Thursday, 4 August 2011

Taken by Fire by Sydney Croft

Taken by FireTitle: Taken by Fire
Author: Sydney Croft
Series: ACRO (book #6)
Previous in series: Tempting the Fire

My rating: 4 Stars

**Warning**: This review is for the 6th and final book in the series and as such may contain spoilers. You may wish to skip it until after you have read the previous books.

Synopsis: Stryker Mills is an ACRO agent with a mission: Kill the Itor agent who murdered his partner. This, however, is easier said than done because the killer is not who she seems. Melanie Milan shares a body with her twin sister, Phoebe, and the two couldn’t be more different. Melanie is sweet and caring while Phoebe is a psychopathic monster. How can Stryker reconcile his desire for Melanie with his need to dispose of Phoebe?

Review: A solid conclusion to the series.

Mel and Stryker are wonderful and their relationship is characterized by an intimacy and sweetness that is rather unique in the series. The amalgamation of Mel and Phoebe's personalities is expertly accomplished, and Stryker’s inner conflict as he strives to reconcile his hatred for Phoebe with his growing admiration and love for Mel is a noteworthy aspect of the story. While the resolution of their storyline is somewhat predictable it is still clever and satisfying.

Notwithstanding the excellent characterization, the continuation of the secondary relationships felts rushed. Creed and Annika have always been my favorite couple and it is a pity that the way in which they cope with the fears and difficulties surrounding Annika’s pregnancy is not better developed. I was also completely confused by the whole Dev, Gabe and Oz threesome. Moreover, the ultimate destruction of the nefarious terrorist group, Itor, which has plagued the ACRO operatives for the entire series, is very anti-climactic. It is over far too quickly and easily.

Overall, this is an entertaining read and the series as a whole is excellent with a well-balanced mix of plot and erotica. Hopefully the writing duo of Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler will continue writing additional installments, perhaps with the next generation of ACRO agents.


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