Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mesmerized, by Gayle Lynds

High-powered attorney Beth Convey gets a heart transplant, becomes enmeshed in a dastardly plot to assassinate the new Russian President, Vladimir Putin (the novel was published in 2001) -- right in the White House Rose Garden -- and finds herself endowed with a whole new set of skills and abilities as she fights to prevent the plot from succeeding.

Her adventures quickly team her up with Washington Post investigative reporter, undercover FBI operative, and undeniable hunk, Jeffrey Hammond. Together they battle US-embedded rogue KGB agents, anti-government American militia members, a mole in the FBI working for the Russians, and the various National Security agencies of the United States, who, as usual in these thrillers, get it all wrong.

If nothing else, Lynds manages a lively pace, but for what is basically a romance novel, there is only one sexual encounter between Beth and Jeff and it is painful to read. "He pressed his lips into her belly and tasted her, savory as buttermilk." Could be a yeast infection.

I'd been looking forward to the scene for most of the novel, because Beth's heart donor turned out to be a male Russian agent skilled in karate and general hand-to-hand combat, firearms, and high-speed driving, among other things, and Beth had "inherited" (I'll spare you the pseudo-science) his skills, his thought processes, many of his memories (which she relived through dreams), and apparently, something of his sensitivities. How would this manifest itself when, "panting," she kicked off her "thong" and opened her legs to Hammond?

First, she's wearing a thong through all this action?! Second, why aren't the two fighting for the top position? Third... well, I don't want to go there.

I admit I skimmed a lot of the book. I just wasn't that mesmerized.

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