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review 2017-07-20 07:38
Absolution by Kaylea Cross
Absolution - Kaylea Cross

After years of hunting him, Luke Hutchinson is this close to catching the terrorist he helped create. But with the man targeting women in Luke’s close circle, Luke isn’t about to take any chances…Especially not with the woman he’s loved since forever. He’d protect his ex-wife by any means necessary, yet Emily is fighting her own battle against a deadly enemy no one can protect her from.

This series has been quite a disappointment from the start, so it’s no surprise the final instalment was disappointing as well.

There were once again big problems with the pacing and narrative flow, the suspense was mostly non-existent, I disliked the initial “trigger” for the suspense where the hero took the heroine close to the terrorist in order to protect her (are you serious?!), and the final reveal as to the reason for all the hatred and resentment, anti-climatic and rather idiotic, if you ask me.
The romance was a bit better than the rest, because we didn’t have to go through the let’s-get-to-know-each-other phase, since the main characters were exes and still deeply in love with each other. Still, it was nothing to write home about, except the fact it involved an older couple, and dealt with the extra hurdle of Emily’s disease.

But, it’s finally over (it certainly didn’t warrant an entire series, IMO), the bastard is dead, everybody is nicely coupled up, and I can move on.

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review 2017-07-18 06:40
Relentless by Kaylea Cross
Relentless - Kaylea Cross

I simply couldn't finish.

For a book with such a title and blurb, the pace sure was plodding. For those 32% that I bothered to read, nothing happened. The heroine mooned over the hero, the hero mooned over the heroine when he wasn't mooning about his loss of coordination because of his injuries, they met in Vancouver, went for a stroll, he never bothered to tell her she might be in danger because the terrorist that started it all was still alive and said terrorist put a bounty on her head...
I understand protective, but to outright not tell her the truth was too much.

And since nothing really happened, no incident, no attempt at her life, not even a hangnail, and everything moved at the pace of a drunk snail, I simply stopped caring.

I'll still read the next, and final (Hallelujah!), book in this series, though. Mostly because I want to make sure the terrorist bastard is really dead. Better safe than sorry.

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review 2017-07-17 06:57
No Turning Back by Kaylea Cross
No Turning Back - Kaylea Cross

After receiving surveillance photos of herself, Samarra Wallace grabs her tech, and disappears into the streets of Baghdad, no knowing who to trust. But when she receives a photo of her cousin, bound and surrounded by terrorists, Sam knows she needs to contact someone, unfortunately it's the man she turns to who doesn't know whether to trust her or not.

This is officially getting ridiculous. This series now exists only for the series sake. The main suspense arc could (and should) have ended in the previous book, but guess what, we still have two hot guys, and the big honcho, Luke, to cover, so let's stretch the terrorist plot as far as it can go.

There were holes in the plot you could drive a truck through (its predecessor was no better, mind you), the chemistry between the leads was non-existent, the heroine was rather incompetent for a CIA analyst, and the hero more or less an asshole. The final straw was how easily Sam forgave Ben for what he said in the hospital.

I don't mind suspension of disbelief, but this one was asking too much of me.

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review 2017-07-16 16:53
Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross
Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross (2014-09-11) - Kaylea Cross

During her yearly visit to her Lebanese father, Bryn McAllister is injured in a bomb attack at the US embassy and, along with her father, kidnapped and left for dead in a cellar in a Syrian village.

Luke Hutchinson knows who kidnapped his son's best friend, Bryn, and is determined to end the bastard's reign of terror once and for all. But first, he needs Bryn and her father rescued, and then he'll need the girl's help, providing security in the form of the very man who saved her.

This wasn't as creepy as its predecessor as far as the suspense went, and the heroine was as far from annoying as she could get...But still, it didn't really work for me.

Once more, as the first wave of danger (again, somewhere in the first ten chapters) passed, the pacing got plodding again, and the gist of the story got lost in the (once more very iffy) romance.
I liked both Bryn and Dec, but couldn't help but get merely friendly vibes off them. The whole "romance" was to be just a by-product of the dangerous situation, transference, and hero-worship on Bryn's part. I didn't really feel sexual sparks with them, and what they called love, smelled more of simple affection than anything truly life-altering.

Also, for a series, this didn't really "connect" with the first book except by a few characters. One of them, being the larger-than-life Luke Hutchinson, who is sounding more and more like an asshole, and I truly hope he manages to redeem himself before his book is due.

As far as suspense is concerned, it was once more the saving grace of the entire operation. Gripping and intense, nail-biting and chilling. Although I was rather disappointed it didn't end when the story did, which means we're stuck with the terrorist until Luke's book. I'm rather skeptical of the fact, since I don't know what new plot points it could bring, since we already know the important bits.
Also, as far as the pacing went, this would've worked better as a short story, keeping the suspense arc a lot more condensed without the rather cheesy and implausible romance throwing the wrench into the wheels as soon as things started moving a little faster.

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review 2017-07-15 17:10
Out Of Her League by Kaylea Cross
Out Of Her League - Kaylea Cross

Christa Bailey is this close to getting into the Olympic softball team, if only she could concentrate on each game, instead of having to listen to her "number one fan" calling encouragements from the stands. It should be easy to ignore the guy, but the fact is he's giving her the creeps. Creeps that get even larger when he approaches her one night after practice, saying an innocuous that sounds strangely like a threat.

But Christa has good friends, and one of those just happens to be a cop. A cop that confirms her suspicions about her "fan"'s stalkerish behavior and appoints himself her temporary bodyguard...Now, beside the stalker and the national team, Christa has another problem...Keeping her attraction to her cop friend hidden.

This could've been an awesome little romantic-suspense-cum-thriller if it hadn't lost its way in the second half.

The first half of it was absolutely fantastic with the stalker and his escalating behavior culminating in the close call at Christa's house. Unfortunately, after that "first climax", it all went downhill awfully fast for something with as sluggish a pace as the second half.

After the intensity, the danger, the nail-biting terror that the first half was infused with, the second half lost all the suspense, replacing it with a lukewarm at best, and annoying-as-hell at worst, romance. A romance I didn't buy, not even when it was all over. I simply didn't feel the connection—to me Rayne and Christa worked so much better as friends, even friends somewhat attracted to each other. Once that line was crossed...Poof, the zing was gone.

And I must confess, the heroine had much to do with that. To call her a basket-case would be too lenient. I know emotional issues are a real thing, and I know people struggle with such problems on a daily basis, but in Christa's case, I had absolutely no idea why she was the emotional cripple that she ended up being. I swallowed the trauma of her most recent experience, but she was a nutjob before it...
She didn't have a difficult childhood; her mother was simply absent and ignored her, it's not like she was abused or anything. So how could that have evolved in the abandonment issue this chick had? And who breaks down so hard they have to see a shrink because their boyfriend of two years cheated on them? He didn't hit her, he didn't drink, he just cheated. Kick him in the balls and move on, not go see a shrink and have a meltdown. I didn't get her pity party, and she got more and more on my nerves as the story (and her romance with Rayne, God bless his patient soul, progressed).
Also, can you spell TSTL? She's attacked when she thinks her dog smells a racoon and goes, alone (!), to investigate, even after she knows her stalker is dangerous. And then, even knowing the guy is still out there, she still ventures to her best friend's sobbing side alone. This chick literally invited trouble, and her crazy stalker to find her. You'd think she'd learn her lesson, but she didn't.

The saving grace of this book were the hero and the suspense. Rayne was the ultimate book boyfriend. Tall, dark, handsome, brought to his knees by "the One". Protective, caring, oh-so patient. A real steady rock of a guy. I really wished he got saddled with a better heroine, at least a more stable one.
The suspense in the first half was top-notch, the intensity ratcheting up with each chapter, but unfortunately, in the second half the story slowed down a lot, concentrating on the issue-filled heroine and the lukewarm romance, that I thought the reckoning would never come. Pity, it was all resolved rather quickly, the final showdown unsatisfying-ly brief. I felt the suspense element deserved a more fitting solution, instead of the quickie afterthought it actually got.

It wasn't bad, but it could've definitely been much, much better.

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