4 out of 4 stars
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Layla has finally got her life together. She has a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter and a burgeoning career. It only takes a second to have it all come crashing down in Vengeance, Book Two in Belle Ami´s Tip of the Spear romance series.
While in New York, Layla is kidnapped by Iranian terrorists when out to lunch with a friend. The extremists want nothing more than to use her as bait to trap her husband, Cyrus, an Israeli spy. With her daughter, Cerise´s, life in danger as well, can Layla do whatever it takes to ensure Cerise´s safety, and will Cyrus be in time, not only save the woman he loves, but to also stop a terrorist attack of catastrophic destruction?
Written in third person, the story follows both Layla and Cyrus as they react to the circumstances in which they find themselves. Both characters are well balanced and I liked how, even though this is a typical damsel in distress scenario, Layla doesn’t placidly wait to be rescued. Her character shows determination and a refreshing resilience. Cyrus´s character is a typical dominant male, strong-minded and determined, however, he shows his vulnerability and weakness in his love for Layla. I also enjoyed the character of Cass, the FBI Agent leading the case. She was also a very strong female character, whose authority was accepted unchallenged by her partner, David, and they have formed a relationship built on mutual respect and admiration.
Set in the USA, with some scenes in Israel, the plot outlined the very real current issue of terrorism. While it’s easy to have the “bad guys” as a stereotypical nationality and imply all from that country are terrorists, I liked how in this story other Iranian people are shown working hard to make their way in a new country. These people are portrayed as harmless and good-natured. This illustrated well that there will always be extremists in every country, but it is not the attitude of each person.
The story itself touches on some very serious topics, not only terrorism, but rape, kidnapping and PTSD. I liked how it illustrated the after effects a traumatic event can have on a person, not only on their mental stability, but their personal life as well. While these are heavy subjects, they never overwhelmed the story. The writing itself was well paced and flowed smoothly, making it both an easy and enjoyable read.
As the second in the series, I was concerned that I would be confused, seeing as I haven’t read the first book. However, this wasn’t the case, and while there were some references made to the previous story, this one can be classified as a stand-alone book in its own right.
The only criticism that I had was that sometimes things seemed to fall into place a little too easily, which bordered on unrealistic. This, however, was a minor issue and overall I enjoyed the book for its easy to read style and incorporation of serious issues. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is a book for a wide range of readers, especially those who like strong female characters and have a soft spot for romance and rescue.
Vengeance (Tip of the Spear Book 2)
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