Tag Archives: supersoldiers

Live By The Team

Book Review: Live By The Team, by Cindy Skaggs

Live By The Team

I picked up a copy of Cindy SkaggsLive By the Team as an Amazon freebie.

about the book

SSgt. Ryder was born, bred, and enhanced as a warrior, but when he returns home to his new wife–exiled from the Army along with the rest of his disgraced team–he faces mounting anger and paranoia. Something shady followed Ryder back from the desert, and he disappears to protect his wife, but his departure leaves a vacuum filled with intrigue.

Lauren Ryder married thinking she had finally found stability, until her new husband disappeared. In six months, she’s lost everything that mattered, and now a madman has her in his sights. Ryder’s return lands her in deeper danger from a formidable enemy. As the threats escalate, so does the heat, but even if Ryder can save Lauren from the forces mounting against them, will they survive what he has become?

Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill. The Team Fear novels are fast paced, with twists and turns and a side of steamy. The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this new romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.

my review

I liked this OK, wouldn’t say I loved it, but I liked it. I liked that Lauren had volition of her own and wasn’t ready and willing to hand over responsibility of her protection to another. I liked that Ryder was so clearly in love and willing to show it. I liked that the two were already married, so the romance was a little different that the normal meeting and falling in love sort. I thought Rose and Debi were fun side characters.

However, the ‘love’ was too focused on sex (it got redundant), too much of the plot hinged on Ryder’s unwillingness to simply say what needed to be said, the super-soldier aspect was all hand-wavy, and I was actually quite bothered that ~80% of the book was dodging one established threat, but that it suddenly evaporated and the last part of the book was dealing with an entirely different, unrelated threat. I suppose it was a plot twist, but it felt more like a plot shift to me.

All in all, I liked Skagg’s writing. I’d read another of their books. But this was a so-so read for me.

Review of Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1), by Kit Rocha

I pre-ordered a copy of Kit Rocha‘s Deal with the Devil.

Description from Goodreads:

Nina is an information broker with a mission–she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

Or they could do the impossible: team up.

This is the first book in a near-future science fiction series with elements of romance.

Review:

I really quite enjoyed this. I liked the characters, the diversity, the world, the humor, and the plot (though the twists at the end were easily guessable). I liked that you get a little of everyone’s POV, without head-hopping and that, while there is one main couple, there are also hints of side couples to come. My only real complaint is that, for a series called Mercenary Librarians, books/libraries/librarians play essentially no role. Maybe they will in future books, but they don’t here and I was super disappointed by that. All in all, however, I can’t wait for more.

Review of Kain (Sex, Drugs, and Cyberpunk #1), by Brie McGill

Apparently, I picked up a freebie copy of Brie McGill‘s Kain way back in 2013. It’s one of the books I unearthed when I went through all my ebooks recently.

Description from Goodreads:

Beaten to a pulp, drugged into a daze, and brainwashed into oblivion, human experiment Lukian Valentin gambles his life to evade another eviscerating afternoon with his trigger-happy superiors. Fifty stories of a maximum-security building and hundreds of trained special operatives can’t hold a candle to his will to escape. Beyond the laser bars of his holding cell, Lukian must surmount the even greater challenges of repairing the fragments of his broken mind, forgiving himself for his unwilling involvement with the Empire, and learning what it means to live on his own.

The sassy and commanding Naoko Nai wonders just what to do with the soft-spoken, socially awkward, and totally ripped guy she was assigned to train for employment. She knows nothing else about him, other than the fact he was granted asylum, is great with a knife, and his little white apron gives her distinctly unprofessional thoughts.

When the Empire comes to collect, Naoko unwittingly provides the perfect bait to reel Lukian back to headquarters for a fresh series of brain implants and repair.

To save the woman he loves, Lukian must summon the deadly powers implanted in him by the Empire–powers he fears he can’t control, powers he struggled to forgive himself for using, powers that may drive Naoko away forever–because no ordinary man has struck a blow against the Empire and lived to tell the tale. To save Naoko, Lukian must emerge victorious from the battle against himself.

Review:

I picked this up thinking it was a paranormal romance (or sci-fi romance). You know, supersoldier romance, wherever that falls. It is not. Not at all. The only romance in it serves the cliched and disappointing role of allowing for ridiculously long and out of place sex scenes and providing the male protagonist motivation to act. That’s it. There are two female characters of note, one of which is barely a side character and the nympho girlfriend who literally has no character development outside of the bedroom and nice tits.

The book started out well. Once I’d accepted it wasn’t a romance, I thought it was lining up to be a smart and interesting sci-fi with themes of autonomy and self-determination. Then the whole thing spiraled into pseudo-mysticism (including several loooong visions), purple prose, and supersoldiers that don’t manage to be particularly super. What’s more, the supersoldiers literally did things like let the villain (who are caricatures, at best) monologue, pause, dig a syringe out of a drawer, inject themselves, put on a pair of gloves and reenter the fight. There were several (several!) ways and times that the villains could of and should have been disposed of and they just kept letting them come back to try and kill them again. It was ridiculous.

I did appreciate the side characters. Sven, J.J., and Rue (who all seemed to get more camp as the book went along) are probably the only reason I actually finished it.

Mostly, however, the book is just too long. I’d say a full hundred pages could have been cut and it would have been a better book. On a side note, that cover makes it look like the woman is the creepy, sexual molesting doctor, not the girlfriend (that I assume it’s meant to be).