Murder Game by Christine Feehan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Here I was thinking that Kadan was going to be mellow compared to the Norton twins. NOT! That man is intense. I loved this book. It starts out with a bang and keeps going.
I think Christine Feehan is wonderful at pairing these characters. Tansy and Kadan are a great match for each other. She's strong but willing to be submissive with Kadan. He's very much a dominant kind of man. At times I vacillated between being completely in love with him and thinking he was way too dominant for my tastes. It was like a knife edge in the very hot and sensual scenes for me. I was thinking, "Is he being too rough?" But he really wasn't. He didn't do anything that Tansy didn't like or made her feel uncomfortable. But he was all about control. He would do and say things that showed he was in charge, and Tansy probably could have fought him on more things, but she really didn't seem to feel the need to do it. She was a very calm, composed person.
Kadan thinks of himself as an ice man. Very remote, and always in control. Because of a traumatic event as a child, he sees himself as a cold-blooded killer, almost a monster. He didn't think he could have a family or a woman. He felt all he had was his Ghostwalker family and the next mission. From the moment he sees Tansy, he feels like there is something more for him. It was very refreshing to read a book where the hero is in love from the first moment. He might not have said 'I love you,' but if this man wasn't in love, than I don't know what love is. He was completely crazy about Tansy. I don't know why, but these kinds of heroes that I call 'stalkerific' never fail to appeal to me. They are crazy possessive and obsessed with the heroine. And sometimes it's a little scary, but since it's romance and fiction, it's all good. Well Kadan might be the King of Stalkerific heroes.
I think that he would be more scary if it wasn't absolutely obvious how much he adores Tansy. This man is crazy about Tansy. He would always need to touch Tansy, even around the other Ghostwalkers. It wasn't anything over the top, but definitely PDAs. The thought of her suffering or being hurt or in pain drives him absolutely crazy. It makes him get even more dominant alpha. I have to give it to Tansy. She really understood that, and reassured him that he had her love and always would.
Tansy was a very mature person. She was quite Zen. Although not an alpha heroine, she had a formidable inner strength. She had weathered so much for young age, and she goes through even more during this book. Tansy had a way of accepting things and seeing them for what they were. But I believe that her near breakdown and getting through that gave her the strength to be able to deal with very bad things in a straightforward manner without going off on the deep end.
I really loved Tansy as a heroine (which I love all the Ghostwalker heroines but she's my favorite now). She has the phenomenal mental ability to track serial killers by touching the objects they handled, although it makes her physically and mentally ill when she does it. Initially that was the reason that Kadan finds Tansy, to track the rogue Ghostwalker team who is committing a series of murders. When Kadan sees how devastating it is for Tansy to use her ability, his protective instincts override the desire to use her talents. He sees that she has not been shown how to use filters to protect her mind. I liked how Kadan was so protective of Tansy, and how he didn't like her doing something that was so bad for her. Although Tansy submitted to Kadan in almost every way, she refused to stop using her talent if it could save lives. So he did everything to help her to be safe when she did use her talent. Those scenes were very well done. This showed that although Kadan was so dominant, it was clear that he was able to be gentle and caring. Also this was shown in the other moments when Tansy is hurt or suffering. He couldn't handle it.
Kadan and Tansy have their first sexual encounter very, very early in this book. It didn't feel wrong to me. It felt right because of a few factors: intense relationship, their being paired because of Mad Scientist Whitney, and the fact that Kadan has already realized that she is the woman for him and that he's not letting go of her. If Tansy hadn't been the kind of heroine that wasn't as level-headed and philosophical, it could have felt ugly and forced, but it didn't. She's a special person, and made for this man. He'd be way too scary for a lot of women. But she is fine with him, immense control issues and all.
The action in this book is very in your face. I love action as much as I love romance, so it was a great combination. It was so cool to see the original Ghostwalker team (especially Nico, Gator, Ryland, but also Tucker and Ian) in on the action. They are in this book a lot (I was in heaven because I love these guys). It was nice to see the joking and comraderie between the Ghostwalkers. The pretty much adopt Tansy into the family. Kadan gets teased a lot because of his obvious adoration of Tansy. The Ghostwalkers work so well together and love each other (although they are alpha males and don't get all mushy about it, this is very clear). We also get to see Ken, Jack, Jeff, and Mari. These guys are total, badass (pardon my French) warriors. I am in awe of them. I could hug Christine Feehan for writing these books, because they really meet my needs for a great romance novel with high octane action. Readers who are sensitive about violence should be warned about this book. It does have quite a bit of violent scenes. I didn't think they were gratuitous, but definitely might be too much for a sensitive person. The subject matter is quite dark. There are people who kill for money and for sport in this book. But Kadan's Ghostwalker team is going to shut them down with Tansy's help. The end was very intense and Tansy has her own battle to fight with the Ghostwalkers' help. I wasn't expecting the way things wrapped up. It was sort of like a one-two punch. At first I thought the storyline was wrapping up a little too tidily, but then wham, bang. All I can say is wow.
There was nothing I didn't like about this book. It is my favorite in the series now. Kadan is just an incredible hero (kind of crazy in a typically quiet and deadly fashion, but really in the best ways). Tansy is just the heroine to handle this intense guy, and give him the love, acceptance and home he craved. And he's just the man to love her within an inch or her life and keep her very, very happy at the same time.
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