The Assassins’ First Date, by J.A. Kazimer: A “Date” Lands Professional Killers in Hot Water with Lots of Steam

assassins_dateThe target was dead by dessert, but not in the way they’d planned. Someone had turned the tables on Ben and Six.

In The Assassins’ First Date ($11.95, 108 pp., ISBN: 978-1-60381-327-3), by J.A. Kazimer, killer-team Ben and “Six” go on an elegant working “date” where nothing proceeds as planned, forcing them to match wits with the clever killer of the vicious arms dealer they were assigned to assassinate.

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The Assassins’ First Date is the prequel romantic suspense novella in the Assassins series, which began with The Assassin’s Heart. The Assassin’s Kiss will follow on August 15, 2016, featuring Six and Ben’s colleague Nate.

Six and Ben’s story is continued in The Assassin’s Heart, which was awarded 4 1/2 Stars (Top Pick/Gold) by RT Magazine: “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.”

Benjamin Miller and Hannah “Six” Winslow have a date, but no one’s going to “get lucky,” at least not in the common sense of the phrase. The partners kill bad guys for a secret government organization known as OPS. And although they are dining at an elegant restaurant, their goal, and that of fellow assassin Nate Taylor, is to assassinate a dangerous arms dealer.

“The target” dies early in the evening, though not by the hand of any of the three assassins. His death by poison means yet another assassin got to him first, one who did not leave any obvious clues. In fact nothing is as it seems. Have they been betrayed by OPS? Is the mysterious assassin lingering in their midst, waiting to pick them off? Ben, Six, and Nate have just a few hours to solve the mystery, using only their wits and whatever evidence they can gather by cell from Nate’s analyst H. But Ben and Six are unusually distracted by each others’ sexy-date personas. With no one but Nate in top form, the slippery outside assassin may put them all on ice.

J.A. Kazimer lives in Denver, CO. She has a master’s degree in forensic psychology and has been both a bartender and a private investigator. She is the author of several other novels and series, including The Deadly Ever After series, F***ed Up Fairytales, and the Wilde Crimes series. For more information, click here.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Ben paused before answering, “The target has two bodyguards. Mossad, by the look of them.”

Nate nodded again. Mossad agents were hardcore. Men and women willing to kill and die for the job—just like the two assassins plotting to kill their client. Nate had identified the Mossad agents right off by the way they held themselves—backs ramrod straight, eyes cold and watchful. Taking them out wouldn’t be easy.

He smiled in anticipation.

“I’ll draw them off,” Ben said. Nate’s smile broadened. That was so like his fellow assassin. The guy always tried to protect his team. He would always be the first in. It was what made him great, but one day it would be his downfall.

Or the downfall of his partner, Six.

The way Ben watched her when she wasn’t looking spoke volumes. He wondered if they were sleeping together. Probably not. Sleeping with his partner wasn’t Ben’s style. He focused too much on the job. A pity, in Nate’s opinion. If Hannah were his partner ….

“Once they’re clear, Six will take out the target,” Ben was saying. Nate nodded. He didn’t doubt Hannah’s skills, not in the least. Neither did Ben, but Nate could hear the underlying stress in his co-worker’s voice. This wasn’t an easy target. Mario LeCena was a hell of a dangerous man. A stone-cold killer.

“Oh, and Nate,” Ben said with a quick grin, “try not to get shot. Again,” he said, referring to when Nate took a bullet a few months ago. “I hate having to fill out all that paperwork.”

* * *

Ben took a deep breath as he slipped through the men’s room door and into the main restaurant. The rattling of plates and the clinking of glassware filled the air, as did the scent of fifty-dollar steaks and thousand-dollar Scotch. He maneuvered past waiters carrying trays laden with mouth-watering signature dishes.

A woman screamed, and a wine glass shattered on a nearby table. Ben froze, his eyes searching the restaurant. He shuddered. He couldn’t pinpoint the problem. Not just yet. Not until his gaze fell on his partner, straddling the target in a roomful of terrified witnesses.

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