Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Fox Hunt ( The Femme Vendettas #1 ) by S. M. Stelmack

Fox Hunt by S. M. Stelmack

No good deed goes unpunished.

Brian Chanse, self-diagnosed adrenaline junkie and all-round good guy, is driving through a freak rainstorm in New Mexico when he takes pity on a hitchhiker. Little does he know that his passenger has loads more problems than mild hypothermia. It turns out that ex-cat burglar Delta Fox is running for her life. Why and from whom, she doesn’t know, but the answers lie in her old stomping grounds in L.A. After Brian outmaneuvers the Yakuza in a high-speed car chase, Delta appreciates his talents but resists his offers of help. When the Yakuza threatens his staff, however, Brian insists they team up. So begins their partnership into the L.A. underworld, into a twisted place of murder and seduction, betrayal and revenge. Between her stealth skills, his stunts and their compulsion to watch over each other, they just might survive the hunt.




This was my second book from the husband and wife duo, S. M. Stelmack. I still love Undertow more because it have the emotional punch and the characters were more complex. Fox Hunt was a fun, engaging and action-packed romantic suspense. We had a selfless and funny hero with a stoic heroine, who was on a quest to avenge her partner's death.

Brian, our hero was simply hilarious to read. He was an adrenaline junkie who owned a stunt company in Hollywood. He was such a soft-hearted sucker. I witnessed this from the countless time he gave in to a situation whereby he should walk away instead of staying. Brian was a 'Yes' man or maybe a much harsher word will be a 'doormat'. But I adored him. He was the kind of man who will save lost puppies and assist the elderly to cross the road. He was full of enthusiasm and an optimist. I wished I had someone so positive in my life. 

After the night he picked up Delta from the storm, he was caught in her dramatic life of being hunted down by the Japanese mafia. From evading cars in a high speed chase to shoot out, Brian had never felt so alive. He was quite a psycho, IMO. This was a man had no self-preservation. He was adamant to help Delta out in her quest to avenge her partner's wrongful death, no matter how hard she refused it. 

Delta was an ex-cat burglar, though she had her own code of honor. She helped people to reclaim their wealth, but never steal. Her last job that led her to becoming a fugitive was from helping a law enforcer to steal evidence. She had been hiding out and retire from the field until she found her partner, Akeno was killed from a job. Everything smell fishy and Delta was determined to right the wrong and clear her own name.

"Don't, Brian. Don't go all stupid and soft on me when you ought to be thinking straight."
His jaw hardened. "This better, Delta?"
"How about if I say, 'Get the hell out of here?'"
"Even better."

Having Brian in her life make things difficult. She knew he was a good man and she didn't want to endanger his life. But the man never seemed to take no for an answer. Their interaction was simply hilarious, with Brian caring so much about her well being, and Delta asking him to 'sod off'. Is quite a role reversal for me for read about a heroine who was more badass, stoic and in control of a situation.

"I've scheduled 'Get Naked' sessions throughout the trip, and the first one is not until we reach the bed & breakfast in Palm Springs."
"And how many of these sessions have you scheduled?"
"One every six to eight hours. Like taking a painkiller."

Is a pity that there wasn't much background story on Brian. There was mentioned that he had a big family and an ex-girlfriend. I wished they elaborate more on it or maybe let us meet his family. I guess this was a romantic suspense, and not a contemporary romance, so the author didn't have enough time to elaborate of menial things. 

I love the slow development in Brian and Delta's relationship. From strangers, they become unlikely allies, and subsequently unlikely lovers. Brian thought everything will work out fine. He couldn't care less about all the obstacle they might face with Delta being a fugitive. Delta was more sensible, a person who thought things through. She can't see any possible with him unless she right all her wrong doings. 

"You don't want my love. It's small. And hard. And poky."

Told in a multiple POV including the assassin and the villain, we got a clear idea of what was going on. So there wasn't much of a mystery going on. We simply wait for things to unfold. The assassin, Kannon Takahama was well developed and since I knew book 2 was his story, the author really did intrigued me to read it. Gina was Brian's staff and she was quite quirky character, though I felt a little reservation regarding her sexuality. 

Well, everything work out fine on the end. This is a standalone with a HEA. I love the Bonus Love Letters from Brian at the end!!

"You know you got a job at Cause & FX anytime you want. Sexual harassment guaranteed."

Rating 4/5