How can one enjoy a romance book so much and dislike the heroine so much at the same time? I dunno, but I did. *LOL*
(It's not the first time either - Lex from the Kit Rocha Beyond series is not one of my faves but I adore the series and the rest of the gang.)
I follow HelenKay on Twitter and have for a while, yet this is the first thing of hers that I've read. I started following her because I loved the RTs of hers I would read in other authors' feeds. And because she loves Strike Back which is one of my favourite shows. *LOL*
So yes, Mercy is the first of her books I have read. I bought the premise for the most part - disavowed CIA agent seeks help from the man she betrayed - even though I was never quite clear on the details of the original operation and how anyone but Becca, the heroine, figured into things. But we're here for the romance, so my little twinges were easily overlooked.
Jarrett is the hero, and I quite liked him, even when he was being a total douchenozzle. Maybe I could relate easily to his wish to get revenge for how Becca destroyed him and then when it came right down to it, he couldn't and that pissed him off even more. I get that. *LOL* I would have liked a wee bit more on why he was so much in love with Becca other than that whole incredible physical attraction. Yes, it was about trust and feeling safe, but I found myself wishing for a little more outright talking about those issues between the two of them.
My favourite character in the book was Wade, Jarrett's second in command. Oh, I fell hard for him. His love story is heart-breaking, so thank God I know there's more to come in the subsequent book and novella or else I'd have to go postal. And bravo to HelenKay for having this as a huge sub-plot in the book. Not many authors would give that much page time to an m/m love story. Hopefully... HOPEFULLY, Eli gets a little more palatable as things go along, because man, he's got a crazy hair trigger and HUGE anger issues. And I also loved what we saw of Jarrett's other best friend and lawyer, Sebastian, Bast as they call him. When reading about him I thought of James Scott who played EJ DiMera on Days of Our Lives. I also liked the bits we saw of Kyra, Wade's little sister. Even Nathalie, the CIA agent ended up okay by the end of the book.
So then there's Becca - the heroine. I never warmed up to her at all. I found her a self-centred, short-tempered, selfish, game-playing brat. This is probably why I thought I needed more communication between her and Jarrett to fully buy the deep, abiding love. I get that in the situation being written about where the woman puts herself under the man's control in a sort of coerced manner, the author has to be careful about the consent line and the alphahole syndrome etc... but, for me, instead of coming off as a strong, independent, capable woman, she often came off as shrill and over-bearing.
But that being said, I really, really enjoyed the book! *LOL* Imagine if I'd actually LIKED the heroine! I am anxious to read the next one but it's not in the book budget this month unless it goes on sale. :( I do have the novella, Taken, in my Kobo, but I'm assuming I should read Only first.
If you like hot, sexy, edge-of-danger tales with lots and lots of sex, well, this one's for you!