Publisher: Berkley Books

Review: Covert Game by Christine Feehan

Posted April 2, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Covert Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Covert Game (GhostWalkers #14) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #14
Also in this series: Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7)
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rescuing an industrial spy from the hands of a criminal mastermind is a suicide mission for the GhostWalkers. And there's no one more up to the task than Gino Mazza. He's the perfect killing machine—a man driven by demons so dark and destructive that his blighted soul has given up trying to find solace. But his laser-sharp focus on his target has transformed into something nearing desire.

A treasonous senator dangled top secret GhostWalker data in front of a Chinese crime lord, and he bit. Zara Hightower, one of the world's leading experts on artificial intelligence, was sent in to psychically wipe the crime lord's computer network. She succeeded, but at a huge cost. Now she's the captive of a man who has descended into paranoid madness. Torture and death await her...

But GhostWalkers never leave one of their own in enemy territory. And it's up to Gino to save Zara, or kill her if it turns out she's led them into a trap. Either way, heaven or hell won't stop him...

I can’t quite put my finger on when it happened, but Christine Feehan’s writing has changed. And I’m loving it. She has always had her Carpathian series, which was darker than her other series, but that’s just not the case anymore. The GhostWalkers started to get darker a couple years ago. Now they’re completely in dark territory. Even her Sisters of the Heart series was pretty dark. Torpedo Ink? Yes. I am really loving this dark turn she has taken, but I wonder if it’s permanent.

Zara Hightower is actuallly the world’s leading expert in A.I. She can also do really cool stuff like wipe hard drives and networks clean psychically. A U.S. Senator and a GhostWalker like Zara gave top secret information about GhostWalkers to a Chinese crime lord that Zara has been sent in to destroy. She has also been sent in to steal other secrets he may have by downloading them directly to a SSD that is embedded in her brain. All courtesy of Dr. Peter Whitney of course. That bugger. Honestly, as each book goes on I wonder how this guy hasn’t died yet. I actually have to think back and remember each time a new book comes out. Anyhow, Zara is now in enemy territory and she knows no one will be able to prove that she is the one that wiped Cheng’s network clean. She knows that even if she’s caught and tortured, they still won’t be able to prove her involvement. What she didn’t factor into all her equations for escaping was Cheng’s enforcer, Bolan Zhu. The man showed in interest in her the first time he met her and that interest didn’t go away, even when he was torturing the bejesus out of Zara.

Gino Mazza is a special sort of man who wants a special sort of woman. He admires all the women that his teammates have ended up with. They are all warriors, just like their men. He has the utmost respect for them and would go shoulder to shoulder into battle with any of them. That doesn’t mean that he wants his woman to be a warrior herself. He wants a woman that can take care of herself, but doesn’t have to fight because Gino is there to do it for her. It sounds archaic to Gino, but he knows that he can accept nothing less than that. He watched his whole family be slaughtered during a kidnapping attempt when he was a child. He is not going to let that happen to his wife. When his team is tasked with rescuing Zara, he finds himself staring at her picture wondering if she couldn’t be the woman he has been looking for.

When the GhostWalkers get Zara out of China, Gino is the one that Zara clings to. It’s his strength of character that convinces her that he can keep her safe from Bolan Zhu. After being tortured at his hands and promised even worse if she ever tried to escape him, Zara knows he will be coming after her. Only a person like Gino can keep Zara safe. She can see something in him, though she can’t put her finger on it. Gino knows what she sees. He’s tortured people just as Zhu tortured her. If anyone can protect her, it’s him. Still, protecting her is not all he wants to do. He can see that she’s exactly the type of woman he wants and needs. She’s smart and resourceful, can definitely fight with the best of them, but she is happier not fighting. She accepts his personality, which even he knows can be hard to live with.

Basically what we have here is a D/s relationship at the most basic level. Feehan has been writing more of those lately and I wonder where she is heading. I did not like Bellisia in this book at all. She rubbed me wrong the entire book. Her relationship with Zeke was nothing like Gino and Zara’s so she decided it was wrong. I thought it was incredibly shortsighted and just plain bitchy. Not to mention it hurt Zara tremendously because she felt that she had to choose between her sister and the man she loves. I wanted to strangle her.

Now I want to know who the next GhostWalker book will be about, but that I have a feeling that information won’t be forthcoming for some time. I really enjoyed this one.

4 out of 5.

GhostWalkers

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four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Covert Game by Christine Feehan

Posted April 1, 2018 by Holly in Features | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I have been enjoying this series for a long time. I took a break for a few years, but really got back into it about three years ago. It’s the camaraderie between the GhostWalkers that makes me love this series so much. They would literally die for each other and many of them have. The men are strong alpha males, but then women are just as strong and won’t be held back by their men. At the same time, they don’t apologize for wanting to make their men happy. That’s another thing I love about this series. The women. They’ve been through so much, but they are survivors. If you love paranormal and haven’t tried this series, you definitely should!

Sunday Spotlight: Covert Game by Christine FeehanCovert Game (GhostWalkers #14) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #14
Also in this series: Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7), Covert Game (GhostWalkers #14)
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Point-of-View: Third-Person Alternating
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Treason, torture and temptation haunt the GhostWalkers in their most dangerous adventure yet, as Christine Feehan's #1 New York Times bestselling series hits an explosive new high.

Rescuing an industrial spy from the hands of a criminal mastermind is a suicide mission for the GhostWalkers. And there's no one more up to the task than Gino Mazza. He's the perfect killing machine--a man driven by demons so dark and destructive that his blighted soul has given up trying to find solace. But his laser-sharp focus on his target has transformed into something nearing desire.

A treasonous senator dangled top secret GhostWalker data in front of a Chinese crime lord, and he bit. Zara Hightower, one of the world's leading experts on artificial intelligence, was sent in to psychically wipe the crime lord's computer network. She succeeded, but at a huge cost. Now she's the captive of a man who has descended into paranoid madness. Torture and death await her...

But GhostWalkers never leave one of their own in enemy territory. And it's up to Gino to save Zara, or kill her if it turns out she's led them into a trap. Either way, heaven or hell won't stop him...

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Excerpt from COVERT GAME by Christine Feehan

Gino felt Zara stir in his arms while Zeke sorted their identities with the guard at the gate. He wasn’t listening. The tension in her ratcheted up another notch. Her body shuddered. Shivered. “Need your coat, Rubin.”

Rubin immediately shrugged out of his jacket and helped Gino wrap the shivering woman in it. She had her head turned away from Gino’s chest and was looking out the gate toward the security guards. Her breath left her lungs in a long rush of fear. Gino not only heard the small whimper of terror, but felt it. His eyes followed the turn of her head to the sleek car that had pulled up in front of the gates. A man slid out of the leather interior.

Bolan Zhu. Gino recognized him from his photographs. He looked like a movie star, his dark hair slicked back, his suit immaculate. He simply stood on the walkway, eyes on Zara’s face. Gino turned her so she couldn’t see the bastard. They all knew the big son of a bitch was the one doing the torture for Cheng. If her reaction to him was anything to go by, she was petrified of the man.

Deliberately, Gino locked eyes with the bastard. Let him know where the true threat was. Zhu could beat a defenseless woman, but it was something altogether different to come at a man looking forward to the altercation. He didn’t smile. Not even a taunting smile. He didn’t feel like giving him that much of a warning. He just stared at the fucker and then, contempt on his face, leaned down to nuzzle the top of Zara’s head.

“I’m right here. I’ve got you,” he whispered. “You’re safe.”

She shook her head and pressed her swollen face against his shirt. “I’ll never be safe.”

“Princess,” he said softly. “Look at me.”

She raised her head and peered up at him. He felt the impact all the way through his guts—through that monster punching at him to get out and rid the world of a man like Zhu who would commit such a crime against an innocent. Zara Hightower needed protection, not the cold monster lurking inside him, but he knew it was the same thing. His monster was her protection.

“I take care of what’s mine. He won’t get his filthy hands on you again. That’s my promise to you.”

He held steady while those little pinpoints of what was left of her eyes searched his. She must have caught a glimpse of that demon inside of him, the one ready to be let loose, the one punching and stabbing to get free.

“You understand me?” Because he was telling her so much more than the words conveyed.

She swallowed again and nodded.

“Keep your eyes on me. Don’t look at him. Don’t think about him. A man like that is beneath contempt.”

She nodded again, and once more, Gino lifted his gaze to Zhu’s. The bastard was staring at him, stupid enough to think he might be intimidating. Zhu thought Gino was like the others, a white knight. Maybe he would have been, but that was long gone, ripped from him when he was a child and he’d been shaped into something completely different. He was a demon now, still rescuing the innocent, but with so much more in his arsenal.

Zhu refused to look away, or go away. He wanted Zara to be afraid of him. The man didn’t realize she’d already recognized the monster in Gino and was willing to give herself to him for his protection. She saw. She believed. That was enough for Gino.

Gino turned with Zara in his arms, cradled close to his chest by his heart, and he walked away without once looking back.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2018.

GhostWalkers

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About the Author

Christine Feehan

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Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author multiple times over with her portfolio including over 40 published novels, including five series; Leopard Series, Dark Series, Ghostwalker Series, Drake Sisters Series, & the Sisters of the Heart Series. All five series hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.


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Guest Review: When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

Posted February 23, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann KrentzReviewer: Jen
When All the Girls Have Gone (Cutler, Sutter and Salinas #1) by Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Cutler Sutter and Salinas #1
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-stars

Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we’ll go to for the truth...

When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.

Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.

After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way...

After reading over a dozen books in a few days while home with the flu, I just couldn’t find any new books that grabbed me. When this one caught my interest I actually broke my usual rule and paid full price for it. Unfortunately, the book was a big disappointment.

Charlotte receives a mysterious package on her sister’s behalf. The package was sent by a woman in her sister’s investment club. When the friend who sent the package ends up dead, Charlotte starts poking around and comes into contact with Max, a private investigator hired by the dead woman’s cousin to investigate the death. Soon, it becomes clear Charlotte’s sister is missing, and other dangers seem to be centered around the women in the club. Is the danger due to the club’s investment activities, or is it something more personal?

Like I said, the synopsis sounded thrilling, but the reality of the book didn’t live up to the premise. First, there really was no mystery. It was clear early on who the villains, and even the attempted twist at the end was not at all surprising. The danger never felt that acute, and the investigation was kind of lackluster.

Charlotte and Max are both pretty forgettable characters. Charlotte works at a senior community, which provides plenty of opportunities for ridiculous elderly plot moppets. She’s pretty vanilla and honestly doesn’t have much that makes her stand out. Max burned out of law enforcement and now is trying to start his own PI business, so naturally the first case he takes is one he knows will make him little, if any, money. Sounds like a solid business plan, no? He’s also got a bunch of family drama, which gets resolved way too tidily in this book, and some mysteries from his past, which don’t get resolved and I presume will form the longer story arc of this new series. None of it grabbed me.

Most disappointing of all was the romance, though. There is no sexual tension, and the actual sex is definitely lukewarm. I did like that there’s no real conflict of interest or drama about being together. Max knows he’s interested and wants to get to know Charlotte. Too bad there’s no real chemistry either. 

All in all, this was a bland and forgettable story, and it reminds me why I don’t pay full price for most books.

Grade: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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Guest Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Posted February 5, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine GuilloryReviewer: Tracy
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...

Alexa is visiting her sister Olivia’s hotel room in order to celebrate with her as Olivia just made partner at her law firm.  While in the elevator on the way up to the room the power goes out and she’s stuck in an elevator with Dr. Drew Nichols who is San Francisco for his ex’s wedding.  They have such a good time conversing on the elevator that when they finally get out, Drew asks Alexa to the wedding with him as his date.  He unfortunately slips and says she’s his girlfriend so she has to play the part.  After the wedding their sexual tension gets the best of the two and they end up having a great time in bed together.  After that they make arrangements to fly to each other on weekends to see each other.

Alexa really liked Drew but he says that he doesn’t really “do” relationships so she tries to keep her emotions separate, but it turns out to be impossible.  Drew never has a girlfriend but when he thinks of breaking it off with Alexa it practically gives him hives because he doesn’t want that.  Unfortunately life and his ex’s get in the way of things and soon Alexa is seeing that any future relationship with Drew is impossible, or is it?

This was a really cute story. I liked how it was light-hearted for the most part and only had a couple of angsty moments.  Drew was a pretty big player but once he’d found Alexa that was it for him. Of course it took a while for him to admit that to himself but I thought he was great with her.

Alexa fell for Drew hard and fast but was reluctant to admit her feelings, which might have been a good thing.  Sometimes I think that it’s best that couples get in these arguments because it makes them see what life would be like without the other and I think it makes them appreciate the relationship so much more.  That’s not always the case, but in this book it was true.

The story is pretty simple and straightforward, getting a tad bit slow in the middle, but overall a good read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

Posted January 22, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Judgment Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1) by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #1
Also in this series: Judgment Road
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

An outlaw motorcycle club sets up shop next door to Sea Haven in the dangerously sexy new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

A brutal education in a Russian training facility for assassins has taught this group of men one thing: It's a long road to redemption.JUDGMENT ROAD

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He's a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can't afford--until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin...

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she's desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper's imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya's touch is everything Reaper doesn't want--and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club--his heart and his soul.

Trigger warnings: Abuse, Rape, Pedophilia and More. This is a dark book.

Judgment Road is the first book in Christine Feehan’s Torpedo Ink series, a spinoff of the Drake Sisters/Sisters of the Heart series’ set in the Northern California Coastal town of Sea Haven.

This was difficult to read at times. It’s a dark, MC romance with a lot of the bad elements that come with MC’s. I didn’t expect that since Feehan hasn’t gone down that road before, and the two previous series’ set in this world weren’t like that. Had I gone into it with different expectations, I may not have been as surprised by the violence as I was.

Reaper – and all his brothers/sisters in the MC – is seriously messed up. He suffered major trauma as a child and was shaped to be a monster by his handlers. He’s barely kept hold of his humanity and doesn’t trust himself with Anya. Several times he actually physically or mentally abused her while trapped in a nightmare, so he was right to be concerned. I actually liked Reaper and how he was able to maintain on his own for all those years. But he had no business being with Anya. He knew it, but couldn’t walk away. I’d have preferred if he sought actual help for his problems.

The paranormal elements aren’t focused on much here. Each member of the MC has some kind of psychic ability – which is what made them targets as children – but it isn’t really talked about. We see some examples of it, but I’m not sure how much new readers will understand.

I’m struggling to pin down my feelings for this book. There were elements I enjoyed, like the brotherhood of the MC and Anya on her own. But her relationship with Reaper was complicated and pretty messed up. I didn’t end the book feeling warm and fuzzy about them. Anya often recognized his – and the Club’s – behavior as unhealthy and thought she should get out, but then she’d make the conscious decision to stay. Something about her blowing hot and cold really pulled me out of the story. I think I’d have preferred her to either be oblivious to how weak she was being, or to be strong enough to walk away. As it was, she just seemed like a victim. She’s an orphan who spent much of her life on the streets. Despite some trouble with her previous employer, she’s doing her best to stay on the straight and narrow. She desperately needs her job as she’s currently homeless and living in her car. When things start going bad between her and Reaper, the club steps in and refuses to let her leave. Since she’s already alone in the world and struggling just to make it each day, their actions felt like forcible kidnapping rather than the family concern Feehan tried to make it out to be. I could maybe have moved on from that, but there were other things that pushed her over the edge for me. Spoilers below.

View Spoiler »

Judgment Road a dark, gritty romance. It is not for the faint of heart. I can’t decide how I feel about it in the end. I’m not sure if my feelings were tainted by my expectations based on previous books set in the world. I’m giving it a 3 out of 5, but I may change my mind later.

3 out of 5

three-stars


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