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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Suspenseful Read With Likeable Characters
Diana Palmer is an autobuy for me, but I did read the reviews posted here before I read it on my kindle. I am sure glad that I had bought it and paid no attention to the reviews; because I read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it.

First I would like to discuss the book and then the ADD discussion. I had been looking forward to Jon's book and...
Published on August 22, 2011 by Linda Hurst

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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible!!!
There are no words to describe the overwhelming disappoint I felt while reading this story. Palmer's writing has slacked in recent years, but this is taking it to a whole new level. There was no relationship development between the hero and heroine which is the most important element of any romantic book.. I felt like they were brother and sister. The book consisted of...
Published on July 27, 2011 by Amazon Customer


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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible!!!, July 27, 2011
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This review is from: Merciless (Kindle Edition)
There are no words to describe the overwhelming disappoint I felt while reading this story. Palmer's writing has slacked in recent years, but this is taking it to a whole new level. There was no relationship development between the hero and heroine which is the most important element of any romantic book.. I felt like they were brother and sister. The book consisted of lame jokes by the heroine that did not make any sense and seemed really forced. I read this book because I want to know all the characters' stories from the Jacobsville books, but I could have done without this one. Do not waste your money. You will be disappointed.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just So-So, July 31, 2011
By 
Rebecca F. Waters (Callaway, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
I have never written a review before, but after reading this book I felt the need to. This novel is standard Diana Palmer--lots of talk about chastity and old fashioned morals, stereotypical hero and heroine, law-enforcement subplot. Unfortunately, this book didn't have much of a spark for me. The characters lacked the sprited back and forth that most of Palmer's books contain--in fact, the dialogue was pretty sub-par with most of the historical details sounding like they were copied straight from an encyclopedia instead of flowing from conversation--and the hero wasn't even upset at the ubiquitous secret that the heroine was keeping from him. The denoument had less to do with the development of the couple's relationship and more with wrapping up the somewhat lame subplot started in Harley Fowler's book and continued in Kilraven's.

If you are upset by Palmer's occasional preaching on topics she is ill-informed about, avoid this book. The opinions and "information" on ADD/ADHD and proper treatments for those conditions is horrendous.

On top of that, I really find the lack of editing in regards to continuity annoying. At one point the characters reference happenings from another book by Palmer, but they get the main characters incorrect. A small thing, but irritating none the less.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars merciless- NO CHEMISTRY, July 27, 2011
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This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
I have read many of DP's books and am a huge fan butthis book was a huge disappointment! There was no relationship development or chemistry whatsoever between the main characters. The slow building passionate sensuality that we have come to love and expect from DP was totally nonexistant! Sorry DP, I am still a fan but I think your older books are much better :( Better luck next time
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cartoonish - at best, February 13, 2012
This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
** Possible Spoilers **

Truly, horribly, miserably Mercilessly bad.

Others have brought up the ADD/ ADHD aspect. Which apparently the kid didn't have because as soon as he had a wonderful DAD, he was miraculously "cured". (yeah, that doesn't send a msg to all those parents with kids with ADD/ADHS - just be better parents and your kid will be fine). But to have the teachers - the TEACHERS - suggest there was something wrong with people a single mom? in 2012? okay - maybeeeee in 1952 the teachers might have said something like that. Does DP know what year it is?

What FBI agent uses gamer lingo in the office? What was up with Jocelin's snarkiness? She wasn't clever or giving history lessons - she was just not nice. Her boss had a guest in his office and she insulted her. Professional, much? Why bring up the gamer stuff / the history stuff/ the coffee pot references - if they aren't going to mean anything?! ugh.

then, the mixed signals on religion. abortion is okay, but pre marital sex isn't? what Christian religion has that as a tenant? I kept thinking DP was referring to Catholicism, but abortion is definitely NOT okay in the Catholic faith. After all of Cammy's unbelievable, cartoonish dialogue, you find out her story. The story that made her that way.. and it still doesn't resonate.

It is 2012. Even the most "moral" among us recognize that single parenthood sometimes happens. I cannot imagine a scenario in which an FBI agent's mother calls up to scold her son's admin assistant about her past. So, i didn't get what DP was trying to say. Who were we supposed to empathize with? Usually, we're supposed to empathize with the heroine. Except, she essentially raped Jon. Yes, colour it any way you want, but he was drugged and lacked the legal ability to say "yes". If a woman was drugged (at least in a romance) our hero is supposed to see her eyes rolling back or her inchoherant speech and rush her to the hospital... NOT TAKE HER VIRGINITY.

ugh.

Even the ending didn't make complete sense. She just wrapped it all up in a "Rourke is wonderful" paragraph and left it at that. Wait. What? Isn't our HERO supposed to do the majority of the wonderful stuff in his own book?

Aside from that - there simply wasn't any chemisty between our H/h. None. nada. no lingering looks, no smoldering eyes. no heat building until a helpless kiss over a long work day that turns into a build up of angst and threats to quit..

I got it from the library, so i didn't spend any money on this collection of misleading and nonsensical words, so i guess that's a plus.

Save yourself the time and money - avoid this with MERCILESS determination.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Merciless, June 21, 2012
This review is from: Merciless (Mass Market Paperback)
Don't recall having ever read a Diana Palmer book before and, based on this book, won't ever again. Just terrible. It is formula writing at it's worst. The plot is thin. There is no character development. No relatioinship development between the main characters, hence it is difficult to relate to them. The story progression is choppy. There was plenty of room to enrich the plot and landscape of this book, yet the author completely avoided that at every opportunity. It made for some very dull, emptly reading. As someone once said, it was kind of like ordering a hamburger and only getting the bun.

This also happens to be part of a series of books involving the same cast of characters - something I looked for and wasn't obvious to me when I purchased the book. I hate breaking into the middle of a series and trying to piece together the previous histories based on interspersed "hints".

The other thing that I found annoying is that, despite the clumsy and predictable sex scenes, the overall tone of the book is one written for teenagers by a teenager. Very simplistic, pedantic, immature writing style and there is a ton of irrelevant filler in the form of flash back information referring to what has happened to various characters in previous books - except that she repeats it and repeats it and repeats it, ad nauseum. Same stuff - over and over. My only conclusion was that she had to produce X number of words or pages and that's how she got it done.

My advice? Don't buy this. You can write a better one yourself, have more fun and save your money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Merciless Is Listless!, January 28, 2012
This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
This was my first cowboy romance book and I almost trashed the thing. Jon and Joceline are so mismatched and the idea she kept her secret from him all those years is amazing. Joceline is obnoxious and no ones idea of the ideal assistant, so why would Jon give her a second look, or third? He should have scalped the woman, instead. Yes, opposites may attract but it is sometimes a recipe for disaster. Jon's mother didn't like Joceline and others had problems with her mannerisms as well. In the real world, she would have been shown the door. I don't understand the mentality of these books because the characters seem to live outside the reality bubble. Its ashamed because this book had a plot that was interesting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story But a Little Dull!, September 27, 2011
This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
Readers have been fans of Diana Palmer for quite a while now. This is a woman who writes romance novels that have made the New York Times and USA Today's bestseller lists. Her characters have become beloved in many romance sectors, however, this new one is a bit...dull.

Jon Blackhawk is one of those stunning, rigid, quiet lawmen who really wants to be left alone in his home of Jacobsville. He is an FBI agent who specializes in helping children and throwing kidnappers and child traffickers in prison as fast as he possibly can. This is a man who is truly - well, the way he's written - a saint, apparently. He is the ultimate bulldog when it comes to his job, and the rumor around town is that he has `saved himself' for marriage.

His rich mother, Cammy, is a true bulldog as well. All she wants is for her son to marry and give her grandchildren. In order to do this, she sends some of the most ridiculous women straight into his office to try and woo him in order to get him down the aisle. These women want the big, tough guy, but all they seem to know about for conversation is haircuts, the latest fashion in Paris, and other things that Jon couldn't care less about. On top of that, they all want to change Jon and make him stop playing so many video games like Halo, World of Warcraft, etc. Jon is fed up with his mother, especially since his half brother has just gotten remarried with a baby on the way; and as far as Jon is concerned, that should be enough.

Joceline, pretty much the only character with some serious backbone and sense of humor, is Jon's paralegal and administrative assistant. There is no one smarter and no one better at her job. There is also no one better at sarcasm that she uses to get the little `princesses' Cammy sends, out of Jon's office, and has the ability to banter with her boss until he becomes so frustrated he can barely speak. But he puts up with her (even though she refuses to do menial tasks like make the office good coffee).

Joceline has her own difficulties. She is a single Mom of a little boy and she is shunned by most of the town. Rumors and gossip abound where Joceline's private life is concerned, so she keeps speaking the story about how she was engaged to a military man who went off to war and never came back; that's why she is a single mother. But, of course, Joceline has a secret that she can never tell.

Cammy despises Joceline. She is always coming to the office or calling and saying hideous words about this wonderful young woman who is completely in love with her boss, but is struggling to make sure that her asthmatic son is well, and there is enough money in the bank to take care of him.

When a monster that Jon put away gets out of prison and threatens everyone who was involved with putting him there in the first place, Jon and Joceline are in the path of his rage and must leave town in order to make sure that they remain safe. Add in a seven-year-old murder that happened to Jon's half brother's first family, and the story does it's best to add a `thrill' into the plot.

This book would've worked a great deal better if the setting had been about fifty-years-ago and not present-day. The reason for this is that all the characters in the book are amazingly self-righteous, and make the subjects of single parenting, sex before marriage, and racial issues into something huge, which is definitely not twenty-first-century thinking.

If you are a Diana Palmer fan you will love the book. But for some readers the story is just a bit too outdated, and the characters all seem to be running for "saint of the year."
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Suspenseful Read With Likeable Characters, August 22, 2011
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This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
Diana Palmer is an autobuy for me, but I did read the reviews posted here before I read it on my kindle. I am sure glad that I had bought it and paid no attention to the reviews; because I read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it.

First I would like to discuss the book and then the ADD discussion. I had been looking forward to Jon's book and the hints of their relationship in Dangerous (Kilraven's book) made me think it would be one of Diana's nice pairings and I was really pleased with the couple. I loved Jocelyn's quick repartee and her insistence on not making coffee. Her devotion to her son was wonderful. I normally hate books with 'secret babies'--I feel it is irresponsible in general not to at least seek financial support. But, in this case I could understand why Jocelyn kept it to herself and I loved Jon's reaction--none of the standard raging, stomping and storming around that too often accompanies these 'revelations'. Jon accepted it like an intelligent man and I loved his new found relationship with Markie. I don't regard disclosing Markie's parentage as a 'spoiler' because it is pretty obvious from the very beginning--Markie's black hair was a dead giveaway! I admit that Jon's Mom was a bit much, but then I hadn't liked her much before and loved it when Winnie Sinclair put her in her place in Dangerous.

I have enjoyed the murder storyline that Palmer has threaded through her last few books and have thoroughly enjoyed all of her books released since Fearless. Lest you think I just love everything she writes, I loathed Fearless and was so disappointed as I had looked forward to Rodrigo's story for several years. Luckily, as in the case of Harley Fowler (The Maverick), Palmer delivered Jon's story and I love the gaming elements and Jon's relationship with his half-brother Kilraven. It was also nice to see that McKuen Kilraven had finally found peace with Winnie and even when more suspects of his daughter's murder emerge he didn't go off the deep end again.

As for the ADD issue, reading the reviews from readers on their ADD soap boxes one would think Palmer dealt with it at great length--NOT!!! It is mentioned early in the book and again in the epilogue and only a few paragraphs in between as Jocelyn tries to decide what is best for Markie. Their reviews over-rated the importance in the book about ADD and was greatly over stressed in their reviews. I also felt their slam of Diana Palmer as being ignorant and wrong was wrong. I will admit it was wrapped up a bit too easily in the epilogue, but it is true that a calm, less stressed and more routine environment will help kids with ADD--in fact it is strongly recommended.

I am an expert On ADD!!! I have ADD--miserable childhood in school where I never paid attention and in my open classroom I wondered what subject we were even studying; but no one knew about ADD 60 years ago. I have two sons who have ADD and we dealt with them differently. The older one had more trouble in school and was medicated till 7th grade when he refused to take it any more. My younger one only had trouble in the class room and because he was so bright he was able to grasp the material on the first go round and so when he tuned out it didn't hurt (this one is getting a PHD in Physics at the present).

Sadly my older son took the path that Palmer mentions and the other reviewers said doesn't happen; he went on to use drugs. Self medicating is the medical term, but he nearly lost his life and had many horrible years. He hated ritalin and said that since one pill helped him in school, maybe another would make him feel better too. Sadly, he is not an isolated case--in the program he was in during his teens there were 8 of us in my support group and 5 of us had ADD kids. Just think about it--a kid who has trouble deferring gratification and is impulsive is naturally more likely to do drugs. I am sorry if this angers some, but I spent 10 miserable years watching my child destroy himself and can only thank God that after his last OD, he has remained sober for 10 years---but it is a daily struggle.

Obviously every kid with ADD doesn't end up on drugs--I grew up in the 60's and never touched them and neither has my youngest son, but sadly Diana is not wrong to say that it happens more often then any of us wants to admit. None of the reviewers mentioned Ritalin rebound either---which was a problem for us and others in the ADD support group I attended for several years. I am sorry if my relating my experiences distresses those dealing with ADD kids now--but I still deal with it--it isn't something you outgrow--you just learn how to cope. I really hope for the same success my younger son has had as he coped with ADD and that none have to watch their kid suffer through addiction.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Been There, Done That", August 1, 2011
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This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
As in her previous book "Dangerous", this latest Diana Palmer story is hopelessly caught in not only including the characters from previous stories connected with this current book "Merciless"....but using the first three quarters of the book to do just that.
I'm not sure it serves the devoted fans, such as myself, or new readers very well by using reading cycle time to rehash the old characters. Can't hurt, but maybe let's do with less in the future. Too much reading space is used for this and not enough sensual love scenes Palmer is famous for all these years.

I suspicion this book is penned by another writer or assistant with much influence. As a devoted fan, I will certainly purchase another publication by Palmer...but so far I would suggest to any fan....if you have read "Dangerous"....this book also spends countless pages re-introducing familiar characters from other Palmer stories.

I fear the same about the next book...there's always hope!

Linda Seymour
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Twists and Turns in this Romantic Suspense, July 26, 2011
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This review is from: Merciless (Hardcover)
Jon Blackhawk isn't ready to settle down, certainly not with any of the prospects his manipulative mother Cammy selects. Fortunately, his administrative Assistant Joceline Perry has his back. She also has a secret she cannot reveal to anyone, especially her good-looking boss who is typically tall, dark and aloof. However, when a revenge-seeking criminal targets Jon, his family, and finally Joceline and her son, the two must work together...and try to deny the attraction simmering between them.

For five years, Joceline has worked for Jon, determined not to let her feelings for the handsome Cherokee/Lakota man show. Joceline is efficient, indispensable to Jon, and willing to dish out the banter, but she's very private about her personal life. The story she tells people is that Markie's father was a soldier who left for Iraq and never came back. As a single mother of an asthmatic boy who may have ADD, Joceline's number one priority is to Markie, to care for him and protect him as best she can. On the job she has an uncanny ability to ferret out information needed for Jon's cases, but she's adamant: about not doing menial tasks such as making coffee--not in her job description.

Jon works out of the San Antonio office on the violent crimes squad and specializes in human trafficking crimes, sometimes with his older brother McKuen Kilraven, another federal agent, and Detective Sergeant Rick Marquez. Both Jon and his brother are ultra-conservative. Rumor has it that Jon has never had a woman, but it not for their lack of trying. It seems his mother is determined to find a wife for her youngest son, and she knows it's not going to be anyone as immoral as Jon's assistant who has an illegitimate son. Jon meanwhile, is discovering that he's quite attracted to Joceline.

When a known criminal, Harold Monroe, is released, threats begin, first toward Joceline and Markie, then toward Jon and his family, Jon seeks the help of Rourke, who seems to be a mercenary with South African origins, to guard Joceline and Markie. Eventually, Jon decides they'd be safer at his ranch. What Jon doesn't realize is the killer is after more than just Joceline and Markie. Jon is shot and lands in the hospital. Joceline rushes to his side. They return to the ranch where Cammy Blackhawk descends. Finding Joceline there, Cammy vents her rage on Joceline who now realizes any possibility of a life with Jon is but a dream. Cammy's anger sets off an asthma attack in Markie, and Joceline rushes him to a hospital, only to be followed by a repentant Cammy who now shares a few secrets of her own.

Despite a plot that seems to have been done to death (a drop-dead gorgeous Texan who happens to be Native American, who happens to be rich as Croesus, who happens to have a spectacular ranch and an opinionated overbearing mother), I enjoyed Merciless. Especially after Cammy revealed her own secrets and became human. Early in the story, we're told Cammy Blackhawk is really a nice person, but in the first half of the story she seems more caricature than character. Then she transforms into a gentle and caring woman. The manner in which Ms. Palmer handled Cammy's confession pulled it from the brink for me. At this point I was invested in both the characters and the outcome. There is much more to come, but mentioning any of it would be a spoiler.

Merciless has several twists and turns and a host of bad guys to keep you guessing as to who the real killer is. There are numerous secrets revealed along the way. There are a couple of love scenes that I would label lightly sensual.

Ms. Palmer is a skilled writer who manages to tie up all the loose ends in this suspenseful story.
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Merciless
Merciless by Diana Palmer (Mass Market Paperback - April 24, 2012)
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