Redonk Nutshell: Friends become lovers amid a challenge to find and eliminate a dangerous drug lord

I found this book through my Twitter feed via a tweet that read something along the lines of “blahblahsexy assassin falls for secretaryblahblah”.  I was excited to give it a go.

This is the 2nd book of a series, and I had not read the previous book. Knowing this, I plowed into Circle of Danger regardless.  Unfortunately for me, this didnt’ work out so great.

Marie Beltane has been itching to get out into the field and out from behind her desk.  So much so that she puts herself in a situation that gets her in serious trouble, so serious that her boss and close friend, Arthur Ryker, has to come in and save her ass.  But not before she’s injected with a black market drug that will send her into hyper sex-drive mode.

Ryker is royally PO’ed. He makes it his personal mission to protect Marie, and when she gets herself in trouble, he takes it upon himself to see her through it alive.  This means screwing her brains out when the drug drives her out of her mind. But, mind you, Ryker has some serious hang ups about his feelings for Marie.  He loves her, but he doesn’t see himself capable, or worthy, of doing so. So he packs her away in a special little bubble in his heart, thinking to protect her from anything and everything.

There were some enjoyable moments in this book, but overall it felt hollow to me.  It was mostly sex and sexual tension and anguish that I had a hard time buying or caring about.  I’m really hoping my inability to engage in these flat characters stems from the fact I hadn’t read the first book, which I’m assuming really sets up a bit of back story.  The writing itself was…okay.  I had a hard time with moments like this:

“Don’t you realize it has gone further than taking care of our physical needs? I swam underwater for you. I braved sharks in the water and on land for you. I care about you deeply. Don’t you understand I have a huge crush on you?”

Marie’s declaration starts out great but then ends on a big ole’ flop. A crush? Bloody hell, woman?! You’ve screwed this man six ways to Sunday, and you “have a huge crush” on him?  What is this, sixth grade?! JAYSUS!

I have the first book on my TBR pile, and I’m both looking forward to and dreading reading it.

Circle of Danger by Carla Swafford

Rating: C-

Romance: 2/5               Raunch: 4/5

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