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Tuesday, August 22, 2006


**** Born to Be BAD by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Romantic suspense.










This is an anthology of three novellas about BAD (Bureau of American Defense, an ultra-secret agency) agents. If I understand correctly, one of them was new (as of September 2005), and the other two had been published elsewhere. As I hadn't read any of them before, that was no problem. Also, I could tell by looking at the cover that they weren't Dark Hunter stories. Those two misunderstandings, as far as I can tell, account for most of the bad reviews of this book.

"One BAD Night". BAD agent Samantha Winslow is sent to capture rogue agent Jason Banks, who has apparently gone over to the other side. She's been torn between thinking he goes too far, and being attracted to him, so she takes the opportunity to torment him a little. Fun and games is over, though, when the terrorists catch up to them.

"BAD to the Bone". Marianne Webernec has won a fantasy vacation--a trip to an island where she'll act out her favorite romance novel. It's a little boring... until she stumbles across BAD agent Kyle Foster, recuperating on the other side of the island, who kidnaps her and gives her the fantasy of a lifetime.

"Captivated by You". BAD agents Rhea Stevenson and Ace Krux are going undercover to catch a drug lord. Rhea has to pose as a dominatrix, and Ace is tasked with helping her train for the role... much to his delight, as he's been secretly in love with her for a while. What Ace doesn't know, though, is that his affection isn't unrequited.

All three stories are rather over-the-top, in the manner of James Bond, which I love, so that's a good thing. "BAD to the Bone" is the funniest of the three, I thought, and slightly reminiscent of the movie American Dreamer, while "Captivated by You" evokes memories of Exit to Eden.

Besides the humor and the sensuality, there's also some heart. I especially liked that in "One BAD Night" and to a lesser extent "Captivated by You" the agents acknowledge how lonely it can be to have to keep their real identities secret and how freeing it is to have a relationship with a fellow agent, someone with whom they can be completely themselves.

The characters are engaging, and the action exciting, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for more of Kenyon's BAD stories.


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