Friday, April 9, 2010

Review Unleashing the Storm by Sydney Croft

Unleashing the Storm
Author: Sydney Croft

Book Description:

Feel the heat. Hear the roar.

The fever has begun.

There’s a storm rising. Electricity crackles in the air. For Kira Donovan, it’s that time of year again: when the need floods her flesh, when almost any man—the bigger and the stronger the better—will do. For Kira, an animal psychic, the heat is a matter of life and death, and this year it has come at just the right time. Tom Knight, a natural born predator, has arrived at her isolated Idaho farm—for reasons all his own…

At first Kira isn’t interested in Knight’s motives. She only needs him—his body, his hands, his scent. But soon, through a daze of desire and distrust, Kira discovers Knight’s world—the world of a covert operative, one man among dozens of secret agents waging an astonishing global war. Knight’s mission is to bring Kira--kicking and screaming if necessary--into the Agency for Covert Rare Operatives and harness her extraordinary gift. He never expected the powerful emotions she would ignite in him, or the fierce desire to keep her safe from harm. For as darkness gathers around them, Kira is feeling the heat once again, leading them both on a wild ride of delicious thrills…and terror beyond imagining.

Stacey’s review:
I decided to go with two ratings for this one: 3-for the romance, but 5-for hot sex scenes

I hope the next book is better because this one especially wasn't for me so let me just get started with the review. Here we go: Oh wait! Let me first say this, take out of your mind the ideal that these are your typical PNR because they aren’t. Alrighty, let’s begin:
From the very beginning the premise of this book is that Kara is a female in heat. Literally! Basically, Tom/Ender (he is going under his real name for this undercover assignment) is assigned the job to get her to join ACRO or kill her. From the first meeting we learn Kara is an animal whisperer and from the research ACRO has done, one they presume could be used as an ultimate biological weapon by ITOR against the world. They predict she is a greater threat (in the wrong hands) than any they’ve seen so far.
Okay the premise sounds good. I’m curious, I’m reading. WHOA!! Hold the page because from the sentence where I read that Kara hires her ranch hands for a little more than ranching and then comments, Tom had no idea how handy he’d be to have around, I’m feeling a little icky. There is something to be said for wanting or needing to feel the touch of another, but not the way it is for Kara (you’ll know what I mean when you read for yourself.) So, I’m wondering where the story is going. Apparently she needs to be serviced routinely during her heat cycle. (Yes heat cycle, like a dog) and lines up men to do the job, seriously? I am not a fan of turning a women into nothing more than a dog in heat, how degrading and then to find out that it isn’t about her finding her release that’s important it’s about the fact that she needs the release of the male to calm the fire in her loins and keep her from dying!! (Yes that statement was cheesy, but so is the whole idea of Kara’s situation, well it’s cheesy or it’s just plain icky. But I already said it was icky so the next reference was cheesy!!) Maybe it was the way they kept making references like she was a female animal. Don’t get me wrong, I love my shape-shifters, but this wasn’t the same. I am all for shape-shifters and having a mate and then going through the motions, but when this women doesn't shape-shift or do anything that is a true shape-shifter, but act like a dog in heat, I’m having trouble making any connection to what the authors might have been suggesting. The shape-shifter books I have read don’t describe the female as having to be serviced by multiple men because one can’t handle the job. What kind of romance story does that set up?
Even when the two were supposedly starting to have feelings for each other I just couldn't get into their moments. It was like a chore and nothing more. At one point when she finds out what he is and what he is doing there she is mad at him, but next thing you know she is crawling on top of him to get it on because she has to. PULLLLEASE!!! And I can't get out of my head the description later in the book of her waking up feeling the need, stripping as she makes her down the hall, walking into his weight room and him just dropping his pants for the cause. How is that suppose to fall into anything more than a chore, seriously!! I almost stopped reading at one point. I think about the time she was describing her jail experience. Ewww! (so not going there)
In the end, Kara is brought to ACRO. She is still in heat when she arrives mind you and the whole trip back she and Ender have been getting it on according to her heat cycle, but Ender keeps telling himself, he is just doing his job. Eventually, Ender does become very territorial with Kara and takes her back to his house which is nice considering her other option once she gets to the compound is to have a series of donors lined up to service her!! Again, WHAT????? I totally was turned off by that, well sh*** who am I kidding I was totally turned off way earlier in the book. The sex scenes were hot I’ll give you that, but I guess I kept thinking this book was going to redeem itself at some point. The rare points that were good were not enough for me. Another example of something that didn’t go over for me either was when Ender decided he wasn’t man enough to be a family with Kara so he breaks it off. What does she do to cope with it? She goes to ground!!! I mean literally hides in some bushes and doesn’t come out until Annika coaxes her out. (too weird for me!)
The best redeeming highlight for me was, of course, Creed and Annika’s story. I love them!! I also liked Dev’s story this time. I do so like how the authors keep up the side stories and keep the reader filled in on the whole picture without taking anything away from the main characters. It was good to have more details of what’s going on at ACRO overall and still the story flows smoothly. Very nicely done!!!!
Creed and Annika are one of the secondary stories along with Dev and his situation with the haunting of the escaped spirit from his house. The one Creed and Annika were sent to communicate with in the first book. The spirit escaped from his portal and started haunting Dev. A portal that Oz, Dev’s previous lover/best friend, sealed it into. So guess who is the only one who can help Dev now? You guessed it, Oz, the previous lover. Oz comes back after Creed finds him and shows up just in time to help Dev during a particular moment of stress. Turns out the spirit wants to take over Dev because it believes Dev and him (yes the spirit is a man) have a same common purpose. One that the spirit feels Dev would gladly give himself over to the possession of the spirit in order to get answers and win the fight against ITOR. What Dev finds, out thanks to the help of Oz, is shocking and NO, I’m not spilling the details!! That was interesting part. Oz and Dev make up (you know how!!) and push the spirit away in the process.
Creed and Annika on the other hand are at a draw, so to speak. We have to wait and see what is going to happen between them. There is a way they can be together, but it comes with a price. I for one hope it’s one that they are willing to make. I think their relationship is sweet even if Annika just wants Creed for a hook-up!!! Their story comes across so much better than the way Tom and Kara’s comes across.
So in the end you know Ender and Kara are together with a little surprise to the story. NO again, I’m not telling. Sheese guys! I can’t tell you everything!! (LOL) I do still think you should read the book if you are planning on following the series, but I think you can catch up on any missing pieces from the next book from what I hear (incase you choose to skip this one now). If I have totally busted your excitement bubble about this book I’m sorry, but you should know it’s not what I would describe as real romance. The way I see it, it’s more of a horny itch that needs to be scratched and eventually leads to love, versus starting with love or at least some romance that includes fabulous sex.

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