Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

Author: Karen Robards
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Date of publication: June 2017

Growing up, Bianca St. Ives knew she was different from all her friends. Instead of playing hopscotch or combing her dolls' hair, she studied martial arts with sensei masters and dismantled explosives with special-ops retirees. Her father prepped her well to carry on the family business. Now a striking beauty with fierce skills, the prodigy has surpassed the master.

She's known as the Guardian. Running a multinational firm with her father, she makes a living swindling con men out of money they stole—and she's damn good at it. She does things on her own terms. But her latest gig had a little hiccup—if you count two hundred million dollars and top secret government documents going missing as little. Her father also died on the mission. The thing is, the US government doesn't believe he's really dead. They'll stop at nothing to capture Richard St. Ives, a high-value target and someone who has been on most-wanted lists all over the world for over two decades, and they mean to use Bianca as bait. With only a fellow criminal for backup and her life on the line, it's up to Bianca to uncover the terrifying truth behind what really happened...and set it right, before it's too late.

The Ultimatum is the latest from one of my "go to" authors and the first in a new series. To be honest, this story is kind of hard to summarize without giving away spoilers.  So, read the synopsis to get the idea. I am torn about this book. On the one hand I was entertained enough to want to finish the story.  Yet, on the other hand, I found parts of the book confusing and kind of boring.

The book started out strong with the opening scene, but then it quickly slowed down to a snail's pace. I swear it took forever for the main character to get out of that party in the first quarter of the book.  There were a lot of characters introduced in the story and that got confusing at times.  A couple of them seemed to be important, but were abandoned about halfway through the book.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps they will show up again later in the series?  There is a big reveal toward the end of the book that I found very intriguing, but no real further explanation was offered. The story also ends with a huge cliffhanger.  Not one of my favorite endings as you know.  

I'm not sure this would be classified as a romantic suspense.  There is an attraction between Bianca and "Micky" but it's not fully explored.  In fact, we also really know nothing about Micky.  Except, he wants to catch Bianca's "boss". While it's not my favorite of hers, it was still worth reading.  Most of my disappointment with the book comes from the unanswered questions that the cliffhanger ending left me with. I'll probably pick up the next one because I want to know what happens next. 

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