Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Challenges: Finishing the Series | NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
Buying Links: Amazon* | Kobo | ARe* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Mind games turn fatal in the second Harp Security novel...
The daughter of a schizophrenic, Dr. Jane Evans prioritizes order, control, and—above all—her work in a psychiatric research lab. When an attempted kidnapping threatens to derail the project she’s on, her boss hires a bodyguard. He’s everything Jane is not, and if she can survive, she may even learn to like the difference.
Eric Sorensen owes Jane a debt he can’t possibly repay. Without her tutoring, he would not have made it through college, would not have the life he does. But none of his memories of college Jane prepare him for adult Jane. When she suddenly disappears, he follows her trail to a secret lab in a cartel-controlled Mexican jungle. Rescue seems impossible but Eric’s not the type to give up, even if it means trading his own life for hers.
The story grabbed me right away as it starts with Jane, Dr. Evans, being grabbed in an attempted kidnapping. I read straight through until about 15% in and by then, there'd been another kidnapping attempt and an attack on Jane's house. The story was fast paced, hard to put down, and I kept finding excuses for not doing the needful things such as laundry, email, etc so that I could keep reading. I really enjoy the Harper Security books and I tweeted Curtis, before I was even done with the book, to ask her for another and yay, she's planning one. When? No idea :( but I'll
I enjoyed "Mind Games" immensely. The action was fast, Eric and Jane were quite likable, and the story was twisty. As I said earlier, it grabbed my attention and didn't let go. Schizophrenia and mental illness are not as large a part of the story as I expected but they are treated respectfully. Jane seems quiet at first and possibly weak-minded but it soon becomes apparent that she's stronger than that. She keeps her composure under extreme circumstances but she also has moments of despair. Eric is sweet, strong, smart, and scarily competent. We get a visit from Tara and Jake from "Lost" and "Twisted" but you don't need to have read those books, "Mind Games" works as a stand-alone. The story is heavier on suspense than romance; the romance aspect is mild, sweet, and not shoehorned into the story but a natural outgrowth of it.
"After a week - after a day - I knew everything I needed about you. And what I didn't know, I wanted to find out."
"What do you mean? We didn't talk about anything of importance."
"Knowing someone isn't about learning what their family is like, or whether they love mashed potatoes with a unhealthy passion (blech ~ Bea), or even what sports team they favor. After five days, I've seen you with my colleagues and yours. I've run through the night with you. I know you're careful and methodical - that hasn't changed since we were kids - and that you have a generous heart."
I did guess the identity of the secret bad guy (one was out in the open, the other a secret) early on. While most of the characters were well-developed, the villains were the exception, particularly one of them. The security company, Harper Security, was a mix of realism and escapism. I enjoyed the fact that while the company took finances into account on an op, it didn't prevent them from doing the right thing (see a mini discussion on that topic in the comments here). The plot itself though was over the top and not entirely believable. I can't point out everything that was over the top because then I'd be going into spoiler territory and I don't want to do that. After you read the book, come back and we can discuss it in the comments or email me. However, the details of the rescue, including the problems, struck me as realistic and were no less exciting for that fact.
If you're looking for a romantic suspense that's fast, action packed, and has a sweet romance, pick up "Mind Games. Meanwhile I'll be impatiently waiting for more by Curtis, whatever she writes next.