Scars (The Killers #5) (2024)


857 reviews2,013 followers

December 29, 2021

#1 Vines — 3.75 stars
#2 Paths — 4 stars
#3 Gifts — 5 stars
#3.5 Until the Tequila — 3 stars
#4 Veils — 4.5 stars
#5 Scars — 3.5 stars

this wasnt exactly disappointing, but it did take me a while to finish. AND IM MOURNING FOR WHAT COULDVE BEEN 💀😭 cause (1) the plot was full of action, but slow in progress; (2) the romance left a lot to be desired. we’re just supposed to accept this is Cole & Bellas second chance romance without being given the full picture of their past history together. there was chemistry, there was tension. but the longing, the angst, the momentum, and just their overall dynamic was underwhelming.

(3) the single parent aspect didnt really serve any purpose. Cole was a loving father, but his daughter seemed neglected cause he was busy being a badass and pursuing Bella. i also didnt like that rather than easing his daughter into accepting Bella, Cole seemed rather forceful about the matter. he was like, heres your stepmom, deal with it! well, i guess being firm is more aptly put. Bella and the kid ended up slowly growing to like and care about each other though. so thats good.

tis a shame cause i feel like this story ought to have been spectacular. yet here i am, giving it the lowest rating amongst the other four books. i liked Cole & Bella individually. they were badasses, and were literally like Mr. & Mrs. Smith. together, they ought to have been deadly explosive! and while the book had its brilliant 007 moments, some were dull. oh blast, we really cant have it all. its likely that im going to re-read the series in the future, so we shall see if my opinions are changed.

❤️CourtRocks - Villains Do It Better❤️

976 reviews666 followers

November 17, 2020

3.75 Stars


Good plot, great writing, but just a little disappointing. It might be because I've waited for this book for so long, and not only was I super excited to finally read Cole and Bella's book, but I adore all the rest of the characters and their own books too, so I think my expectations may have been a little too high. I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, sadly.

The first 30% was slow with literally nothing happening, and I almost wish we could have seen Cole babying Bella at some point, especially because we know he can be very lovable and likes to show his affection for her, but her recovery just wasn't that fun to read. A little too much banter for me and I couldn't see or feel their longing for each other really when they had been apart for so long. I definitely think this is a book that really could have used some flashbacks to understand the MCs relationship more and feel their chemistry because I didn't feel it like I should have. Definitely missed opportunities there.

I did like Carson, I had some chuckle moments over things he would do or say, such as him talking about his sex life with the heroine in front of Ozzy all the time and Ozzy in return so fed up with it haha (I need an Ozzy book for sure). He was also lovable and brash and I like how he never really took the heroine's annoyance or anger seriously, and legit was always turned on around her haha (funny but also a bit repetitive). But Bella on the other hand, was definitely a tougher character to get used to. I do like how she stands up for herself and didn't just cave in to the hero (before present time), but I think I expected more from her. She just wasn't as bada** as I was hoping she would be, unfortunately. And I did feel like the development was off with her character and her realizations on what she wants with the hero. Or even with his kid. She was so adamant about not meeting his family, but she just gave in way too quick about that and I kind of wish she would have told Red off for once.

This is a weird book to rate because some parts I absolutely loved, but then sometimes I just wanted the book to be over with already. Some things were a little disconnecting too such as the daughter, who I wasn't really a fan of. I didn't get the mushy feeling I wanted seeing Carson as a dad, or seeing Bella try to be a mom for her. Instead I literally could care less about the kid, and I think this story could have been SO much better without her. That whole sub plot with the daughter and the mommy issues was just unnecessary "angst" imo.

Overall, a good book but could have been done better for sure. Definitely still looking forward to the next book in the series too, and I'm hoping it's Ozzy.

Safety: (spoilers)

On/off relationship for 4 years, separation for the last part of it, all before before the book begins

Heroine was a virgin until hero (she was 23), only been with him (he was est 31)

No details on hero's past really except he was in a casual relationship with a woman who purposely got preggo from him (hole in condom) resulting in a kid, she's out of the picture though

Heroine was celibate during separation, no definitive answer if hero was, but there were enough hints to make me fully believe he was

No OW/OM drama



3,624 reviews2,293 followers

November 10, 2020

Amazon US * Amazon UK

Scars (The Killers #5) (4)

I'm already a big fan of this series and the author so I am always excited to read anything she writes but after meeting Donnelly in the last book I've been dying to get to know more about her. Donnelly, Bella to her friends, was one seriously kickass heroine and I loved her strength. Not just physical but how she handled everything that was thrown at her. She never backed down from the fight to clear her name and she wouldn't let anyone push her to the background, instead she stood for herself and was determined to fight until the end.

She also wasn't so stubborn that she wouldn't accept help from her friends, and even Cole no matter how much they butted heads. She may not have always wanted to do things his way but she didn't push him away. Well not too much. When it came to their love life she definitely put up a fight but that was one of the reasons I loved them so much. Cole was determined to get Bella to stop running away from something serious and I really enjoyed seeing how all-in he was in their relationship.

Overall, the romance in this book is amazing and for that alone it's worth the read, but you also get the added bonus of intrigue and secrets that will keep you captivated. This is definitely a must read and I highly recommend it.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

    arc-edelweiss-netgalley cop-military-bodyguard-merc


2,175 reviews798 followers

November 2, 2020

I can’t get enough of this series! I absolutely loved Bella and all her bada^^ery. Cole was the perfect hero for her with his alpha tendencies. Watching them work through the various conflicts contained within this story was one wild adventure. Their banter was fun and kept me engaged and the chemistry between them absolutely sizzled.

Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend this book if you like your romance with a bit of humor as well as plenty of drama, suspense and thrills.



807 reviews2,455 followers

Want to read

November 6, 2020

I'm so excited about this one!!!!

Gifts, the third book in this series, was a five star book for me, and I'm always hoping to get another 5 star book by this author.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


1,446 reviews1,143 followers

November 22, 2020

A little too heavy...

I struggled with this one, to be honest. Everything but the kitchen sink was thrown at me, that at times I was bogged down with all the drama. It was action-packed with lots of things going on but not a lot of progress until the very end. It took too long to get to the crux of the matter.

I didn't like that their relationship seemed onesided. I didn't like that the hero was forcing his daughter to accept someone who so obviously didn't want to be there. I didn't like that their priorities were so out of synch. It was all just a wee bit over the top, too long, with a lot of time-jumping that I'm not a huge fan of.

The story finished on a high and I was convinced that everyone would live happily ever after, so it wasn't all bad. Scars was not my favourite by Brynne Asher but I would not hesitate to go back for more of her stories in the future.

Please do not judge Scars by my review alone as a lot of people loved this story. Check out other reviews and you may find that it works perfectly for you.

Scars (The Killers #5) (8)

    action-packed angry-fix cats-and-dogs


1,606 reviews228 followers

April 16, 2024

This is a tough one to me to rate.

Firstly, let me just say this: Bella is goddamn awesome.

I just don't like her with Cole.

Stories where you get a badass alpha woman connecting with an alpha male rarely work for me, because it feels like authors struggle to bring them together in a way that doesn't force the badass woman to give up everything she has worked for and suddenly decide oh, she just really deep down wanted a man to take care of her all along! This didn't go that far, though for most of it, I really thought it was going to.

This entire book revolves around the life Cole demands Bella leads, and him bullying her into accepting it. That doesn't work for me. She's an awesome secret agent and she f*cking loves it. So this douchebag dictating that she's going to stay with him and marry him and be a mom to his daughter... Cole never, not one f*cking time in this entire f*cking book, asks Bella what she wants. He just dictates what will be, from the beginning to the end.

Around the 60% mark she started talking about being selfish for telling him she wasn't giving up her job and life and freedom to move to the US and be with him, hiding from the world. It made me sick. What was Cole giving up? Oh that's right, f*cking nothing. But here she's just been accused of a horrific crime and fighting to clear her name while having to cut all contact with the family she loves and the life she built. He pops up and says f*ck all that, run away with me, I want you to marry me and take care of my daughter...
... And SHE'S the selfish one? And she convinces herself it was selfish that she said no.

I f*cking hated that.

Meanwhile, throughout this book, Cole the dickhe*d is constantly trying to undercut her job - trying to pressure Crew into not contracting her anymore - as if he has every right to make all her f*cking choices for her. Every time he did that, or told her to "go rest" while he and the guys reviewed the latest intelligence, or just outright dictated that she doesn't get to go on a mission, I hated him a little more.

I wanted to punch him in the nuts.

I liked Bella so much. And I thought this was probably the most awesome twisty, turny mystery arc yet - I really enjoyed it. So the rest of the book is 5 stars to me. But Cole is 0 stars, so I'm rating this 3.

Best I can do.

Edit: With hindsight, I should have rated this much lower because it killed the series for me - I have had zero interest in book 6, or anything else from this author. I loathe this trope, this idea that a strong, badass, fierce woman is just looking for the right guy to tuck her away in his house and keep her barefoot and preggo, with zero independence. It so badly undercuts that woman, and makes me think the author doesn't know - or respect - what a real alpha-type woman is. It makes me not trust the author. It's rare that an author does a woman alpha in the first place, and even more rare for it to be done without descending to this gross idea that all women want to be saved from their independence and careers. So f*cking gross. It's been 3+ years and I haven't read anything else by this author.

    alpha-hole ass-kicking-women douchebag-hero


2,241 reviews690 followers

November 12, 2020

Now, let me tell you....

This. Is. A. Fabulous. Book.

The story.
THE characters. Like, OMG, the characters...both, H and h....
The writing.

The sex.
The thrill.
The action.
The twist.
The conclusion.

It. Has. It. ALL and then. SOME.

Loved. It.

Scars (The Killers #5) (11)


891 reviews509 followers

October 21, 2022

Ok, this book was good but it was LONG and there was way too much happening in it. Like interconnecting suspense and story lines and world traveling and death, it felt like the suspense of the story overwhelmed the romance. And a lot of the love story was told in flashbacks, which I hate (huge personal pet peeve of mine) but some of the bigger moments of the couple’s past were NOT retold. Like their first sexual encounter, and the scene of him begging her to leave Pakistan and come be with him. This Pakistan scene was apparently a huge moment for the couple but it was never told in a flashback. I mean why have so many flashbacks if you leave the big stuff out?
Anyway, this was a good story but not a great story, and the two overcame their reasons for being apart so easily that their reasons ended up seeming stupid. If a woman resists being with a man for five years and nothing has changed, how are we supposed to believe she will just change her mind? I needed more drama here, and maybe less drama in the whole bad guy, international espionage part.
Anyway Bella was a kick ass heroine so that was a nice change of pace for this series. Cole was ok and funny in his co*ckiness but not my favourite.
I think this series is just going on too long and is reaching for characters now that the main heroes in Crew’s crew have been done. I call this the Chrissy Seaver effect, which will age me significantly, but if any of you remember Growing Pains, when they tried to extend the life of the show by adding her character to underwhelming ratings. Ya I’m old, anyway. So if I was going to rewrite this story, I would ditch the part where he has a kid and tries to force her to be a mother to his little mistake. Then have them clear her name and go on spy adventures together for a few years, then settle down and start a family. In this version it wouldn’t feel like Bella was giving up so much for Cole. Like he was an operative when he had his daughter because she was born before they met, so why did he push so hard for Bella to come marry him and mother his daughter? It was very unfair and totally dickish of him. I didn’t even really like the Abbott character and she was hardly even part of the story except as a tool to drag both of them away from their beloved careers. Sigh. I’m going to read the next one even though I don’t really give many f*cks about Ozzie and who he ends up with.

    age-gap lady-virgins-for-dumb-reasons second-chance-dance

Mindy Lou's Book Review

2,773 reviews716 followers

November 6, 2020

Yes! A woman operative who can kick some serious ass! I'm a fan of a heroine who can fight just as good, if not better than a man. I don't think that takes anything away from an alpha male. In fact, when you have both equally strong MC's, to me that is what makes a book even better. You get that in Scars.

Bella is such a cool character. I love that she's this strong woman who can take care of business on her own. I also like that she can accept help when she needs it and none of that took away from her femininity.

Cole had me from the start. The way he protected and cared for Bella sold me immediately. The fact he had no qualms expressing how much her badassery turned him on just showed he was the right man for her. Being an alpha male, he never tried to suppress what she needed as an alpha female. They clicked 100%.

Everything about these two made for a fun read. I loved seeing all the characters from previous books and how they ban together when one is in need. This is one series I do not think I could get tired of. I will be anxiously waiting for the next book in the series.

    2020 cop-security kick-ass-heroine


326 reviews20 followers

October 27, 2020

Brynne Asher is known for her intricately spun storylines, quirky yet relatable characters, and off the charts action. She delivers that and so much more in Scars.
Scars picks up right where Veils ends. It’s intense, it’s complicated and it will have you reading late into the night.
I honestly didn’t want it to ever end. A Psyco in love CIA agent and a wanted ex MI6 agent. Come on!!! That’s just asking for all the drama and intrigue!! And boy oh boy did it deliver.
With each book I’m completely blow away by Ms. Asher’s writing. Scars might be the best one least until her next book releases. Loved loved loved it!

Katie Utterly Unashamed

698 reviews175 followers

November 12, 2020

This woman’s books just keep getting better and better. My first book for Asher was Overflow, and with every book that I read I fall more and more in love with her writing. She has the perfect mix of sex, humor, action and suspense. She pulls you in and keeps you locked there until you are finished.

Scars has officially become my favorite of hers so far. You can’t write better characters than Bella and Cole. She’s a complete badass, he’s perfectly arrogant. Together their banter is perfect.

And I love a book that I can’t figure out what is happening until it actually happens. She gives you some twists and turns in this book, so be prepared.

Seriously, I meant to just dip my toes into this book last night. Read a couple chapters, get a feel for it so I was ready to dive into it today.

Scars (The Killers #5) (16)

Not well. I had an extreme fight with myself at 1 AM to shut the f*cking kindle off and go to bed. I wasn’t going to be able to finish it before my alarm would go off and I needed to sleep. It was hard, but my brain won over my emotions and I turned off the kindle. Did I fall asleep.

Scars (The Killers #5) (17)

No, no I did not. I laid there for an hour trying to figure out what was going to happen. I knew this would happen, it always happens. But I continue to make the same bad choices.

Scars (The Killers #5) (18)

I will say that in my years of reading, I’m realizing I have a very addictive personality. Like its bad guys.

Scars (The Killers #5) (19)

Anyway, I blame Brynne Asher for my current crabby mood for 2 reasons:

1. If she wrote a sh*tty book, I could have gone to sleep at a normal time, like a normal person and not need 4 cups of coffee to survive my day.

2. This book was not nearly long enough. It’s over and I’m sad. And now I have to try and find something to make me as happy as Cole and Bella did.

Scars (The Killers #5) (20)

Okay, I’m assuming if you are still reading this it’s because you actually want to know about this book and not my obvious dependency issues. So here we go.

This book picks up where Veils left off, so if you haven’t read the whole series - start with book 1. But don’t stress, you can totally just go with this one. You won’t be lost, but you also won’t understand the awesomeness that is all these side characters.

Bella is in the hospital with a GSW, and Cole is losing his mind. He has been trying to get this woman to stop being a spy and be with him for years. A year ago she gave him a final no, he walked away. But he is done walking away and he has absolutely no problem taking advantage of the fact she is severely injured and on the run from like 15 countries because she is being framed for something she did not do. Hey, a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. But no matter how determined he is, there are many obstacles in the way of his end game.

This is seriously an incredible book, if you have not picked up this author you really need to.

Now, let's hope Asher spits out the next book soon. Like maybe next month?

"As she sashays her sweet ass in that red dress into a slew of blacks, I'm thinking angry f*ck is just what the psycho ordered." - Cole

Scars (The Killers #5) (21)

    5stars actual-book all-time-favorites


1,553 reviews306 followers

April 22, 2022

4 stars. This is sadly my least favorite of the series out of the first five books. It’s a second chance romance with about a year of separation. The hero has a child with a woman who punctured his condom… which happened before he met the heroine. The heroine has been in hiding for the past year because she was framed to look guilty for the deaths of many people while she was working as an agent for MI5. The hero professed his love for the heroine a year prior and she rejected him because she wasn’t ready to move to be with him, she was running from being framed, and she didn’t feel that their lives aligned. I respected her decision and her determination to make a difficult choice.

Overall, I really love this heroine, but I unfortunately don’t think that she and the hero make a good couple. While reading, I often felt like the hero disregarded the heroine’s desires and just did what he wanted to do for himself. Yes, this was a common characteristic with all of the heroes from this series. However, this hero took it a step too far for me because he wasn’t just asking for the heroine to give him a chance, but he wanted the heroine to also be a mother to his daughter. It’s not right to force that on anyone.

To me, it seemed way too pushy, and to corner the heroine when she’s recovering from an injury? Just plain underhanded. IMO, the heroine needed more experience with men (who were not the hero, he was her one and only) before deciding to tie herself to him for life and be a mother to his daughter.

As I said, this heroine really made the book for me - and she’s the biggest reason why this book still gets 4 stars. Also, the plot line was extremely engaging and kept me hooked. The hero however, I’m not impressed with. He seemed ok in general, but I didn’t love him because of his incapability to understand any boundaries. I also am not a fan of his daughter - who seemed really one dimensional to me - she’s a “smart & emotional child” and that’s about it. She was kind of more background noise in the story than anything else. I felt like the hero said & did all the right things when it came to his child, but they were very predictable and just the same stuff that everyone says about their kids. Like, “I regret the relationship with the mother, but I could never regret what came of it” and “I knew she was mine when I saw her, I loved her right at first sight”. To me, it’s a little cliche. This OW tricked him by poking holes in his condoms and he barely flinched? I didn’t expect him to blame his child or anything, but I felt like the emotion conveyed when telling that part of the story was almost non-existent. This whole part of the storyline just soured the book for me.

Anyways, this ended much better than it started, but I still couldn’t manage to really root for this couple and their HEA.

Safe, Heroine was a virgin when she met the hero and he remained her one and only. Hero made some comments that made me believe he was a manwhor* in his youth but that changed after he had his daughter in his life. Hero met the heroine after his daughter was born. It was never confirmed if hero was with OW during the separation from the heroine, but I would hope & guess not. Hero has a 6 year old daughter with OW who poked a hole in the condom, and she lost custody and is not in the picture at all. No cheating, no scenes with OM/OW, no drama with OM/OW.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.

    0-safe-for-me 1-rating-4-stars 2-contemporary


651 reviews59 followers

October 31, 2020

I prepped myself before I started reading Scars: I gathered my favourite blanket, grabbed a cuppa, sat back, opened my kindle, and immediately felt like I was "home".

I've sat here writing, deleting, rewriting, deleting, and rewriting my review, trying to put what is in my head into words that will make any sense about how I am feeling. Ms. Asher always brings such strong male characters as well as their female counterparts, but what sets Scars apart from the other Killer's stories: Bella. Not only is Bella a strong woman, but she is also a pretty bada^^ operative, this woman can hold her own against any male operative and she proves it.

I was messaging two of my girlfriends while I was reading (one of these gals is pretty close to the story), I had to share different passages, how much I loved Cole, how I loved Bella's snarkiness. I would be remiss in not mentioning Abbott (I love that name!). Abbott's relationship with Cole is adorable to "watch" and seeing Abbott's relationship with Bella develop throughout the entire story, priceless reading!

Scars embodies what I love about Ms. Asher's writing; the intrigue, the family, the love, and most importantly, knowing that I will get lost in the story and ride the same rollercoaster that Cole and Bella are on......and let me tell better strap yourself in and get ready for the ride of your life!


750 reviews11 followers

November 4, 2020

Scars is another fantastic 5 stars read! After reading the snippets of Cole and Bella at the end of Veils I had to have their story!! To say Bella is a bada$$ is such an understatement, she is one the most resourceful MI6 operatives around. On the outside she is all feminine but she can kicka$$ like the best of them. Unfortunately she is down now and needs Cole to help heal physically and may be the one to heal her emotionally.

Right from the very beginning their story is intense. Cole and Bella have worked together for years, and throughout those years they have grown very close, they definitely act on their attraction to one another, but due to their jobs and personal responsibilities nothing could come of it and Cole had to let her go. But now that she is in the States and pretty much unable to leave, his campaign to keep her forever is now on and he is willing to do whatever he has to.

There are so many twists and turns in this story. Why was Bella in the states, why is she being targeted, and the ultimate question of how to make her realize she belongs with Cole. We get the answers to all these questions, but you are definitely taken on a bumpy ride! I loved it all! The secondary characters definitely add to their journey, we have family, neighbors and of course Crew Vega’s team and the women in their lives and they all support them along the way.

I absolutely recommend this book and the rest of the Killers series. I can not wait to see what is coming next!

    5-star arc own

2,689 reviews98 followers

November 10, 2020

Another 5 stars for Brynne Asher and her Killers series!! Not only do we get Cole a co*cky alpha but we get Bella who happens to be one of the most BADASS heroines of all time. This book is action packed and you will put everything else aside to devour it in one big bite. Ms. Asher is a wiz at character development and interpersonal relationships all while creating some of the best banter you will ever read. All I can say is welcome to Crew Vega’s F-ed up family Bella and Cole!!!


Melanie Maloney

410 reviews7 followers

November 4, 2020

Another 5 stars for Brynne Asher and her Killers series!! Not only do we get Cole a co*cky alpha but we get Bella who happens to be one of the most BADASS heroines of all time. This book is action packed and you will put everything else aside to devour it in one big bite. Ms. Asher is a wiz at character development and interpersonal relationships all while creating some of the best banter you will ever read. All I can say is welcome to Crew Vega’s F-ed up family Bella and Cole!!!

Michelle Claypot_Reads

2,292 reviews61 followers

November 24, 2020

Books like this are why Brynne Asher is a one click author for me!!

Cole & Bella’s love story is a complicated one. Packed with action and enough heat to melt your kindle at times. These two had the kind of chemistry that gave me my “squirmy face” as hubs calls it. Cole has a filthy mouth and definitely knows how to use it!

This has a slow build to start and then you’re hustling to keep up with the awesome plot twists. It’s a complex storyline had me hooked and their banter/wit had me smiling a lot.

Definitely recommend.

I received an arc of this book

    favourites-2020 hot-af

Gi's Spot Reviews

1,106 reviews1,312 followers

November 11, 2020

Scars (The Killers #5) (29)

5 Million ' I'm Home ' Stars

Holy Smokes!!! Scars willundoubtedly leave a brand in our hearts! The combo of Cole Carson's epic co*cky alpha maleness and Bella Donnelly's smart mouth, banter loving badassness took the already extraordinary Killer series to a whole other level ofmajesty.Slow burn but action packed, addictively engaging,delicious banter, and oh so sweet, passionate and loving moments, Scars is without a doubt one of 2020's TOP reads, and this powerhouse ofintelligence couple a new favorite of mine! Absolutely brilliant! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Full review to follow...

We’re the grand finale on the Fourth of July, lighting up every inch of the horizon.

That’s one scar I’ll happily treasure forever.

“Uncle Sam takes the Queen. I feel like singing God Bless America.”

ARC kindly provided by the author for an honest review
    1-my-all-time-favorites 1-safe-no-cheating-no-ow-om amazing-hero


895 reviews199 followers

April 29, 2022

I struggled with this one. The beginning is slow until about the 35% mark then it starts to pick up. I almost dnf. The synopsis pretty much gives you the overall story line so I'll just do a short review of what I did and didn't like.

I did not really care for the heroine. She was a very unhappy, negative Nancy and the complaining was getting on my nerves. Didn't think her character had much depth and she didn't become somewhat likable till about 2/3's into the story. She had an incredible guy who was willing to compromise and she was totally closed off.

Hero was what saved this book to a three star rating. What a gem!! Alpha but so sweet and willing to do what it took to get his girl. And his love for his little girl was adorable.

The storyline/plot was okay but didn't really flow well in my opinion. Was a little confusing at times.

Was an okay read to pass the time. First time reading this author, might give another book a try.

    celibate-heroine cia-fbi contemporary-v


50k reviews10 followers

June 13, 2023

Just the prefect blend of everything I like!
The plot is tightly woven, the characters complex and intriguing and the romance is hot and all consuming. Cole is a wonderful hero and Isabella is the perfect match for him. Seriously exciting series and definitely a must read.

Twinkle {hiatus}

71 reviews66 followers

November 5, 2022

Note to self: Never ever forget that this book exists. Ever.
Unlike my other reviews, this one is solely for me. To remind myself that no matter how many great books I read, I always need to come back to this one.

Let's do this...(iykyk)

Scars is my second book by Asher. The first one was a disaster and DNF but boy am I glad I gave this one a chance. The writing took some getting used to; it was to the point and sometimes felt abrupt. But after getting to know these characters? There's no other way an MI6 and CIA agent would talk. They don't have the time to waste on purple prose or the energy for beating around the bush.

Being a spy isn’t for the faint at heart—especially for the brute American and the beautiful, cunning Brit.

I wasn't aware going in, that Cole and Isabella were an on again off again item, that was mostly limited to screwing each other's brains out on their ops together. Did that put me off in the beginning? Yes. Did it help their case that they had eyes only for each other and no one else? Yessss.

They might have pissed each other off most of the time, but their adoration and trust in each other was always rock solid. Their romantic relationship aside, they never doubted each other's skills. Never. I don't know about anyone else, but that kind of unbreakable confidence in each other is f*cking sexy to me.

Cole Carson....words leave me when I think of him. I'm sure if he knew that, his head would swell even bigger than what it is. He's co*cky, arrogant, pompous. But he backs that sh*t up. He's also intelligent, skillful, has dry humour that makes me want to jump his bones and so in love with his woman, it makes you forget all his flaws. I never thought I'd fall for someone who's so full of themselves, but here we are. I might love him even because of it.

He's the type of man who gave Bella what she needed *wink wink*, gave her time to grieve and feel everything she needed to feel. He'd cross all limits if it meant easing her pain. He'd give her the safe space she needed, but also would tell her to dust off her pants and get to solving sh*t, like the capable woman he knew with every fiber of his being she was.

I didn't know Cole was a single parent either, but since I love watching the child(ren) interact and get to know the other romantic lead, it was a nice surprise. When Abbott met Bella, it wasn't all heroine worship right off the bat. In fact, it took the genius child (something she inherited from her smart father) some time to warm up to Bella. Which was exactly how it would be for a child used to everyone leaving.

In the beginning, Bella would often make me go to the edge of annoyed with all her stubbornness and back and forth. But just when I thought I was about to reach my limit, Asher would smartly change tactics and shift focus to something else. This was great, since,
1. I didn't have to time to dwell on Bella's stubbornness, 2. There was enough action and conspiracy theories to keep my suspense-hungry mind engaged.
I also a 100% appreciated Bella's unflappable confidence in Cole.
In the end, Cole respected that and he respected me. Together, we were a force. The best.

Oftentimes, I'll skip ahead in a book to see if what I suspected is true and more often than not, I don't bother going back to the parts I skipped. Almost like I'm trying to sabotage the book for myself or something. Did the same thing with Scars. The only difference is that even after skipping over to a part where something major happens, instead of reading ahead, I wanted to go back so I didn't miss a single moment with these two and their crazy entourage. That's a pretty big deal for me.

I have so much more to say and so many damn highlights to quote, and I'll always envy that feeling of reading this book for the first time. But here's something that describes Cole and Bella's dynamic to a T.
“Because I challenge you. Because I respect you. Because you know I know how good you are at your job. I’ve even stood up for you over the last two months with assholes who have dismissed you because you’re young, beautiful, and they think you got where you are because of your name. And also because I’m hot and you turn into a knot of sexual frustration waiting to be untangled every time I brush a finger across your fair skin.”

"I am me and she’s the sh*t. Everything we’ve done together is f*cking spectacular. We’re the grand finale on the Fourth of July, lighting up every inch of the horizon."

"Your persistence has made me a happy woman.” “I can’t help it. I’m the sh*t.”

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.

    animals-involved book-boyfriend contemporary-rom


2,064 reviews153 followers

January 20, 2022

Struggled to Sink into the Read

A cute kid, a kickass female lead, romance, danger and action combined should have had me absorbed but nope just couldn't sink into the story.

Acquired via KU.

B.J. Bentley

Author22 books207 followers

October 31, 2020

*dreamy sigh*

I can always count on BA to deliver perfection.
The persistent hero and the reluctant heroine is my favorite trope, and with a deliciously alpha hero like Cole Carson and a badass, ass-kicking heroine like Bella Donnelly, that recipe is that much more satisfying. The headbutting, the banter, the sexytimes...these two are perfectly matched and thoroughly entertaining.

Throw in an intricately woven plot rife with political intrigue and plenty of action, supporting roles from our favorites from the Killers series, and a few cow references, and you've got one of my top reads of 2020.

My only gripe is that I should have been writing instead of reading and now Brynne owes me 500 words. ;) I can't even be mad!

Read All About It

1,649 reviews24 followers

November 10, 2020

Bella Donnelly ex M16 agent. Independent and strong.

I hang up and stare at the woman who’s been circling the revolving door of my life for years. She was twenty-three when she rocked my world.

Cole Carson CIA alpha single father. He’s not about to take no for a answer.

Cole Carson. My everything and my heaviest burden. The one who torments me and who I can’t shake despite my brain warring with the stupid organ that always comes out the victor.

High octane, super intense and smoking hot. This story has so many obstacles to get to the HEA but it’s worth every perfect second.
The whole Killer Team is back and in fine form. Another amazing addition to this 5 Star series.


Author29 books787 followers

November 10, 2020

I love second chance romances so when I found out that Brynne Asher was writing one, I was all over it and it did not disappoint. Cole and Bella sizzle as they reconnect and their witty banter with each other and with an excellent cast of secondary characters will keep you entertained. A slow burn suspense plot builds on the periphery before it explodes into a series of spy games and counterintelligence shenanigans that will keep the reader turning the pages.

But what I love the most is the possessive and obsessive alpha hero like Cole who goes after what he wants and he wants Bella. And I love it that Bella doesn't make it easy for him either and she's kickass and feisty and everything I love in a heroine. :)

Sophie Ruthven

1,980 reviews137 followers

November 2, 2020

“My darling, self-righteous, forsaken man. If a fight is what you want, the years have only sharpened my sword— it’s deadlier than ever. The bull is going down.”

We met the two main characters in Veils, and instantly knew there was unresolved history there. But diving into Scars makes you realize just how much. Like all of this authors books you are instantly ensared. The quote above shows how much of a fight is going to happen before there's even the chance of a HEA. With two different types of government agents, they are as bull headed as each other. Red certainly doesn't help things at first either...

This was a huge book (yay!!) and so much happens within, I'm trying not to spoil, but I will say it is nice to see the gang back together again.

Yet again this was another top read from this author and one I highly recommend.


351 reviews3 followers

October 31, 2020

If you are looking for your next book hangover, look no further. The highly anticipated, long awaited book 5 in Brynne Asher’s, The Killers, series is in the house! Scars took over my life until I read the last word. I’ve said this many times before, but I really mean it this time...this is my favorite “Killer” book (at least for now😉).

You meet Cole in Vines and see him a little throughout the series, but it isn’t until the last pages of Veils that you get a little glimpse into his life. Cole is Uber Alpha and he goes after what he wants, or rather who he wants. Bella is a badass...enough said.

Scars is fast-paced and full of action, which is what readers expect in a Brynne Asher novel and she does not disappoint. Sit down, relax, and get ready for this roller coaster ride of literary greatness!!!

Karyn Denza-thorne

21 reviews1 follower

November 4, 2020

Brynne outdid herself with this book! Bella and Cole are just magical. This story captures you from page one. The action , the adventure and a little angst to top it all off! I think this one might be my favorite of all. Bella is tough but with a good heart and Cole is all heart. Until the next one! Enjoy


3,300 reviews29 followers

October 30, 2020

Cole & Bella's story is a roller coaster of bad-assery goodness! They start off with a lot of push & pull. Cole knows where his heart is at - with Bella - but Bella is still firmly in the "We can't be together for xyz reasons" camp. They work it out, but that's not anywhere near the end of the story!

I love the banter. I love the way Cole is w/ his daughter, Abbott. He's protective of all those he loves - daughter, father (Red) & Bella. Watching Bella's relationship with Abbott & Red evolve through the story, as well as her getting to know the Killers group & their women, forming friendships... Added another highly enjoyable layer to the story.

I highly recommend this story! Banter, family, lots of emotion, lots of action & suspense... Really well written & well paced!!

: )

Scars (The Killers #5) (2024)
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