Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SUNNY - BOOK REVIEW: "The Killing Game" by Toni Anderson

Wildlife biologist Axelle Dehn isn’t about to let anyone harm her endangered snow leopards—not the poacher intent on killing them, nor the soldier who wants to use them as bait. But Axelle is unknowingly entangled in a conflict that stretches back three decades, a conflict that could spark a war between two of the world’s great nations. 

​British SAS soldier, Ty Dempsey, is on a mission to hunt down an infamous Russian terrorist in a remote region of Afghanistan. Dempsey hasn’t failed a mission yet, but when Axelle is kidnapped by the Russian, he is forced to choose between duty and his heart. He risks everything to save the determined, prickly woman he’s fallen for, but in doing so sparks a deadly series of events that threaten to expose the most successful spy in history. A spy who will destroy anyone who gets in his way.

There are a lot of good romantic suspense books, but it is not always easy to find a GREAT story.  With the perfect balance of taut suspense and emotional tension, Toni Anderson delivers a truly fine read.  The writing is finely honed, so crisp and detailed that it makes the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan come alive. There are so many unexpected turns that I was literally clenching my Kindle. 

The two main characters are smart, strong-willed, and admirable.  Each has a underlying strength of purpose to serve and protect so this attraction comes as a surprise.  Neither is expecting the growing, sizzling attraction:  

"Somehow--inconceivably--he'd bonded with this fiercely independent woman.  They'd become partners in survival, and those feelings merged with desire in his head to create something mind-blowingly complex and yet utterly simple." 

Both characters are married to their jobs and have shunned personal relationships as too risky and unwanted. This reluctant past serves to drive up the sexual tension between them:

"He didn't know the last time he'd wanted a woman like this.  Like his brain was going to explode if he didn't have here, right her, right now. It was heart-pounding, skin-scorching, soul-blasting kiss, and he didn't wan't it to end."

I particularly liked the change of pace from American bred special op characters to the British SAS.  The team has a slightly different flavor and I appreciated the backstory of Ty's Irish background. Through Axelle's work, I enjoyed learning about wildlife preservation and the benefits and drawbacks of endangered species study and protection. 

This is a smart story.  This is a sexy story.  This is a well written story.  This is one of my favorite romantic suspense stories I've read all year. I wish there was more!

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.  

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