Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: "Midnight Velvet" by Jaci Burton

Midnight VelvetMidnight Velvet by Jaci Burton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say I was a bit wary when I started to read this book, because my first experience with JB hadn't been a pleasant one. But I'm always willing to give authors another chance - unless my first read is traumatic enough to scare me for life - and this book seemed to be a good choice: the premise was interesting and I liked the Asian chick on the cover. How often do we find romance novels featuring an Asian heroine, right? Well, I should've know better than to trust the cover a book, because the heroine in this book is as American as apple pie. That wasn't a bad thing - hey, I love apple pie! - but I was a tad disappointed. At the end of the day, the heroine's race didn't really matter and this read turned out to be very enjoyable.

Nevada James, code name Velvet, has worked as an analyst for the National Crime Agency (NCA) for years, since she graduated from college, but now that she's been accepted into the field agent training program, her days as an information gatherer are all but over. She can't wait to get started on her new assignment, but she's got to go through this last day on her current job first. Would it be too much to ask that nothing major ruins this day? Well, yeah.

Tyler Call, code name Midnight, is one of NCA's best field agents. Following his father's footsteps, he lives for his job and is quite satisfied with the carefree, no-strings-attached relationships he's had through the years. One could say that Velvet - as per NCA security protocols, he doesn't know her real name - is the only woman (besides his mother) who's been a constant in his life in a while. Used to having Velvet as his NCA contact whenever he's on a mission, Tyler relishes the calming effect her voice has on him - not to mention the X-rated fantasies that same voice elicits when his mind wanders to places it shouldn't.

Naturally, fate wants Tyler and Nevada to meet, even if it has to make Nevada do something TSTL that puts their lives in danger. Anyway, fate wins: they meet, they run and hide from the bad guys, they bicker (just a little and nowhere near the way Lora Leigh's H/h do) and they come to a truce eventually. Charged with protecting Nevada from the bad guys and also initiating her field training, Tyler realizes he's in trouble when all he can think about is having wild monkey sex with her. If only she didn't return his feelings, he might have a chance at resisting the temptation, but she does... Oh yeah!

This book made me tingle in strange places. ;) Before you think this was nothing more than a sexfest, let me assure you that there was a good plot moving the story. Just so you know, Tyler and Nevada only hit the sheets on Chapter 10 - and didn't spend the rest of the book in the bedroom. In this case, less was more and I really enjoyed the buildup and the sexual tension in their relationship. When they finally did it, I felt it was special and it meant something to them.

Tyler was the kind of hero I like in RS: sexy, alpha (that says is all, doesn't it?), yet willing to change and adapt (without losing his alphaness, of course) when faced with the real deal, i.e., Nevada.

Now, Nevada... She was strong, confident and a good match for Tyler, but her TSTL stunt at the beginning of the story marred my overall appreciation of her. She grew on me and even proved that she had a functioning, intelligent mind as the story progressed, but that TSTL moment remained in the back of my mind even though I'm pretty sure she learned from that mistake.

The suspense was good but not riveting. To be fair, I believe Ms. Burton intended to make Tyler and Nevada's relationship the main focus of the story, and that was accomplished. All in all, I had a fun time reading this book - even if I did it in the waiting room of the hospital while my father was being subjected to all kinds of tests to see if he'd had a minor heart attack. BTW, it was a false alarm and he's fine. But that's another story...

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