Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TBR Day: Review: Reap the Wind by Iris Johansen

SETTING: Contemporary
TYPE: Romantic Suspense
PAGES: 532
SERIES: 3rd book in the Wind Dancer Trilogy
Keishon recommended this book a while back and since the premise sounded very original and intriguing, I tracked down a copy on PBS. Keishon mentioned that Johansen revised this book in 2002 to appeal more to her suspense fans and I'm betting she took out the hot sex scenes and the romance. That's just so wrong. So if you're interested in tracking down this book DO NOT GET THE REVISED VERSION. Get this one (cover shown here).

SUMMARY:[back blurb]
Alex. Brilliant Alex Karazov always regarded his wild talent as merely a tool in the high-tech chessboard of wold events...until murder galvanized him into a global cat-and-mouse game that could cost him not only his life but the woman he loves.

Caitlin. Exquisite Caitlin Vasaro created a perfume whose scent enchants and whose fame may endure through the centuries...but her desire for Alex Karazov may rob her of both her dream and her life.

Chelsea Benedict had fought her way from the depths of poverty and scandal to the heights of international film stardom. Now she must fight the biggest battle of her life, to save the man she loves - from herself.

Jonathan Andreas possesses power, fame, and one of the most valuable treasures on the face of the earth. He is willing to risk everything on the greatest gamble a man can dare...or to lose his life in the balance.

For centuries it was spoken of in whispers, a legendary masterpiece of unspeakable power...and immeasurable beauty. But once the winds had swept the stars from the night sky; who would own the Wind Dancer?

Caitlin Vasaro owns and manages a flower farm that has been in her family for generations. Due to many problems they are on the verge of bankruptcy and they can't pay their mortgage or make payroll. One day Alex Karazov a wealthy businessman (and ex-KGB/CIA) visits and offers to invest a huge chuck of cash so they can pay off their mortgage and allow Caitlin to market the perfume she has created and calls "Vasaro". Of course there are strings attached but Caitlin accepts the deal.

The reader is aware from the prologue that there is something not quite right about Alex. He is manipulating Caitlin so he can get his hands on "The Wind Dancer" an antique statue of Pegasus that is supposed to have magical properties. I really didn't like him at first because I thought he was a manipulating people user. And I thought Caitlin was way too stupid for falling for the "too good to be true" offer. But eventually Caitlin reveals that she is fully aware that Alex was using her, she just didn't care because she was so desperate to get her perfume to market. As part of the marketing campaign Alex wants to use the Wind Dancer which is in the possession of Caitlin's cousin, Jonathan Andreas.

What follows is a roller coaster ride of an non-stop action packed adventure across Europe. Oh, and Alex and Caitlin fall in love. Wow, and the sex scenes were pretty spicy. I especially loved the first sex scene which followed several chapters of some scorching sexual tension culminating in a fantastic scene in a lavender field. I could almost smell the lavender while I was reading that part. Another scene I liked is when Caitlin is anticipating that Alex is going to dump her so she dumps him first. I don't think that was really his plan but he was acting kind of like a jerk and really needed a smackdown. And Caitlin doesn't take him back right away...she makes him suffer for a while. She eventually takes him back after some good groveling. I liked that *evil grin*.

The only part I didn't care for was the secondary romance between Caitlin's cousin, Jonathan (a presidential candidate) and Chelsea (an famous actress). It wasn't bad really, just unnecessary to the plot and a tad bit unrealistic given we are in presidential campaign season. I wanted more of Alex and Caitlin. But I will say that Jonathan and Chelsea were well written characters along with Alex and Caitlin. And for a book with over 500 pages, this one flew by fast.



The Medusa Project (Silhouette Bombshell) by Cindy Dees (B+)
Surprisingly excellent read about a team of women who go through Special Forces training. Non-stop action and seemed very realistic with a romance subplot. My only complaint... I was expecting at least one sex scene... but no, no sex here.

The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott (C)
After hearing all the glowing praise about EE I was a bit disappointed because hero was a complete ALPHA-JERK! I liked the heroine though.


Zeek said...

"I especially loved the first sex scene which followed several chapters of some scorching sexual tension culminating in a fantastic scene in a lavender field."

Most memorable! I too really liked that scene and it sticks with you. I haven't read that one in years and I remember it like I just read it!

I loved this series, though many don't like IJ's old school ways...

avidbookreader said...

Yay! You liked it, you really liked it!

I remember this book like it was yesterday that I read it. I agree with you about the secondary romance. I am so glad to see that you enjoyed it. Another title I enjoyed by Johansen was Long After Midnight - tight on suspense, subtle romance but that one flew by and the book has two heroes so I don't know how you like that but it totally worked for me.

I am so curious to know how you are enjoying Lara Adrian's Midnight Awakening and had you read the previous books in the series? I am reading it and hope to have my review up late tomorrow or Sat. night.


ReneeW said...

Zeek: Yes, it was a bit "old school" but she creates great settings, characters, and non-stop action. Loved the lavender scene. I grow lavender in my backyard and it's going to remind me every time I go back there :)

Keishon: I was just thinking I should look up some of her other stuff so thanks for the rec. I'll put it on my list. I really enjoyed Midnight Awakening. The beginning was great, but the middle sagged a little when they made a trip to Germany. But the ending was good so I ended up giving it a B. I had not read any of the others in the series, in fact this was my first book by this author. I'll look for your review and see if I should try the others.

avidbookreader said...

Again, we seem to agree. I had only read Midnight Awakening, I haven't read any of the others.


Anonymous said...

Just finished this book today. I loved it! I was truly happy for the surprise "happy endings" for all the characters, and that the others got what they deserved in the end. Wish someone would turn this into a movie! Great suspense, good characters, and good story line. It was just a little slow in the beginning but I really did enjoy it!

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