They made her into the perfect weapon.
Kiyomi Tanaka is the final piece needed to unlock the deadly threat stalking the remaining Valkyries. After years of sacrifice as the ultimate femme fatale, she's prepared to give up everything to find justice. But suddenly that's not such an easy choice anymore, because now she has more to lose than she ever thought possible: her freedom, the family she's always longed for…and the wounded warrior who's stolen her heart.
Now she's coming after them.
Marcus Laidlaw survived captivity, torture and certain death because of a Valkyrie. Now his solitary existence has been turned upside down by a team of them determined to hunt down the corrupt government officials who stole their lives. He'll do whatever he can to protect them, but there's one Valkyrie he'd do anything for—a brave, beautiful survivor who showed him what it means to live again. And when the unknown threat hovering over them is finally revealed, Marcus will be forced to do the unthinkable to save the woman he loves.
4.25 stars--intriguing, imaginative and edgy
s4.25 stars--BEAUTIFUL VENGEANCE is the fifth and final instalment in Kaylea Cross’ contemporary, adult VENGEANCE romantic, suspense series focusing on a group of women once known as the Valkyrie-members of a secret CIA government project. This is thirty-one year old, Valkyrie Kiyomi Tanaka, and former SAS agent Marcus Laidlaw. Any important information from the previous instalment is revealed where necessary but I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and cohesion as there is an on going arc throughout. The VENGEANCE series is a spin-off from the author’s HOSTAGE RESCUE TEAM series. You do not have to have read the original series to follow or understand but it is recommended to read DISAVOWED (Hostage Rescue Team #4).
SOME BACKGROUND: Years earlier, an unsanctioned, secret CIA run project ‘stole’, brainwashed and trained a number of orphan girls in an effort to design the perfect killing machine known as the Valkyrie. The project was disbanded but the Valkyrie have since found themselves targeted by someone high in the organization, someone who is willing to kill to protect the secrets they know. Deadly operatives trained to work alone, each a specialist in a different field, the Valkyrie struggle when they find themselves losing their heart and falling in love.
Told from several third person perspectives including Kiyomi and Marcus BEAUTIFUL VENGEANCE is the culmination of five story lines as the Valkyrie hunt for their sisters, in an effort to protect one another from the next kill. Kiyomi Tanaka, trained as the ultimate, beautiful femme fatale, had been tortured and brutalized on her last assignment but with it came the memories of what was and what will never be. Hoping to exact revenge on the man responsible, Kiyomi struggles to trust the women she has learned to call her sisters, when the Architect of the Valkyrie program returns, desperate to bring Kiyomi back into the program, desperate enough to kill anyone in the way.
Meanwhile Kiyomi’s attraction to Marcus Laidlaw continues to grow. Marcus is a former SAS agent and has leant his mansion to the surviving Valkyrie as they remain undercover, in their search for the person trying to take them down. Physically and emotionally damaged from his torture in Syria, Marcus keeps to himself but the heart is hoping for a chance at love, if only Kiyomi is willing to accept Marcus, damage and all.
The relationship between Marcus and Kiyomi is one of immediate attraction but Kiyomi requires months of healing and rehabilitation in the face of being held captive by a vindictive man. Marcus struggles with the guilt of losing too many men on his last mission to the Middle East but in doing so believes is may not be worthy of love. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
Once again, there is a large ensemble cast of colorful and energetic secondary and supporting characters including all of the previous story line couples: Megan Smith and Tyler Bergstrom (Stealing Vengeance #1), Amber Brown and Jesse Cordova (Covert Vengeance #2), Chloe and Heath (Explosive Vengeance #3), retired SF and NSA agent Alex Rycroft; and Valkyrie Trinity Durant and Brody Colebrook, and Eden Foster (Toxic Vengeance #4). The requisite evil has many faces including someone connected to the original Valkyrie program.
BEAUTIFUL VENGEANCE is a story of vengeance and retribution; of obsession and control; of beauty, acceptance and love. The premise is intriguing, imaginative and edgy ; the characters are strong-willed and animated; the romance is captivating and encouraging. Kudos to the author for taking her time with the series wrap up, protecting the reader from a rush to the finish. Here’s hoping Kaylea Cross has plans for another spin-off as each member of the Valkyrie begins a new life and a new adventure.