the steep rocky cliff.

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