Reviewers: She Said – Gloria Lakritz / She Said – Penelope Adams
A Marine sniper has one final shot at love…
Wrongly accused of an unsanctioned kill on a secret desert mission, Matthew Horn took his only option and let a shadow agency declare him dead. In the years since, he’s become a trusted operative, but now they want him to kill an innocent woman… a woman from his past.
Desperate to escape her mysterious kidnapper, Renata Vaccaro breaks free and finds herself facing what can only be the ghost of the man she loved and lost. Instead she learns Matthew is not only alive, he’s there to kill her.
Matthew and Renata must unravel a web of lies to find a solution that saves her life and assures his freedom, giving them one more chance to reclaim the love they lost.
Gloria Lakritz – She Said:
Regan Black has again gotten it ‘right’. Her newest UI or Unknown Identitiesseries has to be one of the most exciting UF new series of the year!!! We have read the first of the three novellas opening us to the series called Bullet Proof, meeting John Noble and his meeting his perfect match, reporter Amelia Bennett. It is here we learn of ‘the messenger’ and learn of his underhanded recruitment of his UI operatives.
In the second novella we meet Adam Maxwell, framed as a traitor, the carrot dangled in front of his nose by the ‘messenger’ of getting even with the person who did this to him if he works for UI. Until Adam meets Selena Vaccaro he is hopelessly adrift with no hope. The messenger now has a name Gabriel and is still moving his chess pieces, but we now have forged a party of five now with the mysterious Ben. Each of these stories have high intrigue, much action, sizzling sex, and great story line.
The third addition, called Sandman, is about powerful ex Marine named Matthew Horn. He is tasked by Gabriel in finding Selena’s missing cousin Renata Vacarro. Matthew is an excellent shooter, a sniper, with ‘enhancements’ of needing little to no sleep for very long periods of time. Ben has made himself indispensable to the team being able to cloak himself.. Renata is no pushover either as we begin to learn, and makes quite an asset in helping free herself only to find Matthew her llost love hired to kill her. This relationship is not a new one, and although steamy has a certain difference of when the characters already have a history.
We have the makings of a wonderful new series from this talented author. It is fraught with danger, intrigue, mysteries. I certainly look forward to see where Ms Black will take us in the new year, but having a history with Regan Black I know I will not be disappointed.
Review by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild
Penelope Adams – She Said:
In the world of alphabet soup agencies there is one that goes deeper, darker and dirtier than the rest, known by its operatives as UI, the real name is Unknown Identities. UI is run by a shadow man known as The Messenger, his methods of recruitment as dark as he is. If UI wants you, no matter how good and honorable a person you are, The Messenger will find a way to set you up, dirty your name and give you no other options but to sell your soul to UI. Part of UI’s mission is to experiment on its operatives, giving them “enchancements” which will make them the perfect soldier.
One such operative is ex-Marine Matthew, code name Sandman for his ability to go long periods of time with no sleep, a crack sniper that knows how to get the job done. Now Sandman has been tasked with finding kidnap victim Renata Vaccaro and eliminating both her and her kidnapper. Not a tough gig for Sandman until he realizes that Renata is the woman he once loved. Now Sandman will have to figure out how to save Renata and make sure both of them come out alive.
Ms. Black once again takes us into the shadowy world of UI, using the dark and dangerous style we have come to expect with this series and giving us action, mystery and romance all wrapped up into a quick fun novella. As is usual for this series the characters are bigger than life yet flawed, we may get a glimpse into who they are but just to keep us on our toes, Ms. Black doesn’t reveal all. Sandman is all about honor and getting the job done, a sexy man with intelligence and wit. Renata is the perfect match for him, she is more than she seems and while we get a glimpse, I’m sure there is more to her than we know. We catch up with John Noble and his partner Amelia who with a little help from mysterious Ben work behind the scenes to help Sandman and Renata.
This is a young series and very different from Ms. Black’s other two series, it is darker, more gritty and dangerous. Sandman is a quick novella that feels almost like an interlude to cleanse one’s palate with, not as intense as the previous offerings but just as much fun to read. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series, I can’t begin to guess where we will be taken but I know it’s going to be a good ride.
Review by Penelope Adams
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Now that the reviewers have read each other’s thoughts…
Well Penny almost the end of the year…and today we sit and continue with Regan Black’s wonderful new series fed to us in 2013 in three quick novellas.Bullet Proof, Double Vision, and today finally, Sandman. Regan has been a favorite of ours for quite a few years now…we have been following her Justiceseries and her Matchmaker series. Each different genres, a tribute to this authors writing ability. Sandman was exactly what we needed to finish off the 3, not as intimidating as the first two, but enough to keep us waiting for more…
Yes, Ms. Black has given us a great story so we can end the year with a bang. I agree this story had a little less umph than the previous two, but that certainly didn’t stop it from being a great read. I’m becoming completely addicted to this series and my only complaint would be I’m ready for a full length novel again instead of novellas like the last two have been. I need a good long visit with these great characters, action and adventure that they lead us on.
Ms Black has given us some info in our Q&A with her, that we should see a full length novel in 2014 along with I think I remember seeing a Valentine’s Novella. That being said I suspect we should be telling our friends, those of which are addicted to the paranormal to look into this series and orderBulletproof to see for them selves. What could be nicer than settle in to a gritty, well written faced paced book that makes your heart stutter and your hormones burn!!!
I agree 100%, I think this series would appeal to male or female if they like sort of science fiction meets action/adventure. I think I remember in another of our Q&A’s with Ms. Black that this series was sort of a precursor to theJustice series, which I love as well. Since it’s been so long since I’ve read the first few books in that series one of my holiday goals is to go back and re-read the first two books to see if I can figure out how the two series tie into each other. I’m thinking I will be looking at the Justice series with different eyes now, I love seeing new things in old friends. I can’t imagine Ms. Black writing a bad series as I haven’t seen one yet, I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings us.
Good Night, Gracie.
Nite Georgie……and Happy Thanksgiving to all
Q&A with Author Regan Black
John Noble, Amelia and Ben seem to be a constant in all the stories so far, am I seeing a trend for them becoming their own agency or can you say?
The Unknown Identities will continue on it’s own as a contemporary romantic suspense series while John Noble and Amelia Bennett try to unravel who is behind the shadow agency and what they really want. While the characters in each storyline won’t really overlap, the UI system, one of the first super soldier trial, that has become such a problem in the future.
We have had a few quick novellas in a row, will we get another full length story soon?
The next Unknown Identites story will be a special mission with John and Amelia, available in the My Evil Valentine anthology coming in February 2014. The next novel and novellas in the series will be out in late February 2014.
When will we be getting a Matchmakeror Justice book in 2014???
My 2014 schedule has just been firmed up and the next Shadow of Justicenovel is slated for a late March 2014 release and a new Matchmaker novel and novella is on the calendar for May. I am so excited to revisit those two story worlds and reconnect with characters who are as close as family.