The House of Steele
by Addison Fox
Book #3: The Rome Affair | Rating: 2.5 Stars
Book #4: The Manhattan Encounter | Rating: 3.0 Stars
See Also: June 2017 Packaged Thoughts // includes short reviews for:
- Book #1: The Paris Assignment | Rating: 3.0 Stars
- Book #2: The London Deception | Rating: 4.0 Stars
The House of Steele series is enjoyable. I'd say that it's a great set of books to pass the time... though that might pretty much be it. The writing style is smooth and progressive, the outlining of the stories are fast-paced, and characters are interesting up to a point.
And, in some strange fashion, the siblings and their significant others all seem to make better side characters than they did main characters. Is that strange? For instance, I find that I liked Campbell and his weird quirks a lot more in the last book, The Manhattan Encounter, as the computer geek younger brother, rather than when he was the main character of his own book, The Paris Assignment--wherein he was the broody computer geek with a hot bod. Maybe seeing the characters from a different perspective...?
Anyway, as with the first two books, I decided to package away the last two books into a duo review... if only because I really don't have much to say other than some random rumblings.
But, once again, The House of Steele series is an enjoyable one.
Jack Andrews has once again snatched a covetable job from the House of Steele. But now that the assignment has gotten complicated, he must call upon the last person he wants to ask for help: Kensington Steele. Jack never flinches at danger, but working side by side with his fascinating, sexy competitor might be more than he can handle.
When the assignment brings them to the Italian vineyard of a corrupt diplomat, Kensington vows to keep things professional, even if working as a team fans the flames of their mutual desire. But once a murderer begins stalking them, they realize getting close may be the only way they'll survive….
Entertaining, but not really all that memorable, The Rome Affair actually had some potential to be loved by yours truly. After all, our main couple finds themselves in an undercover assignment together, and at times need to pretend to be enamored with each other. Of course, with the insta-lust, this isn't a problem for them--typical of any and all contemporary romances, doncha know.
Anyway, I've stated it before, there are a lot of things that rankle me in romances, and one of the top things is when our main male character declares, in all his arrogance, that he and his leading lady will end up having sex at some point, no matter how many times the main female character denies that this will happen, and gives him all sorts of back off signals.
"This is a ridiculous conversation. Only I choose whom I share my bed with." Her words were flat but the clear notes of irritation sparked underneath each syllable.
"Then you know damn well the next man you share it with is going to be me."
It dearly rankles me, because, despite Kensington's contrary tone at times, she puts it this way:
The statement that she'd share his bed as if it were a fait accompli. Or worse, as if she had no choice in the matter.
Which is what's significant to me. The men in these romances announce their intentions, and leave no room for discussion or argument. Um... maybe actually make sure the woman is willing first?
I get that this is supposed to be some sort of weird, attractive, bad boy slash caveman thing that a lot of woman love--the thing about decisive and assertive men and all--but I, personally, would actually be quite put off by a man who thinks he's already got a sure thing by just saying so. Which is why this is one of my top most disliked types of romances. It may not be a physical forcing of sex onto another individual, but it certainly reeks of disrespecting the others' wishes.
Which is why, despite the book being fast-paced and enjoyable to an extent, The Rome Affair didn't do it for me. And also, unfortunately, as I already stated, the book isn't really all that memorable, and maybe even a little over-dramatic with it's ending.
I read this book for Booklikes-opoly in Summer 2017.
Roll #15: (See Also: Memorial Day Weekend Extra Roll Activities)
Book title begins with a letter found in the word 'Frontier.'
Page Count: 284
Cash Award: +$3.00
Bank increased to $70.00 with this read.
He'd faced down madmen with guns, hunted thieves and jumped off buildings for fun. So why is Liam Steele at his wit's end when Dr. Isabella Magnini needs his protection? The brilliant and beautiful scientist's work is revolutionary, and someone wants to keep her insights secret—no matter what it costs.
When the House of Steele comes together to protect Isabella, Liam realizes just how isolated he's truly become. And as he and Isabella dodge bullets, fires and even an invasion, he knows he's in more danger than ever. Because how will he ever let her go?
In all honesty, I'm going to have to admit that there really wasn't anything all that memorable about The Manhattan Encounter. Enjoyable and exciting as it was, I'm finding it hard to recall anything I liked about this book, outside of the short, peaceful interlude of the entire House of Steele siblings and their significant others having a good ol' time just harping at each other during dinners and lunches.
But otherwise, the book itself was actually kind of lackluster, in spite of all the sci-fi-lite scientific work that Dr. Isabella Magnini presents to us, and in spite of all the deaths and explosions. Yes. There were deaths, explosions, bullets flying, and a fire... and still, not that exciting. Maybe because the book was trying way too hard to give off a feeling of urgency or danger to our MC doctor.
The romance was serviceable, in terms of a romantic suspense love story. Liam is a grade A jackass at the beginning, but he readjusts his attitude when he realizes that he's being unfair to Isabella. And Isabella is pretty much that almost absentminded professor type of science person, but still encompasses the characteristic traits of a typical romance novel heroine.
At the very least, she's a facts-based person, and will admit to her own short-failings, but will also stand up against any undeserved criticism from the people around her. I would have liked to explore more about her life and her back story, honestly, since it was peppered with so much tragedy.
The ending ties up the book nicely, and I DO like, as stated above, how this last book brings all the Steele siblings into the picture, with their significant others, to work a case that was obviously meant to be a BIG DRAMATIC final book in the House of Steele series. Of course, while events felt big and dramatic, I'm not sure I picked up that vibe, really.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself. I breezed through the book. I've finished the series.
And I'm still going to continue reading books by Addison Fox.
I read this book for Booklikes-opoly in Summer 2017.
This book is set in a city (two cities, even) with a subway, and has one scene of travel by air.
Page Count: 283
Cash Award: +$6.00
Bank increased to $115 with this read.