Tuesday, May 31, 2011

IN ENEMY HANDS by Michelle Perry

Publisher: Medallion Press
Date published: April, 2006
ISBN: 978-1932815474
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by Tammy
Obtained by publisher

Michelle Perry’s IN ENEMY HANDS takes readers on a journey of discovery where appearances deceive and action is paramount.

Bounty hunter Dante Giovanni has been hired by Gary Vandergriff to bring home his estranged daughter, Nadia, who he claims is in danger of being kidnapped by her drug dealing step-father’s enemies. When Gary’s story appears to check out, Dante goes in search of Nadia and foils an attempt on her life. He then falls hard for Nadia and after handing her over to Vandergriff realizes he has been duped by the real enemy. Does he take the money and run or find a way to save Nadia after all?

Michelle Perry has penned an interesting and at times outlandish romantic suspense based on deception and trickery. The hero of the story, Dante Giovanni, knows the pain of losing a child and sees the chance to return Nadia to the safety of her “father” as an opportunity to right a wrong. Nadia is a brazen and daring young woman who takes life by the horns. My problem with these characters was that Nadia came off as extremely young and na├»ve while Dante has been married, divorced, has a young child he doesn’t see, has served in the armed forces, lived and worked all over the world and earned a reputation as a bounty hunter that has clients seeking him out. Are they really supposed to be only a few years apart in age? They just didn’t fit together very well. Even though Perry describes Nadia as “a little younger than himself (Dante), probably in her early twenties”, this reader had to go back to the beginning of the book to search for a description to find out just how old she was supposed to be after she notices Dante in a restaurant, walks up and starts flirting with him, seductively bites his ear and then sits back down “in a corner booth with another girl and two boys who could’ve been pinups in a teen magazine.” Her behavior from that point until the last 2-3 chapters of the book did nothing to alter this teenager playing at being an adult image. It may be a minor sticking point, but it is one that festers throughout the story.

The other character that this reader had a problem with was one of Nadia’s bodyguards, Waynie. What kind of bodyguard, or even man for that matter, goes around with a name like Waynie? Why Perry didn’t simply call him Wayne this reader cannot imagine. Every time the name came up in the story, the pace of the story seemed to stutter because of the strangely ill-fitting and childlike name. That said, the evil Gary Vandergriff character was really well written and readers have no doubt Nadia is in real trouble when she finally meets him face to face.

On the plus side, the action in this story was fast, furious and plentiful. Although it is near impossible to imagine any woman in her right mind, no matter how desperate, jumping out of a plane without a parachute simply because the man she has the hots for tells her he will catch her. Still, the scene was totally engrossing and worked in the story as did many of the over the top action scenes described as the action escalates. Had the romance between the characters been more believable, this story would have been a real page turner. However, once Gary has his hands on Nadia, she does seem to mature and come into her own, so the story did end up working by the end.

All in all, Michelle Perry’s IN ENEMY HANDS was a fast paced and action packed romantic suspense that this reader found enjoyable. Perry’s writing style takes a lot of chances, is unique and is bound to improve in future books. This reader really looks forward to seeing what Ms. Perry releases next.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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