Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Haven’s Creed
Author: Parker Williams
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 256 Pages
Publisher: Parker Williams
Release Date: December 14, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: An act of violence destroys his family and ends the life he knows. To escape his haunted past, he joins the military, where, as a sniper, he is trained to kill with precision and detachment. When a covert organization offers him a new purpose, he becomes Haven, an operative devoted to protecting the innocent when he can and avenging them when he cannot.
After ten years of battling the evil in the world, the life no longer holds the attraction or meaning it once had, and he’s ready to walk away. Then he meets Samuel, a young man forced from the age of twelve to work as a sex slave. If ever a man had a need for Haven, it is this one.
Yet nothing about this growing relationship is one-sided. Sammy gives Haven a stability he’s never known, and Haven becomes the rock upon which Sammy knows he can depend.
When Sammy reveals something about the enemy Haven has been hunting for months, Sammy fears it will destroy what they’ve built and he’ll lose his home in Haven’s heart.
Review: This one grabbed me right from the get go and held on to the end. It is dark and edgy with very little fluff, which is exactly what I love.
Haven is an assassin, but not just any old assassin. He was recruited at a young age after a pretty brutal home life put him in the crosshairs of his now handler. He been doing this work for over 10 years and is really good at what he does, but he is getting tired and thinking of ending his career. I loved Haven right away. He doesn’t just take people out. He takes them out in ways that fit their crimes. For example: an evil person who also runs a dog fighting ring is ended by giving said dogs the revenge they deserve (one of my favorite of his jobs). These were very creative and fitting for each one.
When Haven is on a particular job undercover searching for the head of the sex trafficking ring, he ends up finding and saving Sammy, a young man who had been kept as a sex slave since he was 12. Haven is his angel and knight in shining armor and he immediately feels safe with him. He clings to Haven in such a way that with little other choice, he takes Sammy home to keep him safe. Yes, it is insta-love for Sammy, but given his circumstances, it was easy to see how that happened and just how fast he saw through Haven (the first one to do so).
Things take a turn when these two take things further. Sammy is done being a sex slave. He has grown strong through his captivity in such a way that enabled him to survive and now that he is “free,” he takes control. Feeling unthreatened by Sammy, Haven allows and even enjoys it. I actually really liked this role reversal, and it made sense to me knowing their backgrounds. It was a smidge unbelievable at times, but I really think it just worked with these two.
There are some great side characters here, such as Kelly and Rook, Haven’s caretaker and handler, respectively. Kelly has been by Haven’s side from the beginning, and even though this isn’t the norm (caretakers are usually moved to other assassins after a few months), they clicked in a way that Haven needed. He becomes more family than co-worker to Haven, and then Sammy, and the three eventually realize how much they mean to each other in that capacity. I really liked Kelly and how he handled everything.
There is a lot of violence and bad stuff going on in this story with the drugs, abuse, sex trafficking, kids, etc. that may be triggers, but it is a really good read and I definitely recommend it. The writing is excellent and kept my attention from beginning to end. I’m looking forward to whatever Mr. Williams comes up with next.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*