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Against The Wall (High Stakes) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 3, 2013
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
About the Author
Dee J. Adams was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After graduating high school, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. For twenty years, she acted in television before transitioning behind the scenes as an acting/dialogue coach for sitcoms. Her experience in show business led her to narrate many of the books in the Adrenaline Highs series (Carina Press) for Audible.com. Dee J. loves writing books filled with action, mystery and love. (Not necessarily in that order.) She is the wife of a wonderful man and mother to a fabulous daughter. She’s a dog lover all the way—due in part to a deathly allergy to cats—with a fondness toward boxers and pit bulls. She is a member of several organizations, including Romance Writers of America and Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
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Top customer reviews
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Tanner is a recently released ex-con, set up by Jess's boss, Maurice Juneau, in order for him to keep his own son from going to prison. Tanner figured he had nothing left to lose, so he is out for revenge. I found this part a little unbelievable because who, in their right mind, would premeditate a murder and risk going back to prison, especially since he didn't commit the crime that put him there in the first place?
Jess, an aspiring filmmaker, began working for Juneau three years ago in order to learn the trade and get her foot in the film production door. Although she was described as "smart" several times, I found some of the things she did not so smart. She certainly had no clue about Tanner when he was trying to rescue her family, even though he gave her plenty of clues.
Enter yet another bad guy, Facinetti, who fronted the money for a film Juneau wanted to make, but didn't happen. Juneau refused to return the money, so Facinetti kidnapped Jess's entire family and held them hostage in return for his $8 million. Jess, of course, tries to get her boss to return the money, but with little sympathy from him, he tells her it's gone and there is nothing he can do to save her family.
An accident on the part of Jess, leads to her boss's death, and what would anyone do? Leave the body in the garage and go have sex, of course. Stress relief. Amazing sex, no less, between a guy who went to prison for seven years at age 20 and swore he didn't give in to prison sex and a gal who wasn't a virgin but was no slut, either. Yet, they both knew all the right moves without much experience.
However, once the action picked up, I did like how Ms. Adams brought the story together at the end. I liked the secondary characters, especially her mother and father, who were still so deeply in love after many years of marriage. This book was well written and well edited. I would recommend it and encourage the reader to keep on going with it if they find the beginning somewhat of a struggle like I did. I will most likely read more from this author.
Unfortunately, he hadn't planned on the young woman who stepped into his line of fire and took the bullet meant for Juneau. Nor had he planned on kidnapping her after he shot her. He's pretty sure that will come back to bite him, too, because Jess St. James may be tiny, but she is a force of nature. And he hasn't the first idea what to do with her.
Jess is frantic. Not only didn't her slimy boss give her the eight million dollars she needs to save her family, she got shot then kidnapped by the lunatic who shot her. Frankly, she shares Tanner Bryant's animosity for her boss. It's Maurice's fault her family has been abducted by a vicious criminal. But unlike Tanner, she needs the man alive to save her family.
Now she's got to partner up with the guy who put a bullet in her so she can get money from the man she works for. And she's running out of time. If she doesn't produce eight million dollars soon, her family will die. She's just going to have to convince Tanner that his revenge, however deserved it may be, is going to have to wait a little longer.
There are few things as nice for an avid reader like myself than having a favored author come out with a new series. I've been a fan of Adams' Adrenaline Highs series since the first book, so finding out about her new series made my day. I love Adams' writing style and her characters tend to be some of the best and most unique in the genre. Tanner and Jess were no exception.
Tanner was certainly a layered almost-antihero. It's not every day you get a hero that starts off a book shooting his heroine, but I sympathized with his past. His reaction to Jess, though, is what really charmed me. For all that he tried to be nothing more than a big, bad ex-con with an ax to grind, he was also a damaged guy who had lost everything. Jess' fateful stumble turned his carefully laid plans on their ear and kept him completely off balance, giving his initial attraction to her and his sympathy for her plight time to work on his conscience and reawaken his sense of integrity and honor.
I liked him a lot, and I appreciated the evolution of his character as the story progressed.
Jess was another bright spot. Though tiny in stature, she was fierce in her fight for her family and had no problem standing up for herself. I wasn't always thrilled with some of her emotional outbursts, but she was a nice fit for the more stoic Tanner. They had great chemistry and that was due in large part to the balance of strength and vulnerability she brought to the mix in their relationship.
As great as they were, though, had they been the sole focus of the narrative, I'm not sure I would have liked this book as much as I did. Oh, don't get me wrong, they were very likable, and they had some scorching sexy times I heartily enjoyed, but with a few exceptions, their storyline was fairly standard for what I've come to expect from Adams. What I didn't expect, and what really thrilled me, were the scenes with Jess' family.
Though they had secondary roles, Jess' family provided almost all of the more disturbing and suspenseful points of the plot. I loved Jess' parents, Jay and Terry. Their scenes were narrated with a slant from Jay's point of view and they stole the whole book. Between Jay's pride and love for Terry and their kids and Terry's indomitable strength of will, the characters and their scenes held me enthralled and drove all the darker elements of the suspense arc. They had so much presence on the page that they very well could have been the main characters. I loved them.
This was an action-packed and pulse-pounding read with some surprising, gasp-worthy twists and turns. I was caught off guard more than once by developments I hadn't seen coming and moved by characters who left an impression. I even had a total fan-girl squee moment with an awesome Adrenaline Highs series tie-in. Rock on Seger Hughes!
I can't say I was totally sold on every element in the story's premise, the family kidnapping in particular strained my willing suspension of disbelief given the motivation of the Bad Guy and sheer logistics, but the action itself, the scenes with Jess' family, and the arc of the romance between Tanner and Jess combined to provide a thrilling, sexy, and sometimes horrifying romantic suspense that kept me highly entertained. Adams may just have another hit series on her hands. One I plan on reading along with until the end.
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me for review. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
Lately I have done a lot of reading to fill in time, time some might argue better spent but then that depends on the where and why you are in life and why you need the distraction. I have read a mixture of books that have lacked thought, time and effort and distracted me in a way that was less than satisfactory, or at least I realise this now. I hesitated with the reviews and thought I was being harsh. I wasn't at all. You can't fix things if you don't know what is wrong and it is unfair to writers like this one who do make the effort to give us something worthwhile no matter our individual tastes. This was well-written, had lots of action and gave the time to develop the characters. It was hard not to be involved in the events because you wanted Tanner to make it through. We felt he deserved it and we wanted the same for Jess. There wasn't a connection so much as a real acceptance to the story and what was unfolding as we moved from one event to another. The tension both sexual and human was excellent and hot, really hot. Despite the circumstances it was not inappropriate even with a dead body in the next room. M/s Adams has us so involved that we understand the reactions.
This was quite simply a good read, a very good read.
Most recent customer reviews
This book was included in an anthology I bought because it was on sale, but it is also sold as a single ebook.Read more