Other Kat Martin reviews can be found in the Archives.

Against the Mark
by Kat Martin
(Mira, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0778-31467-7
Kat Martin has written a nice long series of titles starting with "Against the..." and this seems to be one of the last, if not the last. The story started with the Raine brothers and then moved to their friends from the wars/mercenary work they did. This tale is the story of Tyler Brodie, a connection through one of the contacts in California, who made an appearance or two in previous stories.

Tyler is a private investigator and he works with his friend Johnnie Riggs, who is newly married. Their business is on the property of Riggs' aunt - a large mansion with several outbuildings and lots of security in the LA hills. Aunt Ellie, a widower of a movie mogul, needs some assistance for her niece. Haley Warren is the daughter of a Chicago socialite and a man who seemed to be comfortable in the world of insurance investigation for his wife's family. But one day, he left to marry a woman he met while traveling. Since then he and Haley have been estranged. When he dies suddenly in an explosion on his boat, his new wife calls and says she thinks his death may not have been accidental. Haley comes to LA and hires Tyler to help her discover the truth.

There is a lot in this story. Tyler and Haley have a strong connection, yet both are wary of any type of commitment. Aunt Ellie is matchmaking, but it appears their investigations in her father's death and one of his cold cases has put everyone is in danger. The bad guys are men who have hidden a major art theft and one of them is not afraid to remove everyone in his way. This causes Tyler and Haley to hide out, which leads to major lust, which leads to questions about their relationship and the long term possibilities.

I have enjoyed the series and did like this story. Many of them are similar so fans of the series may find this a little too much like other tales. If you are new to the series, I think this tale will hold its own and keep you guessing. There is a lot of action along with some hot sex and some introspection by each character. I liked both Haley and Tyler and this helped stay engaged in their story. My only complaint in this tale is that there was a section or two that seemed to drag when the concentration was on lust, and not their investigation or their romance. Overall however, Against the Mark delivers on both romance and action.

--Shirley Lyons

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