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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
ARC Review: Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti
Like its predecessors in the series, BLIND FAITH brings a tautly-paced and action-packed plot to the table, but in a more subtle way that involves the slick and secretive world of high-stakes politics more than guns-and-bombs military action. And, perhaps most intriguing for someone like myself with my scientific background, we get a deeper look into the motivations and operations of the military lab/camp where the Dean brothers were created and shared-- especially into the enigmatic series antagonist, the Commander, and the fascinating-but-batshit-crazy facility shrink, Dr. Madison. Dr. Madison has been a looming spectre throughout the series, not getting much overt page time but playing an instrumental role in the entire operation as the Commander's right hand with her psychological experiments, but in BLIND FAITH we finally get a deeper look at her twisted psyche. The main reason behind that fascinating glimpse? The book's heroine and love interest is none other than Dr. Madison's now-adult daughter Audrey, one-time true love of a teenaged (and now fully grown) hero Nate Dean--- and (initially) nothing but one of Dr. Madison's twisted experiments to see if the supersoldiers could fall in love. Despite the fact that Dr. Madison is one crazy bitch and has never given Audrey one whit of affection, Audrey feels a fascinating sense of daughterly duty and affection for her mother and seeks nothing more than her approval and recognition. Questions had been raised in previous books about the extent of Audrey's involvement with the Commander's operation, and these questions are nicely dealt with and answered in BLIND FAITH.
Hero Nate Dean has that mile-wide protective streak that is such an integral characteristic of literary alphas-- but in this case it's primarily directed at taking care of his brothers. His goal in life has always been to ensure that his brothers get out of anything alive, irrespective of the cost to him. As kids in the Commander's clutches, he was the bridge between eldest-and-reluctant-trainer/hardass Matt and the younger siblings Shane & Jory; as adults, he lives for finding out the truth about Jory's disappearance and ensuring Matt and Shane survive their impending killswitch-induced death and lead happy, free lives with the women of their dreams. Nate doesn't much care if he has to sacrifice himself to ensure that outcome and in fact almost strives for it, which can make his I-don't-deserve-to-be-happy-but-will-do-anything-for-my-brothers attitude either completely knicker-melting or frustrating, depending on your alpha male preference. Personally, I like my heroes with a touch of beta, so Nate's attitude grated on me a bit at times. Audrey is the only woman he's ever loved and hasn't stopped loving despite her supposed betrayal and his attempts to have no heart, so the chemistry is explosive and palpable the second the two lay eyes on each other again. There are a lot of secrets, perceived betrayals, and hurt feelings between them, which makes for an interesting give and take in their relationship and some scorching sexytimes. As always, Ms. Zanetti does a great job writing love scenes that will set your Kindle on fire and are also incredibly emotional-- especially with Nate and Audrey's past history and secrets sitting between them.
BLIND FAITH is a great addition to an already-superb series, with an action-packed plot, a deep look into two psychologically fascinating protagonists, hot sexytimes requiring a fan, and crisp writing coming together to make for a page-turning read. If that's not enough, the tantalizing advances in the mystery of Jory's disappearance add an extra layer intrigue and will have readers impatiently awaiting the next book and the resolution of that mystery.
**ARC provided by Publisher**
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