Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: A Kiss to Kill

A Kiss to Kill (Passion For Danger #3)

by Nina Bruhns


Eight months ago, Dr. Gina Cappozi and CIA black ops commando Captain Gregg van Halen were lovers...until Gregg committed the ultimate betrayal. When her need for vengeance leads Gina back into Gregg's bed, she discovers that the power of betrayal and revenge is nothing compared to the power of love.


This series was always a little bit strange to me and this last book in the series was along the same lines.  But weirdness aside I enjoyed reading the series very much.  The whole series is based around a group of security professionals called STORM and the CIA division called Zero Unit that crosses their path often. The strange thing about this book (and the others in the series as well) was that you didn’t get a single or even two POVs or storylines.  Though the blurb only mentions Gina and Gregg there are actually three couples that ultimately get a love story in this book.  The separate, but connected storylines make for a very complicated plot and a story of terrorism and conspiracy that has so many layers you have to be very careful not to get lost.  I think the best way to review this story is to break down the individual relationships.
This story picks up shortly after Gina is recused from the terrorist who abducted her in book one of the series.  All through book one and two Gregg was suspected of being the one who arranged the abduction and even Gina believes this.  The love that she held for Gregg originally has turned into a fiery and passionate need to see him pay for her terror with his own death. 
But the truth is a bit more complicated than that.  Gregg never would have put Gina is danger like that and was also betrayed by his superiors when they had Gina abducted.  Having spent the last eight months trying to help Gina escape and then trying to find the traitor who sold them both out, Gregg is willing to do whatever it takes to protect Gina and bring her back to his bed.  Even if It means kidnapping her again himself.
There is definitely a lot of heat and passion in Gregg and Gina’s relationship.  But honestly the emotional aspects fell a little short for me.  There was just too much up and down of Gina’s feelings. One minute she hates him, the next she loves him again, the next she wants to kick his ass, and then she’s back to desperately seeking his approval and attention.  I much preferred her character in the last books.  And though I know how traumas like she experienced can alter a person perspective, I feel like she was always a much stronger woman than she was portrayed in this story. Along the same lines Gregg swung too easily from one extreme to the other as well.
I would have like the story to focus more on them so the growth of their relationship could get the proper attention it needed.  There was so much going on in the background that would have made the mood swings less extreme if we had seen more of what Gregg and Gina were feeling.
Alex and Rebel is another interesting couple.  Rebel has been in love with Alex for over five years, even when he was thought to be dead and during his engagement to her childhood friend.  Alex, recovering from a terrible imprisonment is trying to return to his real life, but he is afraid to deal with the lust and possibly love he’s felt for Rebel for year, but denied just as long.  When his engagement ends and he travels to VA, forced to work with Rebel on a cross-department operation to stop the terrorists and find the traitor within the government, he’s unable to keep his hands or emotions to himself.  And Rebel is done fighting him. After one passionate night on a boat, Alex experiences a flashback at the least convenient time imaginable and it puts both of their lives in danger.   So of course, in his mind the only option is to leave her behind because he’s not ready to have a relationship.
Alex and Rebel are definitely hot together.  And after five years or pent-up desire, when they finally release the dam the burn is exquisite.  Rebel was a favorite character and she definitely is determined to keep Alex for herself, despite his arguments, and uses all her considerable assets and wiles to convince him they should be together.   There was a bit more development of the emotional connection between Rebel and Alex and in my opinion they were the main couple in this book, though the author and blurb writer might disagree with that.  I really wish that instead of stretching their relationship across the three book, Rebel and Alex and gotten their own story.
Wade is a difficult character to like through this series.  When we first meet Wade he assists Gina with locating Rainie when she is acquired and taken to the Sudan to serve as a nurse for CIA operative Kick Jackson.  When Gina disappears, he fears that his assistance and intervention are what caused her kidnapping.  He teams up with Rebel, and sleeps with her of course, in the second book of the series while he heads up the FBI investigation into Gina’s capture.  And now he is trying to capture Gregg, thinking he’s the traitor that gave Gina up to the terrorist and that he wants her back.   Sarah is a DC metro detective that is investigating death that seem to be connected to the terrorist cell and the traitor he’s searching for.
Wade and Sarah are only a minor relationship in this story but the back and forth between them is fun to read.  Wade is one of those characters you just can’t decide if you like him or hate him, but you definitely want to see a woman take him on and knock him down a peg or two. Sarah is the perfect woman to do it too.  She’s a strong character who refuses to let anyone, any man take advantage of or roll over her.   I honestly liked her more than Gina in this story and would like to see a novella or short story about Sarah and Wade’s relationship and what happened after this story in the future.

With all the different POVs, relationships, and conspiracy theories in this story, and the whole series, you can often find yourself feeling that the love story has been pushed aside for the action and intrigue.  Though the novels were good I doubt I’ll read them again or try any of Nina’s other series.  I much prefer one main romance in my novels, though I have read some well-done ones with secondary romances in the background.  This seems more like she was trying to have too many couples coming together in too short of a series.  I think if you count as you read the series something like six or seven couples came together in just three books along with all the terrorist plots, kidnappings, and police investigations.  It was just too much happening too fast I think.

Rating: 3 stars

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