Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bad Nights by Rebecca York

Synopsis: When Professor Morgan Rains goes out to investigate a strange sound coming from her backyard, the last thing she expects to see is a naked man covered with burns and bruises. Jack Brandt is a former Navy SEAL on an undercover mission, and he's barely managed to escape from a terrorist militia's torture. When his torturers come back to claim him, he and Morgan are thrown into a pressure cooker of danger and intrigue, and they soon find themselves falling in love. When Morgan is captured, Jack must rescue the woman whose life now means more to him than his own.

My Thoughts: A book with a great premise that just didn't live up to it's potential.

What Worked: The set up for this book was really great. An ex-Navy SEAL who goes undercover to investigate a militia group is compromised and tortured, barely escaping with his life. How awesome does that sound? This really could have been touted as a thriller similar to the likes of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books yet it falls so very flat on every aspect that finishing it was a chore. Which leads me into.....

What Didn't Work: A series of unlikely events compromised the integrity of the book. We're to suspend our disbelief that a man tortured so severely he can barely see, walk or even maintain consciousness is able to rally after only a few hours of sleep to escape a burning cabin, traipse through the woods, take out an enemy soldier and fight off a mountain lion. We also have to believe that a professor of Psychology doesn't know the difference between a psychopath, a sociopath or someone with an antisocial personality. "Did that mean she was in the clutches of a psychopath? Or sociopath? Or someone with an antisocial personality? Whatever you wanted to call it." (straight from said professor's thoughts.) We also have to believe that a security firm made up of an ex-Navy SEAL, an ex-Army MP and an ex-cop would take a job without investigating their new client, after they all agree isn't telling them the full truth and know he didn't even tell them his real name. We also have to believe that the money man behind the militia is waging war on Washington DC and planning on killing hundreds if not thousands because he lost his son at war. And yes, we are also to believe that a woman still mourning her husband who died a year and a half earlier (yes we know she is because that is all she thinks about and is actually watching old video tapes of them together just prior to finding Naked Man outside her cabin) is no longer thinking of her dead husband but hoping to make a relationship work with said Naked Man a mere 48 hours after meeting him.

In addition to this we have inconsistencies with a ladies button down long sleeve shirt which Gail had to take off so Naked Man can inspect her forearm because her button down shirt didn't have buttons on her cuffs to which she could simply undo and roll up her sleeve. A situation where those crazy kids were soaked with rain yet their shirts were stiff with blood (wet blood does not get stiff), Gail's unusual forearm that happens to be above her elbow. "The animal had left teeth marks in her forearm, above her elbow." and her amazing ability to hypnotize someone by simply saying "Relax now. Relax now. We're going back to that beach." because she took a class once in college.

In a Nutshell: A series of unbelievable events, inept professionals and insta-love makes Bad Nights just, well, bad. I couldn't recommend this in good conscience to fans of Romantic Suspense which is a darn shame. I have read several of York's Harlequin Intrigue Rom/Susp books and I very much enjoyed them. Too bad this wasn't one of those. If it had been it would have been 100 pages shorter and less taxing to read.
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