The Book Worm: Review: Shattered Duty, by Katie Reus

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Shattered Duty, by Katie Reus

katie reus, shattered duty, book reviews


When his wife was murdered two years ago, Special Agent Levi Lazaro turned his back on everything he cared about. Ever since, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. Now he's finally uncovered the identities of those who killed his wife—and he's ready to destroy them at any cost. He won’t let anything stand in his way—not even a beautiful NSA agent on a mission of her own.

Special Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Her fearlessness and quick-thinking make her the perfect person to take down a deadly terrorist cell. But she needs Levi’s help, and the moment he shows up, Selene knows her objectivity—and her heart—are in trouble.

As the two strike an uneasy alliance, Levi finds himself tormented by his desire for Selene—a feeling he thought long dead. But when their mission takes an unexpected turn, he finds himself at a crossroads. Can he put aside his need for revenge to save the woman who’s reawakened his soul?
Genre: romantic suspense

Publishing date: June 2015

Offensive content: a lot of physical violence and a threat of bio-terrorism.  Some hot kisses and one sex scene that goes on over several pages, unnecessary long and graphic in my opinion. Too much use of the F-word. Again, unnecessary.

This was the first book I read out of my vacation reading list. There was no special reason for it to go first other than I really liked the cover. I also really wanted to like the story. And I almost did. Almost. But there were several details that seriously held me off. 

Let's start with what I did like. The storyline is good. The prologue and the first three chapters threw me a bit off because they seem totally unrelated to each other, but you'll see the connections later in the book. This is a fast, action packed story, so you'll be on edge the whole time, waiting for the next development. The technical terms, weapons info and tech gizmos seem accurate enough, so the author knows what she's talking about. I also liked both main characters, Levi and Selene, though I feel that I failed to connect with them. It's hard to put it in writing, but it's like there was a link that I missed somewhere. I liked Selene the best, because she's the more focused of the two, even if she's younger and more unexperienced than Levi.

So if the book has action, suspense, romance and a happy ending, why didn't it click with me then?

Well, to tell the truth, reading this story is a bit like watching a Mission: Impossible movie. It's an awesome entertainment, but you know that most of what's happening is show off and not realistic. If I can't believe half of it, it won't work for me. And I seriously doubt that US governmental agencies send agents into action based on hunches, anonymous tips and the like without at least confirming the details, agents operating in the dark with about half and hour of preparation can plan and execute an op so cleanly, etc. They are all too fast, too perfect and too coordinated to be believable.

Levi supposedly has been off NSA's radar for two years but he has several aliases, access to loads of money, several secured houses just in Miami alone and has even built several businesses, legit and otherwise, to provide cover for his aliases. All this from a man who fled from the right side of the law after his wife was murdered. The sheer amount of resources he would need to pull that trough is not consistent with him operating alone and off radar. Sorry, but I don't buy it. 

Then there are several contradictions in the book. They are minor, but I have a photographic memory and this sort of things really irks me. For example, Dr. Schmidt, the scientist that is being held captive by Tasev, the bad guy, manages to send a message to the NSA from his lab using an iPad. But later, when the rescue mission arrives at that same lab, they lose all communications with the outside because there is some electronic device blocking all signals. They how could Schmidt have sent the message in the first place? There may, of course, be a simple explanation, but since none is offered, it's just another detail weakening the plot. Oh, and I'm not buying that a two year old girl taken away from the foster parents that were the only family she's know in her life would behave so well with less than a week to adjust to virtual strangers. I have kids, so that's something you cannot convince me of. And there are more glitches just like this along the book, if you're paying close attention. 

And as to the romance. it falls short too, in my opinion. Levi has been on a mission for the past two years to catch Tasev, the man he believes ordered the death of his wife and unborn child. He hasn't even looked at another woman in two years. Yet he takes one look at Selene and wants to take her to bed. Like, right now. I can go with attraction at first sight. But instant lust? Seems a bit of an overkill under the circumstances. Then, when they finally have sex, the description takes over so many pages, in so much detail, that I was bored half way through. Just get on with it! Taking into account that the whole story takes place over no more than a couple of action paced days, I also don't see that they are suddenly, hopelessly in love with each other. I'm not saying it can't happen. But there is no build up in the story, no true romance. Just instant lust, then sex, and, after a bit more action/suspense, the happily ever after. Nope, not buying that either.

This is book 3 in the Deadly Ops series, and I haven't read any of the other books, so maybe my problem with the characters comes from there. Especially with the huge array of secondary characters. Maybe I should try to read books one and two to check it out, though for now I'm sticking with the rest of my vacation reading list.

I was on the fence between giving Shattered Duty 3 or 4 stars. While from an action point on view it could probably get away with 4 stars, due to everything I explained above, I'm sticking with 3 stars. So, if you have plenty of time to read, like fast, action packed books and are not bothered by a few inconsistencies, go for it. 

Happy reading!


  1. Great book review! This definitely would be a help in deciding whether this book was for the reader or not. Thanks for sharing at #OMHGWW this week!


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