Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Merciless

Merciless by Diana Palmer
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 297 (Ereader)
Source: NetGalley     Publisher: Harlequin
Author | Book Site

Can she convince a man to let down his defenses when he’s set on guarding his heart?
Tall, dark and eligible?

That’s all that matters to the wome 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?

My Rating:

My Review:
Joceline Perry is Jon Blackhawk's administrative assistant with responsibilities that include legal research, saving Jon from desperate women, and refusing to make coffee.  All the while nursing a very big secret.  Jon's family has seen their share of tragedy and hopes to put the bad guys behind bars and prevent more tragedy.  There have been previous books featuring Jon's brother and his romance with Winnie.  If you plan to read that book, then you have to read it first because this book serves as a huge spoiler of everything that happens.

I love love love Diana Palmer.  How many times have I mentioned her 1994 book, The Rawhide Man?  I'm sure tons.  I was super excited to have the opportunity to read and review Merciless and learn about Joceline and Jon.  Although Jon is a FBI agent, this is not a suspense or thriller  All of the action takes place off screen and the reader only hears about it after it has occurred.  This worked in my opinion; it is a romance after all and the romance didn't get lost in all the drama.  I felt like the story was a bit different for Diana Palmer, which is great for people who have read all of her stuff.  I didn't feel like I was reading the same story with different characters.

Some of the jargon used seemed a bit unnatural especially when talking about gaming.  My husband is a HUGE gamer.  HUGE.  He has headphones and he talks to people online.  It's crazy.  Thus, when the characters discussed their various hobbies, it just seemed overly technical and unnatural.  In addition, I felt like I was being hit in the head with certain views.  Every time I would get comfortable and settle into  the story, it would be like BAM there it is again.  Specifically, there is a huge emphasis on Joceline being a single mother and illegitimate children.  Parentage of other characters is mentioned throughout, but the reader is always told when a child is illegitimate.  Since this is a contemporary romance, this really seemed strange to me and a bit off-putting.  Joceline is treated like a leper and I just don't think that happens anymore.  PLEASE tell me if I'm wrong.

Okay  I never do this but I'm going to include a spoiler because I HAVE to vent.  PLEASE do not click if you do want to read this book because it will absolutely ruin it for you.

So what do you think?  Am I naive?  Are people still treating single mothers like pariahs?  Would it be something that bothered you?  I want to hear your thoughts :)
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