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Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance | Romantic Suspense
Series: Killer Instinct #1
Read Count: 1
My Rating: 3 stars
Description: Dangerous. Ruthless. Savage. And she’s the good guy.
Abby Sinclair had a desperate childhood until she was rescued and adopted by a retired army ranger who molded her into a master of self-defense. Now, she’s a cunning and fearless assassin thrust into assignment after dangerous assignment, using everything she has-nerve, resilience, strength, sex-to come out on top. Her only rule: trust no one.
Abby’s latest assignment is in Columbia: go undercover and snuff out a dangerous arms dealer active in the underground sex trade. But when Abby purposely blows her cover in a last-ditch attempt to free the helpless victims, deadly mercenary Kane Woodland is recruited as back-up. His mission: get Abby out of that hell hole.
The last thing Kane expects is to feel a primal attraction for Abby. But when she convinces him to join her on her perilous mission, their newfound passion could put the lives of their whole team at risk.
Full discloser… I absolutely adore Elle Kennedy! I recently read The Chase by her (which I adored) and she often writes some of my favorite romances with another favorite of mine, Sarina Bowen! My favorite of theirs is probably Top Secret, which ended up being one of my favorite books last year, no contest.
Midnight Rescue is the first book in the Killer Instincts series, and it followed Abby Sinclair, supposedly the second-best assassin in the world, who often goes around the world in deep undercover operations against Big Baddies. She was CIA, but then recruited by an independent group of Elite assassins, all women, who do similar work… but with a lot less red tape. Thing is, she hasn’t been heard from by her boss, so her boss goes to another Elite Independent group of badass mercenaries to stage a rescue. This includes Kane Woodland, ex-SEAL, and another one of our main characters. Him and his team swoop in, rescue her from a dungeon and bring her back to nurse her wounds and think it’s all good.
But when, shortly after the rescue, they see that the key to the prison cell door is taped to the bottom of her foot, they begin to wonder why she let herself get captured and tortured? Eventually, when it’s clear they won’t let her go until she’s healed, she tells them that she’d gotten herself captured on purpose, because she discovered an undercover sex ring and the prison was the only way to get to the place where the little girls were held. Yes… little girls. And there was going to be an auction. Enough said on that count.
She glared at him again, then spun around and disappeared down the hallway. A moment later, he heard the door slam. An involuntary smile sprang to his lips. Damn, he liked her. She was fiery and stubborn and unbelievably hot when she was angry. Cold as ice too, but he’d already proven he possessed the ability to make her melt.
Obviously those girls need rescuing, so Kane, Abby, Kane’s group of Mercenaries and one of Abby’s friends (and fellow badass assassin) set up a Con to get into the auction and stage another rescue. But Abby’s been sidelined, due to her injuries. This served as a point of frustration for me, actually. Abby is the supposed second-best assassin in the world. This is information were were given not by Abby, but via her boss, so it’s potentially very true. Yet because of a couple of bruises and mostly a sprained wrist, we got very little action from her the whole book. Like okay, we got some sparring with Kane (once), some knife instruction to someone else, and she did end up having to fight someone in the end, but with such clout behind her abilities, it was a bit difficult for me to not get to actually see them in action, even if we did get hints of it in safe places.
Now Abby has some pretty severe emotional baggage from (15?) years in the foster system before she was finally rescued, and taken in, by a neighbor when her screams got too loud in her most recent house. So clearly, you can see that things weren’t good for Abby for most of her life. Sex has always been a manipulation – for her from her foster families, and to her targets while she’s in deep cover – and love has never been an option. So she’s not quite sure what to do with Kane, when she starts to react. Their romance was a lusty (and for Abby, confusing) thing, until they start to share their emotional injuries.
I have to say… I expected more from Elle Kennedy in this one. The romance was certainly present and enjoyable, but I found myself frustrated by Abby’s limitations. I don’t mean emotionally, but more with her actual skillset. We didn’t get to see her undercover or utilizing any of her super-cool assassin skills! This was a big strike. BUT I will say, we did get two other perspectives in this one, who people also involved in the Rescue, with a potential romance for them later on in the series. They got to go undercover and do fun things, so I want to emphasize that I did still enjoy the romantic suspense aspect. I just wished I could have enjoyed it more with the actual main characters in this book, Abby and Kane. So I’m hoping I’ll get to see them pop up more in the series later.
Other books you may enjoy by this author…
What are some of your favorite romantic suspense reads? I’m always looking for recommendations, as I seem to be low on this genre! Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!