Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lena Diaz - Exit Strategy

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he's there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn't expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks... or that he came to rescue her.
Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?
Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT's lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on... but it's nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.

Comment: This is one of the books I've read because of book clubs. It isn't my personal choice but it's the book scheduled for this month. I didn't have much expectations about it, apart from hopes it would be entertaining. It's the first installment in a new suspense series, recently released.
This is the story of Sabrina Hightower, a young woman who is kidnapped from her house by a man who claims he's an assassin and that supposedly was told to kill her. After some mixed up orders, Mason, the killer, decides to help Sabrina instead.
Sabrina is suing a certain company that provides adventures and radical experiences for their clients. Sabrina's parents died while doing zip line and Sabrina is convinced the accident wasn't so. Could her kidnapping be connected to her parents' death?
Could Mason be more than just a paid assassin?
I had a good time reading this book. Most of the action was interesting enough to compel me to read and it offered several action scenes which helped the story move along.
Still, I can't help but being picky. I think suspense or action stories in romance are hard to properly develop because anything related to romance seems rather unlikely in such peculiar action circumstances. It seems any love story developing isn't as believable as that.
I think this happened with this book.
Of course the romance is one of the elements that makes the story feel more interesting. In this case, the hero and heroine meet as soon as the action begins so the first stages of their relationship are doubtful, they are wary of each other and apart from physical attraction they don't have much in common. After they start talking, obviously things change but I always wonder how reliable is any connection done under stress and in a situation that demands much of their attention and focus. I don't think it's the best way to learn about someone, to get to know the real people. It's clear this fast paced plot makes it possible for the couple to have to work together, to trust the other sooner and to be forced to face the other person closely. But from that usual insta-attraction to real long life feelings... I do have my doubts and usually I'm never fully convinced of love existing, unless the author is really talented and I can "buy it".
The personalities of Mason and Sabrina seem to match each other, surely to ease the connection that needs to exist between them. Overall, I liked them as protagonists but after the book ended and their HEA happened - although not settled despite the I-love-yous - I couldn't help but feel something wasn't completely right, I just didn't find the power of their bond in a way that convinced me they had to belong to each other. I don't know, but the romance never fully convinced me.
The action of course offers us the possibility to know a lot about secondary characters, some character connections and relationships. The plot is engaging for most of the time but personally, because this book didn't feel as special as other well structured "worlds", I was happy enough with the way things happened and got solved but I can't say I was dazzled positively by it.
Sure, it has interesting elements, the villain did bad things but his reasons started as not that bad and I confess I'm curious about the next protagonist.
Nevertheless, the fact I need to wait for the book to come out next year and all this wait doesn't bother me at all, I'm not dying to get my hands on it, which tells a lot about my real feelings about this "world".
I still recommend this action story but the suspense part seems slightly exaggerated to me. It was entertaining but just that.
Grade: 7/10

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