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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan's black ops organization, Derek "D" Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D's been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.

When D lands in Mexico, he's ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she's unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.

Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he's ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child...

Continuing on with the conflict of a previous book, Derek "D" Pratt, Jim Morgan's coldest, deadliest mercenary is on a mission to save his teammate after the man was mistakenly captured in D's place. The trail leads him to Mexico where he comes face to face with Sofia Amaro, a doctor he had a one night stand with months ago and guess what? There's a baby on board for D! But before D can absorb the shock of his impending fatherhood, Sofia is swept up in D's dangerous world.

I was torn with this book. On the one hand, it’s an ELLE FREAKING KENNEDY KILLER INSTINCT BOOK! I LIVE for this series and the heroines that have given me a bad case of hero(ine) worship BUT on the other hand Midnight Revenge has the “Oops Baby” troupe and I really don’t like that! BUT it’s Derek “D” Pratt though! This guy has been a cold hearted enigma since book one and I just couldn’t stick to my “No more ‘Oops Baby’ romances” resolution. I had to give this book a shot.

So did it live up to the hype and the Killer Instincts reputation? Yes and No.

Let’s start off with the No bits because I want to end the review on a positive note.
I am SO over the “Oops Baby” trope. I just can’t take it. It messes up the entire romance for me because I find it very difficult to believe that the couple’s decision to be together is solely theirs and not influenced by the heroine’s accidental pregnancy. I know I said I’d give it a shot but the baby thing wasn’t handled any differently than the dozens of other Oops Baby romances I’ve read.

Sofia was a too much of a damsel in distress when the situations got tough, constantly needing D for protection instead of trying to fight and survive on her own. She had moments of being strong and I’m so happy that she didn’t react like a wimp when violent acts were committed but when it came to fighting her own battles it didn’t happen. Pregnant or not, I would have liked a bit more grit and backbone in her when it came to her own physical defense and yes, I get that because she was a good doctor, her job was to preserve life but honey if it came down to you and a killer with a gun, you put that bastard down without questioning the loss of life!

I also noticed that with this book, less emphasis was put on the suspense part than previous books and eh, it didn’t work too well for me. I mean, D’s mission was pretty important. More important than say, getting laid. Not that I didn’t want the hot sex scenes Kennedy is known for but D just didn’t come across as the guy from previous books. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was but he was different.

Now for what did work for me.

Sofia wasn’t one of Noelle’s assassins and I could live with that. I don’t think D would have changed at all if his heroine had been like him. He needed softness and hope to balance out the darkness and jaded view he had on the world. I enjoyed how she provided the softer aspects of life for D to experience and that it wasn’t something she played up, Sofia was a tender hearted woman underneath all that sass.

Imagery. Elle Kennedy can create images so easily it’s like watching a movie with these books and Midnight Revenge was no exception. Whether it’s a hotter than hell sex scene, a gun fight or brutal hand to hand combat, the scenes weren’t done in half measures and the images were easy to conjure up in my mind. The pace was something else I could totally get behind. It wasn’t too slow as to bore me nor was it too fast to lose me.

It was also nice to have scenes with previous characters too, especially Noelle since she remains my absolute favorite to this day. The continuation of the tense and difficult situation between Sully and Liam continues in Midnight Revenge and while it seems to get more complicated, there is a bit of a turning point. I hope we don’t have to wait too long to find out what Sully and Liam are going to do. Another future story with so much promise is Cate Morgan, Jim’s daughter and the latest rookie, Ash. Cate’s still relatively new but I wonder just how much she’ll take after her father (A lot I hope.) and if Noelle’s presence in her life will also influence her character (I hope Cate takes on Noelle’s epic badass-ness and self reliance).

Final Verdict: I wouldn’t pass up Midnight Revenge but it did end up being my least favorite of the series. D’s story left a bit to be desired. I felt he was a totally different character than I had come to love. Sofia was an okay heroine but she could have been more remarkable and a better partner for D. Still, Midnight Revenge had the Kennedy trademark of bad ass imagery, likable characters and hints (and hope) for future books in the series.

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