While looking for a drug lord via satellite in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, Jack Coffey, rookie FBI agent, spots Kate Huntley. Jack is sent by the agency to find Ms. Huntley and bring her back to the States. They have many unanswered questions about her father's death. A professional and responsible man, Jack is confused by Kate's lack of cooperation. He wants to help her return to the States where he believes she'll be safe, but she treats him like the enemy and refuses to go. Everything about her is a contradiction. She looks fragile and innocent, but every time he turns around she's putting another thug in his place. In the beginning Jack wonders if Kate's distrust of his superiors is warranted or just simple paranoia. In the end, Jack realizes nothing is as it seems.
Here's why, I picked up a NetGalley ARC of Furious by this author writing a thriller as T.R. Ragan. I couldn't get half way through it. Not because it was poorly written or anything, but because it made me feel so much. That's right, it was graphic and the subject matter just got to me. Ms Ragan made me feel each and every emotion of the characters. It was too much for me, but I do highly recommend it for readers with sterner constitutions. It was that well written up to the point I put it down. So, I went to her web page to check out other works and found she had a couple of romantic suspense, which, I love. Now my review.
What I didn't like: That's right, opposite order today for my review of Finding Kate Huntley. Everything I felt in Ms Ragan's Furious, I rolled my eyes through most of the reading of this book. I felt no connection to the characters, wanted more back story and the romance felt superficial. As a matter of fact, the whole book lacked depth for me. Most of the story you have to absolutely suspend belief. If, I could have, I would have, but I couldn't.
I couple of times I felt like I was reading the Keystone Cops version of a romantic suspense. Kate, Jack Coffey (newly minted FBI field agent) and the rest of the characters were two dimensional and at times down right stupid. Yep, stupid. Kate actually came across as the best character but she could have been so much more. I wanted to know how she became the self-reliant street tough that she was. How did she become so proficient in defending herself? You know the usual things you want to know about a main character who has survived unthinkable odds.
Jack and the "bad" guys were too busy tripping over their feet to be taken seriously. I know people want to trust in the agency they work for but when the bad guys know every move you make before you make it, don't you think you shouldn't share all your plans. The bad guys, well, I can't even go there. Some of them are named up front and the "head" of the bad guys, Lou, is supposed to be a huge secret. Nope, figured it out the first time Lou made an appearance in the book.
What I liked: After all I've said, there are good things about Finding Kate Huntley. The opening scene really sucked me in. I wished Ms Ragan had followed with more about what happened to Kate at fifteen but the opening scene is very good.
There is also some humor and snark between Kate and Jack that I really enjoyed. So, the dialogue was pretty well written.
As much as I didn't buy into Finding Kate Huntley, Furious was just the opposite. Both books will have an audience that will enjoy them and while I didn't love Finding Kate Huntley, some will.