Kathy Davie's Reviews > Collateral Damage (Rules of the Game #4)

Collateral Damage (Rules of the Game #4) by Fern Michaels
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's review
Oct 31, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: suspense, romance

Eleventh in the Sisterhood series; fourth in the Rules of the Game series. The story is, as usual, set in Washington D.C. and is another outside job contracted with the vigilantes.

The Story
The girls are getting bored. Again. Then Charles pops up with a "dicey" job. Seems both the Republicans and Democrats lost their donor lists with all their identities. The Republicans are promising a presidential pardon to the ladies but without guarantees.

The ladies just ain't that stupid and they decide to gather as much intel on their cloaked contractors before they actually do anything. In the meantime, Elias Cummings, the FBI Director, is setting up a new task force. One headed up by Erin Powell, a former best friend of both Barbara Rutledge and Nikki's with Bert Navarro on board as well.

Nothing feels right to any of them but the ladies go ahead and poke and prod their way through getting reactions. Erin certainly helps by insisting that her team members pick up Judge Easter, Ted Robinson, Maggie Spritzer, Jack Emery, and Harry Wong for starters. Even though her agents are issued strict orders to do it by the book, not all of them seem to have gotten that message and it whittles down task force members bit by bit. Physical force. Reminders of upcoming retirement. Bad publicity. Bert is suspected of being the mole. And each one of them hires Lizzie Fox as their lawyer. Further intel warns the ladies and their new back up plans consist of lots of kidnappings.

The Characters
Pretty much everyone from the last book including Justice Pearl Barnes. A new character was introduced: Chuck Dalton is a CIA operative and I suspect he's being set up as Alexis' love interest. We also learn of a horrible event in Lizzie's past while Annie finally gets her one-on-one with her own ghostly daughter.

Ah, jeez, Michaels provides more of Paula Woodley's past history with her abusive husband...it's disgusting to hear what she's doing to him but then she relates a little "memory" to him of whether he remembers the time he held her hands to the stove top, or when he held her feet to the fire, or… Makes me want to stop by and help Paula with some more torture.

My Take
For all that the ladies pride themselves on how smart they are and how they don't need the men at all, they sure do rely on the men a lot to get their asses out of trouble. And they are constantly mouthing off to everyone they meet. What is with that!!!??? Jack, Harry, and Bert kidnap two highly, highly-powered men and don't leave their disguises on? One couple "helped" by the vigilantes has to be "moved" because of the bragging.

An FBI agent is kidnapped out of her life and given another; admittedly, she wasn't being very happy with her life, but still. Sloppy, ladies. I sure would like to understand how this agent simply disappearing is enough to make her look like the mole. Unless they intend for Nellie's dinner with Elias to do the trick. Lazy. Sloppy. Lizzie's mouthing off to two of her friends and "converting" Ted Robinson. Yuh, uh-huh…

Sure hope space travel becomes viable soon 'cause that's all that's gonna be left as a refuge for these idjits.

The Cover
The cover is in shades of pink looking out from a mountaintop at a series of mountains in the near distance. A close-up of fence posts is in the forefront. The title is oh-so-true and most of the Collateral Damage wouldn't have been necessary if the sisters were as smart as they keep assuring themselves. In my view, methinks they doth protest too much. Street translation: dumb bunch of women.
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