Title: Impossible Ransom
Author: Kathleen Mix
Format: Paperback & eBook, 225 pgs
Published: Mar. 7, 2016 by Entangled: Select Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Working as part of a yacht crew sounded like the perfect escape for senator's daughter Val Ferrell. Glorious Caribbean beaches, turquoise seas, and freedom from her overbearing father? Heaven. But when the ship is hijacked by violent men-who want to use Val to get to her father-Val's fantasy turns into a nightmare. Now her only hope is the ship's captain, who happens to be her ex-lover. After disobeying an order, covert operative Nick O'Shea's been assigned yacht captain duty. Working side-by-side with the tiny blonde who makes him crazy-and keeping his hands off her-was definitely punishment. But when Val's life is endangered, Nick must choose between staying aboard and fighting to retake the boat or risking their lives by attempting an escape to an isolated Caribbean island. With the ransom deadline rapidly approaching, he's running out of time...
Val's been trying to prove that she can make it on her own without her Senator father's help and as the current chef for a private charter company, she has been doing well. However, when she sees Nick is the new Captain on her ship, she just might get tripped up. Nick is being disciplined for not following orders on his last mission and when he sees the woman who is the reason behind his mental mistake, he knows he's about to be in trouble again. When kidnappers take over the ship though, Val and Nick will be forced to work together and open up about their secrets. It's high seas survival with their life and love on the line.
Impossible Ransom starts off pretty quick with the action and danger but it also starts off in a way that makes you feel like you have missed half the story. Val and Nick apparently met a couple months ago at a party and then had a sexual relationship for a few weeks, long enough for Val to think she was falling in love with him and for Nick to get scared that he might be falling for her. Since there was no prologue showing us this interaction, I thought for sure there would be a flashback chapter, paragraph, sentence…something to show/explain why they fell for one another. We get nothing; the story is all in the present. This means we get no romance or real relationship journey, too.
Val is our heroine who ran away from home, in a grown up way, to prove she doesn't need her daddy and to feel free. I liked her until she and Nick are on the run from the baddies and she begins to display immense TSTL traits/moments. Now, I will say, her character was consistent in her behavior, so maybe I just didn't like her character. However, when she can't fathom killing and eating an iguana to stay alive or killing a man who is trying to kill Nick and kidnap her because every life is precious, and demands to tag along with Nick even when she will obviously be more of a hindrance and again, wouldn’t want to kill in defense of Nick's or her life, I find her motivations TSTL. It should be noted, Val does step up but her emotional fallout for a long time is such that I had wished she'd let the bad guy win. Maybe you will like her pure of heart (head in the clouds) personality, I didn't.
Nick's background story we don't really get until the last half of the book and it was a bit convoluted and over the top with his guilt. It seems he was in the military and now works for a secretive mercenary group who hide behind a boat charter company. We get the name of the boss but no other details and although it might have flushed the story out more, we get no looks at his co-workers; which was also somewhat refreshing as the story wasn't cluttered with serial baiting characters. Nick was an average hero character but who must be applauded for not wanting to ditch Val every time she displayed a TSTL moment.
The action plot with a disgruntled former employee of Val's dad kidnapping her, trying to hold her for ransom to get money and secretive military information, make up the vast majority of the story. Our couple is pretty much on the run the whole time. The reasoning behind it all was a bit uneven and the villains were a bit cliff note but following Val and Nick on the run kept a good pace up in the story and was reasonably suspenseful. As I mentioned, the romance was severely lacking, though. Since our couple had already met and supposedly fell in love, but remember we don't get to see that, there was not really any emotional buildup. Val seems hurt that Nick just left her one night and never called her again and Nick likes to drown himself in thoughts that he is not good enough for Val, then they have sex on the run, and then after being saved and apart for a while, Nick figures some things out and decides he can't live without Val; it was all pretty underwhelming.
The action and the couple being on the run trying to outsmart the bad guys kept me interesting in the story while the heroine's actions and attitude annoyed me and the romance left me disappointed. This story would have been vastly improved for me with a prologue or flashback to how and why our couple first fell in love.