Review: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Review: Midnight Target by Elle KennedyMidnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Series: #8 Killer Instincts
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley on April 25, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.

As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first they have to make it home alive.

The Delight

The final book in the series.  Finally get Liam and Sully’s story.  Sigh… could not wait.  Cate and Ash?  Okay, sure, I’m game.

Review

Now that I’ve read it, I really do wish these two stories were given separate books.  Sadly, the only reason I took much enjoyment was because I was desperate to get the culmination of Liam and Sully’s story.  Ash was pretty good as a hero, too.  Cate… more on that in a minute.

This is a book that really doesn’t work well out of order.  It’s wrapping up an exciting series about a group of male and female mercs all finding their romances while out on dark and dangerous jobs.  A big traumatic event brings back the large cast of characters in a reunion of sorts and also wraps up two story threads for the remaining single members of the group.

As I said, this is two romances for the price of one.  One, I have been long anticipating, and the other, was a bonus story that I wasn’t opposed to getting.  That is until I discovered that they weren’t going to get equal billing and the dominant story drove me nuts.

I will seriously end up on a rant about Cate if I’m not careful… oh never mind, who am I kidding, I’m going there.

I’m pretty sure I would have DNF’d this book on her alone if it hadn’t been for the other characters getting their stories here.  She is an immature brat and it was literally the waning pages of the book before I saw an ounce of maturity start to kick in and I do mean just an ounce because even in the epilogue she wasn’t impressing me with adult behavior.

I wanted to feel she had extenuating circumstances because of her tough situation in which, Jim, her dad, rescued her from when he brought her home to be with him after her maternal grandfather hid her from Jim.  But then she gets bogged down in daddy issues and her deep-seated need to prove she’s a bad mama and can swim with the big fish (though what gives her this idea I never could figure out- she’s had a little – a very little training from the pros at Jim’s compound, but no experience and she’s a beginning photographer).  It was laughable.  This is all going on while she is between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one.  She tries to seduce one of Jim’s mercs (Ash) from when she’s seventeen to nineteen when he is in his mid-twenties and he does the right and honorable thing.  He tries to make it easy on her by not accepting her overtures but trying to be friends still.  Explaining about her being too young for now and to give college and college guys a chance, but she won’t give up and it comes to a point when he has to tell her to get her clothes on and get out of his room.  She spends the next few years claiming he is a jerk, etc etc.

At twenty-one, she still doesn’t see that Ash was the mature person back then or even now.  She doesn’t see her dad’s need for her safety (because hey, every parent is thrilled to death to have their kid refuse college education to run off and take pictures in a third world country run by drug cartels and in the midst of massive destabilization) is reasonable as to want her to head off to Africa to take her pictures-which is where she lied and said she is going.  Jim is no more and no less than any parent who loves their child.  He wants her to go to college and he wants her to see a normal, healthy life since she is still very young.

She isn’t there a second it seems before she ends up the target of a cartel and gets her dad shot and everyone else in a bad situation, but instead of seeing reason or culpability, no that would be too much, she continues the brattiness even blaming Jim for all the trouble (because you know dad, you are responsible for the dirty cartel mole in the DEA where you sent my picture because that’s what I high-handedly demanded).  She gets lucky rather than because of skill and knowledge and runs with it.

At this point, I might add that her step-mom, Noelle, was not winning points with me either because she fed into the brattiness and immaturity by reinforcing it to Jim and the others and validating Cate.  The excuse is ‘little Catie is never going to be normal and will always be an adrenaline junky so we should just let her do unsafe things and get other people into danger and possibly get killed.  Oh and Ash, you were so wrong not to want to take advantage of jail bait and disappoint her father who trusted you with his young daughter’.

This romance did not work for me.  I saw nothing in Cate to admire or even like.  Ash was a great guy and he wanted her, but I ended up pitying him for this more than cheered him on toward winning Cate.

I really wanted Liam and Sully’s story and it was all I hoped for.  Their road is not easy.  Liam has acknowledged that he is bi and has taken steps forward even while he and Sully end up estranged for two years.  Sully pushes everyone he cares about away because he as deep abandonment issues and he also believes Liam will always prefer to pretend to be a straight guy.  Liam is well beyond that and ready for something with Sully, but he is tired of being pushed away and scared to put his heart out there again to get it smashed.  I loved seeing them work through the anger, fear, and toward what can truly be.

The big situation with the drug cartel and the trouble there was a strong piece that had some interesting dynamics all its own with the two parents and children who ran the cartel.  I liked getting that side of it.  The ending came fast and was more an afterthought to all the other things going on in the book, but it worked, too.

So, I’m really not sure how to wrap up my thoughts on this one.  On one side, I couldn’t stand half the story, but the other half was all I could have wanted.  Fans of the series will want this story and I would even go so far as to say that many probably won’t react so strongly to Cate so it will be a much more satisfying read for them.

I rec’d this book from Penguin Group in exchange for an honest review.

 

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #98 RS
Literary Pickers #92 window blinds
New Release #53

  

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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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.
  • It’s ok to have mixed feelings about a book, happens to me all the time. I can certainly understand why you’d have these feelings for the story though. Sounds like an interesting series.

    • Thanks, Mary. I reacted so strongly to this one right off the bat and I tried to give it a chance, but that just made me fume worse b/c I was anticipating part of it so much. It s a really good series. I love the excitement and danger all the way through it.

  • erm…. I was looking into this one but if you had mixed feelings about it, I am not sure how I would feel than.. I don’t want to go into a book rot

    • It’s a tough call, Lily. I didn’t read the whole series, but the books I did read were pretty exciting and I loved them. This one on the other hand? I only like the half about Liam and Sully. 🙂 Try the first book though and see what you think when you get the chance.

  • Oh no! That is too bad especially since you were really looking forward to one of the romances. Cate sounds absolutely horrible. Sorry that both of the romances didn’t work out for you in this one. Great review!

    • It was a let down, but at least I got the part of the story I was looking forward to. 🙂 Thanks, Carole!

  • lol – Rant on, Sophia, rant on. 😀 Too bad Cate brought it down so much.

    • Oh man, I let myself get sooo worked up that I was talking back to my book. 🙂

  • Oh dear. I’m reading this one now. Not a fan of the Liam/Sully bit but okay with the rest so far though Cate is a bit of a brat.

    • Yeah, I’m guessing most people won’t react so strongly to Cate. I just… yeah, I started out wrong with her from page one and could not find my way back. I do with the other story was separate. I didn’t feel like it was developed as well as it could have been, but at least I got the resolution I wanted. 🙂

      • Happens sometimes. I had issues with the last book like that and had a very hard time getting past it. Some things just stick in your craw.

        • Yes, they really do and sometimes its just one thing. Oh well, this is why publishers and authors gather many reviews so there is a balance that people can read and help them decide. I’m glad it doesn’t solely rely on what I say. 🙂

  • I think it is really hard when there are parts of a story that you hate and other parts you love. I’m glad that overall, you enjoyed the story. I’ve yet to try this author, but she has been on my list to try for a while now. Not sure what series I will try when I finally get to her.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Yes, and sometimes I get fixated and its tough for me to let the issue go enough to enjoy other aspects. She’s a great author, though. I like this series. Shari reads her Dystopian one and it sounds pretty hot and exciting. I’ll probably try some of her other older backlist ones soon or whatever she has coming since this series is done. 🙂

  • I’m totally here for the Liam/Sully! It definitely sounds like this would have worked out better as two books. I can see me being frustrated with Cate (and I didn’t love Noelle that much before…). I’m glad some part of the book still worked for you. Lovely review, Sophia Rose!

    • I reacted strongly to Cate and yeah, I thought Noelle was just really off there. The Liam/Scully story got second billing and need more development time so yeah, two would have been better. Thanks, Cyn!

  • Oh ,man. It is a huge turn off for me when a heroine thinks she can handle things she’s not qualified for. I’ll take brains over brawn any day. LOL

    This is another series I’ve been on the fence about starting, and this ending makes me glad it’s still there. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as you’d hoped.

    Great review. And rant. 😉

    • Yeah, sorry that I can’t get you off the fence with this story. I actually really enjoyed the three books in the series that came before this one (I didn’t start at the beginning) so maybe it will really work out for you if you give the early part of the series a try.

      Thanks. I don’t usually rant, but this heroine really got under my skin. 🙂