Review: My Next Breath by Shannon McKenna

nextbreath

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Author: Shannon McKenna
Series: The Obsidian Files #2
Pages: 293

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Zade Ryan. Rebel supersoldier. Nearly superhuman. On a desperate quest to rescue his missing brother Luke by any means possible. To do it, he must seduce the elusive Simone Brightman, inventor of the ingenious and deadly tech used to capture Luke and hold him prisoner, location unknown. Zade will do whatever it takes to get close to Simone. Her mysterious beauty and highly sexual allure have him at a disadvantage, but time is running out …

Simone is fighting battles of her own, on her own. Until Zade—six foot four of sinewy muscle and lethal combat skills—rescues her from street thugs and leaves her breathless. His smoldering black eyes and overpowering sensuality—and his seductive invitation to spend one wild, unforgettable night with him—prove too tempting to resist.

Their passionate encounter unleashes scorching desire that neither can control—leaving them vulnerable to their enemies who watch from the shadows and wait. And when they are lured into a trap by a monstrous killer hellbent on their destruction, they must fight with every weapon they have to save Luke, and each other.

Because one night together could never be enough—and they might not live to have another…

This book could be a good example to illustrate that writing Romance is not easy. I know this genre has well-delimited walls, but covering the gaps between them with sex is not enough to write a good Romance book. Yeah, yeah. We all enjoy the mandatory hunk displaying his mastery at sex, but that shouldn’t be the goal of a book that is not labelled as Erotica. That is precisely the main sin of this story. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s activate our reviewing framework and see what we have here!

This book continues the story from the previous one, so we have Zade (an enhanced ex-soldier) desperately looking for his brother. His last hope rests in the shoulders of the scientist Simone and her involvement in the cyborg projects. At first, he only wanted to get closer to her to obtian information, but it soon was clear that she needed especial protection. Clothes will be dropped, secrets will be reavealed and plots will thicken as much as… uhm… nevermind. By now I guess you can imagine that Zade and Simone don’t spend their time together playing Pictionary. Will those previously mentioned secrets get in the middle of such… heated love?

This book has two genres in one. We have the one that is expected: Romantic Suspense. And the one we have for more than 50% of the book: Erotica. That, pardon me the pun, sucks in this case. This is not the kind of book I pick to read pages and pages of monkey, rabbit and who-knows-what-else sex. It started OK, with the characters meeting in seedy circunstances and getting away from the first dangerous situation. But then, they become two extremely horny human beings that can only think about sex, even though both of them have plenty of worries to keep them occupied with something else. But no. Everything is halted so these two can have as much naughty time as possible. And we are talking about an enhanced hunk who, for reasons, was also modified to perform better sexually. They keep going and going. And when you think they are drained… they go for it again. It’s exhausting and pretty much uninteresting when there were so many plot threads to explore. At least, I must admit those scenes are well written.

Leaving that aside, there is also good action and fighting scenes. It just take a little while to get to them. It has good villains, albeit basic ones. It is the kind of bad guys that are bad for the sake of it. Motivations are not clear, but after so much sex, I didn’t mind at all the change of scenary. But the first book was much better at exploring the foes of the tale. This time they barely have much focus, so their development is not as good as the one we had with Mark and his soldiers. The ending is a bit confusing with all those exchanges of control codes and it all seems a bit easier than expected, but once again, I won’t complain about the action. Better that than more naked time.

I do not dislike the main couple. How could I? The only thing I know is that both of them are gorgeous and have more stamina than twenty marathon runners at their peak. Zade is your classic Romance hero: big muscles, great good looks, superb sex skills, extremely protective and mildly possessive… And I guess he must be nice, but that is just a blant supposition. He obviously is not the greatest bother, because he forgets about Luke waaaay too easily. Simone is a bit weird. The scientist changes her behaviour too abruptly for my taste. It’s like she gets emotionally cold and feverishly horny at the same time. I’m not sure if her development makes much sense, but I rolled with it to make the reading lighter.

With the way they behave those two, I refuse to talk about their romantic relationship; because there is none. Those “I love you” in the end are hard to believe when their bodies are still burning the overdose of endorphines after their sweaty meetings. Oh well, I guess they will be happily ever after as long as they don’t get muscle cramps.

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2020 – Book Gallery

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The word I have picked this time fits pretty well with the mental picture I have of this book:

fug: stale air, esp. the humid, warm, ill-smelling air of a crowded room, kitchen, etc.

That is how the air of Zade’s and Simone’s room must be after their “workouts”.

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