Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dangerous Games by Tess Diamond ~ Review

Source:  Received an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

In Tess Diamond’s gripping debut, when an elite negotiator and a security expert team up to solve a kidnapping, the only thing higher than the tension is the heat . . .

Maggie Kincaid left the FBI two years ago and didn’t look back . . . until now. A senator’s daughter has been abducted, and the nightmare set in motion isn’t just familiar to Maggie, it’s personal. She’ll need all the help she can get to bring Kayla Thebes home alive—even if that help comes from a hot-as-hell ex-soldier who plays by his own rules. . .

For Jake O’Connor, negotiation equals weakness. But he’s immediately drawn to the sexy former agent who epitomizes strength. It isn’t long before he and Maggie are working together 24/7, learning to read each other’s signals and wanting much more.

But for Maggie and Jake, letting their guard down—even around each other—may be dangerous. Now, as they close in on a kidnapper with nothing to lose, their first mistake could shatter a young girl’s last chance…

I had some problems with this book.

It starts good.  The premise is interesting.  Maggie is a kidnapping victim turned FBI negotiator.  The ex-military security guy that's hotter than hot is getting in her way but the sparks are flying between them.  And I was was a happy reader, thinking this book looked good.  Then it just fell flat.

The first HUGE problem I had was the repeated head games Maggie fed herself.  She had unresolved issues with how things played out when she was a child and the death of her sister during their kidnapping.  She repeats the same thoughts over and over again.  She can't do this.  She has to do this.  It's not going to work.  It has to work.  And while a  little of that made sense, the constant use of it made me so much less sympathetic to Maggie.  I just wanted to chuck the book when a new rant started in her head.

Then there was the relationship between Maggie and Jake.  I think this is supposed to be romantic suspense.  But the balance between these two was way off.  It felt like the author was trying to prove that a female could be in charge but it went too far in the other direction.  By this, I mean that Jake becomes unbelievable.   He's a military guy yet he takes a back seat to Maggie almost immediately.  There needs to be more push and pull between them.  There needs to be successes on both sides.  A relationship has to have a balance and this one is way too heavy on the female.  And though I'm all for her being successful and being the brains behind this victory, Jake wasn't allowed to play his part.  It felt fake and cause the characters to feel flat.

And then there is the suspense.  A teenage diabetic has been kidnapped.  A Senator's daughter.  But the story lags and the whole diabetic aspect of it has me questioning the medical research done.  The girl is without her medication and food for a very long time.  It got to the point of feeling contrived.  And as each aspect of the story blew up to an even more outrageous circumstance, I felt like we were playing the slow motion version of 24, the TV show, and not in a good way.  And don't get me started on the ending.  Contrived with a cherry of a cliffhanger on top is about the only way to explain it without spoiling it outright.  And that cliffhanger is the very thing that has slowed this story down.  I assume the next two books in the series will unravel that disturbing development but it will have to go forward without me.  I have my guess as to the outcome and I can live with that.  

I started this book liking it.  I wanted to keep liking it.  I tried to keep liking it.  I lost the ability to keep liking it about the time I realized that Maggie was going to repeat the same internal speech to herself with every new development in the case.  I decided I really didn't like it at all when I realized that these two characters had somehow fallen in love in a matter of a short few days.  All that while they still weren't sure how to talk to each other.  And the icing on the cake of my dislike came with the silencing bullet that cemented the cliffhanger.  Yep, leaving it there.



  1. I normally really love suspense romances but I think I will pass on this one. I think I would probably end up having the same hang ups that you did. Great honest review!

  2. Excellent review, but I think I'll pass on this one also!