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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Review: Renegade's Rose: Book 6 of the Incognito Series

Renegade's Rose:
Book 6 of the Incognito Series
By Karen Wiesner

Network Operative Hunter Savage is nearly at death’s door when he turns renegade to save his sister, kidnapped by the Black Pope, Rex Kovac, leader of the covert terrorist organization R.E.D. Hunter’s only means of saving Celine? Steal Kovac’s most prized possession—his wife.

Renowned belly dancer, Tanya Kovac is nowhere near as innocent as she seems...and Hunter is nowhere near as indifferent to Tanya’s charms as he wants and needs to be to save his sister.

Reading Renegade's Rose was an exercise in tugged heartstrings, bitten nails from intense suspense, dry mouth from tension and excited elation at the best darned HEA Ms. Wiesner has written yet in this series.

Hunter Savage is a man determined to be his namesake. He wants to be the most dangerous man in the world , yet Karen gave me a view into his heart and the dreams he dares not reveal. Despite his intentions, his intensive Network training and his duty, he has always had a bright fire burning in his heart that never died, that the Network could never douse; his love for his sister Celine.

In this story, I learned about Hunter's background and it was chilling, sad, and at times I felt a need to comfort the boy who became a man; never knowing love, the comfort of a loving mother's touch nor ever being told he mattered- that he was loved for himself. How could you not feel for this man? How could you not connect with this character? Karen had me all but crying at the injustice that befell him at such a tender age. That background is intrinsic for understanding the driving force behind his pursuit of the bad guys. In this installment, Kovac figures heavily as the leader of R.E.D., a terrorist group that has plagued The Network all throughout the series and has done something that aims a spike in Hunter's heart – Kovac kidnaps Celine. Can you imagine losing the one person who helped keep you from losing your soul to The Network's duty machine?

Hunter is led to Tanya, another person who has had choices taken from her and who is forced to live a different kind of duty. Tanya is a character that I liked. When you first meet her, you have certain expectations, as does Hunter. As the story unfolds, you begin to marvel at how Ms. Wiesner's mind works because Tanya's duty is similar in nature to Hunter's. They both have to save someone whose love keeps them human, keeps them sane when everything and everyone around them wants to break them.

The author gives us little teases and hints along the way until a major light bulb pops on and your jaw drops. I had NO idea that -- Darn, if I say anything else about Tanya, it'll be a spoiler and I don't want to do that. I was floored when a major portion of The Networks chess game was revealed which affects her and Hunter's sister. Suffice to say that, as with other people who have become, either inadvertently or purposefully, aware of The Network, they too cannot escape its tentacles. On page 126, there is a line, a phrase that refers to #2, Shannon Mckee, and I wanted to give Ms. Wiesner a High Five for writing that. I'm all excited. Finally a character that says in the book exactly how I feel about Mz. McKee. Yes!

BTW- there is a part that might squick a reader out. It's a courageous and physically challenging moment that had it not been done, would have altered the story's path. Still, just the visual thought of her doing what she had to do, makes me shudder. Just saying …

Now, let's talk romance. Their relationship is touching and really awesome. It was passionate, desperate and an emotional roller-coaster. If you've read any of the previous books, you know that Ms. Wiesner has their relationships working within the parameters of the world she set up. As much as us readers would have it different, it would lose its integrity if she messed with the rules. That being said, you, the reader, are in for a treat! If anyone can find a loophole, it's Angelo. Bless his chess master's heart, he produces a scenario that Mz. Shannon McKee is NOT happy about but could do nothing to gainsay. I am absolutely thrilled and I bet you will be too.

You know what else I liked? Ms. Wiesner has Hunter, Celine, Angelo and even McKee talking about Roan Emory. It confirms for me that the HEA of Roan's story is intact and healthy. I appreciated that touch. Heck, even Justine's HEA is intact. What a wonderful and masterful handling of this series. I feel like these people are real and most certainly these books read better than any SOAP opera I ever suffered through.

In my opinion, Renegade Rose is the most romantic of the series and a sure fire pleaser for all those adrenaline lovers out there. Who needs coffee when you have the Incognito series?

Review by Xeranthemum