Growing up, Bianca St. Ives knew she was different from all her friends. Instead of playing hopscotch or combing her dolls' hair, she studied martial arts with sensei masters and dismantled explosives with special-ops retirees. Her father prepped her well to carry on the family business. Now a striking beauty with fierce skills, the prodigy has surpassed the master.
She's known as the Guardian. Running a multinational firm with her father, she makes a living swindling con men out of money they stoleand she's damn good at it. She does things on her own terms. But her latest gig had a little hiccupif you count two hundred million dollars and top secret government documents going missing as little. Her father also died on the mission. The thing is, the US government doesn't believe he's really dead. They'll stop at nothing to capture Richard St. Ives, a high-value target and someone who has been on most-wanted lists all over the world for over two decades, and they mean to use Bianca as bait. With only a fellow criminal for backup and her life on the line, it's up to Bianca to uncover the terrifying truth behind what really happenedand set it right, before it's too late.
What I liked: I love romantic suspense, light on the romance. I got more than I could want in The Ultimatum. I think I’ve read just about everything Ms Robards has written and some books I loved and some were good but not great. As a matter of fact, I have a Karen Robards shelf with “real” books. I guess that says something about how much I enjoy her stories.
I’m also a bit excited that this begins a series as the characters are dynamic, memorable, and just plain bad *ss in most cases. I also enjoy how deeply researched The Ultimatum is and the way the plot is laid out. The opening completely draws you in and you barely have time to take some much-needed breaths. Needless to say, I had a very hard time finding a good stopping point and I didn’t want to stop.
The lead, Bianca, and her father are thieves who steal from thieves. A bit predictable as are some of the characters and plot points, BUT, the way Ms Robards puts the story together and develops not only the characters but the plot is why I enjoy her stories. There are a few surprises and you might be able to see them coming but not all. Again it’s the quality of the work and the suspense which kept me hooked.
What I didn’t like: Some of the same things I liked, others might not. I guess it’s up to the reader. As a Karen Robards fan, I knew what type of book I was expecting and I don’t entirely like ALL of her work. Others might find the suspense ho-hum, the characters predictable but it’s all in the execution for me and she does it very well.
This is a hardcover release so the Kindle edition is set at $11.99 and the hardcover at $17.70 on Amazon, $18.83 on Barnes & Noble. I must be getting weary of the e-book prices because I thought The Ultimatum was worth the price. If you’ve never read a Karen Robards book or are on the fence about the pricing, borrow it and see what you think.
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from NetGalley and have provided my honest thoughts.
I’m looking forward to the next in the series to see how Ms Robards develops the central theme and the characters.
Highly Recommended (especially for suspense fans who like a kick butt female lead)!!