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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Verifiable Intelligence by Kaitlin Maitland

Verifiable Intelligence by Kaitlin Maitland
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full (242 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Poppy

When betrayal has a price tag ~ who can you trust?

Dayne Castille isn't your typical business woman. Her clients are anyone with a lot of money and her contracts require proof of death. At least the life of a paid assassin isn't boring.

When a random kidnapping lands Dayne on someone else's hit list, she must team up with rival assassin Jace McKay to unravel a case of political intrigue and greed.

Trust doesn't come easily to a woman like Dayne. But when everyone else is ready to put a gun to her head, Jace is the only safe haven she has. In the end, will her attraction to Jace be her deadliest foe?

Looking for a book that starts with all engines revved, and never really slows down? Then this is the book for you. Ms. Maitland plops the reader right into the middle of a kidnapping and then just moves forward with more and more excitement.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel reading a book where two assassins for hire were the main characters. These aren’t assassins who choose morally acceptable targets, these are people who flat out kill people for money – lots of money.

Surprisingly, the author manages to make the protagonists quite sympathetic, especially Dayne who starts out in a light that is less than flattering because of a decision she makes right at the beginning of the book. Still, it’s completely in character for her, as is her growth as a human being as the book progresses.

Jace McKay, the hero, starts out in a more flattering light already having a reason to be a little better of a person: his little brother, and the victim of the opening kidnapping.

It’s been quite some time since I read an action book that kept me flipping pages as quickly as this one did. With heart-pounding drama that never stops, the story flies along adding more and more conflict and problems until I wondered how our characters would make it out alive. It seems as though the entire world is against them.

Now, was this a perfect book? Of course not, few are. And one of the issues that constantly stopped me in my tracks was a petty one: the heroine’s name. Every time I saw “Dayne” I stumbled. Is it pronounced “Dane” or “Dayna”? I know, I know, maybe not something I should have gotten hung up on, but I did. My eyes never just read the word when I saw it, they tripped over it. Sadly, that’s the problem with using atypically spelled names for characters.

Regardless of how on earth the heroine’s name should be pronounced, there were few other spots where I was tripped up. The plot was solid for the most part, the writing truly outstanding with clean descriptions and little hand-holding or “telling” along the way. I was truly impressed at Ms. Maitland’s ability to weave this exciting tale.

The ending did leave me scratching my head just a little ... was the punishment exacted on the perpetrator of all that ailed Dayne and Jace sufficient? I’m not entirely certain. Still, the bad guys do get theirs and the reader gets a HEA that made me grin.

Looking for a book with sassy, imperfect characters? A strong, heart-pounding plot? Tight, descriptive writing? Then pick up Verifiable Intelligence because it’s a hell of a good story that meets every one of those requirements.