Release Date: April 26th, 2011
More Info: Amazon
Series: #1 in the Lodestone Trilogy
National bestselling author Cherry Adair introduces an edgy, sexy new suspense series with this exhilarating international tale of hide and seek.
A reckless adventure in a deadly paradise.
Thrill seekers Zakary and Gideon Stark travel the globe in search of extreme adventure, but a trip to Venezuela to jump off the world’s highest falls catapults them into a perilous game of life or death—where they don’t know the rules.
A one-night stand that will change his life forever.
Kidnapped with a woman Zak knows nothing about, the brothers are held prisoner deep in the jungle. A risky, deathdefying escape separates them and nearly claims Zak’s life . . . until his recovery reveals a baffling new sixth sense.
An unexpected diversion with lethal consequences.
Now, to find his missing brother, Zak and the mysterious Acadia Gray will have to out-smart, out-gun, and out-maneuver not just the brutal kidnappers but also a new player who joins the adrenaline game: a ruthless opponent who wants the Stark brothers dead—at any cost.
I got this book through Book Blogs, where the publisher puts certain books up for review each month. The blurbs inside the book call it paranormal but it's marketed as a romance. Really, it's a paranormal romance; first half of the book is more romantic suspense/thriller; the paranormal aspects don't kick in until about halfway through the story. It is the first of a new trilogy, the Lodestone Trilogy.
OK, onto the story. It starts off with Zak and Acadia waking up after their one night stand to armed men in the room, and a gun to Zak's head. At first, Acadia comes off as presumptuous, ditsy and a motor-mouth while Zak comes off as cold, arrogant, and misogynistic. Over the course of the book, we see that while Acadia occasionally thinks that the world revolves around her, she's compassionate, friendly and ultra organized. They are kidnapped by the armed men and dragged into the jungle. Acadia is convinced that the men are after her because of some money she came into while Zak and his brother Gideon, also kidnapped, are wealthy.
Zak and Gideon own a Google-like search engine and are adrenaline junkies. They are addicted to extreme sports and travel the globe, indulging themselves. They are in Venezuela to jump off of the world's tallest waterfalls. Zak is a widow who has developed a death wish, though he can't see it. Gideon is desperate to help his brother, whatever it takes.
Acadia is single, just turned thirty, and not normally adventurous; she works in a sporting goods store (a running gag in the book is a "magic" vest which has seemingly endless pockets, full of camping gadgets). She's about to go to college, after the recent death of her father. She had been his caregiver the past 6-7 years as he suffered from Alzheimer's. Her friends talked her into this strip as a birthday present to herself. She sees it as a chance to let loose before settling down to getting her degree.
Zak's surly attitude got on my nerves at times and Acadia could be a righteous know-it-all. But, I liked that Acadia did not back down or wimp out. She wasn't going to stand off to the side and let the men make all the decisions. She was determined to be a part of the solution, even when she didn't know what she was doing. At other times, she knew exactly what she was doing, which also surprised Zak. Did I mention he's arrogant? He's sure he has all the answers, at least in extreme situations. Acadia had a knack, however, for surprising the brothers and me with what she did know and was willing to do.
Zak is an adrenaline junkie; he's used to getting himself out of tough situations and thinking on his feet. He feels certain that he doesn't need Acadia's help, or that she can even be helpful. Acadia surprises him constantly. Her camping vest, as I mentioned earlier, is a bit like Mary Poppins' magic bag; there are 28 pockets and they hold everything except the kitchen sink. :D The items stowed in her pockets save her, Zak, and Gideon on multiple occasions.
The story has some plot holes, some convenient coincidences and timing, and some WTF? moments; I realize it's a romance but both Zak and Acadia had weird timing for indulging in their mutual lust. Injured, on the run, and in the middle of a jungle is hardly the time or place but apart from that, Adair makes it seem logical at the time and she can write a sexy scene. It's fun, fast-paced and very enjoyable.
I did figure out who one of the people responsible for the kidnapping was, but not the other one, nor did I guess their motives. That part of the story was a bit of a muddle, and was almost, but not quite, believable.
This paperback was received from the publisher for review.