08 July 2012

Royal Target

by Traci Hunter Abramson


When CIA agent Janessa Rogers meets the royal family of Meridia on assignment, she expects to use her skills in linguistics and security detail to protect and serve, but she doesn't expect to find herself engaged to Prince Garrett Fortier, Meridia's most eligible bachelor, as part of the security plan. And she certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him.

Janessa resists her feelings, fearing conflicts in her personal and professional life, yet when the Prince admits his feigned affection has become genuine she can no longer pretend. Matters of security, society, and spirituality make their unlikely romance even more complex, and escalating political intrigue gives Janessa an excuse to ignore the questions in her heart. But when a terrorist plot against the royal family endangers them both, Janessa and Garrett must face the challenges of loyalty to family, to country, to God — and to love. 

I picked this up on CD at the library because it looked interesting (sort of), and it was only 5 discs long. The last few books I tried to listen to on CD were like 18 discs long, so I wanted something short.

I only read the first paragraph above, and was not expecting an LDS novel. Surprise to me. And since I'm not a huge fan of LDS fiction (yes, I'm a sinner) parts of the review may be a bit bias.

Why did I read this book again?

After reading the fist paragraph of the synopsis, I was expecting a spy novel. This really wasn't a spy novel. It was a romance. So the hook was good, but I felt a little bit lied to.

3 out of 5


The girl, Janessa, tows a very straight line, but the author keeps her believable, which was nice. The prince should have been charming, and probably was in the author's head, but that never totally made it to the paper. I only sort of cared about them. The girl was wishy-washy about pretty much everything, which doesn't seem okay for a CIA agent supposedly in charge of royal security. Although there is no love triangle, so an extra point for that.

3 out of 5

Did I care what happened?

Mostly. But not because the author drew me into the characters or the conflict, I cared more about complaining about the writing style to my poor roommate than anything else.

The complete lack of any real emotional reactions longer than a single line of text, and leaving out important things like, “And how did Janessa feel when the price kissed her?” pretty much killed me. Okay, their lips touched...then what? That explosive, electricity feeling? Weak knees? The “Oh crap, what have I done?” None of that is in the text. Sure, I can supply it myself, but as a reader I'm not supposed to have to. Please show me what's going on! Instead the author would go on... “The queen came to say dinner was ready. Janessa and the prince moved inside.”

Oh, and the bad guys were only sort of bad. Real bad guys would have amped the tension level way up, but it feels like this author is shy of having a large body count, which I'm okay with I guess, but if felt contrived.

2 out of 5

Plot Holes

Okay, the plot was sound. Lots of little tendrils of story got wrapped up nicely in the end. Each character did get a chance to do what they needed to do. I can't be harsh here, because the story worked.

Oh, I do have to say that someone in the story actually alludes to the fact that the bad guys only killing one guard was a warning about how serious they were. If only he'd been wearing a red shirt.

4 out of 5

How many times did I yawn?

No yawns. Too busy yelling at the CD player in my car about lack of reactions, sensory input, character depth and how fast the reader was going!

3 out of 5

Cool Factor

Having expected spy stuff, and getting mostly frilly romance, I was disappointed. Granted, I've not read anything else by this author, and wasn't expecting an LDS fiction story AND I prefer explosions you can feel and taste to the ones that happen off screen, so my expectations in this area are a little high.

2 out of 5

The End

After a culmination of everything that happened in the story, the end was fine.

4 out of 5

Overall Enjoyment

I really hate railing on books, but this one just didn't do it for me. Every single conflict was resolved with a distinct lack of effort, and when I wanted to know what was going through a character's head, we were off to walking down the hall or the next scene. Maybe I'm not the right audience. Or maybe I'm a bit more harsh than usual because I just went to a very cool writing conference in which my class would have had quite a few constructive items to talk about concerning this book...and how it needed a prose overhaul.

2 out of 5

That's a Purple Belt

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