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Ratings and Reviews (1 41 star ratings
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4.6 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    gritty and intense

    Midnight Revenge is the seventh book in the Killer Instincts series by Elle Kennedy. Though each can be read as a standalone, there are some plotlines that cross over from one book to the next. This is actually the first book I've read in the series, though not the first that I've read by this author. I've enjoyed her new adult Off Campus series, and her military Out of Uniform series. I wasn't sure what to expect in the way of a romantic suspense story as a result. I had no problem picking up the story right from the start as any lingering plot points from the previous story were quickly explained for readers to catch up. In this case, it's that Derek (or D as he's known) has a teammate named Sullivan who has been missing for several months, presumed dead. But D isn't ready to give up on him yet, and is looking at all angles to continue the search, as is their teammate Liam. At the start of this story, Liam is injured on a mission and brought to a local doctor, Sofia, who is on call for their team when they are in Mexico and need medical help. D and Sofia share a quick and steamy (but emotionless) rendezvous, with no expectations of a relationship. D doesn't believe in them, and Sofia is definitely not expecting anything from him, as they see each other very infrequently. But, she winds up pregnant, and feels that he has a right to know, though she has no plans to further their relationship. Unfortunately she shows up to tell D right as he's discovered Sully's whereabouts. Things go from bad to worse as Sofia gets embroiled in the fiasco of a mission. Can D save his friend, his woman, and his chance at a happy future? Whew! I think that this was one of the more brutal romantic suspense stories that I've read. It would have benefited from having a warning in the synopsis. I don't want to spoil the story, but there are some scenes of torture, sexual abuse and childhood memories of sexual abuse that I personally had a hard time reading (and there were some sections I skimmed over because I really didn't want the images lingering in my mind). But overcoming that, this story was exciting and action packed. D is a hardened killer, a man with no heart (or so it seems) and when you find out about his past it's understandable why he doesn't believe in care and affection or trust. Yet, though he doesn't acknowledge it verbally, he does care about his teammates in his own way, and his guilt over Sullivan's abduction (particularly because he knows it was meant for him) is something he is determined to atone for by finding him no matter the consequences. Sofia throws a wrench into all of his plans, in particular because he doesn't want to care about her. The idea of being a father terrifies him (though he won't admit it) and caring at all for Sofia means a chink in his armor, one he knows his enemies will exploit. Sofia is able to see past D's facade though, to find the humanity in him despite his best efforts at hiding it, and make him realize that he can be capable of love and affection. Though it takes much of the story to get to that point, I loved seeing him realize that he could be worthy of someone's care, and I thought he and Sofia made a worthy couple. They get into some pretty scary situations, and the action is intense for much of the story. In fact, I couldn't put it down, and I had to finish the story in one go to make sure that everyone would be okay in the end. There were some interesting scenes with the other characters, and a clear lead in to the next story in the series, which I will definitely read (because now I need to know what happens next!). So despite some of what for me were scenes beyond my comfort zone, it was definitely an entertaining and riveting read. 4 stars.

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