Guest Review: One Wrong Move by Shannon McKenna (McClouds & Friends #9)
September 12 2012
Yummy Man – Alex Aaro
Kick Ass Chick – Nina Christie
From Goodreads –
Secrets Never Die. Alex Aaro has spent most of his life on the run from his Ukrainian mafia family. But when he learns that crazy Aunt Tonya, the only relative who ever gave a damn about him, is dying, he risks returning home to say goodbye. He’s prepared for anything except the call from his friend, Bruno Ranieri, that sends him on a wild and dangerous ride with a mysterious woman who holds a deadly secret and a white hot passion that binds them together.
Social worker Nina Christie has no idea how much trouble she’s in when her Aunt Helga shows up bleeding at her shelter, babbling in Ukrainian–and with one inexplicable act thrusts Nina into the heart of a nightmare. Now a ruthless crime syndicate will stop at nothing to make Nina disappear, and only Alex Aaro, that inscrutable six-foot-four rock hard slab of lean muscle, stands between her and certain death. Now Nina and Alex are in a race against time, death, and their desire for one another. . .
Having picked up this book completely on my own without any assistance or guidance, I have to say that I did pretty well. One Wrong Move by Shannon McKenna brought all the right kinds of elements to a story that I find enjoyable and engaging. A little bit of craziness with a twisting and edge of your seat story with a dash of the paranormal and a bit of sex for good measure. This book had all of that. Now the million dollar question: Did it tie it all together with a nice big bow?
It took about a chapter or two for me to realize that there must be other books in this series and that I’ve haphazardly chosen a book that’s smack in the middle of the series. It wasn’t all that much of a hindrance as the author did a very good job of recapping major events and pulling finer details around characters as they came into the spotlight.
Our female lead “Nina” is cast into a whirlwind of insanity when an impromptu visit from her aunt results in her getting poked with a syringe filled with an experimental drug. Next thing you know, she is being hunted by all kinds of bad guys looking for the drug or any kind of hint about the formula that her aunt may have left her. Of course Nina knows nothing of any of this and as the drug works its magic, Nina discovers that she has the powers of a telepath at her control. Pretty cool stuff. So when Nina is in trouble at the hospital she calls her friends who contact the only guy they know who would be tough enough to take her out of that situation and get her somewhere safe. That guy is Aaro.
Aaro is a prick. With big walls around his character that as a reader we see slowly come down as Nina finds ways to chip away at his rough exterior. He is pretty awful to Nina when they finally do meet and he gets her out of a bad situation with bad guys, explosions and guns. What surprises me the most about him was that he was saying things that would make any woman jump out of the car or give him the old slap or something but she kept taking it on the chin and then all of a sudden he begins to talk about how he wants to fuck her.
That’s where things got hard for me to comprehend. Aaro came across as a bit of a switch. Maybe that’s how Shannon wanted him to come across. My problem was that he would go from one extreme to another in the span of a page and Nina would react the same every time and then they were having sex etc… etc… It would get bad and they would be screaming at one another and then there would be soft and tender moments with little to develop to that.
Another thing that I wasn’t a fan of was how damaged the main characters were and how they kept getting deeper and deeper with the “anything you can do I can do better” in the “I’m fucked up” category. I get it. You’ve had a crappy past. Sometimes having one traumatic experience can justify quirks and emotional shields but when you give a character a grocery list of issues, and mean BIG issues, it sails into farfetched land and looses credibility. I found that both Aaro and Nina had issues but the magnitude of the issues and constant flip flopping attitude from Aaro had me questioning the author as opposed to connecting and sympathizing with the characters.
Shannon did write a great suspense thriller though with an amazing story and a really cool take on the paranormal. How she wrote about telepaths and their abilities made it appear very real and tangible and pulled me right in. The bad guys were vicious; using their minds to hunt and hurt Nina and Aaro. The action scenes were amazingly detailed and painted a vivid picture as I read on. I specifically liked how Nina attacked her assailant with a vision of spiders all over his body followed up with a blow to the head with an old analogue phone. Simply awesome.
I’ll probably go back and read the other books in this series to get a better understanding of all the back story that eluded me. It’s a really great story and after finishing up the book I was looking for answers and knew that Shannon had set the stage for all kinds of shenanigans in the next book.
Despite my issues to connect with the main characters, this was a very well written book and I’d recommend it to any enthusiast of the paranormal, action thriller, romance genre.