April issue of Old Book Barn Gazette:
Marlena Maxwell, known by many in the intelligence world as an assassin, is in Washington D.C. Part of her strategy is to have a hired lackey at her beck and call. Marlena likes to have fun while she waits for the right moment to complete her assignment. She works alone, falls in love with no one, and disappears until her next contract comes up. Navy SEAL Steve McMillan is at home out in the field of action. He’s been reassigned to an intelligence unit with Marlena Maxwell as his latest assignment. Prepared to expect the unexpected with this woman’s history, what he hasn’t prepared for is falling for her. Marlena upstages Steve more than once, but he readjusts and moves forward, learning that the upstage game works both ways. He also learns that the intelligence world plays games with everyone. I applaud Ms. Low for delivering an action-packed novel effectively portraying the covert intelligence world. The vivacious Marlena and the virile Steve threaten to leave you panting. I certainly enjoyed this author’s debut novel. I hope you do, too.
Romance Readers Connection:
Grab yourself an ice cold beverage and a fan because this book is hot, hot, hot. Gennita Low’s debut romantic suspense will leave you breathless and eager for more of this remarkable new writer.
Navy SEAL Steve McMillan becomes embroiled in a CIA mission – to infiltrate the beautiful assassin Marlena Maxwell and determine who her next target is. The tough, sexy woman gives as good as she gets, and Steve becomes deeply attracted to her which could get him into trouble more ways than one.
Marlena Maxwell isn’t everything she seems. She also knows that Steve isn’t everything he appears to be either. She’s used to working alone, so when Steve’s true identity is revealed to her, she becomes very uncertain where this road will lead them. Working together to determine who the good guys and the bad guys are, Marlena vows to see this job through to the end.
I really can’t tell you much more than that because this book has so many twists and turns, I’d be spoiling it for most of you. Low has created a riveting plot, whose characters are stunningly fresh and vibrant and the plot will keep you guessing until the end.
With enough sexual drama and erotic love scenes to leave you breathless, the pearl scene itself will have readers everywhere snapping up this book for it alone. But the love scenes aren’t the only thing going for this smartly woven suspense and intrigue romance. Marlena and Steve are two richly drawn characters, with their own voices and backgrounds. Not your usual heroine, Low’s Marlena will rank right up there with the best of powerful female leads. Steve is no cupcake when it comes to heroes, either. He’s tough, but just as powerful as Marlena, which is always a plus. Usually, one overpowers the other, but Low has the right formula so that neither overshadows the other.
The secondary characters, such as operatives from Steve’s team, and Tess, who trained Marlena, lend themselves to the storyline in the right mix of development and timing. There is also a unique hint with Tess that makes me wonder what Low has in store for her. With debut romances like this, Gennita Low is soon to be a dynamic voice in romantic fiction. And I’m so looking forward to her next book, which I just hope is Tess and Alex’s.
Romance Readers Connection
April issue of The Road to Romance:
Steve McMillan, who’s notorious not just for his daring feats as a member of the elite covert operations team Black Star SEAL, but also for being voted by the navy grapevine as ‘The Best Kisser of the Millennium’, is given a very unusual but alluring assignment as his first job after his transfer to TIARA, a CIA Intel team used by Admiral Madison’s special operations team. As the newest member of Task Force Two of TIARA, Steve isn’t sure what to expect, but being infiltrated as a personal lackey for the mysterious, magnificent and thoroughly glamorous suspected international assassin Marlena Maxwell is certainly not it! That the task is challenging is something the action-oriented Steve truly relishes, and that this job will strain the limits of his self-control as well as his libido is something this macho man knows for certain from the moment he sets eyes on the total sexy and leather clad package that Marlena presents, a fact she’s very aware of and doesn’t hesitate to use if needed! The attraction between them is undeniable as well completely unacceptable for both, and their mutual distrust is masked but still there. Steve’s job is to gather information about her latest assignment, in order to turn her over to the authorities, but as his feelings towards this machiavellian maven undergo a gradual change, his assignment becomes more and more difficult and soon his consummate professionalism is called into question. Even Marlena is suffering from the same dilemma. But when the chips are down, can either of them truly change their colors? The two of them engage in a battle of wit, verbal innuendo, which is further complicated by threats, car chases and death! Read Gennita Low’s mesmerizing master work and get drawn into a web of malice and deceit, where betrayal is the order of the day, and feelings are superfluous. After reading this saga, readers will find be hard put to believe that this book is Gennita Low’s debut attempt, so marvelous and majestic it is! This intensely suspenseful book is also a very sensual one, presenting menace and romance in a matchless blend. All the characters (and there are plenty) in this superb drama are utterly fascinating as well as convincing, especially the lead pair of Marlena and Steve, or Stash as Marlena naughtily calls him! They are two peerless people, unsurpassed at their respective jobs and with spotless reputations to uphold, but seemingly at opposite sides. The passion between them is not only hot, but also blazing in such a fiery way as to put a volcano to shame and melt the Arctic! The equally chilling aura of menace and death that surrounds the entire affair not only presents a stunning contrast but indeed the two aspects complement and enhance each other just like the main protagonists. The mystery is also very good and is present at various levels and is enough to boggle the minds of even the most dedicated mystery reader. The numerous action scenes add a lot of excitement to an already suspenseful plot. There are many comical aspects too, which lighten the tense story at apt moments. The ending ties up many loose ends, but also leaves many questions unanswered – most likely they will provide the basis for this debut author’s forthcoming books! In short, ‘Into Danger’ is a true masterpiece, and readers everywhere are advised to not to miss this new author, Gennita Low’s, future works.
Long legs in black leather pants have Navy SEAL operative, Steve McMillan, thinking about slow, wet, hot kisses when his mind should be focused elsewhere — mainly on his target for the evening, Marlena Maxwell, and his assignment for the CIA. He’s still an outsider in this team of intel-gatherers, and has yet to prove his effectiveness outside of his capacity as a get-in-and-get-it-done SEAL. Letting lust obscure his focus is just about as stupid as it gets. The lady is beautiful but as deadly as a rattler poised to strike, after all.
Gorgeous or not, Marlena Maxwell is still an assassin…and one whose reason for being in Washington, D.C. has spooked more than one agency. So far, she’s eluded the authorities and maintained a scrupulously clean record, but all of that’s about to change. Something big is going down, and Steve will be there to see it through — and to bring the marvelous Ms. “M” to his superiors for an overdue chitchat. Now, if only Marlena would keep her hands out of his pants, Steve could settle the facts in his mind, and discover what’s bothering him about this assignment. With his objectivity shot all too hell, however, it’ll take some time to divine truth from lies, fact from fiction, and reality from artifice.
In this covert world created by Gennita Low, nothing is as it seems, everyone’s motives are suspect, and dangerous undercurrents put the thrill into the daring-do’s of an espionage thriller. Into Danger is a high voltage, sensually charged debut novel that’s tireless and cunningly plotted — but it’s also as difficult to decipher as a coded message when one is lacking the know-how to do so. If you’re a stickler for details, Ms. Low’s fill-in-the-blanks approach to character and plot development will bug you to no end.
A lot of guesswork is required to putty up the holes in the plot, and woe to any reader whose mind has a tendency to wander. One will need to stay sharp in order to keep one’s head above water, and the facts — as hazy as they are — straight: Who is working for whom, and why, are questions that beg answers. Still, Ms. Low has done a bang-up job keeping her readers in the dark, and forcing them to draw their own conclusions (which is quite the feat for a newcomer to the genre). One’s suppositions are constantly on shaky ground, making Into Danger a novel of ever-changing focus and skillful surprises.
Marlena is very much a woman of mystery, and aloof to the point of being purposefully vague and stubbornly tightlipped. Steve is only privy to the information she decides, somewhat begrudgingly, to share with him. As a result, their relationship is a duel for power, both sexual and professional, but this fight for supremacy isn’t demeaning or diminishing to either party. Indeed, Ms. Low’s hero and heroine are a well-matched pair, and the sensual dynamics of their relationship all but shoot sparks from the pages. Marlena’s attempts to substitute intimacy with sexual manipulation backfire spectacularly, however.
“Stash” isn’t a man to stand idly by, after all, while a blue-eyed beauty eggs him on, or plays the part of a mythical mermaid: lovely, secretive and frustratingly unattainable. His Navy SEAL training has honed his instincts to a keen edge, but a controlled predator still dwells beneath his skin. He’s not about to back down in the face of Marlena’s intransigence, or meekly concede defeat. Ms. Low’s strengths as a writer are characterization, and her consistency in creating strong, dynamic personalities, I think.
Various government and military agencies are strategically incorporated into the storyline, providing an impressive cast of secondary characters, which readers can pick and choose their favorites from. As a matter of fact, Ms. Low has left herself wide open for numerous sequels and/or spin-offs, so I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Marlena and Steve, or their spy games. Or should I say kissing games? At any rate, Into Danger has attitude, smarts and sex appeal, and is gung-ho for that dizzying rush of adrenaline so highly praised in escapist fiction. There are blind spots in the plot, to be sure, but the complaints will be few and far between, I’d wager.
Romance Review Today:
Washington, D.C. – Present Day
Marlena Maxwell is known in the intelligence community as a wily assassin. Wily, because she’s never been caught. When the CIA’s Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities (TIARA) Task Force Two captures the man hired to serve as Marlena’s chauffeur and lackey during her assignment in D.C., they replace the man with Steve McMillan, a Navy SEAL on special assignment to TIARA. Steve’s assignment is to get close enough to Marlena to learn the identity of her next victim and her contacts. He’s a team player, and although the CIA hasn’t exactly welcomed him with open arms, he’s ready to take on this mission. Marlena Maxwell works alone. Always. But from the moment she meets Steve, whom she calls Stash, she finds herself attracted to him. Completely unlike her usual lackeys, he’s intelligent, independent, and has a dry sense of humor. And he’s a great kisser. Well aware that he’s probably CIA, or part of another acronymed agency, Marlena intends to ignore her feelings and do what she does best-complete her assignment. Alone. Despite the passion that sparks between them, Steve and Marlena are determined to do their jobs. All too soon they are caught in a deadly game of deception and betrayal, in which nothing is as it seems. Can they stay alive long enough to learn who the real bad guys are? The slightest slip could be fatal, but the deadliest mistake of all might be falling in love. INTO DANGER is a taut, action-packed thriller. There’s plenty of mystery and intrigue, including double and triple crosses; a cast of intriguing characters, most of whom hide behind masks; and a blazingly passionate romance. The suspense builds slowly, layer by layer, and will have readers on the edge of their seats. Marlena and Steve are intriguing characters-and proof of the adage that opposites attract. He’s the consummate team player; she’s a loner. He’s open to love and romance; she’s been hurt in the past and is terrified of risking her heart again. They have to learn from each other, and Marlena has to learn to trust, before they can embrace their future. Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy Ms. Low’s thrilling, sexy debut. It’s an exciting, entertaining story, and readers will eagerly await the author’s next book.
Romance Review Today
The Romance Reader Today Review:
Steve McMillan watched the woman at the bar. Dressed in black leather, tall, curvaceous, sexy, she didn’t look like a trained assassin, but that’s exactly what she was. Which is why he was here watching her. Marlena Maxwell was the best and when she agreed to do a job, she went first class. That meant, among other things, a luxury condo for the duration, $10,000 in cash, and a lackey to do her bidding. That was Steve, formerly point man for one of the famous Black Star SEAL teams led by Admiral Jack Madison, and now the newest member of Task Force Two of TIARA, a CIA intel team used by the admiral’s special ops teams. Used to violent action when the choices were black and white, Steve was having trouble with seeing situations in shades of gray and with learning to deal with agents trained in different ways from he and his SEAL team. And that was before Marlena came along! Marlena knew Steve wasn’t the obedient kind of lackey she’d had before as soon as she saw him in the bar. But it wasn’t until he kissed her that she knew she wasn’t going to be able to control him like she had the others. He was handsome, sexy, hard-bodied, and just looking at him made her hot all over. When he kissed her, not only could she not control him, she couldn’t control herself either! And she was in the middle of a contract, and definitely didn’t need the distraction. However, she did have a couple of days to kill, so there was no reason why she couldn’t tease him just a little. And so Marlena and Steve (nicknamed Stash, after she’d searched him for the first time), passionately attracted to each other despite their secrets and their situation, begin their dance, sharing their bodies in steamy bouts of mind-blowingly incredible sex, but keeping their hearts and minds and pasts separated, hidden by careful lies and deliberate omissions. This is a densely-written, layered novel with many characters who reveal their secrets only one at a time, as one subplot after another is uncovered. It’s not a book for a light, quick read, nor one that can be picked up and put down. It requires the reader’s attention and concentration to keep characters and plot lines straight. Villains seem to surface only to be revealed as something or someone else, replaced with other villains who are equally nefarious and difficult to define. And while most of the characters are fully-realized, others seem more like cardboard cutouts, with little motivation for their actions. Still others change their stripes so often, it’s hard to follow who’s either good or bad. In addition to all that, the secrets of who is or isn’t telling the truth, and who that truth gets told to starts virtually from the first page, making analysis, which would reveal those secrets, difficult. The main characters are believable, multidimensional characters who act and react in ways that engages the reader and makes them seem very real, and the suspense between them is stretched out to the very last pages. Despite a few flaws, Into Danger is a solid, readable first novel, and one can only hope that some of her characters (especially those SEALS) show up in future books.
Joni Richards Bodart
The Romance Reader
A Romance Review:
Into Danger, Gennita Low’s debut release deserves to win awards. I’d nominate it for best first novel, best mysterious heroine and best ending.
The news is out that with the appearance of the beautiful and mysterious assassin Marlena Maxwell in DC, someone is to die. To find out who the target is and to prevent the hit, Navy Seal Steve McMillan is sent in to gather the necessary information and to hand Marlena over to the CIA.
You’ve read right. Gennita Low is living dangerously. Introducing an assassin as a heroine. And what a worthy opponent she is. Seduce the girl, get the information and hand her over are his orders. Instead Steve’s being ensnared, played and…betrayed? Definitely a novel experience for the tough SEAL, a challenge he’s planning on winning.
Female assassins and killers as heroines are an interesting concept. Not done too often, I seem to only remember Tina St. John and Suzanne Forster right now. It doesn’t always work, but Ms. Low manages to introduce her as tough, brave, intelligent but also vulnerable. So just like the hero, I wasn’t appalled or disgusted by her and her profession, instead, just like Steve, I was enthralled by Marlena’s mysterious personality and admired her for her gutsy and sharp moves.
Interesting that Ms. Low never until the very end reveals all about her heroine. Usually it’s the other way around. It’s the hero that is mysterious and dangerous. However, Ms. Low carries it off with aplomb and in style! Doesn’t mean that the hero is in any way weak or incapable of dealing with the heroine, but it’s definitely not an easy ride. Especially as not all is as it seems.
So you have two wonderful, strong and sexy characters and then Ms. Low also introduces plenty intriguing secondary characters, all of them begging to star in their own stories. Sometimes it even felt a little crowded. There is a secondary romance happening and I wish Ms. Low had let me to experience and not just watch it.
Yes, that would be my only complaint. That the whole story is told only from the hero and heroine’s point of view. A few glimpses from the outside would have made it easier reading, not as exhausting. Then again with the natural, sexy and sassy banter happening I hardly ever wanted to leave Steve and Marlena.
Into Danger is a book one shouldn’t miss. Any Cherry Adair, Linda Howard or Suzanne Brockmann reader should have Gennita Low on her list. I do!
A Romance Review