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Playing with Fire (Criminal Elements Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
“Playing with Fire” captured my attention the moment I started reading this fast-paced novel, and even though I was forced to confine my reading to the short breaks I sometimes get during my work day, I yearned for the time to simply sit down in a quiet space and savor this exciting paranormal thriller as I would a delicious hot fudge sundae. This novel has all the earmarks fans look for in a paranormal mystery suspense thriller and satisfies each of those qualifiers fully. If ever there was a “Mission Impossible”, I have no doubt that the writing team of Cris and Clare Meyers would rise to meet the challenge. These Indie authors are here for the long haul … Hopefully with a long, long line of “Criminal Elements” novels waiting in the wings.
#Mystery #Thriller #Paranormal #Urban #Fantasy #MagicalRealism #IARTG #IAN #ASMSG #Amazon #Kindle #Goodreads #Ebook
Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Urban, Fantasy Magical Realism, Amazon, Kindle, Goodreads, Ebook
Let’s start with the Frenchie, Renee Devereaux; a kick butt bundle of ambiguity. She’s Talented. No, not like America’s Got Talent talented, more like “piss me off and I’ll mess you up” talented. To be Talented means you have magical “kick you into next Tuesday” powers. Renee is Talented but just how talented… that she keeps to herself.
Also a Talent, and easy on the eyes, is Stone Anders. Unlike Renee, he makes it clear what his talent is right out of the gate, he blows stuff up. Like Renee, he makes a living thieving. And when I say thieving, I’m talking Ocean’s Eleven type heists and payouts with Pulp Fiction fury. A Royale with cheese.
Stone is a former hitman, assassin, Longshot, marine… he’s a lot of things, a lot of violent things and the authors let Stone be the man he is. They don’t water him down like authors often do, concerning themselves with reader “sensitivities”. Stone is a stone. Balls to the wall bad.
Stone’s plan to eliminate the man trying to kill him—
“…putting a stop to him, preferably with violence. This wasn’t a ‘use your words’ kind of situation. Unless ‘use your words’ meant beating him to death with a dictionary.”
The courtship between Renee and Stone begins in Russia. It starts with a “you carrying” curiosity and slowly morphs into a “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine” flirtation but before they can sort out exactly what heat the other is packing, the job goes south and they spend the rest of their time together trying not to die. That’s the thing about dying; it can really mess up the moment.
Call it fate or a big payout or revenge, whatever the reason, Stone and Renee find themselves on the same job in Vienna and then again in Florence where Stone’s epic battle against a hit on his own life nearly kills him and Renee’s nursing him back to health turns their co-worker status into a full blown office romance.
Then Seattle happens…
In Seattle we meet Rook. Whereas most people would hate Rook, I of course love him. I have a habit of embracing the character awarded “most likely to make you want to punch in the face” and the winner is—the smart mouthed, shape-shifter were-crow. Rook is annoying, cocksure and cawing, rambunctious and rude, but he’s loveable, if that makes any sense. The Seattle team also consists of a Talent named Carlos, shape-shifter coyote and Grace, a Talented shape-shifter, con-woman cat.
Renee and Stone are here for revenge. Revenge on Marcus Issacs, the man who backstabbed them in Moscow. Once Rook reveals the money of the operation, they almost back out but their need for revenge supersedes their better judgement. The money, Victoria Reid is a Talented mob boss of sorts, running the East Coast of the US like the Godfather of the Talented.
The job from the get-go is flawed and working for a crime boss is always questionable but Vic is serving Issacs for dinner and revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold. In addition to the Corleone conundrum, Stone and Renee are working with a team of misfits with Rook as Captain Chaos. His plan is messy, he’s a hot head and he’s hiding stuff. Not to mention that it’s the first time off the bench for Carlos and Grace missed tryouts. Or did she?
“…people with guns, a lot of blind corners, and the ever-present possibility of taking a bullet. Three things that did not make for a pleasant evening.”
You can say that again. The Seattle job, well let’s just say things could have gone better.
Playing with Fire ends with the Seattle debacle and you immediately want to read book two, Fly by Night. Which I did...in two days.
The Criminal Elements series by Cris and Clare Meyers is perfection. It’s raw. It’s real. They hold nothing back: crime, love, violence, addiction, sexuality, magic and whole boatload of butt kicking. Read this book. I dare you not to like it. I dare you not to immediately read Rook’s story, Fly by Night. If you don’t like these books, you need to take a serious look at your deficiencies.
Most recent customer reviews
Magic, shapeshifting and crime all blend together to make this enjoyable read by husband and wife team, Cris and Clare...Read more
This is a very cohesive writing team. You cannot tell where one begins and another stops.Read more
When I first saw the cover, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into.Read more
Playing With Fire introduces us to Renee and Stone, a pair of 'independent contractors'...Read more
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