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Predatory Game Mass Market Paperback – Feb 26 2008
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About the Author
I live in the beautiful mountains of Lake County, California. I have always loved hiking, camping, rafting and being outdoors. I’ve also been involved in the martial arts for years—I hold a third degree black belt, instruct in a Korean karate system, and have taught self-defense. I am happily married to a romantic man who often inspires me with his thoughtfulness. We have a yours, mine, and ours family, claiming eleven children as our own. I have always written books, forcing my ten sisters to read every word, and now my daughters read and help me edit my manuscripts. It is fun to take all the research I have done on wild animals, raptors, vampires, weather, and volcanoes and put it together with romance.
Top Customer Reviews
It's time to wrap up the villain instead of leaving him in the wind in every book.
It matters not that all these books are well-written, it's frustrating to always know the real villain is untouchable.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Saber Wynter, who has the psychic power of generating electric impulses has been trained to kill with a touch and without a trace, is an escapee from the same Dr Whitney experiment as all the rest of Feehan's Ghostwalker heriones and Saber has suffered the same brutal lab rat childhood. As Saber runs, trying to stay one step ahead of Whitney's goons, she ends up finding sanctuary with Jess Calhoun the wounded ex-SEAL ghostwalker who is bound to a wheelchair as a result of capture and torture in one of the previous books. For almost a year neither of the two is aware that the other is Ghostwalker. Since we are aware of the pheromone attraction that Whitney has installed in many of the previous Ghostwalker pairs, it is not a surprise that Jess and Saber are drawn to each other. But even as Jess and Saber each finally begin to realize that they are not alone in the attraction they have hidden from each other, Saber and Jess discover each other's secrets and both fight to overcome suspicion and to keep trusting the feelings that have been growing between them. Intellectually Jess knows it is very likely that Saber has been sent to betray his secret search for the person who is out to destroy all the GhostWalkers, but he can't ignore that his gut tells him that Saber is really the battered woman that he has come love and that he just can't lose her. And while Saber fears that Jess is part of a trap to return her to Whitney's clutches, she can't help being torn between self-preservation -- her instincts are screaming that she should escape -- and the realization that even with all her special powers she may not be strong enough to run from the only person who has even shown her love.
In Predatory Game there is less of the paranormal special ops mission and conspiracy story lines than in the previous books, instead there is more of a romantic suspense feel due to the focus on a deranged preverted hunter that has decided to add his own 'personal' twist to Saber's capture. Still even with that difference, it is really the leads Jess and Saber and the uniqueness of their relationship that keeps Predatory Game from being a cookie cutter Ghostwalker romance. Unlike many of the previous Ghostwalker pairs, Jess and Saber's romance isn't just driven by the pheromone attraction, they actually have a relationship that is not merely physical -- Jess has been developing Saber's trust through playful teasing and joking and Jess finally wins Saber's love by first being her friend. Also in Predatory Game, Feehan holds off on the consumation part of Jess and Saber's relationship until more than halfway through the book. Though this means that there is less sex than many of the other books, this is not a negative since Feehan can get a bit repetious when the couples hook up early in the story, in this case this delay really makes it feel like Jess and Saber have actually chosen each other rather than just being unable to deny a 'programmed response' to each other. Also Feehan mostly avoids the domineering macho stuff with Jess that is typical of both her Ghostwalkers and her Carpathians -- on the whole Jess is careful not to push Saber in order to keep from breaking the fragile bond that is forming between them and avoid triggering her need to flee.
Even though I think that Jess and Saber's relationship is one of the better done ones in the series, there is something missing from Predatory Game that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's that I that I like seeing the Ghostwalker teams in action out on special ops missions and as loner assassin Saber takes care of things herself or that the book doesn't really carry the overall series arc forward. I don't know but that sense of something missing makes this a 4 star read for me.
Jess Calhoun is a GhostWalker, an ex-Navy SEAL who was seriously injured previously and is now in a wheelchair having lost the use of his legs. However Dr Lily Whitney-Russell has been carrying out some new medical treatments to try to regain the use of his legs although the experiments haven't yet worked. Jess has had a housemate for several months, Saber Wynter, who appears to be hiding from an abusive husband and who keeps herself to herself.
As the story begins Saber, living with Jess, feels that the time is approaching that she should move on. She's been running and hiding from Dr Whitney, creator of the GhostWalkers, for a long time. However she's not sure she can leave Jess, a man to whom she feels attracted. When they discover that they are each GhostWalkers their newfound close friendship is sorely tested. Each finds it hard to trust the other as they could be bent on betrayal. Saber's psychic powers enable her to be a silent assassin and her fear of Whitney and the other GhostWalkers means she wants to escape - but Jess won't let her. Particularly when it becomes clear Saber has a stalker who will stop at nothing to get at her.
Although this book refers occasionally to events in other of the GhostWalker books it's possible to read this one without knowing the other plots and to understand what's going on. However the complexity of the underlying plotlines of Dr Whitney and who is good and who is bad feels rather muddled in this story with Whitney seeming almost godlike in his power. Saber was a difficult character to like, mainly because she spends so much time trying to run away. I was also very unsure of her age which made some of the romantic elements a little uncomfortable; she tells someone that she's fourteen, she's known to change her appearance to make her look older, and she's continually described as slender, small, tiny etc. Jess appears to be the traditional fiction Navy SEAL type, obsessed with patriotism and honour and yet also having a soft centre.
This was a reasonable read but there were some slow patches, the coincidences or engineered sections of the plot were sometimes difficult to take in and there were many aspects of the plot left open-ended, for example whether the feelings between Jess and Saber were caused by the pheromones that Dr Whitney apparently introduced. The action parts were well written and interactions between characters were good in places but overall it wasn't an entirely satisfying read.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
Jess Calhoun is a wounded ghostwalker, he is unable to walk due to torture by terrorist who want to get some of the information and inventions he has in his possession. Jess's legs were battered and shattered and he has undergone some experimental surgery to repair the damage and walk again. However, the bionics have not worked as expected and he is struggling to force intergration of the tech in his legs.
Saber Wynter is a unique ghostwalker, she is an assassin. Raised alone and forced to endure torture to control the psychic powers that allow her to kill with a touch, she has escaped Dr Whitney and will do anything to keep from being brought back into his power. She doesn't know that Whitney has never released her and she is still dancing to his music.
Saber works for Jess, who owns a radio station, she is the voice of the Night Siren. Whitney is not the only one desiring to capture Saber, there is a stalker on her trail also. Sent by Whitney to observe her he becomes obsessive of her. Neither she nor Jess realize that Whitney has put them togather in hopes of forcing them to create a baby. Saber is injected with pheremones that are tailored to Jess.
Whitney has plans for both of them and he is still directing their destinys. He is powerful and seems to be able to control and direct their actions. In this novel he becomes more managing and more unstable.
When the **** hits the fan there is hell to pay. Jess must call on his brothers in the ghostwalkers to help protect the woman he loves. Saber who has always been alone must learn to be part of something bigger than she is. The tension is tight and I did enjoy the book.
On the one hand, Predatory Game was a satisfying, steamy romance read. The personal interactions and relationship between the hero, Jess Calhoun, and the heroine, Saber Wynter, sizzled right off the page. I could definitely tell there was a huge attraction between the lead characters. The personal relationship was explored from both character's perspectives, in particular, I really enjoyed reading about the hero. Despite the hero's handicap, he was uber-yummy and Christine Feehan is on the top of her game when it comes to wonderful heroes with those alpha qualities such as possessiveness and wanting to protect his heroine. I, like the heroine in the story, didn't see the handicap and I felt it added to the personality of the hero and made him that much stronger as a character.
But, despite that, I felt the plot of the story was weak. It was hard to see there was such a menace and threat to Saber and Jess from the bad guys. The villain watching and stalking Saber, and the mysterious "someone(s)" that want Jess and what he's involved with in the GhostWalkers, just didn't come across as serious or real. For instance, I couldn't see how the mad doc Whitney's henchmen following Saber could be anything other than something to roll your eyes at. He didn't come across as someone who could harm Saber because he didn't really do anything in the story, so I'm not sure what his purpose was. It was all very vague and I got the sense that it was just added to the story-line to give some sort of tension and suspense, but it was lacking and seemed an afterthought by the author. I think the author could have gone further into detail into the bad guys' motives and goals.
Anyways, this is the 6th book in the GhostWalkers series and you don't need to read the prior books to read this one, although a few characters from previous books make cameo appearances in Predatory Game. This book would have gotten 2 stars for the weak plot and villains, but I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Jess and Saber and really enjoyed Jess as the hero, so I bumped up the rating to 3 stars. Predatory Game has the steamy scenes and wonderful heroes that Feehan is known for, but as for furthering the plot and story-arc of the series as a whole, it disappointed.