April 18, 2013

Tour Stop Review + Giveaway: Just The Messenger by Ninette Swan

Series: Stand-alone
Format: Digital
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: No Boundaries Press
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When Graciela Merced fumbles a package she’s delivering for her mysterious and sexy boss, Gene Hardy, she finds out he’s more than just a wealthy photographer. Prepared to lose her job, she confronts him…and ends up embroiled in the tricky takedown of a powerful drug cartel pushing cocaine into the heart of New York City.

Marco Valencia is an undercover agent, working against time—and against Gene Hardy—to crack Angel’s Drug Cartel before the story makes it to the press. When Hardy’s luscious Venezuelan messenger literally falls at his feet, he has no idea just how well he’ll get to know the beauty or how difficult it will be to drop her.

Hardened by experience, Gene Hardy takes his undercover work seriously, and charges a hefty price. When Grace makes a careless mistake and hurls him back into the visage of Marco Valencia, he must either fire her, or involve her in a twisted plot that could kill them all.
As the two men battle over their feelings for Graciela—and their attraction to each other—one thing becomes perfectly clear.

Grace is much more than just the messenger.
JUST THE MESSENGER is a short spy-inspired, contemporary erotica novella by Ninette Swan. I have to say I'm a little torn about this story. I like the overall concept but there are things about the plot that I wasn't a big fan of. The blurb did a good job in summing it up so I'm not going to dwell further on the details so let's get to the nitty gritty shall we?

Let me start with the things that I didn't like. The espionage part of the story was an overreach IMHO. This part of the plot was flimsy and wasn't very believable. For example, Grace is your normal citizen, doesn't know how to use a gun, doesn't know a lick about espionage, self defense and preservation and suddenly she got promoted to being a spy with no training or a proper orientation? Her boss, Gene Hardy, immediately sent her on a mission, gave her a target, handed her a gun and expected her to shoot someone. When Grace expressed she doesn't know how to fire one, this little detail was brushed off like a trivial inconvenience and Gene just gave her an encouraging push and simple instruction as if Grace is just going to reheat frozen pizza or something.

Next is Marco Valencia, seasoned agent of the Investigative Intelligence Bureau or IIB, tasked to protect a reporter who can give the bureau crucial information as far as taking down this big time Colombian drug cartel IIB is bent on cracking. When they got to Colombia, said reporter knows more about pulling out cons and take downs than Marco! Like are we sure Marco is an agent or is he just a glorified bodyguard?! To me it shows how incompetent Marco is and if the mission failed, I wouldn't be surprised. That said, the overall character development needs a little drawing out too because it didn't really feel like the circumstances the characters were faced with fleshed out their inner and external conflicts. There's not much contrast, everything was taken at face value, no questions asked, just unconditional acceptance. Don't get me started on the ending... I'll leave it at that.

So basically, I hope NSwan didn't opt to use the espionage angle because it wasn't a convincing sub-plot. I wished she just made the setting less complicated and stuck with the menage romance. Oh yes! JUST THE MESSENGER is a threesome romantic story of sorts. If I remove the "suspense" part, the story would've been sexy as sin and a complete guilty indulgence! The scenes between Marco, Gene and Grace set the pages of my ereader on fire so that sort of redeemed the novella for me a bit. It's unbridled and a pure expression of desire for one another. So this wasn't a complete busy, if any JUST THE MESSENGER is a great nooner read.

So JUST THE MESSENGER is one of those stories where the sex was good but the story not much. It's a great one-night-no-strings-attached kind of thing that will give any reader instant gratification. I didn't feel an emotional and mental connection with the characters but I do appreciate the heat level and the entertainment it provided my afternoon. 

Purchase Just The Messenger

Ninette Swann is a journalist turned novelist who writes her books from sunny Florida in between parenting, freelancing and editing. She writes all genre of romance, including contemporary, thriller, suspense, and dystopian. 

Her books include Hit and Stay, Body Combat, Finding Home, Just the Messenger and Direct Combat.

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Ninette is giving away 3 digital copies of
Just The Messenger
and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Contest ends on April 20, 2013.

Good luck!


  1. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE thrillers!! The cover is well done too:)

    Thank you:)

  2. thx u ninette..
    sounds a great book too :)

  3. Oooh this book sounds really good!! :D

  4. This one looks good, thanks for the review!

  5. Thanks for having me here! I really appreciate the time you spent on the review!

    (Commenting under my mommy blogger persona b/c in the middle of a project there. LOL. Sorry!)

    1. Thanks Ninette for letting us host you today!

  6. Well, at least the sex was good, there is always something to be said about that even if the espionage was an overreach.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  7. Thank you for the post. I love their names together, Marco and Graciela.... sounds like love. lisagk(at)yahoo

  8. The cover is gorgeous! Thank you for the giveaway!


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