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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: For Love and Vengeance by Johnny Ray

Format: pdf (provided by author)
Release Date: August 23, 2012
Purchase Links: Kindle

Both the Americans and the Russians think Victoria works for them exclusively. In truth; the Pack, an International Crime Syndicate, brutally controls her while they launder money in America by buying distressed houses for terrorist sleepers. While she executes the perfect escape, staging her death during a shark attack, she makes one mistake—she meets Royce, who worked as a special operative several years earlier, the night before disappearing.

Royce, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with any American led special operations after he had been lied to in order to keep him focus on his prior mission. His girlfriend had been abducted and brutally murdered earlier while they had kept him in the dark. The last thing he had ever expected was another woman in his life, especially a Russian spy. Furthermore, he never would have believed that she would be the one thing that would encourage him to finish a mission that he should have taken care of the first time.

Royce is well trained on how to discover the truth, so although Victoria’s apparent shark attack was well conceived he knows better. He had used the life of a surfer bum for years as his cover. The more lies he uncovers, the more suspicious he becomes until finally he feels like he has little choice. His prior operation was so top secret even the CIA were told nothing He didn’t need them then, and he sure the hell didn’t need them this time either. The last time it was for country—this time it was going to be personal.

With its balance of action and romance, For Love and Vengeance is one of only a few books that can be read and enjoyed by both men and women. There's enough of the spy/danger element that will definitely appeal to men, but with an intriguing female protagonist like Victoria and the promise of romance with the equally intriguing Royce, women will find this particular story interesting as well.

I know I did. 

Like his previous book, Her Honor's Bodyguard, author Johnny Ray places his characters in almost impossible situations and forces them to not only over come them but face their fears, which are by no means simple, and find that happiness that has eluded them for so long. However, I liked For Love and Vengeance quite a bit more. Must have been the spy element. There's something about two characters who are so used to lying and trusting no one to survive, suddenly having to do the opposite to come out alive.

Victoria is one tough lady, she has to be if she's going to get out of her current situation as a spy. I'm always worried when there is a female spy in a book because often times she turns out to be one dimensional, with no other function but to be a tool to whatever organization she belongs to. Not so in For Love and Vengeance. Victoria is an effective, efficient spy but the author doesn't let the reader forget that she is first and foremost a woman with feelings, hopes, dreams and needs.

She's a character that readers can relate to and root for. Tough but likable.

Then there's Royce. He's a tormented soul, at times it just seemed like he was only existing rather than living his life, but though he seems like he just doesn't care about anything, deep down he is a good man who deserves to be happy.

Not only do Royce and Victoria have their own personal demons to conquer before they can be together, but people who won't rest until they're both dead.

For Love and Vengeance has a fast pace that keeps readers interested but isn't too fast to where readers get lost in all the action and romance. The plot is solid, the characters interesting and the chemistry between them is amazing. This book kept from romanticizing life as a spy while not completely making it an unappealing way of life.

As much as I loved the angst ridden romance between Royce and Victoria, it was the heart pounding action that really gripped me and wouldn't let me go. I found myself reading and biting my nails just wondering if Royce and Victoria would get caught by their enemies. It is a roller coaster of emotions in one book that fans of romantic thrillers will truly enjoy.

All in all, this latest release from Johnny Ray is packed with enough action, mystery, tragedy and romance to keep you thoroughly entertained while reading. If you're a fan romantic thrillers, then do yourself a favor and pick up For Love and Vengeance by Johnny Ray. 


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