Denial of Conscience by Cat Gardiner #Review

Posted September 22, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

Denial of Conscience by Cat Gardiner #Review
Denial of Conscience

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Vanity & Pride Press
Released on June 24, 2015
Pages: 347
Format: Paperback
Source: Author

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James Bond Meets Pride & Prejudice in this exciting, sultry, and exotic mash up. I couldn’t wait to read it. Darcy is an assassin, Lizzy’s Dad is his target, and a terrorist has them in his crosshairs. Yep, that made for an intriguing romance and adventure.

The story opens with Fitzwilliam Darcy having just completed a job only to get called in for his next ops. His cousin recruited him and the two Bingley sibs to be the four members of Obsidian a contract company used by the government when they don’t want to get their hands dirty to clean up the evil filth of the earth. Darcy is the stone cold Iceman who does his job well. He was betrayed by too many people in his life particularly women so now he finds it safer to stay aloof and keep busy with his work of ridding the world of its worst criminals. Only this latest kill assignment doesn’t feel right and one look at the target’s daughter has him in a quandary about finishing his job.

Lizzy lives with her father on the old, fallen down family plantation. Her father wants to keep the family heritage intact no matter what he must do to achieve it. Lizzy humors him just as she enables his depression, his quibbles, his control of her life, and his demands on her future after the shocking way his wife left and her older sister, Jane, moved out and moved on, too. Lizzy doesn’t believe in romance and prefers a quiet, regimented life so she is willing to settle for the boring guy her father picked out who has the money to save their home. In the meantime, her father partners with a creepy, slimy guy from his Dept of Defense job on some sort of secret project. Lizzy ignores her sister imploring her not to toss away her life and dreams, but she can’t ignore the larger than life man who sweeps her into his arms and dances passionately with her at her dance lesson. Her heart beats fast even as her head screams that he is dangerous and all wrong for her.

Darcy fights the feelings of attraction for the beautiful woman he calls Lakme. All women are vipers and he can’t afford to lose focus now with traitors and terrorists working to destroy hundreds of thousands of lives. With one swooping event, Liz’s world is upside down and danger dogs her heels. Darcy steps out of the shadows and takes her into his protection though refuses to give her anything else. This turns out to be the adventure of a life time for them both as they track a captured inventor across the world. Liz comes to life and the Iceman re-engages his emotions. Passion soars and danger lurks for them both.

I closed the cover on this book and then sat back revisiting a few of the scenes. The author took me, the reader, on an international exotic adventure right along with Lizzy and Darcy. I loved gambling in Monte Carlo, ziplining through the South American jungle, tangoing in Spain, and visiting the market in Marrekech. It was a sensual reading experience. I needed a cold drink after their dance in Spain.

The first half of the book was rough for me because both the main characters started out as people that irritated me in their own ways. I had the urge to shake both of them at different times. Darcy in his Iceman ‘no emotion will touch me’ role and Lizzy acting so un-Lizzy mealy-mouse like with her hide from life behavior and acting so piteous.

Vipers, snakes, and serpents- he hated them all…For example, the venomous woman- she was the most dangerous and deadly type of snake. The sharp forked tongue and deceptive nature of a woman usually came with a killer body and eyes of fire…every woman was a viper.

  1. 7 Darcy from Denial of Conscience


She was lying and she knew it. Every bit of it was a lie. She did harbor those secret hopes and dreams of finding the deepest love, but she was terrified at the realization of those dreams, too. True love usually accompanied a broken heart at the end…At least with Bill, something was better than nothing…She could settle. After all, she’d done so her whole life.

  1. 36 Lizzy from Denial of Conscience

There was also the sense of waiting as the author methodically set up the story and assembled the cast. Necessary, of course, but I was ready to be off adventuring particularly with the dishy and devastatingly charismatic Darcy.

Then things really took off- action, romance, and character growth- and I was sucked into the whole exciting adventure with Darcy and Lizzy.

The right side of his body pressed against her when he spoke calmly, placing her hand in her lap. “Don’t be afraid. Enjoy this, Liz. Let yourself feel the ride, not in fear, but in excitement. Sure, danger is real, but if you allow the fear then you will never enjoy the thrill of the experience.”

  1. 155 Darcy and Lizzy from Denial of Conscience

This story is reminiscent of the spy capers of old even though set in modern times. I liked that atmosphere and tone. The tension in the story was superb and I loved seeing the various levels of it in the plot.

I know I said this was a Pride and Prejudice mashup with James Bond, but for the most part the well- known characters have been dropped into a new cloak and dagger situation and it’s pretty much a whole new story. And trust me, Austen purists beware, this one gets hot and sultry and sometimes just plain down and dirty so it’s more a sly wink and a deliberate nod to Austen’s classic.

So, I enjoyed adventuring with Iceman Darcy and Lizzy both on their quest and with their tempestuous romance. I would recommend this one for lovers of spicy romantic suspense who would enjoy a nod back to a classic story.

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #297 RS

Cliché Klatch #184 ‘case in point’

Austenesque Lovers #42

Books N Tunes #46 Assassin’s Tango Dance (Psychotic Tango by Chris Webby)

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • James Bond and Pride and Prejudice?? Weird but I kinda like it! Ahhh, it’s nice to see that the irritating main characters were redeemed by character growth!

    • Yeah, that was a creative combo, but it worked. I love it when I can see a character really change and grow.

  • A lot of people are doing Darcy-ish novels lately, I got an invite myself yesterday. This one sounds unique though and I can see Darcy as a secret agent.

    • It’s incredible how many there are. Folks know I like them so I know I’m on a few lists for new release reviews. 🙂
      He was broody and rocked that tall, dark, and lethal vibe and it was easy to see that it really worked.

  • Not one for me but glad to see you enjoyed it.

    • Yeah, not to everyone’s taste. Thanks, Mary!

  • And I forgot what to say

  • That’s quite the mix up. A sly wink to the theme can be fun. I’d almost prefer that kind of I think. That’s great it ended up being a great read even with the grrr args there at the start.

    • You always have the best descriptive words or rather sounds. Yes ‘grrrs’ and ‘arghs’ were plentiful and then things took off.

      I think the sly winks can be fun, too. I could feel the flavor of James Bond and Pride and Prejudice, but it was also its very own story at the same time.

      • LOL sometimes sounds are the only way to go. Heh

        • T’is true! I just got done with a novella that had me growling at the hero and twitching to crack him upside his head. Whew! Grring was my only sane outlet.

          • Oh wow. The HERO?? That’s surprising. So rare for the hero to be the growl inducer.

            • I know, it doesn’t happen often, but he was being a real pain in the tush. He kept pushing her away, but then he would flirty, tease, and kiss. Over and over! She wasn’t much better with her childish crabbiness, but at least she was honest.

        • T’is true! I just got done with a novella that had me growling at the hero and twitching to crack him upside his head. Whew! Grring was my only sane outlet.