Friday, June 27, 2008

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend (Part I)

I’ve kicked off my summer reading with two books that are loosely (very loosely) connected by a theme – diamonds. In both books, everyone wants them – they seem to be the primary motivation for everything the main characters do. In reality, the jewels become secondary to more important issues: trusting yourself, trusting others, building relationships, and – believe it or not – maintaining world peace. Though they are different genres, both books are well written and a lot of fun, so if you have a yen for gems, take a look at:

Hot Ice
by Cherry Adair

The Premise: A terrorist organization headed by a religious zealot is planning to blow up the entire city of Las Vegas. In order to stop him, the counter-terrorist organization T-FLAC needs to get inside a weapons storage facility modeled after Dante’s seven levels of Hell, and so intricately and heavily secured that even the terrorist group’s leader needs to keep the access information stored on disks. Unfortunately, the disks were stolen, along with some very famous diamonds, by one Taylor Kincaid, jewel thief extraordinaire, who simply emptied the entire safe and mailed the contents to herself in Switzerland. T-FLAC operative Huntington St. John has spent a lot of time and agency resources to find Taylor and try to get to her before she pops the safe, but instead he ends up chasing her halfway around the world before he is forced to acknowledge he needs her skills to break into the storage facility. The race is on to outsmart the terrorists and disarm a nuclear warhead before Sin City gets blasted off the map.

What I liked: I’m a fan of the T-FLAC series in general, and I really like the stories with a heroine who has in interesting profession. Taylor is the kind of clever, twisty character I love – a lot of her sex appeal comes from her mental match-up with the hero. She and Hunt St. John spend a lot of time matching wits, which adds to the chemistry. I also like anything with a good heist or two in it, and this book delivers.

What I didn’t like: Honestly, I can’t find much to complain about. There were a couple of lucky breaks that raised my eyebrows, but since this kind of story is all about suspension of disbelief, I’m really just nitpicking.

Overall: One of my favorites in good romantic suspense series.

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