Pro bono lawyer Jenny Parker is the only true innocent in her family. The daughter of a New Orleans crime lord, she’s tried for years to make her own way, but family ties always manage to pull her back in line. When her youngest brother gets involved in human trafficking, Jenny wants to believe him innocent and tries to protect him, even though it means covering for his crimes.
Matthew Ryder knows Jenny is hiding something, and he couldn’t care less about her motives. As a member of the Committee, a covert anticrime agency, he’s dealt with the worst the world has to offer. To him, Jenny is just another criminal. But when she asks for help, things turn dangerous quickly, and though he can’t trust her, he can’t turn her away.
Now, Jenny and Ryder must head to South America to stop the trafficking ring. To find the truth, they’ll have to survive untamed jungles, hostile rebels, crushing betrayals, and—perhaps most dangerous—the fire of their undeniable attraction.
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Driven By Fire
by Anne Stuart
February 16, 2016
($5.99 Regular Kindle Price)
Anne Stuart has been my go to author for romantic suspense for more years than I can remember. Usually I rate them between 4 and 5 stars in my mind. This book didn’t quite live up to the usual for me.
Jennifer Parker is a lawyer in New Orleans. She works for the poor and doesn’t always get paid. Her father is a crime lord and her brothers are all part of his network. She has washed her hands of all of them, with one of exception. Her younger brother, Billy. When her father asks her to try and get Billy out of a major jam of epic proportions, she reluctantly does. This puts her into the cross-hairs of the Committee. The Committee is an international crime fighting group. This time the Committee is trying to bring down a major human trafficking ring and Jenny finds herself in the middle of it all.
Jennifer is one of those heroines that have too dumb to live moments a lot during this read. Her moments involved outright stupidly believing things, when all evidence points to the contrary. I had major problems with her due to that. The hero? Ryder-he’s an agent with the Committee, hardcore against romance, all about the work and actually didn’t seem to have a nice bone in his body. So neither one of these characters were very likable. So unusual with a book by this author-usually I really like her heroines.
This was a mystery and quite the adventure story as well. Only not adventure in a good way. Parts of it take place in the South American jungle, and I readily admit that I don’t enjoy books that take place in a jungle. New Orleans however, is one of my favorite cities for a book to be set in and since there is a good bit of it set there, that redeemed it a bit for me.
Dark romantic suspense? Yes that would describe this book, and really quite a few books by this author and I always enjoyed them. This one had an element that I couldn’t get past easily and I was shocked that the heroine does. To me, it would be goodbye, and good riddance, but that doesn’t happen. And after that, I had a hard time even wanting to finish the book. But of course I did because I wanted to see how the author redeemed the hero. Did she? Well you would have to read it yourself, because I am still on the fence.
I guess you don’t always have to love everything a favorite author writes, and that was this book for me. I liked some aspects, but a lot of aspects weren’t a favorite for me. That’s really hard for me to say about an Anne Stuart book, but it’s my honest opinion. And actually, it did keep it from being cookie cutter in any way, shape, or form, so there’s that. It’s recommended to adult romance readers.
The review copy of Driven By Fire was supplied by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
About Anne Stuart
I’ve been writing since the dawn of time. A child prodigy, I made my first professional sale to Jack and Jill Magazine at the age of 7, for which I received $25 (admittedly my father worked for the publisher). Since then I’ve written gothics, regencies, romantic suspense, historical romance, series romance — anything with sex and violence, love and redemption. I misbehave frequently, but somehow have managed to amass lots of glittering prizes, like NYT, PW and USA Today bestseller status, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Romance Writers of America, and a decent smattering of Romantic times and RITA awards.
I live on a lake in Northern Vermont with my incredibly fabulous husband. My two children have flown the coop, but the three cats do their best to keep us from being lonely.
In my spare time I quilt and play around with wearable art, and the rest of the time I write write write. Apparently women of a certain age get a rush of creativity, and I’m currently enjoying it. Too many stories to write, not enough hours in the day.