Thursday, February 19, 2015

Elle Kennedy -- Midnight Games

Elle Kennedy -- Midnight Games

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {4.90}
Action: ♠♠♠♠.♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣♣.♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥.♥ / Sensuous: ♦♦♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠♠
Action: 4.5 / Emotion: 4.5 / Romance: 4.5 / Sensuous: 3.0 / Suspense: 4.0  //  Laughter: 4 / Giggle: 0  //  Tears: 2 / Teary: 2

Setting:       Tijuana, Mexico
Era:             Present Day (2013)
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Elle Kennedy has another winner on her hands with Midnight Games, the third book in The Killer Instinct Series.   This Romantic Suspense book had all the necessary features to make it an un-put-down-able read: {1} action, {2} emotion, {3} romance, {4} suspense, {5} sensuality, and {6} extraordinary supporting characters.   Kennedy did a great job of keeping readers on the edge of their seats and tense with excitement as she told a story with plenty of unique twists that kept readers guessing.

Midnight Games picks up five months after the end of the second book of the series, Midnight Alias, where the heroine, Isabel "Izzy" Roma, leaves the hero, Trevor "Trev" Callaghan, blowing in the wind.   Trevor was just beginning to break through the mile wide barriers that encased Isabel's heart and when Isabel took another big emotional hit, she accepted an assignment from her boss, Noelle, the queen of assassins, that was not in her bailiwick.   Isabel was a chameleon extraordinaire, not a killer.   Yet, to escape from Trevor, Isabel accepted a kill assignment.

Five months later, Isabel is talking with Noelle in her luxurious, but coldly impersonal Paris apartment.   Noelle tells Isabel that Trevor has been pestering her in his efforts to locate Isabel.   Isabel, naturally, feels guilty for leaving Trevor in the lurch and realizes that she must go to him and apologize for her behavior.   So it is, that Isabel finds herself at the Tijuana compound that houses Morgan's Mercenaries.

Kennedy did a wonderful job of included some entertaining and personality revealing scenes between the cast of characters that are currently residing at the compound.   The camaraderie between the members of Jim Morgan's team was well-written and gave the members of the cast a more realistic feeling.   There was a semblance of celebrating going on because Kane Woodland and Abby Sinclair (of book one, Midnight Rescue) had gotten married last week -- much to the surprise of their teammates.   In fact, for the first time, Holden McCall brought his beautiful, talented wife, Beth, from their Montana home for a visit when they brought a wedding gift for the newly wedded couple.

Kennedy does such a great job of revealing her characters' personalities by including little things that really showcase her skills at character development.   For instance, look at the way Abby, who quit working for Noelle's Assassins and joined Morgan's Mercenaries so she could stay with Kane, reacted to the wedding gifts bestowed upon her by her teammates.
"Look, I'm sick of the attention and the gifts and the congratulations, okay?   Holden and his wife flew all the way here from Montana just to give Kane and me that china set.   What the hell are we gonna do with a china set?"

Trevor snorted.   "Well, not everyone is as thoughtful as D when it comes to gift giving."

Abby's entire face lit up.   "It took almost a year and a half," she announced, "but I finally like that son of a bitch."

Yeah, because apparently Derek "D" Pratt was the only person who knew Abby well.   As a wedding gift, he'd bestowed a set of razor-sharp hunting knives upon the redhead and they'd brought honest-to-God tears to her eyes.   (Conversation between Trevor and Abby, page 9)
The romance aspect of the book took front and center stage as Trevor and Isabel were both struggling with their conflicted feelings for the other as they interacted with their teammates.   It is obvious that Trevor had his work cut out for him if he is going to convince the relationship-shy Isabel that he can not only see the real her underneath all of her personas, but that the real Isabel is the only woman he wants in his life.

It was really outstanding that Kennedy included all the feelings that Trevor was experiencing as he came to grips with his past feelings for his fiancé, Gina, who was killed two years ago.   Having read the two previous books in the series, it was obvious that Trevor was so devastated by Gina's death that he was ready to give up on the land of the living.   In fact, it was Isabel (in book one, Midnight Rescue) who stood up to Trevor and made him realize that he didn't have a death wish after all.   Now that Trevor had started eating right, working out, and rejoined his team, he was dealing with the fact that he was attracted to a woman other than Gina.   (Something he didn't think would have ever happened.)

All through the book it was emphasized how different Gina was from Isabel.   And Trevor realized that he was not replacing Gina with Isabel, but that he was moving on with his life and Isabel was the other half of his soul.
Would two people with so much baggage ever be able to make a relationship work?   (Trevor, page 20)

Not only that, but he was sick of the way she made him feel.   Gina had never aroused these kinds of troubling emotions in him.   He was tied up in knots.   Frustrated.   Desperate for Isabel.   Goddamn it, desperate.   To hold her, kiss her, bring a smile to her lips.   (Trevor, page 65)

"Think about it.   Think about what you want from me.   What you want from this.   If it really is just friendship, then I'm sorry, but I can't give that to you."   His voice sounded so raspy he paused to clear his throat.   "You're the first woman I've wanted since I lost Gina.   The only woman I've wanted."   (Trevor, page 76)

Isabel Roma's heart was harder to penetrate than the vault in the Federal Reserve.   (Trevor, page 152)
Kennedy did an excellent job of portraying Trevor as a strong, totally alpha, macho man, who was more than capable of holding his own when it came to being a skilled member of the elite Morgan's Mercenaries.   But she also revealed that Trevor was now emotionally strong enough to make himself vulnerable to Isabel and that he was willing to fight for their relationship.   Trevor was given some really insightful, sensual, emotional, and romantic lines in this story.
"You were falling for me."   (Trevor, page 14)

A strangled breath flew out of his mouth.   "Because you tie me up in knots, damn it."   (Trevor, page 56)

In fact, he suspected it might be time to push her.   It wasn't a strategy he usually employed -- he believed in letting people deal with their issues in their own time, in their own way.   But Isabel's problem was that she refused to deal with a damn thing.   Instead of letting herself be vulnerable, she hid behind her various disguises.   (Trevor, page 72)

Trevor: do you really think I'd sleep with someone who .   .   ."   He trailed off, suddenly feeling awkward.
"Someone who what?"
Trevor let out a ragged breath.   "Who isn't you."
Her mouth formed a cute little O.   (Trevor and Isabel, page 74)

Most of the time, she could hide the real Isabel, fool him with that confident, professional disposition of hers, but right here and right now, with her mouth pressed against his, she was beautiful and genuine and incredibly vulnerable.   (Trevor, page 75)

"This is happening, Iz.   Deal with it."   (Trevor, page 87)

"I told you I wanted all or nothing, but I didn't say I wanted it all right this very second.   It's not a race to the finish line, Iz.   I'm a patient man, and I'm willing to wait as long as you need."   (Trevor, page 91)

"Just wondering whether you're going to pull away from me again, or if this time you'll actually stay the course."   (Trevor, page 112)

He cleared the gravel from his throat.   "I don't see you as a possession or a piece of arm candy or some object I need to conquer.   I just .   .   ."   He shrugged helplessly.   "I just need you, Iz.   I ----ing crave you."   (Trevor, page 134)

"I don't do half-ass relationships, Isabel.   Once I'm in, I'm in one hundred percent."   He gripped her chin and forced eye contact, holding her prisoner with his intense gaze.   "Give me a hundred percent in return, sweetheart."   (Trevor, page 144)

"You can hide your true self from the world, but not from the person you're in a relationship with.   You can't have something real, something honest, if you don't take a leap of faith and let the other person in."   His fingertips glided over her bottom lip.   "You don't have to hide from me, Iz.   Show me your worst, and I promise you, I won't go anywhere."   (Trevor, page 168)

"You're not walking away, sweetheart.   We're good together, and you know it."   (Trevor, page 194)
Isabel was an amazing character.   She was so strong and her talent at totally immersing herself into the personas she adopted to help the team on an investigation was priceless.   Kennedy did a great job of revealing the many layers that made up Isabel's personality.   She may have been a strong woman, loyal to a fault, fiercely protective of the people she loved, and a bleeding heart who would go out of her way to help total strangers, but she was extremely vulnerable underneath that hard shell she showed the rest of the world.
The way she'd ended things with Trevor had been callous, but she'd been motivated by the need for self-preservation, not cruelty.   He'd gotten too close.   Made her believe that happiness could play a role in her future, that she could actually be a normal woman who had normal relationships and a normal life.   But she knew better.   (Isabel, page 2)

Because . . . because she was scared, damn it.
None of that had changed, and yet instead of keeping him at arm's length and trying to view him as nothing more than a friend, she was doing the exact opposite.   (Isabel, page 118)

"This is about you being overprotective and trying to keep me out of danger.   Well, screw that.   I've had men thinking they know what's best for me my entire life.   My dad, my brother, my supervisor at the bureau.   There's no way I'm letting another man run my life, or tell me what I can or can't do in the field."   (Isabel, page 133)
And the quote that is the most revealing about Isabel's compassionate personality:
God, the man was completely dead inside.   In fact, he looked very much the way Trevor had when she'd first met him.   Vacant gaze and defeated posture.   Radiating sheer and total indifference.   To his surroundings, to those around him.   To life.
"Do your thing, Isabel."
Trevor's soft request caught her by surprise.   "My thing?"
"That thing you do.   You heal people with your warmth.   You make them feel . . . safe."   He sounded tired and sad.   (Isabel, page 38)
Isabel, obviously, was not immure to Trevor and his blatant masculinity, therefore they ended up in bed, making love.   Kennedy's well-written passionate, hot, yet emotional love scenes were somewhat graphic.   Nevertheless, the love scenes enhanced the enjoy-ability of the story.

While the relationship is developing between Trevor and Isabel, Kennedy keeps readers glued to the pages of the book by including a lot of detailed, exciting action scenes that include plenty of edge-of-your-seat suspense.   The night that Isabel arrived at the Morgan compound to talk to Trevor, the compound was hit by a blitz attack.   Kennedy did a fantastic job of entertaining readers by showing the warriors in all their skilled glory.   Even though it was the middle of the night and most of the mercenaries had been in bed sleeping, they managed to defeat the hired goons who attacked the compound.

But not without some fatalities.   Kennedy did such a phenomenal job of detailing the scene that it was impossible not to cry as Trevor and Kane dealt with Holden in his suite.   While Trevor and Kane were trying to be understanding, they also knew they were in danger and had to get Holden out of the suite so they could follow protocol for a security breach and blow the compound.

D was allowed to question the one bad guy who survived the battle, thus the team had a starting place for their search for whoever put a hit on the men inhabiting Morgan's compound.   However, the suspense increased because the warriors had no idea who was the target of the attack.   Just like most of the members of the team, it was easy to assume that one of Jim Morgan's enemies had come out of the woodwork.   The problem was Jim Morgan, mercenary extraordinaire, had dropped off the face of the earth.   He could not be found.

Which resulted in the team having to go to Noelle's high security ranch in California to regroup and begin an investigation.   Well, not everyone on the team.   Kane and Abby were sent to Morgan's secondary estate in Costa Rica to begin setting up the compound so the teams would have a home base and someplace to stay between missions.   Also, Luke Dubois and Olivia Taylor (of Midnight Alias) were not part of the story because they were relegated to Aspen, setting up housekeeping after Luke purchased the condo Trevor and Gina had lived in for eight years.

Kennedy does such a great job of including just enough details about the personalities of secondary characters in her books that it becomes impossible not to want to know more them.   Take for instance the spunky little doctor who owned a clinic several hours from the city of Oaxaco where the mercenaries went to get medical treatment.   Sofia Amaro was a thirty-year-old brunette with sharp green eyes who managed to kowtow these big, bag warriors, even D.
"Good to see you, Derek."   She approached the gurney he was lying on, a grin on her face.
"How's it going, Doc?"
She gave a mock gasp.   "Wait.   Did you actually ask how I was?   You must have been hit harder than we thought."
She was right -- he normally didn't go out of his way to find out how the people around him were faring.   Truth was, he didn't give a shit.
But he'd figured out a long time ago that if you weren't nice to Sofia Amaro, you paid dearly for it.   (D, page 40)
Speaking of secondary characters, Kennedy singled out two secondary characters in Trevor and Isabel's story and gave them voices, which showed readers even more details about the personalities of these two individuals, who had already generated an abundance of interest when they appeared in the first two books of the series.   Derek "D" Pratt and Noelle were given point of view voices and kept showing up regularly on the pages of this book.   They both continued to exhibit such cold ruthlessness on the outside that Kennedy definitely has her work cut out for her when she writes their books.   How is she going to unwrap the layers of callousness, bitterness, and anger, to reveal their secrets in a manner that will allow them to open their hearts to the possibility of a happily-ever-after.

To be quite honest, Kennedy has already succeeded in allowing readers just a peek underneath the tattoos and 'I don't give a shit' personality that D possesses to reveal that somewhere, deep down, D has a heart.   In fact, D is such a vibrant, vivid presence whenever he walks across the pages of these books, that he demands that die-hard romance readers develop a tender place for him in their hearts.   D really, really needs his own story -- the soon the better.
The thought of Luke's girl had D's chest knotting with discomfort.   He and Olivia had shared an unsettling moment in Manhattan, and the woman's perceptiveness had disturbed him on a whole other level.   Her sympathy had infuriated him, her kindness had annoyed him.   And her gentle embrace . . . Jesus.   (D, page 78)
The same cannot be said for Noelle.   Noelle may have some warmth in her heart somewhere, but the way she is portrayed says it will take an atomic bomb to get through her shell to find it.   Noelle is one cold, calculating, mean Bitch -- with a capital "B".   However, Kennedy has dropped just enough hints during this series to let readers know that there is some kind of history between Noelle and Jim that has made her the way she is.   Kennedy will tell readers Jim and Noelle's story in Midnight Action, the fifth book in this series.   (Can't wait to read it!   Especially after the parting line Jim threw at Noelle at the end of this book!)

Because Noelle is so smart, calculating, and insensitive, when she agreed to help Trevor and his team try to find Jim (thanks to D and because she likes the idea of Jim "owing" her), she demanded two things from Trevor: one, that she be in charge (and boy does she revel at being in charge), and two, that now Trevor would owe her a favor.   (For a while there, the way Noelle was acting with Trevor, made one fearful that she would intentionally try to screw up his romance with Isabel.)   There were two things about Noelle that tempts one to read her story.   It is obvious that Noelle hates Jim with a passion, which makes you {1} wonder what happened in the past and {2} wonder how fast the hatred will revert back to love (because you just know Noelle loved Jim once upon a time).

Kennedy did an awesome job of setting D and Noelle against each other in this book -- neither one of them willing to give an inch.   And both of them were so cold and detached inside that they could play their games without once involving their emotions in their ongoing battle of wills.   The scenes between D and Noelle were incredibly surprising, engaging and, quite honestly, hot!   It was hard to tell who came out the winner in their battles -- or if there even was a winner.
"Someone messed you up pretty bad, didn't they, honey?"   (Noelle, page 79)
"Probably as bad as they messed you up."   (D, page 79)
Kennedy even gives the bad guys in the book a voice, which makes them feel more real to the readers and increases the suspense factor of the story.   The name of the bad guy who put together the team that attacked Morgan's compound was Ed "Eddie" Marion Lassiter and by giving him a small role in the book, it was revealed to readers that this scumbag was deathly afraid of the repercussions when the man who hired him, Tomas Meiro, learned of the failure to kill all the warriors residing in Morgan's compound.

When Eddie Lassiter turned up dead, the team followed leads that sent them to the Crystal Palace, a casino in Monaco, owned by Tomas Meiro.   Since this is Isabel's book, naturally, she was assigned the task of tempting information out of Meiro as the sexy socialite, Valerie Parker-Smith -- much to Trevor's dismay.   Kennedy wrote a wonderfully entertaining scene featuring Trevor's response to Isabel when she went wired to the first meeting between femme fatale, Valerie Parker-Smith, and resident bad guy, Tomas Meiro.

Tomas Meiro was also given a voice in this book to highlight to readers Isabel's success in her role as Valerie.   The team, however, could find no incriminating evidence about Meiro to reveal whether he was the man who was behind the attack at Morgan's compound.

The continued investigation allowed for Kennedy to introduce two more secondary characters into the series as well as to highlight the camaraderie between several of Morgan's Mercenaries that were introduced in previous books of the series.   Again, Kennedy does such a great job of including titillating details about her supporting cast members that it really brings these characters to life and adds a fun flavor to the story.

The first secondary character introduced in this book is one of Noelle's operatives, master thief, Juliet "Jules" Mason.   It was difficult to warm up to Juliet because not enough background information was given to detract from her flirty, 'don't you think I'm all that' attitude.   Yes, Juliet did have a head on her shoulders, but her tendency to break the rules and because she insisted on taunting Ethan, make her somewhat dislikeable.   Naturally, all the squabbling between Juliet and the young Marine, Ethan Hayes (who wasn't really featured all that much in this book), was a result of some kind of instant attraction.   Although the rest of the people in the cast picked up on the unspoken attraction between Juliet and Ethan, quite honestly, Kennedy failed to project this attraction as the reason for their constant snipping.   That must be the case, however, since Ethan and Juliet's story will be presented in the next book of the series, Midnight Pursuits.
"Oh, aren't you adorable," she cooed.   "I didn't realize Morgan was recruiting them out of high school."
Ethan looked at Trevor as if asking for permission to kick some ass.
Fighting a grin, Trevor gave a slight shake of his head.   (upon Juliet's arrival at Noelle's ranch, page 71)
The second new character introduced into this series was Sean Reilly.   Isabel contacted the Reilly twins to gather information on not only Tomas Merio, but, hopefully, the location of the missing Jim Morgan.   (Oliver Reilly, Sean's twin, was introduced in Midnight Alias, but did not make an appearance in this book.)   As is Kennedy's style, Sean's outgoing, charming, flirty personality jumped from the pages of this book when he arrived in person to deliver information to the team.   Not only was Sean a commanding presence, but his skill set was such that he was asked to join the warriors when they went on a convert mission to rescue the man Meiro was smuggling into the city.   (Sean will be the featured hero in the sixth book of this series, Midnight Captive.)

The handsome ladies men, Sullivan "Sully" Port and Liam MacGregor, were cruising around on Sullivan's beloved yacht, Evangeline, when the book opened but joined the team to help with surveillance when they went to Monaco.   These two entertaining men really added to the enjoyment of the story.   They are irreverent, happy-go-lucky men, but they are more than capable of stepping up to the plate when a soldier is called for.   (By the way, Liam is now a member of the new team Morgan put together, headed by Castle, who was introduced in the previous book.)   Trevor described them best:
Sully and Liam reminded him of a couple of boys from his former army unit.   Every squad had a pair of them, the trash-talking, sex-obsessed, cocky clowns that made you laugh even when you were surrounded by death and suffering and heartbreak.   (Trevor, page 154)  
Noelle included one more member of her team into the investigation, but she never appeared on the pages of the book.   Paige was Noelle's technical expert and was able to come up with amazing amounts of data when requested.   Paige is described as something of hermit geek, yet a very deadly assassin.   Kennedy has inserted just enough details about Paige to make readers want to meet her.

Kennedy pays attention to the small details as she writes her book, which not only makes her stories feel more real, but successfully draws the reader even deeper into the events happening on the pages of the book.   Take for instance the way Kennedy inserted one character that was, basically, totally unnecessary for furtherance of the plotting details.   But by inserting Alicia Montoya, the nineteen year old daughter of the Spanish ambassador who was gambling at the Crystal Palace, Kennedy told readers that Tomas Meiro scanned his security monitors for beautiful women and invited them to his VIP suite.   This is the kind of detail that makes Kennedy's writing so spectacular.

Kennedy has a fantastic sense of humor!   For instance, while Trevor and Izzy were laying around talking about their pasts after a passionate bout of lovemaking, Trevor told Izzy the tale of his first sexual encounter.   What a beautifully written, thoroughly entertaining, hilarious piece of fiction.

Kennedy does an amazing job of drawing readers into her stories and doesn't let their attention drift from the intricate plots, surprising twists, and fascinating characters.*   While each book is it's own unique story, Kennedy has been subtly tying the plotting sequences included in each book to the other books.   In fact, Kennedy really threw a surprise into Trevor and Isabel's story which was closely tied to events that happened in book one, Midnight Rescue.   Naturally, it is recommended that these books be read in order to understand all the nuances that Kennedy includes about her characters and plotting.   The tapestry of The Killer Instinct Series continues to grow more brilliant and tight-knit as each story is told.

To reiterate, Midnight Games, the third book in The Killer Instinct Series, had all the necessary attributes to make it an outstanding read: {1} Trevor "Trev" Callaghan, a hunky, alpha, but flawed hero, who not only shows his more than capable leadership skills, but also his strengths and vulnerabilities as he pursues the woman he has grown to love; {2} Isabel "Izzy" Roma, a beautiful, strong-willed, compassionate heroine, who hides her vulnerabilities behind the personas she adopts in her line of work as an undercover operative; {3} Derek "D" Pratt, the secondary hero, whose presence was so powerful whenever he appeared, the he almost supplanted Trevor's role as the number one male in this book; {4} Noelle, the secondary heroine, a cold, emotionless leader of a group of female assassins, whose presence was so potent she could have stolen the show; {5} exciting well-described action scenes kept the story moving at a quick, steady pace; {6} such an emotional connection to the cast of characters that it was impossible not to laugh and cry along with them; {7} the romantic awareness that existed between Trevor and Isabel was always prevalent in the background of the story; {8} a great deal of sensuality, heat, and spice during the lovemaking scenes (and some definite heat during the sex scenes); {9} an edge-of-your-seat degree of suspense permeated the entire story as the characters tried to find {a} the bad guys who were trying to eliminate Morgan's Mercenaries and {b} what happened to Jim Morgan; {10} very fascinating, well-written supporting characters that really added to the enjoyment factor of the story (and the series): {a} Jim Morgan, {b} Kane Woodland, {c} Abby Sinclair, {d} Ethan Hayes, {e} Juliet Mason, {f} Sullivan "Sully" Port; {g} Liam MacGregor, {h} Sean Reilly, {i} Holden McCall, {j} Ed "Eddie" Marion Lassiter, {k} Tomas Meiro, {l} Renee Beaumont Meiro, as well as Isabel's personas, {a} Valerie Parker-Smith and {b} Paloma Dominguez-Martin.   This entertaining Romantic Suspense book will be added to my "To Be Re-Read" list.
--Vonda M. Reid (Thursday, February 19, 2015 : 4:48 a.m.)     [366]
* This is very vain, but after writing this sentence, realized that it is one of those PR sentences that shows up in the front of authors' books and on their websites.   (A dream come true would be for one of my quotes to appear in such a prestigious place.)

Books In The Series: "The Killer Instinct Series"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.05-2012Midnight RescueKane Woodland: Morgan's Mercenary: ex-SEALAbby Sinclair: Noelle's Chameleons: assassin
  sub-plot:Trevor Callaghan: Morgan's Mercenary: ex-ArmyIsabel "Izzy" Roma: Noelle's Chameleons: master of disguise
02.02-2013Midnight AliasLuke Gustave Dubois: Morgan's Mercenary: ex-SEALOlivia Taylor: stripper, girl friend of mob boss
  sub-plot:Trevor Callaghan: Morgan's Mercenary: ex-ArmyIsabel "Izzy" Roma: Noelle's Chameleons: master of disguise
03.08-2013Midnight GamesTrevor Callaghan: Morgan's Mercenary: ex-ArmyIsabel "Izzy" Roma: Noelle's Chameleons: master of disguise
  sub-plot:Derek "D" Pratt: Morgan's Mercenary: deadly Noelle: Queen of Assassins
04.04-2014Midnight PursuitsEthan Haynes: Morgan's Mercenary: ex-MarineJuliet "Jules" Mason: Noelle's Chameleons: master thief
  sub-plot:Derek "D" Pratt: Morgan's Mercenary: deadly Noelle: Queen of Assassins
4.510-2014After MidnightKane Woodland: Morgan's Mercenary: ex-SEALAbby Sinclair: Noelle's Chameleons: assassin
05.11-2014Midnight ActionJim Morgan: Morgan's Mercenary: leader: ex-RangerNoelle: Queen of Assassins
06.06-2015Midnight CaptiveSean Reilly: reckless, rule-breaking IrishmanBailey Jones: Noelle's Chameleons: former CIA Agent

Characters Found In "Midnight Games"
Character Description
Trevor "Trev" Callaghan[Hero] former Special Forces soldier; first time Isabel worked with him, he'd been a ravaged, grieving mess -- a man with a death wish; second time Isabel' worked with him, he'd been a changed man, a healed man (1) perceptive brown eyes and understated charm; exuded quiet strength; rare but gorgeous smiles (2) former Army; from Colorado (6) short dark hair; eyes, the color of rich whiskey with flecks of gold around the pupils; tall, muscular body and chiseled features; compassionate; strong; loyal; the kind of man Isabel had dreamed of as a child; flawed; slightly damaged (10) normally epitomized cool under pressure (13) had wanted to die a year ago, no longer that angry, broken man; wore his honor on his sleeve; led with quiet authority; carefully weighed each word he said (13) gorgeous eyes (14) gentleman (18) loved Gina 10 years; lived with her 8 years (19) Irish roots; great-great-great-grandfather came over from Ireland; as American as baseball and apple pie (20) a hard-core soldier, in total control (21) pilot (48) wasn't the kind of man who played games; preferred the more direct approach (55) 33-y-o (64) heady scent; incredible body; intense brown eyes (67) big, firm, muscular, thighs (68) played baseball and rugby in high school; on honor roll (90) strong, serious type; honorable; sweet; tender; playful; sensual; pigheaded (91) citrus-and-wood blend aftershave (97) father worked at a lumber mill (107) sheer masculinity; so very male; broad shoulders; solid chest; sexy beard growth (108) firm thighs; trim hips (109) considered gambling a total waste of time and a needless waste of money (120) sculpted chest; washboard abs; powerful legs; firm thighs (144)
Isabel "Izzy" "Iz" Roma[Heroine] good at pretending to be other people; spent her entire life perfecting a composed, easygoing front (2) worked as chameleon for Noelle for 7 years (3) more suited to short term gigs; strength was the in-and-out gig; could transform herself into whoever she needed to be, go undercover and get the information she was asked to procure, then disappear without a trace; not a killer; suffered; came from shitty background that gave her a bleeding heart (4) strongest woman Trevor has ever met (7) loyal to a fault; fiercely protective of the people she loved; went out of her way to help total strangers; a bleeding heart, an unwavering crusader for the innocent (8) no longer believed in fairy tales (10) anyone who had the pleasure of being around her was drawn to her like a bee to honey, men, women, children -- no one was immune to her spell; no one could resist her melodic voice and warm smile and compassionate blue eyes; consummate actress; created easygoing façade to protect herself, to cover up the fact that deep down she was incredibly vulnerable (15) hair both shorter and lighter; shoulder length and pale gold, her real color; smooth, lily white skin; when wasn't donning a disguise, she looked delicate (15) blue eyes (19) beautiful face (20) possessed the ability to put people at ease, to soothe them (38) easygoing, self-assured, speaking with quiet authority (44) radiated warmth like a furnace; Trevor had never met a more compassionate woman (46) daddy issues (53) most skilled at hiding her emotions (57) confident; funny; compassionate, candid nature (87) went to live with grandparents in Jersey after mother's death; grandfather died of a heart attack when 15; Nona died a few years later in a car accident; Isabel was driving; 18-y-o by then; went to NYU, studied criminology, recruited by the FBI (107) fluent in seven languages, one of which happened to be Portuguese (125) 32-y-o (143) a trained sharpshooter; a black belt in ju-jitsu; fluent in seven languages (152)
. . . . . .
Derek "D" Pratt[Secondary Hero] the only person who knew Abby well; gave Abby a set of razor-sharp hunting knives as a wedding gift (9) resident taciturn asshole (15) of all the operatives who worked for Morgan, the biggest enigma; close-trimmed dark hair; muscular tattoo-covered body; perpetual scowl; downright terrifying at times; incredibly hard to connect with; thought a cold, heartless warrior with a penchant for bloodlust, but there was more to the man than met the eye; protective to a fault; always looked after his teammates (17) former Delta operative (28) black and red snake tattoo circling the base of his neck (30) black eyes (32) enormous body; Japanese-style images on his biceps were gorgeous -- a deadly samurai fighting the green-and-black diamondback snake coiled around his forearm; another snake circled his neck, this one red and black, with a forked tongue and a thick body that seemed to undulate whenever its owner moved; on the inside of each wrist was a mysterious set of dates; an imposing man; terrifying; couldn't imagine any woman being fully at ease with him; the kind of man you'd forever be on edge around, constantly waiting for him to snap; if he possessed even an ounce of tenderness, Isabel had yet to see it (50) tattoo on the back of an eagle spanning from shoulder to shoulder, done only in black ink but with painstaking detail; underneath the majestic creature were what looked like tally marks, separated into groups of five; forty-three total; smoked Camels (55) raspy voice; handsome features; face ought to be feral to match his personality, yet he was handsome; sharp cheekbones, straight nose, strong jaw, and well-shaped mouth; power personified; a warrior; heartless; rugged planes of his face; well-defined chest muscles (60) there was an ulterior motive to every action, a hidden meaning behind every word (61) learned at a young age that women were duplicitous creatures, far more dangerous than their male counterparts (78) buzz cut (95) wasn't an ounce of fat on sculpted body; spectacular (139) razor-sharp stubble slashed his jaw, making him appear even more menacing than usual (140)
Noelle[Secondary Heroine] [Book 5 / Midnight Action] Isabel's boss; a predator; show her any sign of weakness and the queen of assassins would eat you alive; only smiled right before she killed you; drove silver Mercedes (1) blond assassin; apartment was sterile, cold, unwelcoming; lithe as a cat; tight black leggings and even tighter black tank top (2) red fingernails; the grace of a ballerina; a bitch on a good day; sharp, antagonistic tongue; freaking definition of the word damaged (3) suffered; came from shitty background; that crushed her conscience, plain and simple; five-two, with her long golden hair, ethereal features, and pale blue eyes; looked like a Disney princess, and yet was the coldest, most lethal person Isabel had ever met (4) has more contacts than the president (42) angelic appearance; long hair was like spun gold, her vivid blue eyes; features were downright exquisite; Trevor had never laid eyes on a more beautiful woman (54) liked toying with men (55) had almost been destroyed by love (58) a garment that was nearly as dangerous as she was, housed a multitude of weapons; trained by the best; trained to be invisible (59) a warrior; heartless (60) there was an ulterior motive to every action, a hidden meaning behind every word (61) smooth and shapely legs, the color of peaches and pale honey (63) wasn't a tall woman, but her presence was commanding; smoker (64) most complicated person D had ever met (78) smile was toxic (79) she'd stopped caring a long time ago what people thought of her; a bitch; a shrew; cold, calculating, evil; let them fear her; if she had to evoke some sort of emotion from others, she'd prefer it be terror (139) shrewd gaze (161)
. . . . . .
Sofia Amaro[Brief Appearance] little brunette with dark hair and sharp green eyes; owned clinic; 30-y-o; sole physician clinic, a privately funded medical facility that catered to the surrounding villages; nearly every man on Morgan's crew had paid a visit to Sofia (38) green eyes (40) had the evil habit of forcing unnecessary bed rest on her patients (43)
Barkasomeone Claude Roussel and Tomas Meiro dealt with (173)
Michael Beaumont[No Appearance] Renee Beaumont Merio's father; multimillionaire; owned a dozen casinos all over Europe; the Crystal Palace is the crown jewel of the business; where spent most of his time before he died last year; owned dozens of upscale brothels, one in nearly every major European city, including one in Monte Carlo; involved in human trafficking (113) Meiro's employer; a very powerful man, but also quite old-fashioned -- he didn't think a woman could run an empire, so he was trying to marry his daughter off to a man who could eventually take over the business; oozed charm and confidence, and sounded sincere; smooth operator (146)
Lorenzo Blanco[One Appearance] Luis Blanco's son; Tomas Meiro (205)
Luis Blanco[No Appearance] a twisted arms dealer who also had his fat fingers in the sex trade pie (98) took lives; sold young girls like they were sex toys; a businessman; ran an empire (206)
Brett[No Appearance] man Isabel dated when she was with the bureau (68)
Brownie[Animal] one of Abby's puppies (25) chocolate brown Labrador (9)
Castle[No Appearance] headed up Jim Morgan's B Team; mercenary (6)
Henri Chastain[No Appearance] worked as the night supervisor down at the docks; the most accommodating man in the city, all it took was a little bribe and he turned a blind eye to any shady enterprises that went down (173)
Frank De Luca[No Appearance] Ric De Luca's son (170)
Ric De Luca[No Appearance] boss of crime family in Brooklyn; Bernie Roma member of his organization (51) killed your Joey Roma while Isabel watched (171)
Lex Delaney[No Appearance] Eddie Lassiter's right-hand man (53)
Devlin[No Appearance] Luis Blanco's second in command; dead thanks to Kane and Abby (205)
Paloma Dominguez-Martin[One Appearance] the alter ego Isabel had used in Colombia the year before; Paloma had just married Julian Martin, Trevor's alter ego; they'd gone undercover as the newly married couple to rescue a dozen innocent girls from Luis Blanco (98)
Luke Gustave Dubois[No Appearance] [Book 2 / Midnight Alias] bought Trevor's Aspen condo; former SEAL was currently off rotation while he got settled in the new place; Trevor's teammate (6) craved action (91)
Tengo Ekala[No Appearance] terrorizing the country of Nigeria ever since he'd come into power; warlord; killed by Isabel (4) one of the most feared warlords on the globe, a sadist who'd earned that reputation thanks to his spine-chilling torture methods and trigger-happy soldiers (17)
Felipe[No Appearance] informed Serena there were many arrests (184)
Takashi Fujiwara[One Appearance] he and his girlfriend used to run one of the Tokyo brothels where Meiro shiped his kidnapped tourists; screwed Meiro and Tachikawa; stole a shit ton of dough, and sometimes arranged for the private sale of certain girls (183)
Gina[No Appearance] Trevor's [fiancé]; dead for more than 2 years (6) stubborn woman would stay up with Trevor, even when she had an early shift at the bank the next morning; she'd curl up against his chest and watch TV with him; Trevor had loved Gina for ten years, lived with her for eight, and after her death, not a day had gone by when he hadn't thought of the woman he loved (19) feisty, beautiful (88) big brown eyes; Trevor's best friend and soul mate (131)
Hank[No Appearance] manned the front gate of Morgan's compound (9) was one of the techs who ran the security booth (22)
Ethan Hayes[Secondary Character] [Book 4 / Midnight Pursuits] hazel eyes; preppy good looks and unassuming demeanor, came off as the least threatening man on the planet; the rookie was far deadlier than he let on, a marine with razor-sharp instincts and honed skills that made him a real asset to the team (5) classic good looks; sweet demeanor; a ruthless warrior; hazel eyes; thick biceps rippling with power (25) impressive set of washboard abs; midtwenties, always seemed boyish; pure alpha male; moved with lethal precision, killing without batting an eye; had the letters USMC (United States Marine Corps) tattooed on his biceps, done in black calligraphy; (35) 25-y-o (64) steely determination in hazel eyes; Morgan was a father figure to him; hailed from a small town, had no family, and was recruited by Morgan after one tour in the Marines; incredibly protective of the boss (92)
Jean-Paul[One Appearance] the director of Museum of Natural Artifacts (197)
Bailey [Jones][No Appearance] [Book 6 / Midnight Captive] more suited to deep cover gigs than Isabel (4) the most mysterious of Noelle's assassins; ten times the chameleon Isabel was; a stone-cold killer when she needed to be; customarily assigned deep cover jobs for prolonged periods of time, Isabel rarely ever saw the woman; Sean met and took a liking to her (84)
Keller[No Appearance] one of Tomas Meiro's most trusted security experts (89)
Krista[No Appearance] Trevor's younger sister; Kris moved to Wyoming a few years back when her husband got transferred for work (107)
Ed "Eddie" Marion Lassiter[pov] [Brief Appearance] a scumbag lowlife who specializes in putting together hit squads; hired squad to hit Morgan's compound; a middleman who paired mercenaries up with potential clients; shady as hell (29) loved beautiful women; grew up in Nevada trailer park (52) a man who didn't explain himself to anyone, who didn't care what anybody thought of him, yet a tremor of fear rippled through him as he anticipated Meiro's reaction to the screwup (54) a big man; thick chest, bulky arms, muscular legs; skin had the leathery look of a man who'd spent too much time in the sun, and his dirty blond hair was long and stringy (82)
Lloyd[Brief Appearance] housekeeper and cook for Morgan's Mercenaries (6) massive body; the compound's housekeeper; huge shoulders; bushy red beard devoured his big, square jaw; gentle disposition seemed incongruous coming from a man who'd once worked as an enforcer for a Mob outfit in Boston (14) giant housekeeper; dark eyes; killed in attack (24) the gentle giant who'd worked for Morgan for years, was dead (43)
Sara Malkovitz[No Appearance] Trevor's high school girlfriend; lost our virginity to each other in junior year; "It was a total disaster, but I didn't know it at the time. I thought I rocked it." (142)
Liam MacGregor[Secondary Character] joined Morgan's B Team; best buds with Sullivan; male-model good looks and endless supply of charm (12) possessed a scary amount of energy; looked like a spoiled preppy kid who'd spent the summer sailing around St. Barts on his daddy's yacht; tanned skin, scruffy facial hair, muscular body clad in t-shirt, board shorts, and flip-flops; vivid blue eyes twinkled playfully (115) flashed a dimpled grin that would have made female hearts flutter; drop-dead gorgeous; Black Irish good looks belonged on a movie screen; spectacular hair, which was thick and dark and more lustrous than a shampoo model's (116) was sharply aware of his surroundings; from Boston and had been DEA at one point and a soldier at another; if Morgan had hired the guy, that meant he was damn good (138) "Every squad had a pair of them, the trash-talking, sex-obsessed, cocky clowns that made you laugh even when you were surrounded by death and suffering and heartbreak." (154)
Julian Martin[One Appearance] Trevor's alter ego; the billionaire playboy who traveled the world and spent money like there was no tomorrow (100)
Juliet "Jules" Mason[Secondary Character] [Book 4 / Midnight Pursuits] one of Noelle's chameleon's; could drink Isabel under the table; fun to be around (48) an absolute knockout; looked to be in her early thirties, with a head of thick dark hair that fell down her back in tousled waves, eyes the color of dark chocolate, a willowy body, and a damn nice rack; dark blue jeans were plastered to her long legs like plastic wrap, and her arms, bare thanks to her black tank top, revealed a pair of matching tattoos on her biceps; a cluster of nautical stars, feminine yet edgy (71) had a little mole right above her mouth; hotter than a five-alarm fire; fingernails were short and rounded, painted a dark blue that added to the bad-girl vibe she was throwing off (72) former thief; now assassin (80) almond-shaped eyes twinkled like dark gems (95) long brown hair (113) in black cocktail gown, looked incredible, satin dress outlined every curve of her willowy body, and her stilettos added height to her already tall frame, dark hair piled atop her head to reveal her long, graceful neck, and her breasts practically pouring out of her bodice, was sex personified (118)
Brittany Matthews[One Appearance] name on Isabel's current fake passport; a blond advertising executive from New York; her least favorite alias (114)
Beth McCall[Brief Appearance] Holden's wife; hot; raven hair; wavy black hair and dark eyes; drop-dead gorgeous; shy, soft-spoken, and completely oblivious to the sex appeal radiating from her tall, curvaceous frame; nice; a chef (5) from Montana (8) the head chef at a five-star French restaurant in Helena (16) fire beneath that shy exterior (17) didn't want to hang out with Holden the night she met him; married 19 years (32)
Holden McCall[Brief Appearance] from Montana (8) Ranger (30) broad shoulders (31) blank gray eyes; still breathing, but the man had died the second Beth had been taken away from him; married 19 years; met Beth 18-y-o at graduation party at the lake, the day before enlisted. She didn't want to hang out with me that night (32)
Renee Beaumont Meiro[Brief Appearances] Tomas Meiro's wife; plainer than oatmeal; husband only brings her out to serious, media-heavy events (95) a plain woman with a long, thin nose, too-close-together brown eyes, and acne scars that she attempted to cover with makeup (112) lives in the family mansion, a huge estate in one of those nouveau riche areas of the city; Beaumont's only child and sole heir; a loveless marriage (114) a masculine stride; fitted black dress that brought out the severity of her face; features were too long, too angular, and her mousy brown hair was pulled into a tight bun, drawing not so welcome attention to her too high forehead; gay (184) a thick French accent (196)
Tomas Meiro[pov] [Secondary Character] hired Eddie Lassiter to hit Morgan's compound (54) a man who was used to making things happen; didn't sit around and wait for good fortune to come his way; made his own luck (88) casino owner; originally from Lisbon, but now based in Monte Carlo; Noelle unable to get a read on him; appeared on the scene fairly recently, a year or two ago; came out of nowhere (93) owns a chain of casinos, or rather his wife did; married a French heiress, a really unfortunate-looking girl; wife's daddy was filthy rich, and she inherited the family casinos after his death; daddy also ran a high-class prostitution ring and dabbled in human trafficking; charming; smart; no shortage of mistresses; had a weakness for beautiful women; very mysterious; debonair; sexy in a dangerous sort of way; very Gatsby-esque (95) undeniable good looks; tanned skin, dark hair, caramel-colored eyes; wasn't an exceptionally tall man, but his body filled out a suit rather nicely (112) originally from Portugal; moved to Paris when a teenager; unclear what he did for the next decade or so; met Renee Beaumont about a year ago, married her, and won over her father; following in his father-in-law's footsteps (113) stays in the hotel penthouse most of the time; very Great Gatsby, came out of nowhere, self-made rich, handsome and mysterious (114) whiff of expensive cologne, a hint of cigar smoke; surprisingly deep voice was as smooth as cream; caramel-colored eyes; handsome; not a tall man, about 5'9"; definitely attractive; chiseled cheekbones, sensual mouth, amazing hair, and very broad shoulders beneath his tailored suit jacket (125) too smooth, too confident (128) wore a pair of perfectly starched gray chinos and a black V-neck sweater that outlined his broad chest; thick, wavy hair was slicked away from his forehead, emphasizing angular features and pronounced cheekbones (145)
Michael[No Appearance] the boy Isabel gave her virginity to; taken Bernie Roma's back room (68)
Heaven Monroe[No Appearance] killed herself the morning Isabel left Trevor behind in New York (14)
Alicia Montoya[One Appearance] raven hair; wearing a red strapless gown and half a million bucks' worth of diamonds; spectacular; 19-y-o; daughter of the Spanish ambassador; staying in the Emerald Villa with her mother and younger sister; alone at the roulette table; Meiro interested in her (89)
Magda [Montoya][No Appearance] Alicia' syounger sister (89)
Jim Morgan[Brief Appearance] [Book 5 / Midnight Action] mercenary extraordinaire; Isabel worked for him 5-mo-a (1) as business-savvy as he was lethal; recruited a second team of operatives (5) drove Lamborghini (12) had almost as many enemies as D (41) a professional right down to his core (49) chiseled features; dark hair cropped but not shaved; eyes were a dark shade of blue that burned like liquid metal when he was furious (101) never revealed a sliver of emotion, even if he was in excruciating pain; six-foot-plus frame and bulky physique (177) close-cropped dark hair; always intense midnight blue eyes; chiseled features hardened at the sight of Noelle (188)
Wes Murray[One Appearance] Trevor's alias; a Wall Street trader who was gambling solo because the rest of his party had decided to listen to some jazz at the Blue Note; Wes didn't do jazz; he was all about the Benjamins (119)
Paige[No Appearance] could drink Isabel under the table; fun to be around (48) Noelle's tech geek (65) the queen of background searches (100) a loner; lived in a little village in northern England, and usually holes up there like a hermit; only leaves her cottage when Noelle contracts her out; a very deadly assassin; worked for some MI5-type agency before going private; got sick of following the rules; when you work for Noelle, there aren't a lot of rules (167)
Valerie Parker-Smith[Frequent Appearances] Isabel's undercover persona; sexy as hell; flaming copper-colored hair in a chin-length bob; straight bangs slashed across her forehead, drawing attention to bright green eyes and liquid ivory skin that displayed a hint of freckles; her face was rounder; her nose looked more upturned than usual (103)
Peterson[No Appearance] the lawyer who kept Isabel's various identities straight (97)
Russ Pollack[No Appearance] head of the military company in Texas; former Green Beret who'd gone private and was now making cash hand over fist training mercenaries down south; lost three men during the ambush on Morgan's compound; owed Morgan his life; had suffered a complete mental breakdown after his Special Forces stint and subsequent discharge (69)
Sullivan "Sully" Port[Secondary Character] drove a fire-engine red Ferrari, that he loved almost as much as his boat; big Australian; charismatic, entertaining, and undeniably sexy; best buds with Liam (12) possessed a scary amount of energy; looked like a spoiled preppy kid who'd spent the summer sailing around St. Barts on his daddy's yacht; tanned skin, scruffy facial hair, muscular body clad in t-shirt, board shorts, and flip-flops (115) 6'3"; dirty blond hair; Australian; his gray eyes gleaming with appreciation; loved his yacht (116) "Every squad had a pair of them, the trash-talking, sex-obsessed, cocky clowns that made you laugh even when you were surrounded by death and suffering and heartbreak." (154) thick blond stubble on his square jaw (174)
Oliver Reilly[No Appearance] the Reilly brothers employed an arbitrary fee schedule that didn't make much sense to begin with; former mercenary who may or may not have been tangled up with the IRA at one point; the best information dealers currently operating on the globe; Irishman; with biggest network of contacts, possessed the ability to produce information out of thin air; the nicer of the two brothers, playful and down-to-earth; helped Isabel and Trevor in Manhattan (84) sounded exactly like his twin brother, same Irish brogue, same deep timbre, same sarcasm (93) identical twin; unruly blond hair, dark green eyes, scruffy facial hair; grin was more playful and less mocking; far more relaxed (101)
Sean Reilly[Secondary Character] [Book 6 / Midnight Captive] the Reilly brothers employed an arbitrary fee schedule that didn't make much sense to begin with; former mercenary who may or may not have been tangled up with the IRA at one point; the best information dealers currently operating on the globe; Irishman; with biggest network of contacts, possessed the ability to produce information out of thin air; rogue, a cocky flirt who didn't quit once he had you in his sexual sights (84) sounded exactly like his twin brother, same Irish brogue, same deep timbre, same sarcasm (93) identical twin; unruly blond hair, dark green eyes, scruffy facial hair; smirk totally gave him away; radiated pure energy; as deadly as they came; precise and predatory (101)
Bernie Roma[No Appearance] Isabel's father; incarcerated in Sing Sing; Isabel visited him several times a year; wanted nothing to do with his daughter; number three man in the De Luca crime family in Brooklyn (51) "He's a bitter old man who made terrible choices in his life but can't take responsibility for any of them. So instead, he blames his daughter for all the crappy things that have happened." (169) "But your father couldn't come to terms with the fact that his wife didn't want to be with him, so he laid the blame at your door" (170) took one for the team and went to prison rather than give up De Luca (171)
Joey Roma[No Appearance] Isabel's brother (68) stole from De Luca; family restaurant was a front for drug running, and Joey got greedy; stole from the big boss and stupidly got caught; a lazy bastard (173)
__ Roma[No Appearance] Isabel's mother; committed suicide when Isabel was 10; very, very fragile; delicate; wasn't crazy-skinny or even all that petite, but could so easily picture her getting blown away by the tiniest gust of wind; looked like she'd break if anyone touched her with even the slightest bit of force; it boiled down to no inner strength (106) "Your mother couldn't cope with the stress of being married to a [...] mobster." (170)
Claude Roussel[Rare Appearances] Tomas Meiro's number two; ex-military, worked as a bodyguard for a while, now served as Meiro's henchman and representative; handled the shadier aspects of Meiro's business (94) looked even more sinister in person; rodent-like features, harsh scowl, thinning hair, and a linebacker's body (149) pronounced French accent (173)
Sam[No Appearance] Morgan's Mercenaries' regular pilot (49)
Shanahan[No Appearance] one of Lassiter's men; sent to Morgan's compound (53)
Abby Sinclair[Minor Secondary Character] [Book 1 / Midnight Rescue] [Novella 4.5 / After Midnight] more suited to deep cover gigs than Isabel (4) honey-colored eyes; red hair (6) Kane Woodland's wife; loathed being the center of attention; avoided fuss and fanfare like the plague; married Kane at justice of peace last week; had been living on the compound for more than a year; former contract killer still didn't seem comfortable being part of the group, or being around other women; only females she'd dropped her guard around were her ex-boss, Noelle, and her fellow chameleon, Isabel; beautiful; ruthless (7) yellow eyes (8) most emotionally detached person Isabel knew (20)
Hiroshi Tachikawa[No Appearance] the crime boss who handles the Tokyo side of the operation -- Meiro sends Tachikawa the blue-eyed blondes, and Tachikawa ships Japanese girls to Meiro's European brothels (183)
Olivia ["Liv"] Taylor[No Appearance] [Book 2 / Midnight Alias] Luke's girlfriend; setting up home with him in Aspen (6)
Serena Theroux[No Appearance] cellar where Meiro's package was to be delivered (174) the madam at the Sapphire Room (176) years had hardened her; indifference and detachment were common traits among whores (184)
Kane Woodland[Minor Secondary Character] [Book 1 / Midnight Rescue] [Novella 4.5 / After Midnight] sandy-haired man (6) Abby Sinclair's husband; got married last week; green eyes (7) former SEAL (26) served as second-in-command (29) green eyes (32)

Locations, Organizations Found In "Midnight Games"
Location / Organization Description
Argentinawhere Trevor had been sent on an extraction detail (11)
Arlingtonairport where Sam was waiting for Morgan to show (49)
Aspen, Coloradowhere Trevor and Gina has purchased a condo and moved in together; Luke bought condo from Trevor; moving in with Olivia and her mother (6)
Bajawhere Eddie Lassiter lived in a beach shack (83)
Belém Towerin Lisbon (157)
Bostonwhere Liam MacGregor was from (138)
ColoradoTrevor had lived there his entire life (6)
Colombialocation of assignment where Isabel had saved Trevor's life last year (13)
Comercio Squarewhere Meiro's favorite café was in Lisbon (157)
Costa Rica estateMorgan was intending to use it as a second base camp; huge; no connection to Morgan; technically owned by Kane and Abby, but the paperwork is buried deep (41)
Crystal PalaceTomas Meiro's casino (89) floor was black Italian marble streaked with veins of ivory, the ceiling vaulted and boasting at least a dozen crystal chandeliers (119)
D.C.where Morgan was to meet with CIA contact; a routine visit (41)
DEALiam MacGregor had been DEA (138)
Ekala joblast job Isabel worked for Noelle (4)
Emerald Villawhere Alica Montonya was staying with her mother and younger sister (89)
EnglandPaige lived in a little village in northern England (167)
EvangelineSullivan's yacht (12) Evie (116)
Helena, Montanawhere Beth Holden worked as the head chef at a five-star French restaurant (16)
Istanbulwhere Bailey was working a case (5)
Lorena Sapphiremore than six hundred carats, the most brilliant blue you will ever see (199)
Maker's Markbourbon that Isabel was drinking (1)
Manhattan, New Yorkwhere Isabel had left Trevor behind 5-mo-a (1) where Isabel had left fled from Trevor (5)
Monacobook setting; where team went to investigate Tomas Meiro, who owned a casino in Monaco
Montanawhere Holden and Beth McCall were from (8)
[Morgan's Mercenaries]headed up by Jim Morgan; recruited a second team of operatives, headed by Castle (6) men on Morgan's team were expertly trained and macho as hell (35) Morgan was loaded, and the other men weren't hurting for cash either -- mercs weren't called soldiers of fortune for nothing (45)
Museum of Natural Artifactswhere Tomas and Renee were attending society gathering (191) where Julian and Paloma Martin attended the city's most prestigious charity benefit (194)
Nigeriacountry Tengo Ekala has been terrorizing since he'd come into power (4)
Northern Californiawhere Noelle's had a ranch; isolated, but secure (42) a sprawling eighty-acre spread in the California countryside; property sat at the foot of a redwood forest, the land abundant with native oaks, winding creeks, wildflowers, and endless pastures (48)
city of Oaxacaclinic owned by Sofia Amaro; small brick building was tucked away at the base of the mountain, several hours from the city of Oaxaca; isolated enough that it made an ideal place to get fixed up (38)
Pariswhere Noelle had a penthouse; where Isabel was staying until she found her own place (2)
Pelegrodumpy little town Trevor, Juliet and Ethan drove thru while heading to Lassiter's (81)
Right BankNoelle's gorgeous two-story apartment was located on the Right Bank, an area known for its spacious avenues, ornate nineteenth-century buildings, and wealthy foreign residents (1)
Rocky Mountainsview that Trevor used to see upon waking up (6)
Sapphire Rooma gentlemen's lounge in Monaco; Meiro owned it; corner house in a row of elegant brownstones on the east end of the city (176)
Splendid LadyTomas Meiro's yacht (149) a gorgeous eighty-foot yacht with sleek decks, spacious staterooms, and a top-of-the-line galley (156)
SoHolocation of apartment where Isabel had left Trevor behind 5-mo-a (2)
Tijuana, [Mexico]where Morgan's compound was located (6) a top-notch training facility; weather was nice year-round (6) description of great room (7)
West Egg Mansionname Juliet dubbed Renee Merio's home (119)
White Sandswhere Eddie Lassiter stayed while in Monaco (94) located across the street from the Crystal Palace (100)
WyomingKris moved to Wyoming a few years back when her husband got transferred for work (107)

"Midnight Games" Quotations
3"the real Isabel is so very damaged, isn't she?"   (Noelle)
4"You're not a killer, Isabel.   Never have been, never will be."   Noelle headed for the arched doorway across the room.   "Leave the killing to those of us who enjoy it."   (Noelle)
35Apparently he also dealt with injuries the way an alpha male did -- by ignoring them.   (Isabel)
38God, the man was completely dead inside.   In fact, he looked very much the way Trevor had when she'd first met him.   Vacant gaze and defeated posture.   Radiating sheer and total indifference.   To his surroundings, to those around him.   To life.
"Do your thing, Isabel."
Trevor's soft request caught her by surprise.   "My thing?"
"That thing you do.   You heal people with your warmth.   You make them feel . . . safe."   He sounded tired and sad.   (Trevor and Isabel)
40But he'd figured out a long time ago that if you weren't nice to Sofia Amaro, you paid dearly for it.   (Derek)
57"You distract me, all right?   Not only that, but I'm kinda pissed off at you."   (Trevor)
58"What I don't want to hear is how one of my best operatives has turned pathetic and weak-kneed over a man."   (Noelle)
58Love made women so damn weak.   Destroyed them like a slow-moving cancer, eating away at healthy cells, attacking organs, taking what was once an intelligent, independent human being and turning her into a pitiful, sickly shell of a woman no longer capable of surviving on her own.   (Noelle)
60Her relationship with this man was . . . complicated, to say the least.   But boy, did she enjoy it.   D was a worthy opponent, the male version of herself -- cold, callous, empty.   How this game had even started still eluded her, but each time they crossed paths, a new move was made, a new strategy employed.   (Noelle)
63"I [screw] you because you're hung like a stallion and you make me come."   She paused.   "And to stick it to Jim."   (Noelle)
71"Oh, aren't you adorable," she cooed.   "I didn't realize Morgan was recruiting them out of high school."
Ethan looked at Trevor as if asking for permission to kick some ass.
Fighting a grin, Trevor gave a slight shake of his head.
  (Juliet and Ethan)
74do you really think I'd sleep with someone who .   .   ."   He trailed off, suddenly feeling awkward.
"Someone who what?"
Trevor let out a ragged breath.   "Who isn't you."
Her mouth formed a cute little O.
  (Trevor and Isabel)
130The entire scene that ended with: "Sorry, guys.   Didn't mean to go dark on you.   I couldn't stay in character.   The chatter on the line was too distracting."   (Isabel)
134"That you're a caveman at heart."   She laughed again.   "Pure alpha male, just like the rest of your men."   (Isabel)
140As usual, Jim's name got stuck in her throat like a piece of rotten food.   She showed no sign of it, though.   Her feelings about Jim Morgan had been banished to the abyss right along with her secrets.   (Noelle)
189"Look, we can all agree I'm a bastard," Morgan said gruffly.   "I can't talk about where I was or why I was there, not because I'm being a dick but because I'm trying to protect my team."   (Jim)
190"I'm sure you've had a real fun time ordering my men around, but the party's over, baby.   I'm the one calling the shots now."   (Jim)
192He hadn't seen them together since, but it was clear that nothing had changed between them.   The tension in the air was stifling, the intensity of their gazes and the harshness of their tones unmistakable.   (Derek)

"Elle Kennedy -- Midnight Games" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
----Elle Kennedy's WebsiteAuthor
----Elle Kennedy's FacebookAuthor
----Elle Kennedy's TwitterAuthor
. . . . . . . . .. . .
----Fantastic FictionList of Elle Kennedy' Books
----Fict FactList of Books In The Killer Instincts Series
----Fiction DBList of Elle Kennedy' Books
. . . . . . . . .. . .
4.0008-11-2013A Bluestocking's Place--Lois // brief synopsis, okay review {gr25}
4.66 average{32 ratings}Amazonas of: February 19, 2015
4.00 average{10 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: February 19, 2015
--02-07-2013Book Binge--Holly // Arthur Interview {short, but interesting}
3.5008-12-2013Books n Kisses--Kelly // didn't say much, so-so {gr15}
5.0008-12-2013Cindy's Reviews--Cindy // brief, but agree about secondary characters {gr4}
4.0005-29-2014Dark Faerie Tales--Kristie // good review / excellent scene choice {gr10}
5.0002-xx-2014Fallen Angels--Tammy // PR review // perfect marks
B+08-06-2013Fiction Vixen--Jen // good review / raved about Jim and Noelle{gr6}
--07-24-2013Fresh Fiction--Rachel Williams // lots of story detail / well-written
4.16 average{617 ratings}Good Readsas of: February 19, 2015
5.0004-20-2014Joyfully Reviewed--Shayna // vague synopsis, good notes about Trevor, Isabel {gr18}
3.75 average{6 ratings}Library Thingas of: February 19, 2015
C08-05-2013Love To Read For Fun--Ellie // pretty good {gr17}
4.50 Top Pick08-xx-2013Night Owl Reviews--Susan // question validity / PR sounding review
4.50 / --Once Upon A Romance--Lori Graham // simplistic / sounds PR-ish
3.80 average{3 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: February 19, 2015
3.0008-19-2013Paranormal Haven--Ronnie // okay {gr14}
----Publisher's WeeklyPR review
5.0007-27-2013Ramblings From This Chick--Chris // excellent take on Trevor, Isabel, book / well-written
5.0011-13-2013Red Hot Reads--Jaimie // brief story details, some valid points {gr5}
3.50 / Hot08-12-2013Romantic Book Affairs--Paula // great synopsis / valid points {gr1}
4.50 Top Pick--RT {Romantic Times} Book Reviews--Jim M. Smith // PR Blurb
3.80 average{5 ratings}Shelfarias of: February 19, 2015
A- / hot: 4.008-06-2013That's What I'm Talking About--Deelylah Mullin // great review and quotes {gr26}
4.00 / B+08-05-2013The Book Pushers--MinnChica // great detail / excellent review {gr20}
--08-14-2012The Book Pushers--MinnChica // Elle Kennedy Interview
5.0012-23-2014The Romance Studio--Bec // brief, PR sounding
4.9002-19-2015Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   I borrowed this book
♥   Very Subjective Rating

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