Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Killer Instincts #1
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Turns out, Elle Kennedy has written a whole lot of books I had no idea about until I did my usual ‘Hmm… I like this author. Let’s see what else she’s written‘. I only knew of her Off-Campus series and I was surprised by how different this book is.
For one, it’s in third person and the third person is done really well (you’d be surprised how many author struggle with that). Another is that this isn’t just a romance. It’s romantic suspense, meaning danger. The stakes in this novel are very high, involving a rescue mission.
The female protagonist, Abby Sinclair, is an assassin who was adopted and taught the ropes by a man who got her away from a very abusive childhood. When she finds out that her new target is holding a dozen young girls to be sold into sex-slavery, she purposely blows her cover in an attempt to get close enough to save the girls. Abby’s boss hires a group of mercenaries to rescue her. One of those is Kane. And while Abby does get rescued, the girls are still trapped and both groups to team up to save them.
We get introduced to various characters, some limited to this novel and some to be featured in future novels, and I liked all of them (except the bad guys, obviously). We got just enough info about each to distinguish them but not overwhelm the reader. The main focus was on Abby and Kane, and secondary on Isabel and Trevor (their tale is unfinished).
I really liked Abby. I’m always surprised to find good female protagonists because literature is so full of ones who are annoying or stupid. Abby was neither. She was badass and she was stubborn, but she also accepted when she needed help because she was smart. She always tried to make the right choice and even when she was cold or made mistakes, I understood her. She was great. And so was Kane. He was a good guy and very supportive of Abby. But he didn’t ‘baby’ her. He knew she was a smart woman and expected her to act like it.
The story was engaging, having a few different parts and perspectives, but the author handled it very well so that it never came off as convoluted.
As for flaws, I have two. The first is the reason behind why Abby gave herself up initially. I wish it were a more solid because the one we have got makes it seem like Abby let her emotions cloud her judgement and didn’t put much though into the rescue (which may be the case). I mean, why would she think blowing her cover would help? I don’t see any way it could have.
The second flaw is that Abby is, in the beginning, shown to be pulled to Kane only because he’s the only guy she’s ever been sexually attracted to. I would have preferred the focus to be more on trust than sexual attraction; like in The Deal.
Overall, I wasn’t expecting this novel to be nearly as good as it was. Elle Kennedy is a talented author and I’m going to be reading many of her other works in the future months. I highly recommend you give her work a shot.