Review: When the Devil Drives (Death and the Devil #1.6) by L.J. Hayward

Work-life balance for a spy may be an oxymoron, but Jack Reardon likes a good challenge. And he’s almost bested this one. He’s settled into his Meta-State promotion as a field leader and into his new team with a second he can trust. Shop in order, he can take a day or two off when Ethan blows into town, their bargain finally starting to paying off.

Assassin Ethan Blade has few pleasures in his life—a decent cup of tea, a job well done, racing his fleet of supercars, and Jack. With plans to combine the last two into one thrilling weekend, Ethan’s attempt at having a normal, happy life may deliver everything he’s ever desired—or backfire spectacularly.

Jack and Ethan made a bargain, but the deal is thrown into jeopardy when the expectations and identities of the dealmakers shift—stoking the fires of doubt and jealously. Not to mention a contract killer out for revenge and an illness that threatens to reveal closely guarded secrets. Rewards are on the table for both men, maybe bigger than they even realize, if only they can renegotiate—and survive.

I have to hand it to L.J. Hayward, she really knows how to keep the intrigue going between these two.

I enjoyed the first part of this novella the most. I wouldn't consider myself a gearhead or anything but I do enjoy cars and an Aston Martin?

YES, PLEASE!!!!!!!

The most painful cinematic moment in my life to date was the car chase scene in Casino Royale.

WHY GOD, WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!! #crushed

Anyhoo, I also think it's cute that Ethan is so besotted with his cars. When he gets animated about them... it's adorable especially since he's normally so stoic. Also, quick side note, the action sequence was LOADS of fun! Nothing like a good car chase as long as the Aston Martin doesn't get taco'd. 

Ethan has entered a race on the Gold Coast under an alter ego, Roy Carter. Roy is charming and outgoing and HAS FRIENDS!

You heard me. A shocking development for all involved, and by "all involved", I mean myself and Jack.

He asks Jack to tag along under the auspices of spending some quality sexy times together which morphs into some interesting relationship development. For an arrangement that's supposedly in the 'super casual' category both of them sure do struggle with the specter of the green-eyed monster.

There were some somewhat comical moments, the party scene being my favorite. No spoiling but I snickered a little.

The second half I was less enamored with due mostly to them not spending much time together. But the ending is somewhat cliffish thereby ensuring that I will dive into the next one to get ready for book two.

Word of caution to those who've not started this series, since Ethan and Jack have agreed to a casual relationship neither are expected to remain celibate when they're apart, so not precisely cheating but I know many have a hard limit when it comes to sex outside of the main relationship. None of it is on page, though, just referenced.

What I keep struggling with and coming back to is the suspense plotline. I guess I had it in my head that there would be a sort of overarching case that needed solving which would ultimately require Jack and Ethan to work together, but so far that hasn't come to fruition. I find that a bit disappointing because they make a formidable team but also because I feel like I'm left with loose ends. I don't know if there's going to be closure at some point or if I'm going to be left with a ball of strings.

Nevertheless, I would recommend this series to readers who enjoy protagonists who have questionable morals or those who enjoy romantic suspense.

A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thanks, I have this one to read yet ahead of book 2 coming out - must get onto it if Ethan has friends!!!!!