Kathy's Reviews > Night Game

Night Game by Christine Feehan
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Aug 03, 14

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bookshelves: fantasy-romance, fantasy, romance, enhanced-human, special-forces
Read from May 30, 2011 to August 03, 2014

In the Bayou - Gator and Flame. Flame was always a thorn in Whitney's side. She struggles to use her training to help others, especially to find justice. She fights her attraction to Gator - sure that Whitney has manipulated them - but gives into it at the end.. her attraction to him as well as to his family.

Gator, Flame and a few of his team save a young woman who has been kidnapped to be made into a sex slave by the local hotshot.

2nd reading... Flame - aka Iris - seems to be the one who most defied Whitney, and Whitney is out to get her... Whitney, perhaps because he disliked her so much more, infected her with cancer and treated it in very forward thinking ways.... and infected her with a new kind, in anticipation that it would force her back to him for a cure at some time in the future... here we learned that Whitney has the girls, has Ryland's team, Norton's team, and his personal army - of enhanced men that were rejected to be part of Ryland's team... Flame escaped (realized that Whitney allowed it, as another test), had moved around, stayed under the radar, and righted wrongs where ever she could... she is in the Bayou because she heard of a singer that had gone missing... her special talent is sound - manipulating sound, using her voice to manipulate sound, to call out to insects, etc. ... she is hanging out with Burnell, a retired riverboat captain who staked out an island, sat on his porch & smoked his pipe...-

Raoul - aka Gator - raised in the bayou of New Orleans, oldest of 4 boys, raised by a loving, firm, overworked grandmother, raised poor, but with a sense of responsibility and a knowing of being loved... joined the armed forces & special ops as soon as he could, sending the money back to his grandmother & brothers... had small amount of psychic ability and willing participant of whitney's enhancements, not knowing that Whitney was doing more to them (he is physically stronger - can jump, lift, run, etc. much more than before) & almost dying in a cage... can manipulate sound - accidently killed 4 teens & a team member when the sound weapon he released traveled further than anticipated - a guilt he carries... his brother Wyatt asks him to come home to help find Joy, a local singer, friend of the family, that is missing & the police is not taking seriously... Lily calculates that Flame is likely to be in New Orlean's also - what with the fire at Dahlia's sanitarium - and asks Gator to be on the look out for her, that she would resist, that she likely is facing a cancer again...

a month later, Raoul is frustrated - no closer to finding what happened to Joy, no closer to finding Flame... and by accident he sees her at the gas station, and follows her, and witnesses her breaking into Saunder's home - Saunder is a bad guy, who stole Burnell's money & then required him to pay off his loan... she goes to steal the money back - taking 3 briefcases full plus 3 CDs... and Gator is waiting for her... Saunder's guys start to come after her... Gator takes off on her bike, to pull the attention away from her... she takes his jeep... goes to his house a few hours later to get her bike... breaking into the house she sees the myriad of pictures Nonna (grandmother) has in the house, and has a moment to wish she had such a family, and to think him studpid to risk it with Whitney.... and she finds him asleep, with his hand on her bike... they argue, his brother, then his grandmother come in... she leaves, after telling Nonna she was sorry, that Gator had played with her heart & she was havinghis baby...

and the dance begins... Gator wants her, Gator is turned on by her knives, Gator accepts his feelings & more quickly expresses them... Flame doesn't trust the feelings - sure that Whitney 'mated' them, and refusing to succumb to it - she can see their abilities enhance one another... so she resists him... she knows she is dying of the cancer & refuses treatment knowing that would bring Whitney to her and another barrier to keep Gator away... but, of course, she eventually can not deny him... and Gator waits for her, seducing her with humor, honest expressions, respect for her abilities, desire to protect her...

and when she is injured (bitten by an alligator), and leaving him when he is otherwise engaged... she gets into the limo with Parson's son, who gives her a drink with a drug & she is weakened by hurts him when he attempts to ... and she finds Joy's earring on the limo floor, and then Gator & friends are there and extract her form the limo... and she had figured out that Parson's & Saunders have Joy, that they are keeping her alive to use her... that the CD's she took from Saunders show her kidnapping and much of the torturing & were used to blackmail Parson's political father to keep his nose out of it... and they figure out where she is, and go to rescue her... Gator, sends her into Joy to protect & reassure her while they (Ian, Kadan, Tucker & Gator) take out the bad guys... and "Flame kills one of the bad guys, and is the reassuring voice & comfort to Joy as they take her to safety - encouraging her, laying the groundwork for a healthy understanding and acceptance for what she could not control & yet never stopped fighting... and Wyatt comes to her with gentleness and understanding easing her...

and Flame & Gator finally have sex - staying in the family hunting cabin - fueled by a sexy outfit & sex toys provided by Nanno... and when Flame refuses to trust Lily enough to treat her, and to love Gator enough to marryhim, he drugs her and takes her to Lily... and Nanno insists on coming with her too... and helps to ease her back... and Whitney sends a crew, and they defend with Gator being somewhat hurt, and the chemo makes her very sick, and Dahlia comes to be with her, and Gator sits with her and talks to her even when she won't talk withhim... but when he returns from an opt, she can't deny her feelings for him and there is a very romantic scene as Gator's love and attraction for her is as strong as ever, even with her hairless, chemo ravaged body... and she tells him of why she can't forgive Lily - as children, 8-year old Flame had attempted to escape & Lily tattled (knowing she would die of the cancer if she left), and 3 guards restrained her in her room after stripping it of anything personal, and while Whitney watched through the window, in anger against their restraining her, she lets out a lethal sound, killing all 3 - with the one closest to her more or less exploding... and a gleeful look on Whitney's face...

and Gator makes his case for living, taking what they can now, and fighting for a future together... and she agrees to marry him...

Setting: Raoul’s room in Lily’s home; Saunder’s home / tower office; Parson’s limo; protected facility near Lily’s home; the Bayou – The Huracan Club; houseboat on small island; Grand-mere’s 2 story home; Raoul’s hunting cabin; around the bayou (air boat / motorcycle / jeep / foot);

Genetic engineering to match two people? Experiments of what passed onto children? Or is it love?; defending the weak;

Raoul ‘Gator’ Fontenot: strong, silent type; psychic abilities, volunteered for enhancement; can manipulate sound to kill people… when experimenting with it, didn’t know it would travel, and he accidently killed 3 teens skateboarding a mile away… carries that guilt; focused on videos of Iris child videos, though hiding it from the others; Grand-mere requested he return home to investigate a missing young woman;

Iris “Flame” Johnson: talent for sound manipulation – use sound as sonar, like a bat or dolphin, as well as enhanced physical abilities; Whitney gave her cancer 3 times, as part of the gene therapy/manipulation he was experimenting with, and using different, cutting edge methods put it into remission – but the cancer will return, and Lily wants to find and help her; she didn’t escape Whitney until she was 17 years old – and will never allow herself to be taken by him again – she knows the cancer has returned, and her time is limited; she hid her talents and their strength from him; she is extremely distrustful of Whitney, and Lily – remembering that as children, she planned to escape, and Lily reported it – she was returned to the lab, separated from all for weeks, and killed 3 handlers with her voice (did not intend to kill), and bodies left in room with her all day – horrors; she read about the asylum that burned, a Whitney property, and she is in New Orleans to see if she can find a sister – and heard about Joy, and is also looking for her;

Burrell Gaudet: retired riverboat captain; he bought a small island from Saunders, with a balloon payment due; he doesn’t trust banks, so money in his mattress; has ‘adopted’ Iris;

Ian MacGillicuddy: Came with Raoul; charming; team player;

Dr. Lily Whitney-Miller / Captain Ryland Miller: Lily sounding more like her father (especially to Raoul and to Iris) as she fascinated with the science of what he did; after running computer simulations, believes Lily will go to new Orleans to look for ____, and reluctantly asks Raoul to keep his eyes open for her, and bring her home if at all possible;

Dr. Peter Whitney: Iris convinced he is still alive – and it seems to bear out as enhanced force is monitoring and trying to capture Iris; Raoul and the rest of the Ghost Walkers agree with her in the end;

Joy Chaisson: 22 years old; sang in New Orlean’s blues club; missing – police believe she left home; those who know her, know better; had a few dates with spoiled, rich James, went home with him to dinner, and his parents made it clear she wasn’t good enough, and James did not defend her; a few days later, she was missing;

Grand-mere Nonny: when Fontenot parent’s died, she took on the raising of their 4 boys – boys that were wild, loyal, proud; she asks Raoul for help, and when she catches Iris in Raoul’s bedroom, totally embraces it when Iris tears ups and says she’s pregnant; she believes in their relationship, and when she buys clothes for Iris, knowing Raoul is taking her to the cabin to recover, she throws in sex toys (leopard pattern paddle, egg vibrators, and a sexy leather bustier, etc;)

Wyatt Fontenot: Raoul’s younger brother; lady’s man; gentle; light hearted; likes Joy, is sure she is in trouble, and pushes Nonny to ask Raoul to return; he is wonderful with Joy after they reconnect;

Kurt Saunders: sells property, and steals it back (stealing the individual’s balloon payments just as it is due, and repossessing the property); behind gambling, whores, and drug trafficking; blackmailing older Parsons with his son’s aberrant behavior;

Emanual Parsons: older man; head investigator for the DEA; investigating or participating in Saunder’s criminal behavior – blackmailed by Saunders;

James Parson: son; 24 years old; good-looking; feels entitled; working with/funding the capture of 2 women, and holding them hostage, raping them repeatedly, along with Saunders & Vicq;

Kadan Montague and Tucker Addison: Ghost Walkers; come when Raoul calls for help;

Carl Raines: Mr. Parson’s chauffeur; panders to James’ and helps to kidnap and torture/rape the women;

Vicq Comeaux: grew up in Bayou, he and brothers regularly fight with Fontenot brothers; attracted to sexy singers – initiated the kidnapping of two of them, with help of James and Carl; holding them (1st one died after a particularly rough rape/torture episode) in his family’s hunting cabin;

Looking for clues about what happened to Joy, hoping she is still alive… Raoul meeting Iris, observing her breaking into Saunder’s place – where she empties his safe of his money and some discs - , and helping her escape (he takes off on her motorcycle, drawing away the guards, and he holds onto it) – while she takes his (brother’s) jeep; they meet up next at the bar where she is singing… he starts to feel possessive of her, defending her from Vicq coming on to her – and takes her out on a ride through the bayou on her air boat (share a few kisses)… and they return to the bar where a bar fight is overflowing into the parking lot; and they join forces in trying to locate Joy;

Between them… she much more than he decides their extreme attraction was orchestrated by Whitney, and she wants nothing to do with what may lead to more experimentation and stats for Whitney, so she fights the attraction; she is also pretty sure that Lily is in cahoots with her father, and Raoul has been sent to kidnap her; but she finds that her trust in him continues to grow;

Iris gives Burell some of the money she restole from Saunders (he had stolen from Burrell) sending him into town to pay off the balloon payment… She goes over for tea with Nonny and her walls keep lowering, as she interacts with Raoul and his family (and maybe to get her motorcycle back), and when as she (and Raoul) return to island, they hear gun shots… and get to Burrell too late to save him… and they take off after them, killing the 4 of them, realizing one was enhanced... and Raoul believes they are after Iris; he takes her to his hunting cabin, and does his best to comfort her after the loss of Burrell – their first night to sleep together, though it is only to sleep;

They work together to try and track the source of the 4 guys… and then 4 enhanced are after them… they work (militarily) together to protect each other, and to take out the bad guys… and Raoul calls telepathically to Kadan for help… but Iris gets bitten by an alligator (death roll) and knives her way out of it… Raoul leaves her in a safe area, and he and the other 3 Ghostwalkers go after them… a tough fight, but when they return for Iris, she has walked (limped?) out – afraid of her feelings for Raoul, gets to a road, and is picked up by James & Carl – she is exhausted, on the floor, sees Joy’s earring under the seat, sees leather straps, sees the disc recorder… slaps the water James offers her, realizing it is probably drugged, is slapped – and then Raoul et al are there to rescue her… she makes him promise not to take him to the hospital (records that Whitney could see) – but she wakes up in the recovery room – but Raoul is with her, and assures her he has been with her the whole time… and Wyatt is her nurse, and Ian the orderly – all watching over her, and having secured the computer records – though Lily does show up and draws some of her blood… then back to Raoul’s cabin – with the clothes and sex toys sent by Nonny… a night of passion…

And she remembers the car… and they come up with a theory of Joy – Vicq, Carl, James, and Saunders – and the discs… they look at the discs, and see how badly Joy is being treated – though she is alive… Nonny recognizes Vicq’s cabin in the last pictures Joy took… and the 5 of them head out to rescue Joy… they kill Vicq, Carl & James – Iris goes into get Joy, cutting her down from the hook they have her tied to… James is burning down the cabin, and Raoul runs into rescue the two women – Iris has a few minutes to talk with Joy – offering words of love from her family, of strength, of empathy – and Wyatt (who had been waiting nearby) gives her his shirt, and carries her gently to the boat, and to safety…

Another night of passion, and Iris’ insistence she cannot trust Lily, but her willingness to be with Raoul in as long as she can… and Raoul drugs her, and they take her to a compound near Lily and begin cancer treatments… she is furious with Raoul, feels betrayed… and Nonny is there – saying she insisted on being with her, knowing she’d need her… they come under attack by 16 enhanced men… Iris and Nonny are inside… the rest outside… Raoul takes out 8 with sound (after Kadan lays a barrier to keep the sound for going further and hurting any one)… they take out another 6 the old fashioned way… 2 get inside to Iris and Nonny – Iris is having a weak, nauseous moment – Nonny takes out one, just as Raoul gets back inside to take the other… they have weakened Whitney’s force considerably… he comes to her every day for a month – he talks to her normally – she ignores him… he goes out on a recovery trip – she misses him, and wishes she had told him that she was mellowing… she has no hair, she has times of intense nauseousness, she hasn’t talked to Lily yet, but Dahlia is spending time with her – and is a voice of reason, and one she can trust…
Raoul returns, he has restored her motorcycle… he sees she has softened… and lets nature take its course… apologizing, loving her, hugging her… and she realizes he loves her when he can’t hide his physical reaction to her, even hairless…

Memorable Scenes:
“Iris had been a small redhead with defiant eyes and an attitude the size of Texas. The nurses had nickname her ‘Flam,’ and from the moment she learned Whitney forbade the name, Iris used it to make him angry. She’d been four years old. Raoul had studied the tapes of the little girl far more than any of the others. She had a few abilities the others knew nothing about – but he did – he shared those same abilities. Even as a child she’d been smart enough – or angry enough – to hide her talents from Whitney. Her nickname was appropriate: Flame, a little matchstick that could flare up and be as destructive as hell under the right circumstances. Iris had deep red hair, almost the color of wine, and she has acute hearing. She’s able to manipulate sound in extraordinary ways. And she’s an anchor. That would mean she wasn’t as vulnerable as some of the other girls. She could exist in the world without a shield.”

“It was scary to think that she might be right, that Whitney had developed her as a weapon first and then somehow developed Gator to complement and amplify her powers. It would make sense, the entire point of psychic engineering and genetic enhancement was amplication of power, but what about the physical – no, it was far more than physical – attraction between them? Had that been deliberate or a by-product of the engineering?”

“She was secrets and sex and his own warrior. She was his equal. She was everything he could want standing right in front of him.”
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