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Charade (Athena Force) Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2007
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I must admit that the whole idea of a Mafia princess had me repeatedly putting this book aside in favor of others. What a mistake! The action is nonstop but doesn't overwhelm the character development. In fact, the back history about the death of Sasha's mom and her consequently strained relationship with her father truly makes this story. I couldn't help but admire Sasha's spunkiness as she travels in worlds completely foreign to me and yet she retains her own sense of self and purpose.
CHARADE is part of the Athena Force continuity series. It can easily be read as a stand alone as Kate Donovan fills readers in on the situation with Teal's kidnapping. However, this series is best appreciated when read in order as you see the underlying threads developing and get a true sense of just how well each book follows the next. This is particularly notable since each book is written by a different author.
Kate Donovan's entry into the Athena Force series is an impressive one. Ms. Donovan's skill at creating a likeable character and fantastic story is to be commended. After all, the thought of reading a story about a Mafia princess held little initial appeal and yet this story is superb. Highly recommended!
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
Accompanying Sasha on the rescue attempt is her FBI handler special agent Jeff Crossman, who recently has become her lover. However, inside the Kestonian compound, Sasha operates alone as she must seduce the megalomaniac in order to save the child. However, as she gets closer to mission successfully accomplished, Sasha unravels shocking information that leaves her trusting no one especially Jeff.
Country name aside (Kestonia vs. Estonia?) The third Athena Force tale since the reincarnation from the Bombshell days (see THE GOOD THIEF by Judith Leon and LINE OF SIGHT by Rachel Caine) is an excellent fast-paced thriller. Sasha is terrific as an Athena graduate trying to save a current academy student while quickly finding she is alone with no one she can trust or rely on. Readers will appreciate Kate Donovan's entry as CHARADE is a superb action-packed romantic suspense.
I was very disturbed to see/hear/read Allison Grayson give away so much information face to face. It was also quite telling to have the Mafia Princess (a mob informant) have an FBI agent visit her private home, and she his. Like that would, should or could ever happen...
Too much information relayed to the reader and other characters. Too much happening too fast (unbelievable)... Nothing seemed to go wrong for her...
I think it was an excellent story idea, the characters were good and well thought out, but the "meat in the middle" didn't let the story flow well for me...