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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: Midnight Captive by Elle Kennedy (Giveaway)

It's here! It's here! MIDNIGHT CAPTIVE, the sixth book in Elle Kennedy's Killer Instincts series, is available for everyone! You guys I ADORE this series to pieces and can't get enough of these characters! I seriously can't say enough good things about it! In fact, I want to get someone else hooked on them so listen up! One lucky commenter is going to win a Kindle copy of any book in the series!

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, rule-breaking Irishman, and she’s vowed to steer clear of the tempting bad boy who lured her into his bed under false pretenses.

When Sean is implicated in the robbery of a Dublin bank, Bailey knows something isn’t right. So what if she can’t trust him? There’s no way Sean would end up on the wrong side of the law. In fact, he’s stuck in the middle of a dark and dirty conspiracy that could put his twin brother’s life at risk with one wrong move. And Bailey’s life too when she agrees to help.

As the stakes are raised and Bailey finds herself torn between two brothers, the fine line between danger and desire is crossed…and it’ll take more than a killer instinct to survive.

In Midnight Action readers got a hint of the tense and hostile vibes between Sean Reilly and Bailey Jones. Naturally that was only the tip of the iceberg with them.

Months have passed since Bailey had a one night stand with Sean but she can’t stop thinking about it, or him. Nor can she stop the anger she feels whenever she remembers that her night with Sean happened under false pretenses. As a former CIA agent, Bailey has had her fair share of disastrous relationships and now as an assassin she definitely doesn’t need the trouble she’s sure is written all over him, but when it looks like Sean has fallen into a life of crime she’s quick to fly to Ireland to demand answers. What she finds is infinitely more complicated as Sean’s twin brother is being used to force Sean into cooperating with his former street gang. Before Sean can object, Bailey inserts herself into the dangerous scenario, posing as Sean’s girlfriend in order to help him and his brother.

One thing about Elle Kennedy’s characters that stands out to me is that they never do anything in half measures; it’s all out or nothing. Sean and Bailey burst onto the pages of Midnight Captive as if they owned it and from the start they kept my attention on their mission and on their intense attraction.

As a female I personally want to feel like the heroine has a role other than bedroom playmate, or arm candy and I want her to be more than just a brainiac. That’s exactly what I get with someone like Bailey. She’s a smart woman who can take a hit, then deliver two of her own. She isn’t afraid to go into a hostile situation with her guns drawn ready to kick some ass. Like all the women employed by Noelle, Bailey doesn’t need, doesn’t want and won’t stand for being sheltered, protected or treated like she’s fragile or incompetent. She was an awesome heroine for the sometimes too confident Sean. She wasn’t going to be easily impressed by a cocky good looking man like Sean and if she was ever going to think about giving a relationship a try, then she needed more than what Sean had been offering in the past.

For being the “bad twin,” Sean sure had a lot of good in him. Sure he was rough and tough about getting things done but there was never a doubt that he would do what was right for those who couldn’t protect themselves. When it came to Bailey though, that rough, confident personality slipped and he wasn’t as smooth as he thought he was. I loved his scenes with her because she challenged him in a way he wasn’t used to. He couldn’t win her over with promises of protecting her because she didn’t need him to. He couldn’t feed her his usual charming lines because she saw straight through it so Sean had to be, well, Sean. He was smart enough to know that if he wanted a chance with Bailey he had to be himself as much as possible which included being more honest with her. In past books Sean always seemed so cocky, so sure of himself with women that it was refreshing to see him a bit lost with Bailey.

As tough as Sean and Bailey are, they’re not invincible and they’re so far from perfect it’s not even funny. I recognize that most of these men and women work for Jim and Noelle to escape their pasts or to ignore their softer sides. I love that their emotions and sometimes their pasts were what presented obstacles for them. The inner battle of a character is often the most interesting one. A close second though were all the action scenes! I love how descriptive and thorough Elle Kennedy is with her action and espionage scenes. Those are what really sell me on a romantic suspense, besides an active, tough ass heroine of course. There’s always a James Bond/Bourne Identity feeling to these books that just never gets old.

Midnight Captive wouldn’t be a Killer Instincts novel without appearances from Sean and Bailey’s respective team mates, though technically they’re now one big dysfunctional family following Jim and Noelle’s orders. I do love seeing past and present characters playing a part in the bigger story and there’s always something interesting going on with secondary characters. Team mates and best friends Liam and Sully are dancing around an uncomfortable attraction to one another which began a few books back and took a definitive turn in this one.

Derek “D” Pratt is still as enigmatic as ever but that’s part of his appeal. He’s an unknown, dangerous element because he’s been around since the first book and now, six books into the series, the author has been terribly greedy with any information about him. It’s a good move though because it ups D’s lethal factor and the mystery surrounding his background and gives readers like me something to look forward to now that Jim and Noelle’s bad blood has been resolved. Speaking of those two, I loved the peek into their newly acquired happiness. Not much has change between the two, they still challenge one another, they still have their rough edges and they still let off enough heat between them to blow up a factory. The only difference is that they no longer hate each other with a passion.

I felt that Midnight Captive not only served up a great action packed romance between two strong willed characters, it also opened up several story lines that had only been hinted at before. This series is still going strong in my opinion and while eventually the original team members on both sides will have their stories told, there’s always the hope for new team members and of course, the offspring of the original characters. I shudder to think what those kids will be like with parents who have the personalities that these characters do.

Final Verdict: I'm a proud Killer Instincts addict and I can't wait for the next book!

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