Extreme Danger by Shannon McKenna is a trainwreck of a book. It is dripping with crazysauce.
I like Shannon McKenna’s books. I’m always a little embarExtreme Danger by Shannon McKenna is a trainwreck of a book. It is dripping with crazysauce.
I like Shannon McKenna’s books. I’m always a little embarrassed that I like them because they are so over the top, but I’m completely unable to defend having this book in my library.
Becca Cattrell is a typical McKenna heroine. She’s thirty and nearly virgin. Sort of goofy and clueless. Says “um” a lot (I will get to this in a minute.)
After her fiance is caught Tiger Woodsing her with a hussy who was giving him a blowjob in the car, she decides she’s going to start being more adventurous. She starts by skinny dipping in a neighbor’s pool. Nick Ward, some sort of ex-commando, is watching the place for some mysterious people. He doesn’t know they are Ukrainian mafia. Or as McKenna spells it: mafiya.
Nick sees Becca swimming – naked – in the pool and thinks she’s an assassin. He ends up feeling her up, then fingering her to a mind-blowing orgasm, before he crassly says, “Blow me. Let’s see if you’re any good.” This triggers poor Becca’s horrible pathology about blowjobs, seeing as her fiance got one and well… Becca flees, naked, like a scared virgin.
I will pause here and expound on this virgin fascination a bit. The woman is thirty years old and through-out the novel, McKenna does her best to make Becca virginal. For instance:
This is a text exchange. Becca writes:
Got virginal lingerie 2 go with glasses…
And Nick writes back:
cannot fucking wait.
Even her language is juvenile. She says “um” a lot, like here when she asks if Nick “um, likes that” (meaning blowjobs).
This virgin obsession just a weird tic that modern writers have, and McKenna is particularly guilty of it. I do not pretend to understand this, but it is particularly egregious in this book.
Nick is described as someone who just seems flat out gross to me. He’s tall and muscular, is covered in tattoos, has long greasy hair, a gnarly beard. He’s wearing a black singlet, and black utility pants that are cut off to the knees. If this doesn’t sound like a douche to you, I don’t know what will. Yet Becca thinks he’s the hottest thing she’s ever seen, which just goes to show you that even airheads need love.
Next day, Becca returns, clothed this time, because she forgot her glasses when she was skinny-dipping. She arrives just as the mafiya thugs arrive, and Nick quickly covers by saying she is there to cook for them.
This sounds outlandish but up until this point, this is straight up typical McKenna. I didn’t bat an eye. Until… the mafiya thugs decide they want to fuck Becca. Nick tries to talk them out of it, saying she is just there to cook for them. The mafiya thugs decide that they’ll be satisfied just watching Nick fuck her on the video screens. Nick takes her upstairs and they pretend to fuck up against the wall. Then Becca falls down beside the bed, and he starts to help her up, and she ends up guiding his penis into her.
Of course, like all of McKenna’s heroes, he is hung like a baseball bat. He is so insanely large that no woman can possibly fuck him without having at least two orgasms to make her super-slick and soft. Yet Becca takes it, though she must be in pain. And of course, she has another otherworldly orgasm. While mafiya thugs are downstairs. Threatening to rape and kill her. This is the least sexy circumstance I can think of, but whatever. That’s not the worst thing that happens in this book.
Back downstairs, the mafiya thugs make Becca serve dinner in just a shirt, which shows both her tits and her muff. Gratuitous nudity is pretty common in McKenna’s books but this is just absurd.
Nick kills four of the thugs and then escapes with Becca. Now the primary thug, Zhoglo, is after them. Why don’t they go to the police? Who knows.
Nick comes to Becca’s place and demands sex for saving her life. I quote: “Are you going to give me what you owe me or are you going to dick around?” Great guy, no?
Here’s a clue for the gentlemen: this doesn’t work. It will get you kneed in the balls. Unless you happen to score a major babe like Becca who has no self esteem whatsoever.
Nick and Becca are crazily attracted, and end up having sex numerous times, even though Nick is always a classic douche and is surly and rude to her after they have sex, followed by him storming out. Becca keeps taking him back because she’s retarded.
In addition to being a douchey greaseball, Nick is always on the verge of tears. Who knows why. He’s always just so overwhelmed with Becca’s femininity. Later, they compare bad backgrounds and he comes off sounding like a douchey greaseball crybaby.
Furthermore, McKenna, who expends lavish details on the acts of sex, rather coyly implies buttsecks, but doesn’t have the courage of her convictions to just spell it out. She writes at one point that Becca’s “posterior” was sore, and so were her sex organs.
None of these really explain why I’m so disgusted with the book. I think I’m just trying to avoid the real issue. Here goes.
The mafiya thug basically kills children for their organs. Okay, pretty evil, but McKenna also throws a couple of child rape scenes in with the action – and then switches to Becca and Nick’s sex.
It is like eating fish for breakfast. Culturally wrong. When Nelson Demille wrote The General’s Daughter, about the rape and murder of a female Army captain, he intentionally left out sex scenes between his two protagonists because he understood that most people, when confronted with rape, are not all excited to go get boned.
McKenna, tone deaf to this, has a fourteen year old girl in a whore house, then switches, four pages later, to Nick lapping at Becca’s clit and bringing her to another shivering, juicy orgasm.
It’s nauseating, and somehow the virginal stuff and the rape stuff… it really bothers me.
In the end, Nick misunderstands something and thinks that Becca is actually a mafiya thug. He chains her up in a warehouse and goes off to save the children. Of course, he realizes his mistake, and goes back to save her but the real mafiya thugs have kidnapped her. His heroic rescue is marred only by a bullet in the lung.
Of course he doesn’t die. Six weeks later, he shows up at Becca’s place of work, takes her into her office, and fucks her. The fact that he thought she was a mafiya assassin is forgiven. After he ejaculates, he asks her to marry him again (he asked previously – you know, before he thought she was a mafiya assassin) and she says yes.
This book nearly had me in fits. I hated the first half of it, and threatened to quit more than once. But I am glad that I endured, because once it hiThis book nearly had me in fits. I hated the first half of it, and threatened to quit more than once. But I am glad that I endured, because once it hit the middle, it became an entirely different book. The pace increased, the emotional content intensified, and the story came together quite well.
But wow, the first half was rough.
I can honestly say that I've never stuck with a book that bored me so much at the beginning and shocked me so much by become quite a good read by the end.
I am hesitant to try the other books in this series, but it is possible I'll pick one up if I hit a dry spell....more
I just finished this book and found it wonderful. Vanessa James is the pseudonym of Sally Beauman, who wrote my favorite-ever book, Destiny. I'm gobblI just finished this book and found it wonderful. Vanessa James is the pseudonym of Sally Beauman, who wrote my favorite-ever book, Destiny. I'm gobbling up her backlist right now, and began with this ancient Harlequin Presents. Lovely. ...more