Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
"The Man" is back
Dan "The Man" Currington is back in fighting form with a mission that takes him four thousand miles south of BKI headquarters, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. He's hot on the trail of a rogue CIA agent selling classified government secrets to the highest bidder, when Penni DePaul arrives on the scene. Suddenly the stakes are higher, and keeping Penni safe becomes Dan's number one priority.
And this time she's ready
A lot has changed since former Secret Service Agent Penni DePaul last saw Dan. Now a civilian, she's excited about what the future might hold. But before she can grab onto that future with both hands, she has to tie up some loose ends-namely, Dan Currington, the man she just can't forget. And a secret that's going to change both their lives-if they can stay alive, that is.
|3.5 Cauldrons: Liked to have loved it more|
Anybody in for a romantic suspense that starts in Cusco, Peru and ends in Chi-Town? Julie Ann Walker's latest Black Knights Inc. installment, TOO HARD TO HANDLE, is yet another great whirlwind adventure. It's a Snowden-like plot complete with high velocity chases, big ammos, demented assassins, and mile-high sexy time.
For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Black Knights Inc. is a group of former military operatives who are now doing black ops missions on the D/L for the President of the United States. Their missions are basically covert counter-terrorism acts with a big helping of HEA romance. The series doesn't have an overarching arc, you can maybe get away with reading the books out of order or standalone, but I wouldn't recommend it. Except for Hell on Wheels and Thrill Ride, the books have a formula where the current couple are introduced in the previous book, and their love story concluded in the next installment.
Like in the case of Dan and Penni here, these two met in Full Throttle, sparks flew, then their mission ended and they went their separate ways. Problem is, Dan and Penni can't get each other off their respective minds, and Penni took it upon herself to seek out Dan and finish what they started in Malaysia. And now we have TOO HARD TO HANDLE.
I love Dan and Penni, they're good people, honorable soldiers, and heroes in every way. Dan fits the definition of what a knight is, while Penni is one badass chick. They complement each other perfctly. A girl who can face-off with a hulking Russian counter intelligence gets big props from me. As for the other stuff, Dan is a widower and a recovering alcoholic so he wasn't keen on being in a serious relationship when Penni came along. Penni took it in stride... until she found out that Dan's a widower.
You have to be really brave... to be in love. Knowing that something terrible can happen and your heart can get smashed into a million tiny pieces. Knowing that you're giving someone that kind of power over you. Knowing that you have that kind of power over another.
See, Penni prides herself in being a go-getter and laying her cards on the table. Sure, Dan withheld his widower status from Penni, but given everything they went through, not to mention Dan baring his soul to her, I expected Penni to accept the situation with more grace versus moving back to DC, sulking, and making things difficult for both of them. #dramaqueen
There are also other "kinks" here that I don't find super. Like having sex in the plane's restroom with the bad guy sitting in the cabin albeit shackled; or the bomb that Penni dropped towards the end. Not sure if it was always there or if it was an afterthought considering all the events and the timing of said bomb; lastly the confrontation with the bad guy was a tad underwhelming for me.
I still loved TOO HARD TO HANDLE in spite of the things I wasn't crazy over. The camaraderie between the Knights shows solid brotherhood without being homoerotic, the dialogue is LOL-funny, the romance is sizzling, and the action is definitely thrilling! Black Knights Inc. has grown so much since the first book, and I'm sure it'll just keep on getting better moving forward. It goes without saying that I'm looking forward to the next installment, Zoelner and Chelsea's romance looks like it's going to be crackalackin!