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Monday, October 18, 2010

Mind Games by Karen Wiesner

Mind Games by Karen Wiesner
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (133 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

After nearly 25 years, psychiatrist Jocelyn Dominica has determined the fate of every operative in the Network. When she's diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, her superiors decide it's time for her to choose a replacement and retire from service. After overhearing them discuss the options for her retirement, the mention of the death of her father more than two decades ago, and a traitor inside the Network or Oversight, Jocelyn realizes she's no longer sure who to trust. Are her superiors trying to save her...or end any possibility of threat she poses?

A fall that could have stolen her life as well as her memories puts her in the hands of a man who tells her he's her husband and he loves her...but may be trying to kill her.

This is about a romance that defies death and betrayal and rises above the intrigue to soar into the stratosphere of pure love despite, or in spite of, the machinations of others.

I wasn’t too sure about Jocelyn at first. I’ve heard her name throughout the Incognito series and I know she can play hardball with the bad guys and win. What I didn’t know about was the damaged woman inside, the one who hid and was in pain. Here is a character whose job it is to get into other people’s heads. To cure them, or to break them, and she did it effectively. Ms. Wiesner gets a reader into Jocelyn’s own head and it is not pretty or happy or hopeful. At least, not from her point of view. Add to that the devastating news that she’s given and it’s remarkable she didn’t completely lose it. Jocelyn is an agent, trained with everyone else but never went into field work. Her training comes in handy when she least expects it. Her fortitude is tested along with her sense of self. Everything she has known is challenged and undermined. Who does she believe in? Who can she trust? Can she even trust herself? This book takes a reader deep into the mind of an abused and tormented woman. It shows how strong a woman can be and through each revelation and revealing of each clue, we see a broken woman come back to life. She stands up to be counted as a survivor and this reader totally was committed to watching Jocelyn win. The cost is high but the rewards are as romantic as this reader could wish.

Chase is the man from Jocelyn’s past as well as her present. This book takes a reader on a journey where Chase has to face his inner demons if he’s to have any place in Jocelyn’s future. When the book starts, he and I had absolutely no idea just how dangerous, traumatic and shocking his course would be. As each scene unfolded and clues were dropped here and there, a reader gets a peek into this man’s own nightmarish reality. He has genetics against him, and although he has a sense of it, once he is forced to face the truth of it and its ramifications, Chase’s reaction is what every reader could wish. In the meantime, I was treated to flashbacks and memories which helped me understand how he became the man he is and why he needs to become the man he should be. There was never any doubt that Chase loved Jocelyn – but love isn’t always enough.

As I’ve come to expect from Ms. Wiesner this eleventh book in the Incognito series remains strong in elements of surprise, freshness and excitement. The convoluted, far reaching plot against the heroine and hero was another masterful handling of intricate detail and creative villainy. I thought I had it all figured out; right until the last shots were fired. I just sat there stunned. How cool it was that I had no idea who it was until the author wanted me to. I had an idea but at the last second, she pulled the old switcheroo. And yet, all I felt was a profound sadness because so many lies and deceits hurt two very beautiful people. Does the end justify the means. You bet. That Shannon from Oversight, the big cheese in charge of The Network did her clever Chess Master maneuvering again and darn if she wasn’t’ right – again. And even if a reader has never read any of the Incognito series before, this book can stand alone with only Jocelyn and Chase’s story to carry it. It’s strong and well written.

Mind Games, the 11th in the Incognito series, continues the premier legacy of writing that Ms. Wiesner has imbued all her books with. This reader enjoyed well developed characters, amazing thought twisting intrigue, absolutely wonderful romance and emotion, and sensual and passionate scenes between Jocelyn and Chase as they reaffirmed their love that refused to die as it survived incredible odds. This story kept me on the edge of my seat and I read it in one sitting. I give this story a definite recommend to all romantic suspense readers because this book represents what this genre is all about. It delivers romance with meaning.