From the blurb:
A man with a past is her only hope for the future.
Kerry Ekdahl’s mixed heritage and linguistics skills could have made her a corporate star. Instead, she’s a hostess in a high-end Tokyo bar, catering to businessmen who want conversation, translation and flirtation. Easy money, no stress. Life is good—until she’s framed for the murder of a yakuza boss.
Trapped in rural Japan with the gangsters closing in, Kerry doesn’t stand a chance. Then help arrives in the menacing form of Chanko, a Samoan-American ex-sumo wrestler with a bad attitude, a lot of secrets, and a mission she doesn’t understand.
Kerry doesn’t get involved with dangerous men. Then again, she’s never had one on her side before. And the big, taciturn fighter seems determined to save her life, even if they rub each other the wrong way.
Then her friends are threatened, and Kerry has no choice but to return to Tokyo and face the yakuza. Where she learns, too late, that the muscle man who’s got her back could be poised to stab it.
Um, this is awkward.
Everyone else loves this book, and I totally get why. It is fast-paced, action-packed, and different from your run of the mill romances. To boot, the plot is interesting and the story is well written. However, it just wasn't the book for me.
To be fair, I'm not a romantic suspense reader. In fact, I actively avoid them because I just don't enjoy those types of books. However, as a HUGE fan of K.J. Charles and her other works, I had to try this one.
I really think this is a case of "It's not you, it's me."
I'll try to explain what didn't work for me. First of all, I don't love books with large ensemble casts because I get confused as to who is who and why they are there. Those types of books don't appeal to me much. I would much rather read a book with a couple of main players and that is it. In this story, the friends of Kerry played a huge role, and I found myself getting lost a bit in the shuffle.
I also didn't feel much chemistry between Kerry and Chanko. I really liked the idea of them as a couple, but I don't think the passion came through for me. It might be partly because I didn't connect with Kerry much. I found her to be aloof and sort of annoying, which colored my whole reading experience.
And the plot... ugh, suspense really isn't my thing. I felt like I was getting whiplash going from location to location and having the MCs concoct one scheme after another. That, combined with the length of the book (over 400 pages), made it really hard for me to finish. In fact, I repeatedly put this book down and had to force myself to pick it up again.
I don't want to dissuade readers from trying this book- far from it. I think K.J. Charles is brilliant, and I'm sure fans of M/F suspense will really enjoy this one. I just think this book was wasted on little ol' me.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Thanks for stopping by!!