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Monday, March 22, 2010

Street Game by Christine Feehan

Street Game by Christine Feehan
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (423 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Years ago, GhostWalkers Mack McKinley and Jaimie Fielding were lovers. Now they've been reunited on the violent streets by a ruthless common enemy who could destroy them both.

Street Game is a heart-pumping, page turning thrill ride of action, suspense and romance.

As I’ve come to expect from Ms. Feehan, this book not only had me reading nonstop, but engaged all my senses to a heightened level. It’s part of the GhostWalker series but stands alone, with pride and strength.

Mack is a battled hardened warrior who wants to save the world. That’s one of the reasons he joined the military’s GhostWalker program but he ended up getting more than he bargained for. No one could imagine the lengths a mad scientist would go to in the quest for the perfect soldier. Now he lives with that nightmare day in and day out. Mack is a tortured hero, not so much from the experiments but from the realization that his own arrogance, assertiveness and patriotic beliefs may have cost him something much more valuable that any physical enhancement he’d received. He faces the loss of the love of his life, Jaimie. I liked Mack’s character. Strong yet vulnerable. He is so smart in some ways and so blinded in others. I really enjoyed reading about how he felt about Jaimie. The words Ms. Feehan had him saying were so romantic and perfect for the rough and tumble kind of guy that he is. His inner turmoil was tragic but at the same time so frustratingly like an alpha guy – stubborn. And yet a reader gets to see into his heart and can’t help but want him to be happy.

Jaimie is the heroine who has her own inner demons to fight. In the beginning, she didn’t have that much faith in herself, or trust. Both had been compromised in the past and the book sets a reader down at a time when a major shift occurs in the powerbase. She is thrust into a situation that forces her to take stalk of what she thought she knew and what ends up being the real truth. Of all the characters, I think her character grew the most. She initially came across as being the weak one but as the story progresses I watched her feel more comfortable with herself and her role in Mack’s life. And like real life, relationships need back and forth communication and the sharing of feelings. It’s not easy and this story makes that crystal clear. Although we regular people don’t have quite the issues these two have.

The secondary characters are made up of their Ghostwalker family, team three. They all play a role where a reader gets to know them and realize that each has their own story to eventually tell. The interplay between characters is rich, varied, personal, witty and realistic. A reader gets the impression that they all know and respect each other and that they’d do anything needed to protect their family. It’s a very unifying and touching element in the story. By the end of the book, I’m cheering for all of them to find their other half, the one that makes them whole. Kane has to be next because I get a sense he is running out of time. Javier is a hoot – love his affinity with skateboards and computers. The one they dubbed “Superman” is intriguing too. I’d love to find out where he’s from. Great idea bringing him on board.

There was a bit of head hopping in the beginning. I sort of got the impression that so much was going on that Ms. Feehan wanted to quickly get a reader up to speed with all of her characters. It smoothed out pretty quick so it was not a turn off for me.

The villain remains the often referenced but absent Dr. Whitney, the genius mad scientist. His cronies have the spot light in this one as well as a very nasty group of terrorists. The backdrop of racing against time and all odds kept the suspense level on maximum throughout most of the book. The sensual build up between Mack and Jaimie heightens to almost explosive proportions before the volcanic explosion occurs. They dance around each other verbally, emotionally and physically. Eventually a reader gets the promised happily ever after in a most satisfying way. But with men like Mack, they take the long and winding road which makes for some interesting reading.

For readers of the GhostWalker series or for readers of romantic suspense in general, Street Game packs a powerful punch with detail, intrigue, great settings and diabolical villains that would make Ian Fleming proud. The anticipation of the rescue scene and how it unfolded caused me to bite my nails to the quick – it was that engrossing and had me at the edge of my seat. There is no doubt this book is going on my keeper shelf, just like every book in the series so far. Hands down, it’s a winner.