Friday, August 03, 2012

Ruthless Game by Christine Feehan

Ruthless Game (GhostWalkers, #9)Ruthless Game by Christine Feehan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reread from 7/28-8/3/12

My Thoughts:

General Thoughts--

I loved this second book with Team Three! This is one family I would want to have at my back.  Being a sappy person who loves babies and gets jazzed with the inclusion of a pregnancy into the storyline, I was a happy camper with this book. And to think Ms. Feehan was able to successfully integrate this into a high-octane action romance, even better.  The storyline takes the Whitney GhostWalker conspiracy to a different level, and it's kinda twisted with the creation of super-soldiers the hard way.  I'm really glad that Kane and Rose loved each other and were able to get their baby free of that mess.

I adore Sebastian.  His uncanny intelligence and awareness at a young age really worked for me. Reading about him was one of my favorite aspects of this book, along with the camaraderie between the Team Three family.  I know, broken record.

Such a great mix of tough alpha hero and sweet, loving hero.  I love a guy who can kill the bad guys but also deliver his child and take care of the baby's mother so lovingly. Sigh! Kane has so much integrity and that shines through. I can see why Rose didn't want to give him up!

Rose is tough and sweet.  She's a mix of vulnerable and fierce. I loved her protectiveness of her child, but also the fact that she had a soft-hearted love for Kane, despite being raised only for being a soldier.  She's one of my favorite women in this series, but that's saying a lot because I love them all.

I will keep this review short to avoid the Broken Record Syndrome. Anyway, loved my third reread, and super-excited to continue this series.  This brings my epic Summer 2012 reread of the GhostWalkers series to a conclusion. Now I can read the next installment, Samurai Game, and keep my fingers crossed that Ms. Feehan will get to Javier and Rhianna's book sometime soon. That's going to be outrageous!

Addendum to Review for Audiobook--Completed 8/28/11:

Although I really dislike the narrator's voice (the same one as on Predatory Game), especially the manner in which he does the women characters, I couldn't resist checking this out from the library.  I loved Kane and Rose's story the first time, and loved it this time as well. It took me forever to finish because I would listen to this at bedtime. Of course, I'd fall asleep, and the next night I'd have to rewind it to get to the part where I'd fallen asleep.  My prior review of the book stands, but for the audiobook, my rating is slightly lower, because the narrator made some parts sounds cheesy, unfortunately. 

I am a huge fan of Christine Feehan, although I can totally see why she wouldn't work for some readers. She is a bit repetitive in some of the language. That's something I can get past, because pretty much everything else works very well for me in her stories.  I admit I would get really excited as I listened to some parts.  The action was great in this book, so was the interaction between the characters, romantic and otherwise. The parts where Kane helps Rose have the baby and takes care of her just turned me into a molten pile of goo.  When he cries as he holds the baby.... I was sighing like crazy.  That's how I roll!

The book reminded me how excited I am for Javier and Rhianna's story. I hope that Ms. Feehan is working on it even as I write this review.  I adore this series so much, and I will always snap these books up as soon as they come out.  Even a less than satisfactory narrator can't ruin them for me.

Audiobook Rating:  4.25/5.00 stars  My advice is to read these books first. Don't do the audiobook.  You will think they are totally cheesy and that is so not the case when reading them.
Book love rating:  5/5 stars

Original Review Below:

Oh, dear!  My jones for the GhostWalkers is much, much worse after this book.  I love how each of these books is different. It makes sense, since people are unique, and therefore, each relationship would have different nuances to it.  However, you would think when it comes to military men and the women they love, there would be a sameness to these books.  To me, there wasn't. Each couple stands out differently to me. I had really high expectations for Kane and Rose's story. It's such an intriguing idea, since Kane and Rose were paired in "Mad Scientist" Whitney's GhostWalkers breeding program, and last we heard, Rose was pregnant and on the run.  Poor Kane was clearly tortured about his part in that situation. I knew there was going to be some built in angst and tension.  I loved the execution here.  Instead of Kane and Rose being adversaries, at each others' throats, they were a united team.  Pretty much from the beginning, it was clear they would stay together, come hell or high water; the problem was getting through a sea of adversaries to find their safe place together.  But Kane knew something that Rose didn't. He had a team of men and women who would die to protect them and keep their child safe.

If you are a fan of pregnancy and baby storylines in romance, you will love this book. I certainly did.  I especially loved how Ms. Feehan still managed to write a fantastic action-adventure story, but incorporate the heart-melting moments of mother, father, and child bonding.  Kane is such a good daddy.  He even delivered his child, even though he felt that being a rough soldier with no idea about parenting made him the least likely candidate for the job.  All those bonding moments between Rose and Kane,  Kane and the baby, and Rose and the baby, and the three of them, made this book for me. I loved Kane's discussions with his baby, regarding being a good soldier and taking out enemies, and how great Mommy was!  Okay, this is probably not going to work for readers who don't like the whole happy family vibe.  Kane and Rose and their child form a beautiful family, and it's not even in the traditional way that sometimes gets shoved down our throats by the conservative voice of the media.

I loved how Kane and Rose made sense together. It was great how their pairing turned out well for both of them. In a sick and twisted way, that Whitney is quite the matchmaker.  He might have paired the GW couples for his own agenda, but the results turned out fantastic, nine times in a row.  They had an intimacy that wasn't just about physical attraction. Kane is a very caring, gentle, loving man.  He doesn't see himself that way, but I was glad that Rose saw that in him every early on, and it turned out that she choose him as her breeding partner for that reason, along with his formidable warrior prowess.  They are both so loveable, and multi-layered people.  Rose is totally kick-butt, but sweet at the same time. She might be pint-sized, but she is an incredible warrior in her own right.  She totally earned my respect in how she handled herself in numerous dangerous situations her and Kane found themselves in.

As always, Ms. Feehan delivered high-octane, fantastic action sequences.  I loved those parts of the book just as much as the romance and the family moments.  Kane and Rose have more enemies than they can count on one hand. For those who have an interest in the escalating situation with the Mexican drug cartels, I think Ms. Feehan did a great job of integrating that into this story. I wish there were really GWs who could deal with those cartels and teach them what it feels like to deal with someone who won't stand for their bullying and terrorist tactics.

Of course, I was sold on the GhostWalkers books even after Shadow Game, but I was a little apprehensive when the story seguewayed over to a new team. However, I am eating my words. I love the Urban Warfare team. In a way, they are even more bad@$$, because they do their magic in environments that are fraught with obstacles.  I am already loving the members of this team!  Mack wasn't quite as abrasive in this book, and Javier really gets the spotlight.  I am glad that we get to see Rhianna more in this book, and I am telling you, Javier and Rhianna's book is going to be smoking hot. I can already see the formidable chemistry between this pair.

I freaking love this series, and this book has made me love it even more. I was sad when I finished Ruthless Game. I just wanted to keep reading. I even reread a little of it last night when I should have been going to sleep. There are a lot of sigh-worthy moments in this book, and the action is crazy in all the best ways. I loved how Ms. Feehan didn't create conflict by breaking up this wonderful couple, but made the major source of conflict about them adjusting to their family life in a very dangerous world, where the GhostWalkers will always have powerful enemies, but nothing that they can't handle.  None of those forces can prevail against the teams and the families that these unique men and women have formed together, and the powerful bonds of friendship, love, and unity.   I can't say anything more without spoiling, but Ms. Feehan could write these book well into the future, with all the fascinating layers and story threads that are unfolding with each book.  Let's just say that the world better look out for the next generation of GhostWalkers!

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