Wearing her shades, a black Stetson, and snakeskin cowboy boots, security agent Maxine "Max" Blake is the baddest thing walking. Ex-marine, ex-cop, and a whole lotta 'tude, Max doesn't have time for anything but her job. Her latest assignment: to protect Dr. Adam Gary. Her problem: he doesn't want her there.
Adam wants to focus on his work, not to be distracted by this tall, sexy woman. A foiled kidnapping attempt may have forced him to take an undercover agent into his household, but no one said anything about the agent being a woman, or that she'd be beautiful, or that she came with two monster rottweilers. How is he supposed to concentrate on his top-secret project that could revolutionize the world when all he can think about is her smooth, coffee-colored skin and those long, lean legs?
But as danger nips at their heels, love may be a distraction neither of them will live to enjoy . . .
Sexy/Dangerous is my first read from Beverly Jenkins, but the book's called Sexy and Dangerous. I mean, what more could you ask for? LOL. ;) Incidentally, the book's two main purposes fall nicely into these two categories.Sexy: The first half of the book, while interspersed with behind-the-scenes moments with the villain, was spent exploring the relationship between brilliant researcher Dr. Adam Gary, who is developing an energy source that will put oil moguls out of work, and his bodyguard of the moment, Maxine. We learn about their characters and backgrounds and the author gives them ample time to develop a convincing relationship. There's no rush here, but there are no manufactured contrivances to keep them apart either. They don't like each other initially, and that's obstacle enough. This is believable because the good doctor is the Grinch when he's on the job (he is), barking at anyone who disturbs his work, and Max is not exactly romanced. Can you tell she's a woman of her own mind? They get to know each other living in the same house, however, (Oscar the Grouch has a softer side after all) and when they do finally give into their growing feelings-- well, we learn "Doc" Gary has other talents too, LOL. And stamina. o.O Damn. Doc likes to please. Dangerous: The peace has to end sometime. Just when I was wondering if this was a suspense novel, the bad guys show up. This is when the book becomes an action flick, complete with rocket-launching Escalades, exploding car chases, and gunfights. If you can suspend belief about all the unlikely technology (well, she is working for a secret agency hired by the government), then you'll enjoy this part. I've seen enough Hollywood I got over this quickly, and the story moves on rapidly at any rate. Just like the movies, there's a pretty satisfying conclusion. I was a little annoyed by the last obstacle for the couple to breach, i.e. a relationship obstacle. This was a case of the "strong female heroine has to prove she's doing something for herself and not because the hero told her to," but as this is a real flaw (the characters are very real, especially the actually-gentle-despite-their-introduction hero), I excused it. Max is pretty cool otherwise, even though she talks to her dogs like people, LOL. And they meet a gentleman thug on the way. How many suspense couples do that, hm? LOL.Now, I have to comment on the writing style though. The author was very fond of using articles before subjects, e.g. "leaving a very annoyed Max to chase after," "so the irate Adam found her," etc. That needs to go. She also has a tendency to write run-on sentences that interrupt the flow of the telling. So that I read a neverending sentence and find myself losing the thread of the story. "So Max did such and such, with that such and such, which was the reason she had learned such and such..." Wait, what were we talking about? Her style is also a little distant. You definitely get the feeling you're the third person. You see from the narrator's perspective-- that's all that's allowed, LOL. Not a lot of internal dialogue. On the other hand, her pacing is even and her writing is not florid, which is nice for a change. It's not bloated with adjectives or archaic word use. It's simple.The dialogue also made up for the style (and the somewhat stereotypical plot), for me. All in all, this book was enjoyable for the characters (they're the expected heroes but fashioned differently) and their interactions. It's good for those rainy days, especially if you like those hero-takes-all action flicks. Not particularly dark (apart from a racist villain who is rather villainous in the final conflict). Good read. I'll probably pick up another when I'm in the mood for a basic romance suspense.read more
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The title of this book describes the heroine in a nutshell. Maxine "Max" Blake is the most kickass heroine I have read since probably Eve Dallas. Over 6 feet tall, an ex-Marine, tough, and completely self-confident, she epitomizes how a strong heroine can be portrayed in a romance without compromising her femininity. She's strong throughout without the soft wimpy insecurities that some authors use to characterize their supposedly strong heroines. She comes from a loving family with no traumas or deep secrets to cause inner turmoil. When Max is assigned to guard Adam she brings along her "team" of two trained rottweilers to the government house where he is living and working on his top secret project. I'm not a fan of this breed of dog but Max adores them and I was completely won over by their personalities.Adam is also an excellently drawn character. He's intelligent but stops shy of being portrayed as nerdy and is very secure in his masculinity to let Max be the strong woman she is. And he's a hunk but doesn't try to out-alpha her when the situation becomes dangerous. He also has issues with the dogs from a bad experience in his past that he works through it realistically.The first half of the book is rather slow with very little action or suspense. But it was fun to see how Max comes into Adam's house to renovate and make it livable and install security measures. The woman knows how to get things done . I need someone like that around my house. When the action and suspense finally go into high gear I had a hard time putting it down and stayed up too late trying to finish it. The villains were obvious and not very clever, but I loved the high speed chase scenes with Max driving. How many car chase scenes have you read that feature an accomplished woman driving. Woohoo, go Max. She was wonderful. All the other characters were fairly well drawn and the sex scenes were pretty spicy.I also liked the ending and how Max made the decision she did without pressure from Adam. All in all, an enjoyable read with an unusual heroine. (Grade: B+)read more
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