Monday, 10 March 2014

Agent I1: Tristan - Sexy Superspies and the Simple Sweethearts who Seduce Them

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(ARC given by NetGalley)

Author: Joni Han
Publishing House:
Self-Published
244 pages
Publication: 26th December 2013
Book 1 of the D.I.R.E Agency
Review written by Lady Entropy

Raised in the art of warfare, Former Navy SEAL, Tristan Jacobs, has always been a force to reckon with. Now that D.I.R.E. has successfully implemented his scientific enhancements, he’s a walking weapon. Unstoppable, as long as he stays focused. No relationships.
When ex-BUD/S teammate, Aidan Monroe, interrupts his long-awaited sabbatical to call in a favor, Tristan reluctantly fills the simple request: take out his sister’s fiancé.
One problem: Rachel Monroe - smokin’ hot, kind-hearted, and in desperate need of a protector. After the best sex of his life, Tristan’s afraid unstoppable is just a memory. Knowing Aidan’s temper, Tristan could be, too.
I liked this book... and didn't. The romance bit was the best part, even if it tended to fall on the melodramatic at times: the characters were full rounded people, they were flawed, they were smart, and they talked. I was a bit squicked by the "Her brother will kill me if I date her" bit, because it was always something I could never relate to. I have a protective brother, and he never cared about who I dated (and me the same) as long as I was happy. I know it's supposed to be a "protective brother" thing, but it just doesn't sound -- right.But considerations aside, I liked the romance. True, there were a few "eh" moments, and a few WTFitude, but all in all, it was fun, refreshing and sweet.Unfortunately, the book cracks under its own weight when the other plot hits - you know, the plot where action elements are included, so there is a reason for this book to be a series and not just a single book about the main couple. The plot about the superhero\superspy agency Tristan is a part of.

When that starts, plot convenience moments happen left right and center, the heroine, who, until then had been sharp and smart, suddenly, becomes too stupid to live so that the plot can move forward, etc. etc. It was frustrating and slightly jarring, and groan worthy all around.

But, I will have to give you that it showed some interesting character development, especially in the figures of secondary characters of the mother of the heroine, and the villain overlord.

Just a small note, though: getting the villain to have a son called D'Artagnan is not proof of erudition. Is proof of being dumb as a brick: D'Artagnan means "Of Artagnan, since he was the COUNT of Artagnan. Yes, he was a real person, and his name was actually Charles de Castelmore. He was called "D'Artagnan" by his fellow musketeers the same way you call someone from Texas "Texas" (or even Tex). Now, I know that this is a bit of trivia, and that I was aware of it because I'm Portuguese and thus my language has a very similar word construction to French, but if you're going to go for exotic names, make sure of what you're doing, do some research -- or you'll risk ending up with an MR2 in France.

(For those who didn't get the joke, the MR2 car was a marketing disaster in France because MR2 sounds like "emerdeux" when read "french-style", which can roughly translate as "shitty")

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