I know I say it a lot, but I have a thing about romance novels where the guy is a trained killer. I don't know what that says about me as a person but somehow I can't help myself.
Santerra's Sin by Donna Kaufman
There aren’t many places to get a cool drink in the middle of the New Mexico desert, and divorced bar owner Blue Delgado likes it that way. Little to no competition means that she gets to call the shots: her cantina, her rules. But there’s something about her new cook that sets her senses tingling—and it’s not just the way Diego fills out his jeans. When an old friend warns her that her life is in danger, Blue realizes she doesn’t know anything about her new employee—except that Diego excites her to the core. Could a man she is so attracted to be trying to kill her? All Diego Santerra has are his instincts, honed to precision as a member of an elite tactical squad. He keeps no personal ties that could compromise his missions: no family, no friends. His work is his life, and his new case is no exception. But the moment Diego lays eyes on the woman he is assigned to protect, he realizes that everything is about to change. As trained killers set their sights on Blue, Diego knows it’s going to take everything he has to keep her alive—and to make her love him.
Other than the fact I really hate the name Blue Delgado and I kept telling myself that is a really stupid name throughout the entire book, I really liked this book. I very much appreciate a book that is only 240 pages and I can finish it in about three hours.
I knew right off the bat that I was going to like Blue and I was going to love Diego because Donna developed these characters well. Sure, they both have troublesome histories and they come with a lot of emotional baggage but for ONCE the woman isn't an idiot. When things get tough Blue doesn't get all pissy and huffy and storm off like an irrational teenager, she just becomes very logical and level headed. Which is very much how I am and I appreciate that. Not all of us women are going to freak out when we find out the man we love is a trained killer who has no emotion about it. We can look at and accept that it is a job and at least he's employed.
I also really love how you get just enough back story to know what's going on and it's more focused on Blue/Diego rather than the bad guys, so to speak. I've read a lot of romance novels, which I did end up liking, that really spend almost more time on the crime and danger than they do the romance and the woo'ing. Which is really lame, because us wives who don't get woo'ed by their husbands like to know that if we get divorced maybe we could be woo'd. Or if our husbands fall off the house while putting Christmas decor, maybe the concussion would suddenly turn on the woo'ing side of his brain and all would be well.
I also have to say I loved the ending. I was so happy that Blue ends up doing what she wanted to do all along instead of just falling in line with what Diego wants her to do. It's so hard to find a female character that isn't a petulant teenager in a woman's body that doesn't do whatever her guy wants her to. Truly. You'd think it'd be all female empowerment, but it's just not.
So, I loved the book. It's a super fast read and perfect for when your husband is snoring loud enough to make the cats angry in bed and preventing you from sleeping.