Author: Sullivan Lee
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Self Published
Date/Year: July 2011
Reviewed by: ElaineReads
*This book was provided to the reviewer by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary from the publisher:
A Criminal Love Story
Edgar and Mallory Battle are on the run after a spectacularly violent escape. Now, with a trail of bodies behind them, they need a hostage against the inevitable standoff with the police. Their first doesn’t last long, thanks to sociopathic Mallory. Edgar has been hiding his brother’s crimes since they were kids. Now he’s torn between loyalty and self-preservation.
They carjack Lucy Brightwing, a criminal fresh from her own heist, with a fortune of uncut gems hidden in her vehicle. She could escape — but she won’t abandon her millions. She could kill the Battle brothers, but she has to be careful. For one thing, if the law investigates, they’ll find her ill-gotten loot. For another, her own life is sacred. She’s the last member of a Florida paleoindian tribe thought to be extinct — the Tequesta. With her share of the money she plans to buy, bribe and blackmail her way into her own ancestral tribal lands in the heart of the Everglades, a Tequesta nation.
Lucy leads them into her beloved swamp, determined to kill them. But when she falls for Edgar she must decide whether to risk her heritage and the future of her tribe to save the doomed brothers.
Brightwing focuses on the interactions of three characters. Edgar and Mallory are brothers who are on the run from the law and Lucy, who is the last of a Floridian Native American tribe.
Mallory has broken Edgar out of a prison transport in New England and they have left a trail of murder behind them on their way down the coast. Lucy has just finished a jewel heist and has the misfortune of being kidnapped and taken as a hostage by the brothers in Florida.
Obviously, none of these characters are what you would call upstanding citizens. Although Edgar is the brother who was on his way to prison, Mallory is the real danger to those around him.
Mallory is a serial rapist and murderer. He does not limit his murders to the women he attacks either. He kills indiscriminately, even when it would be in his best interest to keep a low profile.
Edgar has spent his entire life covering up for Mallory. You have to feel sorry for him because he really wishes Mallory was dead. He just can’t bring himself to kill his own brother.
And that is the problem I had with Edgar. Nothing is his fault. He just lets Mallory and circumstances control him. He comes off as weak in almost every scene.
Lucy Brightwing, however, is definitely an Alpha. She is determined to reestablish her tribe on her own lands in the Everglades. She is smart, a fighter, and has the backbone to accomplish whatever she sets out to do. Kidnapping her is the luckiest thing that ever happened to Edgar and Mallory because now they have someone to lead them.
I really liked Lucy, but I thought she could do so much better than Edgar. I can’t see such a strong female falling in love with him. Although there is a scene where Edgar chooses Lucy over Mallory, I never felt certain he would protect her from him every time.
Is this book a romance? Yes, but it has the most unusual group of characters I have ever seen. I really liked Lucy, but Edgar is weak and Mallory scares me to death.
If you want something out of the ordinary to read, I recommend this book. If you want to read about characters you can love, this is not the book for you.
One thing I have to say though, this is one of the most well written books I have ever read. My dislike of the book is strictly based on the characters. Sullivan Lee’s writing is marvelous. I would certainly be willing to try another book written by this author.
Overall: 2 stars
Sensuality level: 2 (one attempted rape scene)
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(cross posted from Seductive Musings)