Date published: September 2010
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Library
JUST BAD ENOUGH by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diana Love (3 Hearts)
Up until this point in time, Jeremy Sunn hasn’t really had much of a problem having a criminal past and ending up in jail now and again. He gets paid pretty well to be the bad guy…bad as in B.A.D. a crime fighting agency that is so secret even the FBI and higher echelons of the government don’t know about them. Women were there for convenience and an occasional physical release. That is, until, he meets CeCe Capice. Just a few weeks after meeting CeCe and he’s hooked but what does he do about explaining his past, which is also his future if he wants to keep his job?
CeCe has her own secret past. While not directly involved in the family business, she shares the taint of the Canadian crime family. To escape her past and to try and stand on her own she moves south. She’s attracted to Jeremy, but big brother Vince is doing his best to stand in the way. When a major hit is about to go down, Jeremy puts his life on the line for CeCe, but by doing so he may lose the only woman he could ever love.
I had a hard time getting through BAD ENOUGH by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diana Love. B.A.D. didn’t come across as a solid federal agency, but created as more of a vehicle for Jeremy to have a secret from CeCe. I didn’t feel a connection to either character and had a hard time getting a feel for the secondary characters. Vince came across more like a Neanderthal rather than a truly protective big brother.
The story came across as almost cartoonish. I picked it up as a regular romantic suspense rather than a spoof on the genre. If I look at it as a parody the story has merit; however even from that perspective the characters came across as flat and two dimensional.
UNSTOPPABLE by Laura Griffin. (3 Hearts)
Kelsey Griffin is more than a superb archeologist. She is a forensic scientist for one of the top labs. While out on a dig she comes across a body that isn’t one of her ancient people. When she calls her friend, Mia, at the lab, Mia clues her in that the body may be tied to a missing person’s case she’s working on.
At the same time, a woman is car jacked not far from the dig site and a few other events happen that leave Kelsey’s uncle thinking his niece may need some serious protection. To that end he sends Gabe, one of his SEALs to the site. What he and Kelsey uncover are more than bodies. But the bad guys have a few steps up on them starting with there are more of them than Kelsey and Gabe. But how much help does a Navy SEAL really need?
I had high hopes for UNSTOPPABLE. What’s not to like with a Navy SEAL as your hero? And being interested in archeology, the idea of the story intrigued me. Sadly it fell short of my expectations. If Kelsey noted once Gabe was a SEAL, she noted it second third and beyond times. I got it the first 2 or 3 times and didn’t need to be reminded every few pages. I felt the story was rushed and far to “cut to the chase.” I suspect that comes from a word limit assigned to the stories in this anthology than any lack on the author’s part. As with JUST BAD ENOUGH, I felt no connection to the characters. They were flat and lacked in dimension. I had no feel for the dig site, no sense of sand blowing into the character’s eyes, and aside from one scene where they smell gasoline odors are omitted—I suspect a dead body even a few months old, would smell pretty pungent.
LEAVE NO TRACE by Cindy Gerard. (5 Hearts)
On the heels of the love of her life marrying another woman, Carrie Granger heads off to work in a hospital in Myanmar. Hoping to get over Wyatt and at the same time see something of the world. She arrives only to find herself arrested and sentenced to ten years of hard labor. When Wyatt hears what has happened to Carrie he calls long time friend, David “Cav” Cavanaugh to rescue her. When Cav arrives at the mining site where Carrie has been sentenced to, he immediately spots her and begins to plan her rescue. What he doesn’t plan on is his instantaneous reaction to her, both physically and emotionally. Up until this point Cav has had full control of himself, but something about Carrie zings through him and he knows he’ll do anything for her, including walk away.
Cindy Gerard writes some of the most vibrant stories. Compelling, high energy, thrilling rides that keep you turning page after page, telling yourself “one more chapter, one more chapter” until you suddenly find you have finished the book and it’s time to wake up and go to work. She draws you into her stories and you become a part of the action. Ms. Gerard weaves a story rich in language and emotion. Despite the shortened length of the story due to being in an anthology, her characters and story are fully developed. This story is a do not miss.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.