Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tara Janzen -- Crazy Wild

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ .   {4.95}
Action: ♠♠♠♠♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣♣♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥ / Sensuous: ♦♦♦. / Suspense: ♠♠♠♠
Action: 5 / Emotion: 5 / Romance: 4 / Sensuous: 3.75 / Suspense: 4 // Laughter: 8 / Tears: 4

Creed Rivera (Cesar Raoul Eduardo Rivera) is a tortured hero, literally.   Creed is trying to recuperate both mentally and physically from the wounds he suffered after having been captured by Columbian rebels along with his best friend and partner J.T. Chronopolous.

Note: There is a sense of Janzen building up for a suspenseful future read because Creed believes he and J.T. were set up to be ambushed by the National Revolutionary Forces.   Can just see the Special Defense Force boys (i.e., Steele Street boys) making an effort to find out who was responsible for betraying them.

Crazy Wild is the third book in Tara Janzen's The Steele Street Series.   As with the previous two books in the series (Book One, Crazy Hot), (Book Two, Crazy Cool), other members of the SDF team played prominent roles in Crazy Wild.   Initially thought Peter "Kid Chaos" Chronopolous would continue his mini romance with Nikki McKinney since he and Creed were still in the jungle exacting revenge upon the last two NRF rebels responsible for J.T.'s torturous death.   However, Creed left Kid in the jungles of South America when he returned home to Denver.

Squeamish readers may have a problem with the verbal pictures that eventually appeared regarding J.T.'s torture, but they were not so detailed that it was difficult to read.   The description just portrayed why Creed was suffering nightmares and such angst about his inability to save his best friend.   Why he thought he was going to go "crazy".   The descriptive details of J.T.'s death tended to draw tears as the reader felt the team's, particularly Creed's, loss instead of revulsion.

One of the things that ties the series together is the prologue.   In each book, the SDF's commanding officer, General Richard "Buck" Grant receives a letter from the Department of Defense regarding his boys.   In Crazy Wild, General Grant is told to get Kid and Creed out of South America because they are causing quite a stir down there.   (There is a sense of that future book here too.   That is, whoever betrayed Creed and J.T. is now getting antsy.)

The other tie-in to the previous books of the series, was the Steele Street players' need to name their muscle cars.   This particular aspect was neatly woven into Crazy Wild but there were not any entertaining scenes where the heroine (or another secondary character) had to grab hold of the console and/or seat to hang on for dear life as the hero's muscle car roared to life.

Kid and Nikki's romance was not furthered in this book, but Janzen started a new mini-romance between the two other Steele Street team members who played strong supporting roles in this book.   Team leader, Dylan Hart, was attracted to the street rat Hawkins' rescued, Skeeter Bang.   (Yes, folks, that's what her parents named her.)   Skeeter was the computer guru and administrative manager for the Steele Street boys.   While Dylan tried to fight his attraction to Skeeter for everything he was worth (he is twelve years older than her), Skeeter had no such restrictions with her attraction to Dylan.   Janzen began fleshing out their personalities for their future book.

It is easy to see prospective clashes with these two personalities.   When Skeeter had to go into Dylan's office for a conference, she found a sanitized room.   There was nothing on his desk besides two laptops (up and running).   No paper.   No pen.   Not even a paper clip.   Yet, when Dylan had to go to Skeeter's apartment to get help finding Creed's location (via Skeeter's tracking device), he was overwhelmed by all the "junk" on every surface, none of which he could see.   An obsessive neat-nick meets a hoarding slob.

But back to Creed and Cody's story.   Creed's assignment is to find, protect and return to CIA custody, international arms' dealer, Dominika Starkova, (aka: Blonde Bimbo with the Bomb).   Only Dominika was not blond.   Nor a bimbo.   Nor an arms' dealer.   She was just in over her head.   When she went to Prague to find her father, she found he was not the charming Professor she envisioned, but a conscious-less, deep in debt (to the Russian Mafia) former general of the Soviet army (who knew where a warhead missile was hidden in Tajikistan).   Dimitri Starkova died leaving the "map" to the missile's location in his daughter's hands.   And his daughter in the hands of the Russian Mafia.

Intel had Creed in the Denver Public Library watching a dumpy, frumpy, "brown" librarian stacking reference books.   When Dominika's ex-KGB colonel boyfriend, Sergei Patrushev's right-hand man, Reinhard Klein and his three goons arrived at the library, the chase was on.   Creed had never seen such a fast quick-change artist.   He found the brown librarian's clothes and ankle brace in various stacks of the library as he pursued her.

The suspenseful pursuit and fast-paced action took center stage as Creed caught Cordelia "Cody" Stark (aka: Dominika Starkova) in the library and then tried to keep her alive as they escaped into the blizzard hitting Denver.   Not only was Creed fighting Russian Mafia thugs, he was also fighting flashbacks (about J.T.) and his attraction (of all things) to a terrorist.

Cody was not only trying to escape from the Russian thugs who had held her hostage and killed CIA agent, Keith O'Connell, but she needed to get away from the wild, crazy man who was now dragging her through Denver (even thought he had saved her life back there in the library).   And he had warmed her up when she was freezing to death.   And he gave her such a wonderful, soft kiss before he went off to shoot the bad guys.

With Skeeter and Dylan's help, Creed and Cody finally make their way back to Steele Street (where she spots the weatherproof sign).   They retreat to Creed's room where they emotionally connect and have hot steamy sex.   But not until Janzen delays their coming together for forty (or so) pages.   When Creed and Cody arrived in Creed's apartment, they were all kissy-faced, but instead of getting the expected love scene, interruptions started appearing.   Kept thinking, enough already, let them make love.

There was one other little thing that Janzen didn't tell readers.   She let the reader be aware of Cody's efforts to keep the Russian Mafia goons at arms-length during her captivity by playing the blonde bimbo.   What she didn't explain was Cody's implication that there was a reason for Sergei not wanting her.   What reason?   Were we supposed to assume that he was gay?

Janzen wrote another winner in her Steele Street Series.   She wrote about another hunky, tormented, alpha hero who saved an intelligent, beautiful heroine.   Action enthusiasts will enjoy all the adventures the protagonists face.   Emotional enthusiasts will shed tears and become involved in the hero and heroine's angst.   Suspense lovers will be on the edge of their seat wondering how Creed is going to save Cody from such an un-save-able, un-fix-able situation.   And although it took a while for them to get there, the sensuality and romance was hot, yet healing.

Am anxious to get to the next book of the series, Crazy Kisses, Kid and Nikki's story.
--Vonda M. Reid   (Wednesday; July 7, 2010 : 10:02 p.m.)     [125]

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Books In The Series: "The Steele Street Series (aka: The Special Defense Force Series)"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.10-2005Crazy HotQuinn Younger "Captain America"Regan McKinney
  secondary:Peter "Kid Chaos" ChronopolousNicole Alana "Nikki" McKinney
02.11-2005Crazy CoolChristian Hawkins "Superman"Katya "Kat" Dekker
  secondary:Peter "Kid Chaos" ChronopolousNicole Alana "Nikki" McKinney
03.02-2006Crazy WildCesar Raoul Eduardo "Creed" Rivera "jungle boy"Dominique Cordelia "Cody" Stark
  secondary:Dylan Hart "Shadow"Skeeter Bang
04.03-2006Crazy KissesPeter "Kid Chaos" ChronopolousNicole Alana "Nikki" McKinney
  secondary:Travis JamesJane Linden
05.07-2006Crazy LoveDylan Hart "Shadow"Skeeter Bang "Baby Bang" "SB303"
  secondary:Travis JamesGillian "Red Dog" Pentycote
06.11-2006Crazy SweetTravis James "Angel" "Angel Boy"Gillian "Red Dog" Pentycote
  secondary:C. Smith RydellHonoria "Honey" York-Lytton
07.11-2007On The LooseC. Smith RydellHonoria "Honey" York-Lytton
  introducing:Alejandro CamposLily Robbins
08.01-2008Cutting LooseZachary PradeLily Robbins
  introducing:Dr. Gabriel ShoreCherie Hacker
09.09-2008Loose And EasyJuan Aurelio "Johnny" RamosEsme Alexandria Alden
  introducing:Daniel Axel "Dax" Killian 
10.08-2009Breaking LooseDaniel Axel "Dax" KillianSuzanna Royale "Suzi" Toussi
  introducing:Conroy FarrelScout
11.02-2011Loose EndsConroy FarrelJane Linden

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Crazy Wild Quotations:
376He plunged into the story, trying to remember all the details, which was incredibly difficult.   Guys ate lunch.   Women expected a whole helluva lot more from the hours between noon and two, especially if they were with a friend.
377It wasn't even talk, what women did.   They chatted, and it was an art, and he was getting it down, this way of weaving a whole bunch of things together until it didn't make sense anymore and neither one of them could even remember where they'd started -- chatting.

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♥  Disclaimer:   I Purchased This Book
♥  Very Subjective Rating

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