THE ULTIMATUM

By Karen Robards

 

Publisher: Mira  (June, 2017)
Format: Hardcover
Price: $26.99
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-3070-7
Ebook: 978-1-488-02290-6

Format: Paperback (March, 2018)
Price: $15.99
ISBN-13: 978-0778307815

Kindle edition: $8.99

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The Guardian series (Book #1)

 

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
(April, 2018)              

 

Bianca St. Ives remembers very little about her earliest years, just a soft voice, a loving touch, a scent of vanilla, and an explosion. Her father, Richard St. Ives, tells Bianca her mother died when a car hit her, but she’s beginning to have memories that conflict with his story.

She had a nonconventional childhood, to say the least. She received martial arts training from master sensei ; former Special Forces experts trained her in all their skills, and her father taught her the tricks of his trade. Known to law enforcement agencies worldwide as The Traveler, Richard was one of the most successful international thieves in the world.

It was also a lonely life. She attended an exclusive boarding school in Switzerland, seeing her father only when he needed her for another heist. The one bright spot in her life was her best friend Evie. Most vacations and holidays were spent with Evie and her mother at their mansion in Savannah, where she had a chance to experience, for a little while, what life with a normal family was like.

Now Bianca is all grown up, a beautiful young woman with an Ivy League education, mad survival skills and exceptional talent as a world-class thief. As part of her father’s hand-picked crew, millions of dollars, priceless jewels, and fine art were liberated from their often crooked owners. The heists almost always went off without a hitch.

 One night in a palace in Bahrain, however, things went terribly wrong.  She had to use all her skills and smarts to escape, with the prince’s massive security forces and her father’s deadliest enemy hot on her spiked heels.  Her flight was almost thwarted when she fell, half-naked, from the restroom ceiling, landing at the feet of a tall, dark and dangerous hunk. They exchanged names: Sylvia and Mickey. Then they exchanged hot and heavy kisses when Mickey, inexplicably, helped her thwart the security team so that she could get away.

The operation planned by her father to appropriate a small fortune in cash and top secret government secrets literally went up in smoke. Richard St. Ives and the rest of the crew, save Bianca and Doc, the team hacker and cyber genius, are presumed dead.

Back in Savannah, where Bianca runs a legitimate security company, she is shocked when a message comes in to an email account known only to a few of her father’s special clients, offering him a job he couldn’t refuse. With some trepidation, Bianca took the case. It turned out to be a very bad, perhaps fatal, decision. Some very nasty men are pulling out all the stops to capture her father, but they wouldn’t mind snaring her as well.

Before it was all over, Bianca discovered that her whole life had been a lie. The truth was far worse than she could ever have imagined. Who and what she was put a target on her back and a price on her head.  She meets the enigmatic Mickey and begins to wonder whether he is a friend or foe?

Bianca St. Ives is a kick-ass and take no prisoners kind of woman who also has impeccable manners and an Ivy League education. Her counterpoint, whose name is, in fact, Colin, is a classic James Bond assassin with a heart.  The sequel, The Moscow Deception, continues the adventures of this dynamic duo. This novel is thoroughly enjoyable, with a tightly plotted mystery and believable characters. The author’s sentences do sometimes get away from her, but it is overall a fine read. Highly recommended.



Copyright 2018 Shirley Wetzel. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!

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