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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wildcard by Robin Shope

Wildcard by Robin Shope
Publisher The Wild Rose Press, Crimson Rose
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (234 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Snapdragon

What would happen if someone secured a microchip that could be manipulated to give his or her candidate the edge to win the next presidential election? Not enough votes for a landslide, but just enough to put their candidate over the top in a decisive win. The Wildcards are a group of maverick agents who want to take over the outcome of the next election for President of the United States.

During Ivy Dillon’s last week as a Washington Intern, she and Ms. Geneen Waters, the secretary to the President of the United States, overhear a conversation about voting machines and missing software. Months later Ms. Waters body is found floating in the Potomac River.

FBI Special Agent Ian Serby, who swears he will give his life to protect her, takes Ivy into protective custody. Ian is smart, sexy and seems to have a hidden agenda all his own.

Will Ivy follow her heart and believe what Ian tells her about trying to stop the Wildcards or is he actually a member of the Wildcards?

Shope’s Wildcard introduces a heart-stopping combination of terrifying tension and sexual tension. Although the description suggests this is a political thriller, the politics fall into the backdrop- this truly is a love story, if only the lovers can survive to see it through! In addition, in between moments of panic, there are some light touches of humor, too.

Ivy Dillon knows what she likes and the one happy coincidence here is that a certain person – and not one dressed in drag either – appears to find her equally attractive; very convenient. However, she wastes not a moment. She stands and chats up the dear whatzhisname, while fending off canap├ęs although ultimately caving to the chocolate covered strawberries.

The odd over-the-top emotional description rather fits Ivy’s personal tendency to the dramatic, and gives the reader a little breather between the more heart-hammering sequences. The eerie quality of Ivy’s dreams, and certain events, create an aura as early as chapter one. Ivy’s haunting past, and current friendships and obligations, fill her every moment. Ivy herself is a well-developed and unusual character. She has a certain girlish attraction, but is clever and confident about her own work and position, but at times offers a level of, perhaps it is gullibility. Is it possible to fall in love with someone you don’t know? In Ivy’s case – not only is it happening, but she is asking the very same question. Ivy’s character, in particular, gives this work a distinctly unpredictable quality.

Throughout, the dialogue is great and situations are believable. Worth noting are the real-feeling descriptions, making scenes so very real and immediate. Shope makes good use of a few words on ordinary things – from things like flavors to the physical sense of a hot shower. Point of view changes filled in some of the blanks, and were well done, if often not especially appreciated by readers.

Wildcard is engaging and a hard-to-put-down. The occasional quirky event, or character, like Martin in drag, add light touches that sharply contrast with some of the more dangerous moments. 4 books