Silent Truth by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
Paranormal Romance (Romantic Thriller)
Paperback, 480 pages
Reviewed by Karra
What do undercover operations, explosions, hidden agendas, gunfights and, of course, romance, have in common? They’re all key components to Kenyon and Love’s action packed stories utilizing the super secret government group, the BAD agency.
In Silent Truth, rich-boy-heir-turned-undercover-agent Hunter Thornton-Payne has some issues with trust…and maybe with people in general. After witnessing how cold hearted his own mother could be when he was just a child, he’s grown up knowing that not everyone is what they seem and should be treated as such. This is a skill that comes in handy while working the most dangerous missions for the Bureau of American Defense, but when a covert operation for BAD goes horribly wrong, resulting in the death of his best friend and the only person he’s ever trusted, he severs all ties with the world. Hunter merely plays by BAD’s rules to fool them into thinking he’s still their docile agent while in reality he has his own mission in mind: to find and kill the assassin that ended his best friend’s life.
When he catches wind that this assassin, known as the Jackson Chameleon or JC killer, might be present at a charity function in which BAD has already tapped for a secret operation, Hunter volunteers to go in under his rich status and collect the information BAD needs from a mole they’ve come across in the dangerous Fratelli terrorist group. What he stumbles upon instead is Abbie Blanton, a curly haired fireball who not only has no interest in Hunter, but seems to have her own agenda.
Abbie’s mother has become deathly ill only a week’s time and Abbie’s looking for answers. She manipulates her way into the high profile charity function just so she can confront the woman who’s the head of the board for the medical center Abbie’s mom went to before she got sick. When Abbie finally gets her one-on-one meeting, it’s cut short as a gunman starts taking shots at the two women. If Hunter hadn’t happened to be lurking nearby, close enough to realize what was going on and to jump through glass to throw the women out of harm’s way, Abbie would be dead.
When BAD finds the JC killer’s calling card, a sharpened metal baby spoon in the shape of an actual Jackson chameleon, located where the shooter had been, Hunter begins to wonder what Abbie’s motives are and if their goals might be intertwined somehow. Abbie only cares about getting the answers she needs to make her mother healthy again, but through fate and an evil plot that involves Abbie every bit as much as it involves Hunter, these two will have to come together and solve the puzzle before the JC killer strikes again, putting not only trust on the line, but love as well.
I love Sherrilyn Kenyon’s work, and though I like her paranormal books because she spins such a vivid tale in an interesting world, I’m finding that her more contemporary pieces of fiction are just as enjoyable, though it takes a bit of gear shifting to fully delve into this BAD world. The binding on Silent Truth labels it as “paranormal romance” but I’d have to say that it’s more of a romantic thriller. The only paranormal aspect of it is that there are weird genetic tests being performed on children somewhere, but even then, it’s not very paranormal. The book is mostly a super action packed joyride and puzzle all in one. Of course there’s romance between the two main characters, but the premise of the story is more action movie than anything else. There are explosions, devious plots, the hidden killer and love, so it’s kind of like a guy’s book twisted around for women.
I found getting into the book to be a bit hard because of the amount of action going on in the first chapter since the characters are already in the middle of a mission that goes horribly wrong. The explanations on what the secret operation is and what tools and plans the characters are going to use become overwhelming and just trying to follow along made me feel like an idiot. I like books where I don’t have to think (too much, anyway) so when I have to start picturing covert missions and foiled plans, complete with killing and getaways so quickly after starting a book, I have to take a step back. After making it through the first chapter, though, I was relieved to see that the second chapter starts off with Abbie as the focal character, so I got to relax and truly enjoy how the story unfolded. Pretty much by the middle of the second chapter, I was hooked and then I couldn’t put the book down.
It’s a lengthy book, twenty pages shy of 500, and I have to admit that there were some parts I skipped over. When the mole that’s planted within the Fratelli crime group becomes the focal character for a few pages in a handful of chapters, I tended to gloss over those sections and just picked up the needed facts. Kind of like when Mr. X and the Omega had their stuff going on in the early Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Those parts are boring and I’d rather see the main characters interact, so though I knew those scenes are needed, I didn’t thoroughly read them, yet still understood the undercurrents of what was important.
Kenyon did a nice job with Hunter and Abbie since they compliment each other fairly well, and there’s even a hidden history between the two that they discover as the plot moves along. Abbie had been cheated on by a fiancé and her trust in men is shot, whereas Hunter had been treated like crap by his mom, so his trust in pretty much anyone is gone. The only logical thing for two people with trust issues is to, of course, fall in love, and though that sounds sappy and is one of the standard practices in romance novels, Kenyon and Love truly do make Hunter and Abbie seem like they were just meant to be.
So though the plot is complex, and there’s enough action in this book to make the manliest man fist pump the air five times over, the complete package is beautifully done and a solid addition to Kenyon’s other works. Oh, and the ending is not stupidly cheesy, so that’s a super big plus, too, because I hate cheesy endings.