Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alice's Review: Merciless

MercilessSummary:  Tall, dark and eligible? That's all that matters to the women of Jacobsville when it comes to handsome and aloof FBI agent Jon Blackhawk. But if it were up to him, he would never settle down. Luckily, Jon has the best gatekeeper: his efficient and reliable assistant, Joceline Perry. Without her help, he'd be at the mercy of husband hunters—but the more he comes to rely on her, the more he notices how invaluable she really is… While Joceline can't deny that her boss is attractive, as a single mother with responsibilities she's determined to be professional. But when Jon is accosted by a criminal seeking revenge, she comes to his aid—fueling the spark that is growing between them. As the attempts on Jon's life increase, Joceline stands by his side. But when the smoke clears, will the man who avoided love realize that all he ever needed was right there all along?

Review:  As you know, I have been on a romance novel kick as of late. I have read some good ones. Sadly, this is not one of them. The story centers on Jon, a Native American FBI agent, and Joceline, a feisty, sharp tongued single mom as his secretary.

I’ll cut right to the chase: here are the bad parts. Jon is boring. I completely disliked him (and that was before I found out he was a 30 year-old virgin. Don’t get me wrong, I can understand abstinence. Fact is I respect it. What I can’t understand is his how clueless he is when it comes the act of sex, especially during the losing the virginity scene. Granted, I don’t know too many virgins, especially in their late 20s so I may be off the mark but I’m pretty sure the dude does not yell “It’s coming! It’s coming!” It’s? Ooooooo-kay. Apparently, he hasn’t masturbated either. (Now, come on. What guy hasn’t masturbated at least once? He’s 30 fer Pete’s sake. Did he skip right over puberty and his adolescent years? I apologize, I digress.) He is completely married to his job, is bossy and has a moral compass that seems to be tuned to jackass.

The thriller/mystery that forms the backbone of this novel is mediocre at best. There was plenty of back-story but it reads more like the second book in a series. There was too much about what happened in the past and not enough substance to hold this storyline together. As far as I can see, this is a standalone novel. Also, there were way too many characters. Who killed who, who was related to who, etc. I like having a notebook handy when I read for jotting down passages that move me, not to create a diagram because I can’t keep the characters straight. Lastly, the dialogue is elementary. It’s as if each character is reading from a script and not saying what would come naturally.

Enough with the bad, onto the good. Among all those characters, there was one that I adored: Our anti-hero Rourke, the South African hired to protect the fair Joceline. Now that was chemistry! I loved the scenes between those two. You could feel the genuine dislike simmering on attraction Joceline felt for Rourke. And you knew how Rourke felt hands down. It came across the page in each word Ms. Palmer used. I could have read 1000 pages of him trying to convince her to take a chance on him. There was a real attraction there. Sadly Ms. Palmer missed the mark with this. They had all the making of a classic romance novel super couple. Unfortunately, their romance will exist only in my imagination.

I also enjoyed Joceline immensely. She was a fantastic dame in distress who knew how to take care of herself. She took responsibility for decisions she made in her life and did the best she could. She was a great mother to her son, a great worker for Jon, and she was quick witted, sharp and funny. I won’t begrudge her the choice she made in pining for Jon, I guess the long haired thing works for some.

I’m not exactly mad I read this novel, I just wish that as my first foray into Diana Palmer’s novels was something better than this one. If this will become a series, I will definitely read the next one, especially if it is about Rourke. As far as her other novels, I will read her again though next time some of her earlier work. Hopefully the second time will be the charm.

Final Take: 2/5



Luxembourg May 21, 2012 at 10:56 PM  

Merciless is a wonderfully written novel, and Palmer's characters jump at the reader and hook them into the heart of the story with them. The reader is instantly pulled in and taken on the whirl wind of action, romance and suspense; riding along for the duration.

Merciless follows Jon Blackhawk and Joceline Perry. Jon is a 30 year old senior FBI agent and his secretary Joceline is a single mom of a 4 year old little boy with medical issues. And, she harbors a secret. One that could forever change lives around her. Jon is targeted by someone he had arrested...or so he thinks. When clues start arising to the truth of his enemies, will Joceline and Jon be able to solve the mystery? And confess their true feelings for each? Or will secrets, and one mean mama, keep them apart?

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