Circle of Danger
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In a follow-up to Carla Swafford's sexy Circle of Desire, the agents of The Circlea top-secret group of assassinsare back and on the hunt for a dangerous drug lord capable of bringing women to the brink of pleasure . . . and devastation. Marie Beltane, a lowly data entry specialist for The Circle, resents being treated like a little girl and wants to help by proving she's worthy of being a full-fledged operative. Disobeying Arthur Ryker's orders to stay out of the way, she accepts a simple fact-finding assignmentonly to have everything go horribly wrong. Now she's been injected with the drug responsible for the deaths of four local women, a drug that puts her sex drive into overdrive. Ryker wants nothing more than to keep Marie safe from the world. He's already killed to protect her from one madman, and he may have to do it again. While on a search for an antidote to her mysterious drug, he falls into a trap and must fight a new evil. Now he must become the monster he's always feared to save the woman he's always loved.
Great book, totally worth the buy! Loved that the characters from circle of danger made an appearance. 100% recommended!
Ms. Swafford made tremendous strides from her last book. It was enjoyable, easily read, and wee thought through. I can wait for her next book!
Good suspense and twists, great hero, but the heroine didn't work for me.
Honestly, I didn’t remember much of Marie’s (21) brief appearance in the first book, but her history with Ryker (31/32) was mentioned many times, each time a little more of their horrible suffering was revealed throughout the story. I liked that despite those many years of abuse at Theo’s hands, she wasn’t a timid person who would jump at the sight of her own shadow. She wanted to do more, but she had to go through Ryker first. I admired her many shows of Having a backbone and telling Ryker off when he was being too overprotective. However, the downfall with most heroines like her (especially those in their early twenties), they bite off more than they can chew, and their overconfidence often lands them in trouble. Marie was sadly no different. My main problem with her was her selfishness. I understood why she pushed her way into every mission, but considering the drug in her system was a huge liability, I got mad every time the effects kicked in as soon as the missions had begun. Her inexperience out in the field was another problem. She had only little training, and it showed every time. She even managed to get a few operatives killed because of a panic attack. Yup, not a fan of hers.
Ryker on the other hand, he was the most interesting character of the two. He also had more issues to overcome. Seeing him slowly come to terms with his past and work on putting it to rest with Marie’s help it what kept my interest. His history and friendship with Marie made him the natural choice to step up and help her with her “problem”. Interestingly, that was pretty one-sided because he had a darker side he tried to keep hidden from her. I thought his overprotectiveness of Marie was sweet, and judging from her bad choices throughout the story, she really needed protecting. Mostly from herself. He wasn’t always completely unreasonable, and more often than not, he caved to her. Personally, I liked the tortured hero angle and the darker side of his pleasure, although it wasn’t as bad as I’d been expecting given all the hints about it.
The plot was suspenseful with a couple of twists. Considering the catalyst for this story, I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t more sex than story. The first scene was definitely hot, but I ended up skipping a lot in the middle since they were all essentially the same, and he didn’t reveal his secret to her until near the end. I dislike heroines in their early twenties, and Marie was a good example of why I don’t like them. I wish she hadn’t always needed to be saved, but at least she acknowledged at the end that she wasn’t cut out for that job. I already have book three about Rex and Abby, and to be honest, I was hoping it would be Jack’s story.