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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Longest Night by Cindy Dees

The Longest Night by Cindy Dees
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Full (219 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

He was the original cool operator. But now Jake Harrington needs Shannon McMahon's help to complete his deadly mission. Watching his target from her apartment, the military sniper isn't prepared for the emotions Shannon awakes in him, tempting him with her tenderness…and her innate sexiness.

Shannon had come to far-off St. George to hide. She knows Jake is one of the good guys, but he won't let himself get close to anyone—until his cover is blown, sending them fleeing for their lives. Together on the run, desire flares, hot and unstoppable. Jake will surely rescue her from danger, but can she rescue his soul?

Mix love in with a government take over and a killer on the hunt and a reader has the recipe for an action packed riveting read.

Jake is the quintessential tortured hero. He’s noble, honorable, brave, and courageous, and he can take a lot of physical pain. The one thing this man can’t do is feel. He doesn’t believe he has any soft emotions inside. He’s a walking dead man but he just doesn’t know it. He’s also terrified. He wouldn’t agree with that because fear doesn’t touch him. He’s the ice man but even dry ice, as formidable as it is, eventually thaws and melts. Have you ever seen dry ice do its thing? It steams and throws off fog and it can burn you if you touch it no matter if it’s a big block of the stuff or only the size of a quarter. That’s pretty much describes Jake. A reader has to wonder what kind of catastrophic event would have the ability to break down those well built walls Jake has so diligently made and turn him to steam.

A woman can be a catastrophic event. Shannon certainly qualifies as far as Jake is concerned. She’s a very fearful woman however. She has internal scars that still terrify her because she’s been a victim before. Unfortunately for her, her past and her present are going to collide in an explosive event. How is a lone woman with an adorable cat going to take her life back from the brink when she’s always in a state of panic? By being a woman of fortitude with attitude. She has a brain and she’s not afraid to use it -– even when she should be. I liked Shannon. She’s a survivor who does some pretty amazing things during the course of this book. The absolute best is just by being who she is because it’s her love and the strength she draws from it that eventually saves not only herself but Jake too. A reader can’t ask for a more poignant and effective romance that that.

Well, I guess one could argue that having a great passionate clincher scene is important as well, and The Longest Night delivers that as well. It’s not mindless or meaningless. When Jake and Shannon get together it’s explosive, not from the frenetic pace, but from the emotional wake it leaves in both their lives. Both are left reeling and have to come to terms with its ramifications, each in their own way. It also contributes to their own internal conflicts.

The external conflict is formidable and far reaching. Both characters have pasts that come back to haunt them. This time there is a lot more at stake and the pressure and drama are well told in this tale. When the action and suspense pick up the pace, a reader is hard pressed to book this book down. It’s a gripping, pulse pounding battle of wills and the ultimate good versus evil climax takes on a thrilling and personal edge.

Ms. Dees brings it all together with an intense emotional and heart wrenching series of dialogue and revelations that had this romance reader sighing in satisfaction. Jake, the cool military sniper gets his happily ever after, after a lifetime of believing himself a monster. How the book ends is worthy of an Oscar nomination. It was like taking Die Hard, mixing it with one of the best John Wayne movies and adding High Noon along with passionate romance to make a reader sigh in satisfaction. I sure did and would recommend this book to any romantic suspense reader who craves a taste of romance for those military alpha guys. This book delivers.