Wednesday, January 10, 2018

3 Wine Glass #Audio #Review of Hunt for Evil by Amy Jarecki


36057626Title: Hunt for Evil
Series: International Clandestine Enterprise (ICE) #1
Author: Amy Jarecki
Narrator: Michael F. Cochrane
Format: Unabridged Audiobook, 9 hours and 22 minutes
Published: Sept 25, 2017 (Amy Jarecki)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Author
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Who knew battling international terror would lead to ravenous passion?  

When Navy SEAL Commander Logan Rodgers winds up on a botched mission in the Gulf of Oman, his quick action in saving MI6 asset, Olivia Hamilton, brings him to the attention of the international espionage arena.

Recruited by the mysterious and elite International Clandestine Enterprise (ICE), Logan faces Olivia again, but this time they're on the same team. Sparks fly as the two compete in a clash between skill and keen intellect, until a French girl is kidnapped by a suspected terrorist.

Posing as a married couple, steam erupts between the pair while Logan and Olivia dive deeper into an ISIS kidnapping ring. But when Olivia becomes the kidnapper's next victim, she enters a madman's hell. And as Logan races against time to save her, one thing ravages his soul. If he fails, the woman he loves will be lost to him forever. 

Linda's Thoughts:
Her heart nearly stopped when a hand slid over her mouth and another disarmed her. “I’m Commander Rodgers from the USS Washington, and you’re coming with me now,” an American growled in her ear. From the girth pressing against her back, he was solid—but Olivia could take him.
Grinding her teeth, she threw an elbow to his sternum. He blocked—so like a hotshot. Few people were fast enough to react to one of her strikes. But she’d nail him with her second try. Whipping around, she aimed a kick at his groin, but he blocked that, too. At least six-two and faster than an asp, Rodgers stopped her next kick by catching her ankle and giving it a twist—a warning.
“Enough. Come.” Jesus Christ, his eyes were the color of a teal lagoon and they drilled into her like daggers.
She shook her head. God, she wasn’t about to go anywhere with dagger-eyes. Not without a fight.
Suited up in scuba gear, his facemask cocked atop his head, the man had to be daft. “What the fuck, Aquaman?” she whisper-shouted. “If anyone sees you, we’ll both be shot before the first question’s asked.”
His eyebrows slanted downward over those damned eyes. “Yeah?” he whisper-shouted back. “Everyone on this boat will be dead in fifteen. If you want to live, you’ll do as I say.”
Olivia’s mouth went dry. She blinked, shaking her head. He had to be mistaken. One more day and al-Umari’s ass would be hers. “Are you off your trolley? I’ve put too much into this project to have it blown to smithereens. Call off your dogs before you cock-up the entire op. Now.”
“No can do,” he said like her hard-earned cover wasn’t about to become the greatest wipeout in MI6 history. “Sorry to ruin your party, but there’s a bomb attached to the hull. Can’t be killed, can’t be dislodged, and if you stand here arguing with me for one more second, you’ll explode into so many pieces, you won’t make a meal for a goddamned minnow.”
Those are my choices?
“Christ!” She jammed her finger under his nose. “When this is over, your ass is mine.”

Hunt for Evil marks Amy Jarecki’s contemporary militaristic romantic suspense debut. I’m a huge fan of her historical romances and enjoy romantic suspense, so it was a given that I’d be on board to read Hunt for Evil, set in an intriguing international world of covert operations in the war against evil terrorists. This is the story of Navy SEAL Commander Logan Rodgers and MI6 asset Olivia Hamilton.

The story opens literally with a bang as Logan is placing an explosive device on a ship when he receives orders to abandon the mission. His attempt to stop the bomb’s detonation is not successful as the device is defective - cementing the countdown and the ultimate destruction of the ship. With no other viable alternatives open to him, Logan vows to save the M16 asset on board the ship at his own peril.

Olivia can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel to a long, very difficult mission. Soon, her targets will be behind bars making the hell that she’s gone through the past two years, worth it. Needless to say, she’s not happy to learn that all of her efforts have been for naught because the Americans have botched her mission.

As time passes, Olivia realizes that the muck-up to her mission was not Logan’s fault. AND he did save her life. So… when she is recruited by the elite and mysterious Iceland-based ICE spy agency, aka International Clandestine Enterprise, she recommends that they also recruit Logan. Logan’s and Olivia’s first ICE mission targets ISIS, human trafficking and illegal weapon deals and involves them closely masquerading as man and wife.

These two had an immediate attraction but Olivia fought it tooth and nail. I rather liked Logan. He’s alpha to the core expecting his orders to be followed immediately and to the letter. I enjoyed visiting his western spread and his meaning-well attempts to bring Olivia out of the PTSD she was suffering from being undercover so long. (She ably covers up her problems with ICE’s doctors as she’s desperate to take down the terrorists who took out her parents.) Try as I might, I just never warmed up to Olivia. I could totally understand her first aversion to him. But, she maintained a bad attitude and mercilessly tortured and teased Logan throughout much of the story and I could not get past that. To say the least, she was far from being a team player. Therefore, while the story was well-plotted, my inability to like the heroine, despite my best efforts, thwarted my full enjoyment of the story. Please know that I’m not in the majority with this opinion regarding Olivia.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Hunt for Evil:

I can handle you any night, anytime, anywhere. 

Working undercover ate a person from the inside out, and it had cost Olivia more than she wanted to admit.

Michael F. Cochrane is the able narrator for Hunt for Evil. This marks the first time I’ve ever listened to any of his works. His voice is clear, strong and easy to understand. He does a good job assigning a unique voice to each character. Almost all of his voices sounded realistic to me with a few exceptions. Furthermore, he consistently differentiated between the various personalities. To my American ears, he aced the multiple accents herein, including British, German, Scandinavian and American. The end product is polished and professional.

This story is fast-paced and action-packed. It lured me in right away. The tale bogged down a few times mid-way, but picked up quickly after that with nary a dull moment from there. The slowness I perceived could very well have been because of my failure to connect with Olivia. It’s difficult when you dislike one of the main characters. That said, there’s a wonderful array of international supporting characters. Despite having issues connecting with the heroine in this read, I look forward to listening to Amy’s succeeding ICE adventure, Body Shot. I can’t wait to see which of the ICE characters will be featured next!

Suggested Reading Order:
Hunt for Evil (Book #1)
Body Shot (Book #2)
Mach One (Book #3)

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