on October 10, 2013
Abby is a product of a horribly abusive childhood. She is saved and trained by someone who turns her into a killing machine.
On a rescue mission to save Abby from one of her missions, Kane is part of an independent contracting team (mercenaries for hire). All ex-military, Navy, SEALs, etc. All gorgeous, sexy and alpha-males.
The book opens with Abby in a columbian prison. She is getting the crap beat out of her, but she is strong and has a bigger plan in mind.
Kane is on the team that rescues her and the romance blooms from there.
This is NOT a 'long walks in the park' romance, this is a gritty, we both have deep-rooted issues, gonna plow through our dark past to try to find some peace with each other, kind of romance.
On 'paper' this sounds kind of hokey and silly, but Elle Kennedy makes this interesting and somewhat realistic. I can believe that there is a sexy female killing machine; but it's funny how all the males in the mercenary team are ALL gorgeous. No fat ones that provide the comic relief, not face-mutilated ones, no plain-Joe ones. All hot. All sexy. Guess each one will get their own book?
This book has one or two steamy scenes, but they are not super hot and heavy. If you are looking for a book that is suspenseful, with action (military physical action), this is for you. If you are looking for a super romantic, heavy on the sex scene book - this is not for you.
I enjoyed reading the book because the plot moved along constantly at a great clip. The characters are all interesting in a very macho way. There are hints of various character vulnerabilities from the other supporting characters, so it is not completely testosterone, unbreakable, unfeeling males. You get a sense that they each are vulnerable in their own ways (some are laid out for you, some just a brief glimpse).
I loved that Abby was kick-ass. I love that the author keeps her strong throughout the book. She never turns into someone she isn't. She doesn't want to be vulnerable, but she does open up enough to let Kane knows that she is willing to risk being a partner with him because she loves him. But the author doesn't change the basic person: She is a killer. But she does have a decent sense of humor, she is working to be more trusting, but you can tell it's a long road ahead, she doesn't miraculously change her basic personality.
Kane didn't grab me as some of these macho alpha-males do. He seems to be a bit weak around Abby. He really chases after her a bit and you wonder where the attraction was that caused him to like her so much. If he doesn't do relationships - then why is he so enamored so quickly. It would have made more sense if they were stuck in situations where they were alone and the sexual tension would build more quickly and heavily. But as far as alpha-males go - he worked in this book, but he's not at the top of my 'hottie-with a gun' list.
In terms of the general plot, the author does a good job moving the story along. There are places where the description of a rescue needs to be described in detail - but it's done pretty quickly and painlessly. There is action (lots of action) and suspense as well. It keeps the reader interested.
Each character adds a twist to the story. Not everyone is in the same boat together - there is a character that flat out doesn't like Abby. It works.
I also like that not all the men are leering over Abby and salivating over her. Typically in these alpha-male books, the heroine is desired by all the men and they all fawn over her. Not here. That's refreshing.
Good plot. Kept me interested throughout
can be read as a stand alone.
Ending is a bit quick on the romance piece of things, but it worked.
HEA for the main H&h.
Tiny bit of steam. Minor, but Just enough.
on May 2, 2012
Abby Sinclair's childhood was pure hell until she was rescued by an army ranger who helped her become the strong, fearless woman she is today. Abby's now an assassin who will use every advantage to take out her target. But her latest assignment - to kill a Colombian drug lord - goes to hell when she finds out that her target is also in the sex trade. Desperate to free the young girls who are to be sold soon, Abby intentionally blows her cover and is captured and tortured as a result. Abby's boss is none-too-pleased, but she recruits a team of mercenaries to rescue Abby, and part of that team is the devastatingly sexy Kane Woodland.
With Abby's plans falling to pieces around her, she has to put everything on the line to convince Kane and his fellow mercenaries to help her rescue the imprisoned girls. Gaining Kane's help is easy; it's resisting her desire for him that's hard. And the more time they spend together, the hotter the fires between them burn. But can there be a future for an assassin and a mercenary? Abby and Kane might not live long enough to find out.
Enter the high-octane world of Elle Kennedy's KILLER INSTINCTS series with MIDNIGHT RESCUE. From the very first page, Ms. Kennedy thrusts readers into a gritty world where danger doesn't just lurk behind, but attacks from every corner. Abby and Kane are playing the ultimate high stakes game, risking their lives and the lives of their friends to do what's right. But MIDNIGHT RESCUE isn't all about darkness - there's scintillating passion and an excellent love story as well. Ms. Kennedy deftly blends the two as Abby and Kane fall in love.
Abby is a woman who's deeply scarred by the past. She broke my heart and one of the joys of MIDNIGHT RESCUE was watching her start to heal - start to feel. It isn't easy for Abby to let people in, but given her upbringing and the nature of her job, that makes sense. She's got a hard outer shell, but Abby is incredibly self-sacrificing and has a good heart. She also has an incredibly difficult time reconciling her attitude toward sex with her desire for Kane. And speaking of Kane... Wow. As with all of Ms. Kennedy's heroes, I absolutely wish he could show up on my doorstep. Kane is every bit as lethal as Abby, but he's also caring and, I must say, off-the-charts sexy. I loved Kane and Abby together and they were a great emotional center for MIDNIGHT RESCUE.
Kane's team of mercenaries and Abby's fellow assassins round out MIDNIGHT RESCUE, ensuring that there are many more KILLER INSTINCTS novels that I am dying to read. I could go on about the characters whose stories I'd love to read, but that would make this a very, very long review. Suffice it to say, Ms. Kennedy's skill at creating fascinating characters is at full force in MIDNIGHT RESCUE.
With its dark, edgy tone, passionate love story and deadly protagonists, MIDNIGHT RESCUE is a sure-fire win for fans of romantic suspense. I'm looking forward to re-reading Kane and Abby's, and I cannot wait to read the next KILLER INSTINCTS book!
Review courtesy of Romance Junkies
on October 2, 2012
Midnight Rescue was a pleasant surprise since I had never read anything by this author previously. Was it the best I've read? No, but it was 4 stars, which in my book is a definite must read. The lead characters are strong and courageous. I usually don't like the lead female character to be as strong as the lead male character, as it takes some of the fun away for me since she can take care of herself a little too well; however, since Abby was injured throughout most of the book, that wasn't such a bad thing in this case. I loved, loved, loved her rescue team. There was a great array of unique personalities among them. Most of them have had difficult pasts and have lots of emotional baggage. It truly made for an interesting read. The author kept me interested in all of the characters, not just the main characters. This is a huge thing for me.
The reason for 4 stars vs. 5? I had a hard time accepting that, with the injuries that Abby had, she was able to do as much as she did, especially the sex. It is so unbelievable when the female lead is injured and the male lead initiates sex. Really? Aside from that issue, I truly loved this book and wholeheartedly recommend it for those who love the super alpha male military type of guys who have hearts under all that incredible muscle!
on May 1, 2012
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A straightforward plot with a compelling cast of characters.
Opening Sentence: "Are you ready to talk?"
Abby Sinclair is the second best assassin in the world. Her boss Noelle claims the top spot. Abby has been sent in covertly by the Colombian government to assassinate Blanco, an arms dealer and trafficker. Abby has spent the last two months as his girlfriend learning his secrets before she undertakes the assignment she was sent to do. But before Abby can do that she finds out Blanco has hidden young girls at his compound to be sold to the highest bidder. She has two weeks before the auction so she deliberately blows her cover. She is captured and tortured. They want her secrets but she is in control, able to release herself at any time. She wants to be at the auction. She wants to save the girls.
Unbeknownst to Abby, Noelle has hired a mercenary team to rescue Abby from Blanco's clutches but it is the truly evil William Devlin that tortures Abby for information. Kane Woodland is on the rescue team. He finds Abby's body - naked and beaten in a dungeon cell but not after she leaves her mark on Devlin. When Abby comes to she berates the team for rescuing her. She believes she had the situation under control but with bruised ribs and a cracked wrist she may not have made it the two weeks until the auction. Abby is taken back to the mercenary's headquarters in Mexico where she tries to get the team to form a rescue mission to save the girls. Kane reluctantly agrees to help Abby set up a rescue mission. The teams call in two members to help, Trevor Callaghan and Isabel Roma. They can infiltrate as prospective buyers while the team sets up the rescue. Everyone on the team has their own baggage but they have to set it aside in order to rescue all thirteen girls safely.
Midnight Rescue has a straightforward plot. Thirteen girls need to be saved and Abby gives the team valuable information into saving them. She is injured and they won't let her participate in the rescue. Abby also has some major trust issues that must be worked out before she can get close to anyone, namely Kane. The tension runs a little high during the infiltrating scenes when Trevor and Isabel interact with the bad guys. The pacing flows pretty smoothly from Abby and Kane's relationship to the furtherance of the rescue plan.
Abby has been trained to protect herself and she uses that to her advantage when on the job. She is unemotional and works from one job to the next. Abby is a strong woman, unfortunately since she is injured most of this book, it is hard to see how strong she is. She does grow as a person with the help of Kane. She is able to open up more. Kane is the typical tough man that has had something go bad in his past. He is attracted to Abby and wants to help her with her past. Too bad she confides more in William Devlin, the man who wants to kill Abby for what she did to him, than in Kane. Kane wants her all or nothing. I did like Abby and Kane but I actually liked Isabel and Trevor better.
Trevor and Isabel are a huge part of story in Midnight Rescue. They infiltrate Blanco's auction so the story follows them for a great portion. Trevor has a death wish and Isabel must rely on him to stay alive through the mission. Their feelings towards each other are evident but Midnight Rescue is just the beginning of their relationship. They are funny, flirty and have a lot in common.
Abby and Kane have only about half the book devoted to them and I can see where that may be a turn off to some readers. They didn't really get the attention they needed but I still felt for them and their relationship all the same. Devlin was an especially creepy bad guy. He is smart and devious but his obsession with Abby blinds him from his job.
Overall, Midnight Rescue was an average special ops novel. I did get sucked into the storyline and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I don't know if Trevor and Isabel will be the relationship in the next book but I really hope so. I think it will be all that hotter if they are. If not there are plenty of other people I would like to read about, I can't wait for the next book in the Killer Instinct series.
The Killer Instincts Series:
1. Midnight Rescue
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Signet Eclipse provided me with a copy of Midnight Rescue. No goody bags, sponsorships, "material connections," or bribes were exchanged for my review.
on November 7, 2015
This is book 1 in Elle Kennedy's Killer Instincts Series. This book centers around Kane and Abby both very tough people with issues from their past.
This book is pretty dark and gritty and it certainly isn't a sweet romance. The characters have too much in their past and their professions don't really allow for them to get close to many people.
Abby is as tough as a female can get and she is totally kickass (probably one of he most kickass females without special powers I have read about). Kane is an Alpha male on a team of Alpha males. We get introduced to a lot of characters since both Jim and Noelle have teams.
This book has a lot of action and suspense. The romance isn't front and center but it is there and there's a couple of fairly hot scenes in the book. It's not heavy on romance or sex but more of an action book with a lot of interesting characters. They are all really strong, alpha characters but each has a vulnerability that I'm sure we will read about when their book comes along.
I really liked Abby and I'm glad that she stays true to her character throughout the book. She is a kickass woman and even when she is being a little bit vulnerable you never forget that. It was nice to see Abby open up along the way and lean a bit on Kane but in the end she is still an assassin who's willing to do what needs to be done in order to protect the weak.
Kane was a bit harder to get a handle on and I wish we had more about him. It wasn't all that clear why he was so crazy about Abby since he "didn't do relationships" and I didn't really buy his reason for that either. Still I really liked him and he was great with Abby.
The action kept me reading and I loved the subplot with Trevor and Isabel and in fact I thought they stole the show a bit and I can't wait for their book. I also loved "D" and thought he was the most interesting character in the book. In fact, I thought it was great that "D" flat out didn't like Abby and made no secret about it. Too many times in books everyone loves/wants the heroine.
Overall a great start to a series and one I plan on reading more of.
on March 3, 2013
The mercenaries are headed by Jim Morgan. He has recruited men for every branch of the military both in and out of the US.
The assassins are headed by Noelle who contracts out her team like Jim’s for government agencies and sometimes civilians. Her group of girls are called chameleons because you never see them coming and they could change their appearances at the drop of a hat.
When one of Noelle’s girls disappears after a mission to take out a South American arms and sex trade dealer she comes to Jim to ask him and his team to go in and get her. There is a lot of animosity and tension between Jim and Noelle but we never get to find out what’s up with these two in this book. Jim’s team agrees to go in and get Noelle with Kane Woodland heading the opp.
Abby Sinclair’s mission didn’t go bad. She was all set to kill Luis Blanco when she found out he had 13 young girls in a bunker under a prison that he was preparing for a sale. She blew her cover on purpose to be put in the prison so she could rescue the girls. She is severely beaten by Luis right hand man but even hurt she manages to pay him back for some of his pain. What she had not counted on was being rescued and once she awakes on the mercenaries’ compound she is not a happy camper. She immediately wants to go back and rescue those girls even though she is in no shape to do so.
Abby is a cold hearted assassin. Feels no emotion and sex is nothing but a means to an end to get a mark. At least that’s what she’s convinced herself of until Kane starts to break down the walls she erected all those years ago after the horrible things that were done to her. Kane isn’t looking for a relationship either after one he had in college ended tragedy but there is something about Abby that he can’t help but try chip away at the ice around her heart.
The other mercenaries and assassins we are introduced to play a big part in the book too. I think I am probably like every other person that read this book and can’t wait for Isabel and Trevor book with Noelle and Jim being a close second. Derek “D” Pratt is also a mystery that I can’t wait for the author to give us more on.
Great start to a series and I can’t wait to go read the next book.
on May 31, 2012
Abby Sinclair had a pretty rough childhood and very unconventional teen years. Rescued and adopted by an Army Ranger, Abby learned to be an assassin and she's now one of the deadliest women alive. On mission in Columbia, Abby makes a last ditch effort to free some helpless victims and blows her own cover. Being their prisoner and surviving their torture is worth it to save the innocent.
Kane know going in that Abby Sinclair is bad news but he's unable to control his attraction to her. After getting her out of that hell hole where they beat and tortured her, he doesn't want her going back but she's talked him and his team into going back for another rescue mission. Now they need to put that attraction aside and focus on the mission because it may very well get them both killed along with Kane's team members too.
These two wounded people coming together was a beautiful thing!
What a great start to a new series! I've read many of Elle's books and I gotta say, I love her writing, and this is at the top of my favorites list now. It was a really fantastic story full of action, adventure, humor and some pretty sexy love scenes. Oh and let's not forget the incredibly funny women assassins. Those chicks are seriously funny and I wouldn't ever cross them because they're pretty scary too.
From the very beginning of the book I was sucked in by Abby, I wanted to hug her and be her friend, I wanted to kill the people that hurt her and I seriously wanted to be her. She's one kick ass babe. She could fight with the big boys, literally! Kane, well he's my dream man really. I sure do love the big bad wounded soldiers and he's definitely that. He doesn't like to show feeling but when he did, man it was so sweet! No one could have handled Abby as well as him and it was really heart warming to see Abby finally open up to someone and the banter between the two was so funny! They really are the perfect match!
I loved the other characters as well, especially the women! I'm really looking forward to the next book which I'm assuming is going to be Trevor and Isabel's book from reading the sneak peek at the end of the book. Now that is sure to be one great story! Both of them are sure to be put up one hell of a fight and boy do I love that! ;)
This book was well written, just like any Elle Kennedy book is, and the characters are well developed. I'm very much looking forward to reading future installments in this series. I give this book 4.5 Moons and I recommend it to all Elle Kennedy fans, Romantic Suspense fans and most contemporary Romance fans too. Now go buy your copy because you're sure to love it as much as I did.
Reviewed by Anna @ Book Lovin Mamas
on May 15, 2012
Midnight Rescue is the first in the Killer Instincts series. This is the kind of adrenaline-inducing, heart-melting story I love. It is fun and fast paced, and I was hooked from page 5. I'm used to reading romantic suspense books with alpha male Black Ops characters but this one stands out for the strong female mercenaries that more than hold their own with the men.
Abby Sinclair is a assassin who works for the mysterious Noelle - queen of assassins. Abby comes from a abusive background which has helped create the a stoic, focused, do-whatever-it-takes successful operative she is. She is tasked with killing a Luis Blanco, Columbian drug dealer, gun runner and all around bad guy, who is involved in the sex trade. She is deep undercover until she discovers a group of young girls that are about to be sold and she resolves to rescue them...by getting caught.
Jim Morgan runs a group of highly trained ex-military operatives who specialize in extractions. Kane Woodland is his second in command. Abby and Kane are irresistibly drawn to one another, but both their troubled pasts hinders their growing relationship and their ability to trust one another. The main storyline revolves around the relationship between Abby and Kane whilst trying to free the captured girls. Secondarily, we are introduced to Isabel, another one of Noelle's "chameleons" who is partnered with the wounded Trevor Woodland. There are definitely sparks between these two characters. Their relationship is the focus of the next installment.
Because it is Book One in a series, Elle Kennedy gives us hints about future books... just enough to peak our interest, but not enough to for it to be distracting. One thing is clear - there are lots of stories waiting to be unraveled.
on November 21, 2014
I so wasn’t prepared for this book.
Rescued and adopted by a retired army ranger as a child, Abby Sinclair went from being a victim to a strong, fearless woman. Now a master assassin, Abby’s world revolves around the missions she’s assigned. Used to working alone, Abby relies on no one, but when she purposely blows her cover on her latest assignment in order to help innocent victims, she quickly realizes she’s going to have to do the one thing she’s never done before: Trust someone else. That someone is mercenary Kane Woodland. While Kane is used to being part of a team, he isn’t used to being attracted to one of the people he’s working with and with Abby’s trust issues, their mission might end up being a complete failure.
I’ve never really been a squeamish person when it comes to blood and broken bones but let me tell you, the first few pages of Midnight Rescue had me squirming in my seat and my eyes all but rolled to the back of my head.
For the life of me I cannot stand female characters that do nothing to push a story forward, whether it’s in books, or real life. In books and movies, a female who does nothing but sit around and wait for a man to rescue her is useless to me and the story is a dud because there is nothing there for me to relate to or even admire. It’s not just little girls who dream of being something else you know; I just never wanted to be a princess or any kind of damsel in distress. I wanted to be the one kicking ass and taking names, right alongside the guys. Elle Kennedy creates the kind of female characters that I would have looked up to when I was a little girl.
Abby is an amazing heroine. She kicks major ass, she’s intelligent, and independent but best of all she’s a tortured heroine. Usually it’s the hero with a tortured past but in this case it’s all about Abby and how her horrible past made her so emotionally detached. I loved her journey from traumatized woman to a woman with powerful emotions.
Kane is as tough as they come, he’s a trained mercenary, and the mission he’s on with Abby isn’t his first. He’s seen and done so many things he’s become jaded yet he has such a tender side to him that was unexpected. He was not only able to match Abby in skills and stubbornness but provide a sort of safe haven for her to begin to be herself. He never tried to control Abby but best of all; he never doubted her ability to get the job done at all. He just knew when she was pushing past her limits and how to get her to step back. I LOVE that about Kane. He’s a true alpha and the best kind of hero in my eyes.
The action and suspense never stops with this book and I loved it. It totally kept the story from becoming stale and boring and the intense attraction between Kane and Abby made it all the more explosive. It was great meeting other members of Kane's and Abby's respective "families" including Ethan, Isabel and Luke. They're something else I tell you. I can't wait to get my hands on their stories.
Final Verdict: Though Midnight Rescue isn’t the first book by Elle Kennedy I’ve read, it’s still nice to go back to book one and see where it all started. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.
on May 5, 2015
After checking all the books in certain series as well as their reviews, I've bought plenty of series, only to be disappointed. I've begun trying out new series by buying one book at a time, and I'm pleasantly surprised at this one. The books are well written, I don't have to skip certain areas, and the "non-action" parts are not boring snooze fests. I even like how the story is about one couple, a relationship begins with another, slowly progresses in another book, and the following book is about them. It isn't easy being able to do that, keep a story interesting, and yet keep the current dialog on the original couple. My only complaint is having to put the book down and return from lunch break when certain scenes are starting to heat up! Although I'm still buying the books one by one rather than buying the rest at once, I intend to read the rest of the teams' stories. The Killer Instinct series is very recommended. After seeing how much of a pain in the butt Derek Pratt is, especially in the face of love, I'd like to see him be brought down by it!