Romance Book Review: Merciless

Author: Diana Palmer
Series Connection: Long Tall Texans
ISBN-13: 978-0373775798
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HQN Books


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♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I know, I know, a four heart review is being generous, but if you could just get past the very strange first couple of chapter, Merciless is actually a decent book. I was happy to see that some of the Diana Palmer of old was trying to come through once you got past the chatter about video games. Really that boat sailed when she started it in Kilraven's book.

Once the meat of the story gets going, including the subplot mystery, it actually comes together well. In the past few stories FBI agent Jon Blackhawk has been mention in various situations. He is Kilraven's brother and apparently the only 30 year old virgin in Texas. Jon is still working the case that involves the death of Kilraven's wife and three-year-old daughter from several years earlier.

He and his secretary, Joceline, and her four year old son are then targeted by this same group. While out speaking with an informant Jon is shot and Joceline runs to his side. Jon's mother, Cammy, has been none too quiet about her feelings about Joceline and the fact that she is an unwed mother. Soon it becomes clear that Joceline and Jon have feelings for each other and that Joceline's insecurity about her financial situation has made her keep some pretty big secrets from Jon.

I would have loved to have seen more romance between Jon and Joceline. That would have been a better element to the beginning of the book. The two actually make a good pair, but we really don't get to see that spark because too much time is wasted throughout the story.

While a lot of people complain that Diana Palmer's books are outdated, in this instance it actally works because of Cammy Blackhawk's background and upbringing. Older folks raised on reservations do have a very high moral compass and would display a dislike toward unwed mothers. I don't think the author explained that angle very well here.

This book may cause some raised eyebrows in the beginning, but please keep going. True Jacobsville, Diana Palmer fans will be happy to see the results.

Description:
Can she convince a man to let down his defenses when he's set on guarding his heart? Tall, dark and eligible?

That's all that matters to the women of Jacobsville when it comes to handsome and aloof FBI agent Jon Blackhawk. But if it were up to him, he would never settle down. Luckily, Jon has the best gatekeeper: his efficient and reliable assistant, Joceline Perry. Without her help, he'd be at the mercy of husband hunters—but the more he comes to rely on her, the more he notices how invaluable she really is…

While Joceline can't deny that her boss is attractive, as a single mother with responsibilities she's determined to be professional. But when Jon is accosted by a criminal seeking revenge, she comes to his aid—fueling the spark that is growing between them. As the attempts on Jon's life increase, Joceline stands by his side. But when the smoke clears, will the man who avoided love realize that all he ever needed was right there all along?

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