**spoiler alert** Okay, I'm not even going to front and give this book less than five stars. Is it perfect? No. Is anything in life perfect? No. Does**spoiler alert** Okay, I'm not even going to front and give this book less than five stars. Is it perfect? No. Is anything in life perfect? No. Does that make life less enjoyable? No. So why shouldn't a less than perfect book get five stars if I thoroughly enjoyed it? So there. I loved this book, so that warrants a five star rating, even if I could state the obvious about Christine Feehan's writing style. Wordy and dense? Yes. Using words repetitively? Yes. Hot hero guaranteed to give the reader a fever? Yes. Incendiary chemistry and love between Conner and Isabeau? Oh, yes. Well, I get what I come for out of Christine Feehan's books, so I'm more than willing to put up with her writing quirks.
To be honest, I was a little worried when I saw the blurb for this book. I don't love reunited lovers stories. I do like stories where the hero and heroine met as part of a mission, and the hero had to seduce the heroine, and they have to deal with that to be able to sort out their relationship. So, I guess that balanced things out for me.
Conner is a great, great hero in this book. He's dark and dangerous, conflicted and tortured. He knows Isabeau is the woman for him, his only woman. There's no doubt in his mind. And that is not a factor in this book. The factor is that he believes she hates him because he betrayed her by seducing her to get to her father, and being part of the group that killed her father: hence his anguish. Also, there's the fact that his father was a complete jerk, abandoning his mate because she wasn't actually his true mate, and he couldn't stand the fact that he had bred Connor on a woman that wasn't his true mate. It makes no sense, does it? Well, Conner thinks he's completely bad and unworthy of his mate, although his cat tells him that she's his and doesn't want to let her go. I love the guys who are all twisted up inside, and that's Conner to a 'T'. I also loved what a good mate Conner was. Some really messed up stuff happens in this book between Isabeau and Conner, and he never blames it on her. It's all tied into the fact that Isabeau is coming into the Han Vol Dan, which is the first heat of the female leopard shifter, when they become able to shift. Something happens with one of the villains that causes this guy to stalk Isabeau, to potentially claim her as his mate. This guy is the lowest of the low, completely crazy, and he savages Isabeau. That was a horrible scene. Believe me. But the way Conner responded was so beautiful. I really liked him before that, and I totally fell in love with him at that point. A girl couldn't ask for a better mate.
Isabeau seems young and emotionally frazzled in this story. But then, she's dealing with a lot. Her father turned out to be a bad man, and Conner and his team were the good guys. But, he died violently, and she was there to see it. In her mind, this was all she could focus on, that and the fact that Conner had seduced her under an assumed name, and she fell for him. Her latent cat comes out and she scratches his face, marking him forever as her mate. But they end up parting, until Isabeau recruits Conner for a mission she thinks he's more than suited for, seducing a terrible female drug czar to infiltrate her compound, as he seduced her. Of course, Conner is not happy that his mate is expecting him to do this. But the alternative she gives him is that she seduce a guard to get in. And no way is he going to let any man near his mate. There's also the fact that children have been kidnapped and held for ransom by this evil woman. So Conner has no choice but to take the mission. And Isabeau is part of the group. This gives them the opportunity to spend time together, and to realize that although Conner lied about who he was, he didn't lie about his feelings for Isabeau. Isabeau has some insecurities about feeling she is what a dangerous, experienced man like Conner would want. But, there's no question about him wanting her.
I thought the Han Vol Dan plot, and how Isabeau was dealing with that, was fascinating. I couldn't imagine having this cat inside of me, who was a straight up hussy, flirting with all kinds of men, and wanting to 'get some' anyway she could, not to mention grumpy as all get out at times. It was an interesting dynamic, and it really helped to contribute to the complexity of this storyline. Isabeau showed a lot of growth over this book. She's not an alpha heroine, and that's okay. I liked her, because she did have a lot of inner strength, integrity, and depth of character. Her love truly helped Conner deal with his grief over his mother, who was killed by the rogue leopard shifter who wants Isabeau, and is working with Imelda Cortez. She doesn't belabor on her resentment about her father, and quickly comes to terms with the fact that her father was not a good man, even if he was a good father to her.
The love scenes were very steamy and well done. I did have a couple of WTH moments. I don't want to be graphic, but what's up with the 'piercing the cervix' part? Ouch!!! Is that supposed to be a cat thing? I could have done without that, thanks. Also, the whole, 'I'm dominant and I want you to do exactly what I tell you in bed' thing doesn't always float my boat. I didn't mind that so much, because Isabeau was fine with it, and Conner really cared about pleasing her, too. I guess it's just a personal taste thing when it comes to the D/s aspects. It wasn't over the top or anything.
I loved all the cat-shifting parts. I thought they were fantastic. I could vividly see the characters in their cat forms. I also loved the mating dance parts when Isabeau goes into her Han Vol Dan. The way Conner's leopard chases hers, and how they play together, and do other things. So well done.
This story is pretty violent. There are some dark and gritty aspects that might not work for a sensitive reader. Imelda Cortez is a really bad woman, and so are her colleagues. They are doing some awful stuff. This is not showed in detail, but you get an idea about how bad they are. And the showdown between Conner and Ottila, the leopard shifter who wants Isabeau? It had me on the edge of my seat. It was very violent and intense, but it absolutely worked for me.
There were also really good male-bonding moments in this book, which I think Ms. Feehan is so good at writing. Sexy Elijah (Rachael's brother who we met in Wild Rain) has a big role in this book, and we meet a new character, young shifter Jeremiah, who's out to prove himself. I think he will make quite the leading man in a later book in this series. Also, Rio from Wild Rain, plays a good-sized part in this book.
So, I've seen the lower ratings this book has gotten. I don't know if I just have lower standards, but I truly enjoyed this book. Although Burning Wild stands out about this book because of the iconic nature of Jake as a hero, I loved this book just as much, because of the relationship aspects between Conner and Isabeau, because of the fascinating and likeable characters, the darker storyline, and the phenomenal action scenes in this book. I have to admit, I like the whole drug cartel storyline--not sure why, but I did. This is really good shifter romance, in my opinion. I'm excited to read the following books in the series. Personally, I recommend this book. It might not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it tremendously. Read this book if you are into cats! ...more
This was my first book by Catherine Mann, and I will definitely put her on my list of go-to authors for military romantic suspense. What I really likeThis was my first book by Catherine Mann, and I will definitely put her on my list of go-to authors for military romantic suspense. What I really liked was that the military part of the equation in this book was the heroine, Darcy Renshaw, who is a pilot in the Air Force. She was a very likeable heroine--well-balanced with a soft, feminine side and a tough exterior. She was great getting along with the guys, but not too prickly where she was annoying. I liked her confidence, but I also appreciated her awkwardness as she tries to let Max know she's interested in him. I also liked the hero in this book, Max. He's a deep-cover CIA agent who happens to have a PhD in Marine Biology. I have an unrepentant fondness for intelligent guys, so he gets bonus points for being a scientist who's also a CIA agent.
I could understand and respect both character's baggage. Darcy was kidnapped at a young age and mentally tortured by her captors. Sense then, she's been afraid to let anyone get too close, and highly values her independence. Max is mourning his lost lover who got murdered in the line of duty as a CIA agent, taking his unborn child with her. Max blamed himself for not getting out of the life. Since then, he's kept women at a distance. But the attraction between them breaks down their barriers.
Ms. Mann has a very good, dramatic and descriptive writing style. She brought the tropical locale of Guam to vivid life for me. I could have been there on the island as I read this book. I found myself impressed with how she kept the narrative active and my interest engaged. I do have to say I felt the suspense conclusion was a little abrupt. I felt somewhat underwhelmed with the reveal on the villain. I was thinking, "That's all?". Also, I could have done without the brutal, wanton spider-killing part. I could understand Darcy's issues with spiders, but I felt bad for the critter. I certainly got why she took out the snake. I just wished the villain had more respect for animals instead of using them to terrorize Darcy and leading to their untimely demise. But otherwise, I thought this was a very good book. It's great to see a heroine who is in the armed forces, and is blazing her own trail in her military career, and a hero who is not at all threatened by her independence and proficiency in her field....more
Well, if you're going to have insomnia, this is one heck of a book to have handy. It took me a long time to finish this book because I had so many iroWell, if you're going to have insomnia, this is one heck of a book to have handy. It took me a long time to finish this book because I had so many irons in the fire towards the end of last year. I am so glad that I did pick it up now, because it turned out to be a very rewarding read.
Just a few of Danielle's Late Night Review Observations:
1) James Rollins writes detail-oriented, science heavy action/adventure. It took me a bit to get used to his writing style, but I have to say it really worked for me. Since I am a self-admitted science nerd, I found the scientific aspects quite interesting, and it usually didn't go too far over my head. I loved Coral Novak's character. A tough as nails special forces operative, who is also a serious brainiac. Which leads me to my next point. 2) I think Mr. Rollins really loves and respects women. Painter Crowe and Omaha Dunn are strong, pivotal characters in this novel, but the women really carry the show. This novel is underscored and wrapped in the depths and characterization of women, from the shy, introverted, scholarly, tortured Safia, to her more outgoing adoptive sister, Lady Kara, who is equally tortured, to the seriously twisted villain character (a major spoiler) if you haven't read the book, and then there are the mysterious women of the Ubar descent who trace their origins back to the Queen of Sheba. Although I thought that Lady Kara could have been more fleshed out, I think overall Rollins did a great job of rounding out this book with incredible women. 3)Painter Crowe and Omaha Dunn surprise you, because they are a lot more emotional than I would expect tough guy action heroes to be. Painter actually gets choked up a few times. It was sexy. And I loved the image of him running around in his boxers. (I'm a bit boy crazy, I freely admit) I like a man who can be free with his emotions. Omaha is in the Indiana Jones vein, but with a soft-hearted depth that Jones doesn't quite show with women; he's never fallen out of love with Safia, even with the bad mistakes he made. That's another plus with this novel that Rollins is unafraid to stray from gender conventions, and dare I say, stereotypes. 4)Going back to point 1, (forgive me, it's almost four am, and my brain is muzzy), I like that Rollins does his research to write a story that is about the possible and the plausible. I loved the fact that he built this imaginative science/fantastical adventure on a foundation of real life facts. 5)The action in this book is hot and heavy. When I said it was detailed in the science facts, don't let that scare you away. Mr. Rollins doesn't let his readers down when it comes to things blowing up, characters in serious jeopardy, and yes, violent, gruesome deaths. Nothing gratuitous mind you. If you like all the hardware and high tech action meeting the ancient treasure hunting motif, you'll be a happy camper with this novel.
Wrapping my wobbly thoughts together, I thought this would just be a four star novel because of the fact it took a while to get into the book. However, I have talked myself into a higher rating during this review, actually as I read the incredible imagery in this book at its climax. I was mentally reading with my mouth wide open. A guy who can write with this kind of depth and imagination is a man I want to read more of. I have to give this book 4.5 stars at the minimum.
Looking back at this book, I can't believe how much I came to love Team 3. They are firmly entrenched***Reread from July 17-July 19, 2012
Looking back at this book, I can't believe how much I came to love Team 3. They are firmly entrenched in my heart. Initially I felt sort of thrown and betrayed that Ms. Feehan had left my beloved Teams 1 and 2 and went to a bunch of folks I didn't know. I am eating my words. These guys (and two girls) rock! A different feel and relationship with this group. All the teams are a family, but these folks grew up together, and that bond is many years in the making. I could feel that family tie between them and it makes this book shine.
Jaimie and Mack--
This couple is very complementary. Mack is hard and decisive. Authoritative. Jaimie is warm and welcoming. Her strength is in her mind and in her heart. She is thought and intellect. Her mind is kind of scary and beautiful at the same time. Mack is acting and moving. Jaimie is pondering and mental exploration and examination. That is not to say that Mack is not intelligent and Jaimie isn't decisive. But in those areas where one abounds, the other benefits. I liked that about this book.
I liked Mack more this time around. I could see that he loves deeply and strongly, but that's not about declarations, but about doing. He did learn a lesson when he lost Jaimie the first time, and it has impressed on him that he needs to give her what she needs, the affirmation. We can take people for granted, assuming they know how important they are. But Jaimie didn't know how important she was to Mack. She thought that she was an add-on to his life, easily replaceable or forgettable. She didn't know that his life more or less fell apart without her. When he comes back, she can't understand his anger. But the thing about a man like Mack is that if he can't change or fix something, it makes him mad. When Jaimie left him, he couldn't fix that. So now he is angry at her for taking something so precious away from him and not understanding how important she was. She thinks she's the one who has more of a grudge to bear against him.
Their job now was to find that way of giving each other what they truly needed. I liked seeing them come to this point of understanding that one was not too hard or the other too soft, but perfect for each other. Together they were complete and full, making something even stronger as a unit. It was also funny seeing how the family worked through and around their issues with each other, because their relationship affected the whole group and the guys loved them both. I liked how integrated the romance aspect was into the overall group dynamics.
Overall Thoughts: I didn't think this was a favored romance in this series, because Mack is so pushy in some ways. In the end, and even moreso on the reread, I loved it so much. It's different from all the other books (as each one is). While Mack isn't my favorite GhostWalker, I have come to love him for who is. There are some people who challenge you in a way that no one else does. And that's good. Because their presence in your life makes you well-rounded in ways you lacked before. I am taking Mack this way. He is teaching me to deal with the kind of guys that get on my nerves, and teaching me understanding. I do need that.
A different installment, but great in its own way. Love Team 3, love all the characters, and I loved the escalation and expansion of the conspiracies.
Another thumbs up. Yes I am hopelessly in love with this series!
To express my powerful feelings for the GhostWalker series, I would like to borrow the words from Oliver by its namesake: "May I have some more please?"
Street Game takes the GhostWalker series to a different level, but captures everything that I loved about the preceeding books. I love how this series is so intricate, with different storylines that intersect. There are familiar things here that continue to light my fire for this series, but this story is also unique as Mack McKinley and Jaimie Fielding get closure on their past relationship.
Street Game focuses on the Urban Warfare team led by Mack McKinley. He loves his job and what he does. He even loves the enhancements that Whitney's program has given him. This is slightly different from the heroes in the prior books, because they generally felt betrayed that their bodies had been manipulated in such a fashion. Mack takes it all in stride, enthusiastic that his enhancements enable him to do what he does best, fighting the bad guys and protecting his country.
Mack is very much an alpha hero. In fact, he almost comes off as nearly unlikeable at times. He is the macho type, not one to express his feelings unless it involves putting his fist into something, giving orders to his men (and girlfriend), and expecting them to be followed, or having a bout of energetic sex with his girlfriend. He is blown away when Jaimie leaves him. He tells himself that she'll come back, because she needs him much more than he needs her. However, he finds that to be far from the case. Jaimie was his everything, and every day without her is like a gaping hole in his life. When a mission leads him to Jaimie's doorstep, he's determined to get her back, still baffled that she left him.
I said that Mack nearly was hard to like at times. Well, this would be be the case without Ms. Feehan's masterful handling of him. Hugely surprising to this GhostWalker fan, but Mack is probably the most alpha hero yet in this series. He is aggressive and intensely male, take charge, and used to giving orders. At first, it's hard to see his vulnerabilities, because he's quite adept at keeping that part of himself concealed. He's not a man who likes feeling helpless or wounded, and doesn't know how to express himself emotionally. Being in control is crucial for him. Before, this was something that Jaimie was used to. Mack was the one who kept their self-formed family together. They met when Jaimie was an eight year old genius who was already in high school, and Mack took care of her from the very beginning, protecting her from bullies and watching over her, along with the rest of the guys and girl they grew up with in their Chicago neighborhood. Over time, their relationship became a romantic one. For as long as he could remember, Jaimie was his, to protect, to watch over, and to come home to, loving the fire that they had together. Mack always admired Jaimie's intelligence, and was proud of her, but he didn't like her expressing doubts about the GhostWalker program, especially on a botched mission, and his way of dealing with it turned out to be the last straw for Jaimie.
Jaimie never stopped loving Mack, although she knew they couldn't be together, because they were too different, and she didn't like the violence of what their GhostWalker abilities allowed them to do. She didn't trust their superiors when they went into a mission that could have led to the death of some of their team members. When she tried to express her doubts about it, Mack doesn't listen. Instead he dismisses her concerns. She's devastated that he doesn't trust her or take what she's saying seriously, and knows that she has to leave him. Two years later, Jaimie has made a new life for herself, but plans to set up her business so she can take care of her brothers. She knows she can't be with Mack any more that way, but she still cares about him. When Mack and his team end up on her doorstep, she isn't surprised, knowing that she's being set up to be taken out because of the information she had recovered about the conspiracy behind the GhostWalker experimentation.
This book delves further into the conspiracies behind the GhostWalker program, going above and beyond Whitney to the power players that have ties with the White House. Jaimie is a thinking woman's heroine. Her phenomenal brain and analytical skills are used to follow the trails of information to find out who is setting up the GhostWalker teams and why. This installment of the series flows seamlessly into the other books, although the only returning characters are peripheral ones, or characters we only got an intriguing glimpse of in past books. Instead, we meet a whole new group of men, who managed to claim their place in my heart. What I love about this series is that each book makes me want more.
Christine Feehan really knows how to write characters that you become attached to, and yearn to read about. You see their flaws and their pain, and you want them to be happy. This book challenged me, because men like Mack tend to rub me the wrong way. I'm not a big fan of chest-thumping type men. But I was allowed to peel back the layers to see that Mack is a simple, yet complex man who takes his responsibilities very seriously. He has to be brash and confident, because he takes the lives of his team as a powerful responsibility. His way of taking care of others is leading and protecting them. For him, his feelings for Jaimie couldn't be described with mere words. Yet, Mack had to learn that Jaimie needed more from him that he was giving her. He thought that she saw his devotion and adoration, but she felt as though her only place in his life was as his hero-worshipping, cheerleading, brainy, and nurturing girlfriend.
This book has some moments that really strike me with their emotional intensity. These moments show the profound nature of the feelings between the characters. My favorite is when Mack is finally able to express into words just how much he loves Jaimie. I love how that scene is written, and how unexpected it was. She's blown away by it, and so am I. You know that Mack will never be the type to say the three words all the time, and freely, but it's more than clear how much he does love Jaimie. The steamy sex in this novel is pretty awesome, but the emotions behind it are what really enthrall this reader. You feel the fire between Mack and Jaimie, and the powerful bond between them that goes beyond the bedroom to the deepest parts of their heart and minds.
As usual, I love all the interactions between the GhostWalker team. I already love the new characters introduced in this installment, and look forward to seeing more of them. Each character brings something different to the table. I am impressed with the incredible storyline that Ms. Feehan has created with this series. I love reading about the abilities of the different characters, and how they seem imminently plausible, but fantastic at the same time. The action scenes are well-done, and I feel that this book would appeal to a fan of techno-thrillers as much as paranormal and romantic suspense fans. But what I love about these books is how you get the octane moments, the well-thought out and often mind-boggling plot involving the GhostWalkers, the steamy love scenes, the funny and heartwarming moments, and the three-dimensional characters that you cannot help but love, all fashioned together into a beautiful package. This book ends with the evidence that there are more adventures ahead, as the groundwork is laid to follow up on some important storylines introduced in the preceeding books, and touched on in this installment. And all I can say is, I Can't Wait!!...more
I read this book out of curiosity, with no preconceived notions. Merely because I was curious what kids would do in a world with no adults. I admit II read this book out of curiosity, with no preconceived notions. Merely because I was curious what kids would do in a world with no adults. I admit I was blown away.
Mr. Grant told me a story that I couldn't put down. From the beginning, my mind was full of questions about how this happened, how the kids would survive, what could prevent the same thing from happening again....So many questions.
Sam is the kind of boy you want to have around when the world goes crazy. He's definitely the reluctant hero type, but usually they come through for you like no other. Because they do what needs to be done, simply because it needs to happen. Not for glory, not for recognition. Sam doesn't want to be 'the guy', but he knows that no one else is going to do it. And when Caine and his posse come down from Coates Academy, taking over and making things mostly worse, someone has to step up to the plate to stop him.
This book is intense, violent, and sometimes sad. Some of these kids die. A lot of them get hurt pretty bad. I'm not a mother yet, but I love kids, and I hate to see them suffering. It was a bit painful to watch. Even harder was seeing the cruelty and potential for evil that some of these children showed. Drake, who is basically Caine's bully boy, is a psychopath. He loves hurting people, and he feels no remorse about doing it. In my mind, I was weighing the options, even thinking that they needed to kill him, because he was like a rabid animal, bent on destruction. I felt horrible doing that, but he's a loose cannon, and he's only going to get worse. I don't think saving this boy is an option.
One of the take home messages of this book is the consequences of a social structure that is pretty familiar to most of us. The dynamic that we see in a group of kids where there are bullies who find the 'weakest' people and torment then, doing everything they can to make life miserable for those kids. And this causes a lot of fallout, because people forget ethics and what's morally right so that they can have peace from the bullies. In essence, they become part of the problem, contributing to a micro-society in which children get hurt because everyone is afraid to speak up and stand up against the bullies and the ones who are 'running things' for their own twisted, self-absorbed reasons. It made me shudder to see what these children did to each other, because they thought it was the easiest option to keep control of things. I'll be honest. I was bullied and picked on big time. It made me hate seeing the so-called 'weak' or 'different' people get targeted and treated that way. I'm no fighter, but I made a promise that I'd stand up for someone who couldn't do that for his or herself. I was glad that the kids like Sam and Edilio (what a sweetheart) were more than willing to do that.
I had some issues with the decisions that were made by the kids. They had no real sanitation rules. They didn't use their resources effectively. They had very poor nutrition, unnecessarily, because there was a supermarket full of healthy things like fruits and vegetables, proteins, grains. They ate mostly junk like candy, ice cream, soda pop, you name it. I guess I was looking at things through 'grown-up' eyes, which did cause me some discomfort. I was glad that they did organize care for the babies and kids too young to watch out for themselves, because Mary and her brother took on that job. I was also glad that Dahra worked as the medical provider. Albert took over the McDonalds and provided food for the community. Even so, I see some problems ahead, unless the kids set up a civic structural system in which every person is accountable (over-thinking this, I know!).
I loved the relationship between Astrid and Sam. They had an innocent love but also a strong friendship and support system in which they watched out for each other and did what they could to help everyone through this situation. Astrid was the brain, very smart, but also very kind. She had to take care of her younger brother, who was autistic, and extremely gifted with powers. I'll get to the powers part later. Give me a minute. Not an easy task for a young girl, but she did it. I was rooting for things to work out for these two!
Another character who turned out to be a favorite was Lana. Lana is in a very bad position when the 'event' happens--the one in which all the people over fourteen disappear. She ends up getting horribly injured and is about to die, when her power to heal manifests. Oh, I was on the edge of my seat, seeing her stranded, wounded very badly, with only her dog to protect her from the wild animals in the desert. I was so glad that she was able to get out of that situation. Of course, she ends up in a worse situation that ties in with the kids in town, and in a big way, as this book culminates. It might seem like a deus ex-machina to have a character who can heal even the most grievous wounds, but I was glad that she did have the power. These kids have a lot stacked up against them already. They need all the advantages they can get.
Now, lets talk about the power. Some of the kids, Sam included, have supernatural abilities that start manifesting. I thought this part was very cool. How Caine approaches this, with his evil little posse' made my hair stand on end. I can't even conceive of children being as cruel as that lot were. The powers end up playing a pivotal role in this story, and I am sure that this will continue to be a very strong element in the forthcoming books. I liked the "X-Men" sort of element it brought to the story, and how kids that were often bullied and felt useless, got to play important roles in the fight against Caine and his Posse' of Evil.
I wanted to give the author a nod of thanks for making the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone) a multicultural environment, with children of all races. Everyone is important, and it was nice to see that there was a rainbow represented here. That speaks highly to me!
If you're an adult and you don't think you could enjoy young adult books, this is one I'd recommend. If you're like me, you will be riveted to this exciting story. It has a lot to offer as far as entertainment, but also stimulates the brain, as you are confronted with this bad situation that this young kids have to face. I cannot stop reading these books. I'm way too invested now!...more
**spoiler alert** My sister has talked about how much she loves this book for years. I can see why she likes it. It was thoroughly entertaining!
My Th**spoiler alert** My sister has talked about how much she loves this book for years. I can see why she likes it. It was thoroughly entertaining!
My Thoughts: *Ms. McKenna is a very good writer. She uses words very elegantly and beautifully. This book surprised me with its imagery. I liked the motifs of Seth as the cold, dark knight who wanted badly to win the sweet, beautiful princess locked in her tower. He wanted to save her from the darkness around her, and even herself. I think that this fairy tale theme illuminated what could have been a very dark story. *Seth is a one of a kind hero. There were times I thought he was a real jackass, pardon my French. He is rude, rough, domineering, and unforgiving. Other times, there was a scared, lonely little boy inside of him so in need of love. That's what made me like him. I love stalkerific heroes, no question about it. But, it was pretty edgy how he was recording Raine, bugging her house and her person. Also, he was pretty rough in bed sometimes for my tastes. I liked that Raine seemed to know how to deal with him in a way that made the dark, cold brute go away, and the sweet boy come to life. I liked how she would touch and pet him, her gentleness knowing how to calm him like a animal that had turned vicious out of abuse. I liked how much he needed Raine. He didn't know how to love, or how to express it, but he somehow managed to do that anyway, with her help. His declaration of love was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. I can't say that Seth is one of my favorite heroes, but I did come to like him and understand him. I understand how a hard life like his could turn someone cold and isolated. I think that Ms. McKenna did a great job of showing how Raine's love broke that permafrost and freed the man inside. I loved that Seth is a tech-geek. He really knows his stuff. I didn't mind his social awkwardness, for the most part, although I disliked some of the rude things he said to Raine (and his lack of trust in her at times). Although Seth is definitely an uber-alpha (very domineering and kind of mean about it), he turned out okay in the end. I saw him grow and I saw his pain and yearning for love and peace, which is what I needed to like him. *Boy does this author know how to write steamy love scenes. I could do without the frequent use of the 'c' word for the female anatomy (I hate that word), but otherwise, she managed to write the encounters between Raine and Seth as volcanic-hot, but also deeply romantic (even though I thought some of the encounters were a bit on the rough side, it helped that Seth would back down when Raine showed him that he was coming on too strong). At the same time, it was clear that he wanted to please her and for her to be wild and free in her sexuality (which was something she wanted too). I think the love scenes furthered the story beautifully, showing the dynamic between Raine and Seth, and how it changed as their love connection blossomed. Also, there was real communication there, a lowering of barriers, something that was not easy for either character. *Raine was an adorable heroine. I didn't expect to find one in a romantica read. I have this impression that the heroines would be more jaded and hardened, which is not something I prefer in a heroine, unless it is well done and fits the story. Raine was a very sweet, gentle, loving person. At times, I thought maybe too good for Seth. But, I realize that she is the perfect woman for Seth. She really saw his heart and wasn't afraid to be vulnerable when needed, but also showed backbone and stood up to him and showed she was no pushover. I liked her journey to find her strength and to conquer her tormented past. Seth was willing to kill her dragons, but she did most of that on her own. And she tamed the biggest dragon of all--Seth. I really liked her. *The suspense elements were pretty dark, which is okay with me, although there was some sexual stuff that was a bit out of my comfort zone, and thankfully not a huge part of the story. And I was glad that wasn't in Raine and Seth's relationship. Victor Lazar was an interesting villain. He had depths that made him very intriguing, and he showed that even a bad man can love. His dynamic with Raine was quite fascinating. I ended up feeling sad for the guy. However, Novak is a piece of slime, and I think he got off lightly, considering.
I really enjoyed this book. It was my backup/gym book, but I ended up devouring it, because I couldn't put it down. I am glad my sister and some of my other friends talked this one up. Because I was quite impressed with this book, I'd give it 4.5/5.0 stars. I will read more of Shannon McKenna, although I appreciate my sister's warning that her other heroes are more dominating and overbearing than Seth. I know I will have to be in the mood for that. Even so, Connor's book is calling my name.......more
I found the hero Cal a little too harsh for my tastes. He represented what I don't like about pro sports players and that whole macho vibe that they cI found the hero Cal a little too harsh for my tastes. He represented what I don't like about pro sports players and that whole macho vibe that they can give off. It was wrong what Jane did to him,however he was in the habit of using women, so in some ways it was his karma coming back on him, in my opinion. My issue is that didn't treat her very well after the fact. I can understand him being angry but I feel he should have treated the woman who was pregnant with his child better than he did. That bothered me. ...more
This was a relatively quick read for a non-romance (since they are my favorite I usually zip through them). I guess I finished it in about 10 days butThis was a relatively quick read for a non-romance (since they are my favorite I usually zip through them). I guess I finished it in about 10 days but I also read a few books at the same time. I guess romantic books get read quicker because of the pull of the romantic relationship. Having said that, maybe that is why I finished this quickly. Tinker is a great heroine, smart, likeable, human, and interesting. The world is an interesting one: Pittsburgh with a twist. In this book, Pittsburgh goes from Earth to Elfhome every 28 days because of a gate between the worlds. Hence, it's not quite considered Earth. This book is immersed in a world of magic meets science. The elves live in a world of magic, but on Earth magic is linked to and explained by science. Tinker, a mechanical genius, is able to exploit the link between magic and science. The book opens with a bang: Tinker saves a beautiful, aristocratic elf from large, carnivorous creatures trying to kill him when they barge into her salvage yard. It turns out they have a link because the elf Windwolf saved her life as an eight year old, and cast a spell that linked his lifeforce to hers. He is badly injured and needs her mechanical/magical expertise to keep him alive until they can get him back to Elfhome. He is very impressed with her and falls for her as a result. Tinker spends some time wondering how an elf like Windwolf, rich, high-born, and perfect to her, could be interested in her. It turns out that she has been crushing on him since she was eight years old. I won't spoil you, but let us say that Windwolf is not about to let Tinker walk out of his life. Their romance unfolds in a very fascinating, enjoyable manner, with some good action and magic as well. There is also another potential love interest that I spend a few moments wondering if Tinker wasn't more likely to end up with him. If you like magic and elves, but also credible science with fiction thrown in, this book will do it for you. I must admit some of the quantum physics went over my head, because I'm more of a biological scientist. But I don't consider that an impediment to enjoying the book. Also if you like kickbutt heroines, you will also love this book. As a matter of fact, I am adding Tinker to my list of favorite, unusual, and in her own way, kickbutt heroines. She definitely earned it as, she saves the day more than a few times. Few heroines make this list, so this is quite a compliment. Some may find Tinker's internal back and forth about her relationship with Windwolf annoying, but since she is an 18 year old with no romantic experience, I found it realistic. I know I certainly wouldn't have recognized my true love at 18 years of age. Windwolf is dreamy and intriguing, and although he is not in the book as much as I would like, you know that he's waiting in the background and is a significant part of the storyline, and that definitely is satisfying. I like the premise of the book and the memorable characters, although some seem to drop off the page. I wonder if they reemerge in the sequel. One thing for sure, I am rooting for Tinker and Windwolf to have a long, loving life together. I heartily recommend this book to urban fantasy, romance, and magical book fans, with a good bit of science thrown in. ...more