His Bane (The District Book 2) by Courtney W. Dixon

If dark stories are for you this is a must read. Sully and Malik have unusual backgrounds and relationship. These two push past the limits.

Was Sully always a monster or was the death of his family and his foster parent's abuse the reason for his lack of emotions? Malik decides to train Sully, partly out of guilt and partly because he sees all kinds of potential in the young killer. Years together and the two men still struggle with the past and what it might mean for their future.

From the His Bane blurb:

He is mine. I don't care how long it takes. I will have Malik Amin.

Sullivan Beauchamp

Some people call me a monster. A psychopath. As if I care what others think. So what if I relish in the mayhem of slaughter or enjoy feeling the life blink out of someone? I am who I am. It was Malik who eventually brought me to his home and trained me to hone my skills to work under him as an assassin. Malik Amin is my equal, and he will be mine in all ways as soon as I can chip away at his ridiculous and completely unnecessary self-loathing.

Malik Amin

Sully lost everything as a teenager on my order. When I found him covered in blood four years later, I should have put him down, knowing what he was. Instead, I took him in to train him. It works for us until he wants me more than as a mentor. I cannot allow it. But if Sully is anything, he is a master at persuasiveness and discovering my weaknesses.

Each book in this series will be read as a standalone, however, reading in order will add more pleasure to the reading experience.

CW: graphic violence, murder, mentions rape, psychopathy explicit content.

SNik's review:

Second in series (The District), can be read as a standalone but might be more fun if read in order. Age gap. Close proximity. Found family. Slow burn. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Malik did not intend to take in and mentor the young man who lost his family and then was abused in foster care, but all he can see is an intelligent merciless killer that could be trained and maybe it will help assuage Malik’s guilt. Sully has never felt emotions like other people, but he knows that Malik is his, and he patiently waits years for his mentor to let him in; being an assassin is easy compared to getting Malik to agree to more than being Sully’s mentor. 

There is an interesting ebb and flow to this story, horror and trauma, interspersed with strong bonds of loyalty, understanding, and acceptance. There is a lot of depth to both Malik and Sully, we get a ton of information about their background and pasts so there are a lot of things to overcome. I enjoyed the push/pull of their relationship, and how it deepened over time, as Malik and Sully were committed to each other for years and found their own way to love each other. A riveting read.

Reed Kaye's review:

I have not read the first in the series yet but I will be reading it. Before anyone reads this story attention should be paid to the warnings. This is a very good dark story.

This story is completely original. Sully is a kid who just doesn’t quite fit in. His parents cause a lot of it and if that isn’t enough he is caught in a tragedy that is not his fault. Life doesn’t improve for him until he gets in a situation over his head and is rescued by Malik.

Malik has enough issues of his own. He is an assassin. When things don’t go as planned on a job he is overseeing he takes things in his own hands and makes a decision that will forever change his life.
The relationship between these two takes on many hats as the years go on. They are not the normal run of the mill 9 to 5 guys. Their likes and dislikes are a bit out of the norm.

I really enjoyed this story. It even got me to stop in a few places which is unusual since I have few triggers. Even though both of these guys are out of the norm the author did a fantastic job of giving them backgrounds that made their life understandable. This is a series I will follow.

His Bane is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription