Review: The Hitman’s Guide to Staying Alive Despite Past Mistakes (The Hitman’s Guide (#2) by Alice Winters

Rating: 5🌈

The fantastic insanity that is the Hitman’s Guide continues with The Hitman’s Guide to Staying Alive Despite Past Mistakes (The Hitman’s Guide (#2) by Alice Winters .

Leland’s found his true love, and Jackson, a PI, has made him promise to leave his former life of being an assassin behind. But Leland hasn’t figured out what to replace it with, other than the daily adoration of Jackson. And Leland’s gun collection.

Jackson has fallen in love with his scary, funny, reckless, and sexy former hitman. Keeping him safe and unidentified is everything. He thinks he is successful until a body is found with a note from the killer, using Leland’s old , now abandoned name.

Game on to find the copycat killer and save their new relationship.

Winters brings new heights of hilarity as well as pathos to both the character of Leland and his abusive relationship under Lucas . We suddenly understand why he uses humor to mask his inability to voice what kindness and love does to him.

It hurts.

And we hurt for him, but only momentarily. Then comes blowup Randy, or some other moment of utter mayhem, and we’re gone. Lost to guffaws, cries of laughter as Leland and Jackson, in sync, maneuver their way through Leland’s thorny personal past ( now present) dynamics to emerge stronger and happier.

Every character in the series, not just the main ones of Leland and Jackson, but those of Henry, Mason, Jeremy, Ava (Jackson’s mother), are getting stronger as each book continues. They have more layers, more complexity so we value them just as greatly as we do the main couple.

Honestly, there’s no secondary cast here. Including the animals.

The dialogue is sparkling, memorable, and hilarious. Each character is so well defined that , no matter how wildly unlikely or insanely nuts the situations Leland and Jackson (mostly Leland) creates, the reader goes, ok, I get it. It’s Leland.

Just like a character would in the story.

I’m so in love here.

Winters has done an outstanding job with this book and series. The characters resonate with their dissimilar backgrounds, but totally in love grand chemistry. All the people in the story, no matter how outrageous feel believable. Plus with the storylines there’s always the possibility that you could veer off to cry as well as die laughing. Take your pick.

Now guess who’s going to try to get married. This I gotta read.

The Hitman’s Guide is a must read series, one to be read in the order they are written for story and relationships development.

I’m highly recommending this and the series.

The Hitman’s Guide series:

✓ The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love #1

✓ The Hitman’s Guide to Staying Alive Despite Past Mistakes #2

◦ The Hitman’s Guide to Tying the Knot Without Getting Shot #3

Side Story:

😎The Former Assassin’s Guide to Snagging a Reluctant Boyfriend › showThe Hitman’s Guide to Staying Alive Despite Past Mistakes – Goodreads



Now that Leland’s decided to give up his life as a hitman and take a walk on the mild side, we’ve been enjoying a simple life of taking down bad guys the legal way. I didn’t know he would be just as reckless as a PI, but it’s not my fault if I happen to enjoy helping him hunt down the occasional criminal. If only I could keep the house from being overrun by Leland’s gun shrine—or stop him from making our cases “more exciting” by terrorizing people into confessing. Overall, life seems perfect, right? Wrong. We’ve been called in to investigate a suspicious murder committed by someone claiming to be the Sandman. When we find a note on the victim’s body, we realize that this could ruin our lives forever.


I wasn’t involved in the murder. It might look like my writing and my note, but I wouldn’t do that to Jackson—especially after I promised him that I wouldn’t take a hit ever again. At least, not without telling him. I’m finally starting to learn that we’re stronger together, and I’m not going to jeopardize that.Luckily for both of us, this copycat doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. Game’s on, fake Sandman. You think you can mess with me? Well, maybe you can, but that’s beside the point, because I will protect Jackson no matter what, even if I almost drown him in the process. (Really, that wasn’t my fault. He should learn how to swim better.)

This 110k word book contains: Disco ball piñata, camping with Sasquatch, an acrobatic housekeeper named “Mr. Cleanyface,” a questionable massage table, weapons everywhere, Jackson’s nemesis—the fence, a turkey showdown, aerial silk antics, a reappearance of Blow-up Randy, over-the-top body armor, too many hitmen, and so many emotions that Leland’s chest might explode.

This is the second book in a series—while you could read and enjoy it on its own, you really should read The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love for maximum enjoyment.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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