5/28/15: This book was hands down my favorite in the series. There was just so much animosity and dark emotions building between Jim and Noelle from the very first book that I had my doubts if they could ever end up together, they were just so poisonous to each other. As you can see, even the Elle Kennedy wasn't planning on them being together (I'm still super glad her editor twisted her arm)! The way Kennedy brought these two together and had them work out their YEARS of hatred was beyond satisfying. Like Jim though, I couldn't help but mourn for the young people they had been, full of optimism and love for each other. Years later and those people don't exist anymore, instead Jim and Noelle became tougher, harsher and deadlier. They sure had an uphill battle here but it was the BEST second chance romance I've ever read! Sex, blood, violence and vengeance... It's like a siren to me.
Words can't describe how excited I am today. I have been sitting on this review for over a month now and let me tell you, it's been killing me! Elle Kennedy is one of my newest "Must Have" authors and I'm not ashamed to admit it! I could simply go on and on about why I adore the Killer Instincts series (And I haven't read them all yet) but we'd be here until the end of days. So instead I bring you a quick Q & A with the genius behind my new favorite series, a really NSFW excerpt, a giveaway and my thoughts on Midnight Action. You are so not going to want to miss this book folks!
About Elle Kennedy:
Elle Kennedy is a RITA-nominated author grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University.
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1.Where did you get the inspiration for your Killer Instincts series, specifically the inspiration for Jim and Noelle? They're my favorites!!!
I love romantic suspense, so writing an RS series was always on my To-Do list, but I also wanted to write darker, sexier books. A lot of RS books that I’ve read are heavy on the action and light on the sex. I wanted to combine both elements. As for Jim and Noelle, I knew that the series needed a strong alpha man to “lead” the books, and the second I created Jim, I realized I needed to come up with the female equivalent of him—and that’s how Noelle came to be.
2. What kind of research goes into this series?
I do so much research! A lot of it is really fun—like learning about weapons or military tactics or politics of certain countries. And sometimes I'm lucky enough to visit the places I’m writing about. This summer I went to Ireland to research the next KI book, and I met so many incredible, knowledgeable people and visited some pretty breathtaking places.
3. What's the best reaction/message you've ever gotten from a fan about the Killer Instincts series?
My favorite reader email about the series was one that yelled at me for having Noelle with D (one of Jim’s mercenaries) in the earlier books. The reader was livid that Noelle wasn’t with Jim, and I loved how passionate she was about the couple and how invested she was in the series. It showed me that other people love these characters as much as I do!
4. Jim and Noelle, to me, were the most anticipated couple in the series, did you feel more pressure writing Midnight Action versus previous books in the series or did you already have their story planned out from the beginning?
I think I mentioned this before, but originally I didn’t want Jim and Noelle together. I thought they were too toxic! But my arm was twisted by my editor, who was Team Joelle (or Team Nim?) from the very beginning. She told me she would kill me if they didn’t end up together, and she’s kinda scary, so I believed her! Once I resigned myself to giving them a HEA, the book just flowed out as if it wanted to be written. It was so intense, and now I can’t believe I ever considered going in another direction.
5. I'm sneaky, but I've become such a huge fan of this series so I have to ask, who's book is next?!
Sean Reilly, the sexiest, cockiest Irishman on the planet! And his heroine is one of Noelle’s operatives, so you can expect a deadly, stubborn woman who will drive Sean crazy.
Can you guys even imagine Jim and Noelle NOT being together? I can't! So glad Elle's editor was such a fan!
The following excerpt is NSFW (NOT SAFE FOR WORK):
Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Ex–army ranger Jim Morgan leads a team of elite mercenaries, but eighteen years ago in Paris, he was part of a black ops unit whose mission was to hunt down a rogue operative. In order to trap the criminal, Jim seduced Noelle, the man’s daughter—a ruthless act that cost him the love of his life and turned her into a mortal enemy. Now he can’t trust her, but he still desires her. He also needs her help….
Older, wiser, and unwilling to play the fool again, Noelle runs a group of highly skilled assassins. And she’s just been offered the hit of the century: Eliminate Jim Morgan. History gives them no reason to trust each other, but with their lives in jeopardy at the hands of a common enemy, the lines between love and hate are soon blurred. Now Noelle and Jim must face the past if they want to have a future—let alone a future together.
Get ready for another heart racing, edge of your seat romantic suspense by Elle Kennedy!
Eighteen years ago Jim Morgan was on a black ops mission to stop a traitor. In order to find him, Jim had to seduce Noelle, the traitor’s daughter. Unfortunately he also fell in love with her, but betraying her trust cost him her love and turned Noelle into one of the most deadliest assassins he’s ever met and his mortal enemy.
Noelle has just been offered the hit that should make her ecstatic: Kill Jim Morgan. Instead of following through, she clues Jim into the fact that someone other than her wants him dead. Reluctantly joining forces, Jim and Noelle begin to track down the person who hired Noelle and in the process begin to uncover some of their own long buried secrets.
Where do I even begin with how much I LOVED Midnight Action? The plot line seems like it was years in the making and in a way it was. Jim and Noelle have spent so many years actively hating and wanting to kill each other that it was difficult for me to believe that there was actually a time where they loved each other passionately. I was so damned curious to know what could have gone so wrong that they could go from such a tender love to a deep hate. This story is so damn good that I wish I could jump right in and be part of all the action… And maybe snag myself one of Jim’s operatives. Or two. I’m greedy like that.
|This pretty much sums up Jim and Noelle's story.|
Keeping Midnight Action from becoming slow or stale, the author avoided lengthy flashbacks. I got just enough of a background history on Jim and Noelle to understand not only who they were but how it all went so horribly wrong for them. Was I curious about Jim and Noelle’s early relationship? Sure. Did I want a bunch of chapters dedicated to that phase in their lives? Absolutely not. I wanted to live in the present and see where they went from there. I wanted action, I wanted suspense and yes, with these two I expected red hot monkey sex and that’s exactly what I got, in spades!
There is no way two people like Jim and Noelle could have that much history and that much hate and not have incredible chemistry. Eighteen years have passed since Jim and Noelle first met. That’s a lot of time in between for them to build on the hate and misery, sure they’ve both had their flings in those years but everything seems to circle back to the two of them. I could spend days talking about their seriously messed up relationship but that would mean a very long review. It was just incredible to watch two killing machines revert back to human beings with emotions and vulnerabilities. I’ll just say that Noelle is going down in my VERY small list of All Time Favorite Female Characters. Next to Ziva David from NCIS. Yes, I have a type of female character that I admire and Noelle fits it to a tee.
While most of my attention was focused on Jim and Noelle, I did notice a few characters’ story lines developing in interesting directions like Liam, Sully, Bailey and Sean. Then there’s the new guy, Ash, which makes me super excited just thinking that there will be more books in this really awesome series and of course a new mystery character that will rock the series and made me say “Hell yeah!”
With her solid plot line to ensnare me, beautifully flawed characters to engage me and red hot passion to entrap me, Elle Kennedy has shot up to the top of my list of romantic suspense authors. Hers is a rare talent that will surely keep me coming back for more of her Killer Instincts series. Seductive and dangerously addictive, Midnight Action will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning with its action packed scenes and second chance romance.
Final Verdict: It was intense, it was volatile, it was unpredictable and I loved every minute of this wild ride! Even though this is only the second book in the series that I've read, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is the book to top in the series for sure!
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