The Book Worm: Review: Total Surrender, by Rebecca Zanetti

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Total Surrender, by Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti, Total Surrender, book review

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A fight he must win . . .
Piper Oliver knows she can't trust him. They warned her that the tall, dark, and sexy black-ops soldier Jory Dean would try to win her over with his steel-gray eyes and deadly charm, but she won't be conned by this man they call a traitor. All she has to do is figure out the science necessary to save his life, and she's done. Something isn't adding up, though, and she won't rest until she uncovers the truth-even if it's buried in his deep, dangerous kiss.

A passion she can't resist . . .
Jory will do anything to reunite with and save his brothers-even kidnap the gorgeous woman who's working to deactivate the deadly chip in their spines. But the forces determined to destroy his family won't let them go so easily. Keeping Piper alive is more than he bargained for-and so is his burning desire for her. But with every second bringing him closer to certain death, can he afford to lose himself in her hot and willing embrace?

Genre: contemporary romance

Publishing date: March 2015

Offensive content: violence and a few sex scenes, a bit too graphic in my opinion.

Review: 
I'm on the fence about this book. I'm not sure if I should love it or hate it. I saw it recommended on Amazon back in March, when it was published and it had been sitting on my reading list for a while when I decided to pick it up, right before the beginning of our vacation. 

Unfortunately, when I purchased it I must have missed that this book four in the Sin Brothers series. By the time I had read about one third of the book I began to realize I was clearly missing something important, mostly about Jory's brothers and their wifes/girlfriends, and went back to Amazon to research it in more detail.

What did I like? The story is unusual, to say the least. I've classified it as contemporary romance, but this is really a mix of contemporary, with military romance, a bit of science fiction and some suspense thrown in. Jory and his brothers are genetically enhanced soldiers created by the Commander, the leader of an obscure organization whose final purpose I failed to grasp. The whole setting vaguely reminds me of those eighties action movies with great cliffhanger scenes and a lot of things happening at the same time. The fact that I was always curious about what would happen next kept me interested in the book until the end. 

What I didn't like: I didn't like Piper. She's a grow up woman often behaving as a moody, brooding 15 year old. One second she's saying she can't trust Jory, that he's like a robotic killing machine, and the in the next one she's thinking he's sex on a stick and actually having sex with him. Unprotected sex with a guy whose genes were created in laboratory. Creepy, to say the least. Having worked for the NSA, I also could not digest Piper's naivety in relation to the Commander (even though he's her biological father) and the stories he tells her about his work for the US government and Jory selling military secrets to the Russians. The cold war ended a while ago, so that line is clearly outdated. 

Like I said above, I never really understood the purpose of the Commander's organization, who they worked for and what was their ultimate goal. The story is mainly focused on Jory's escape and the Dean brother's revenge against the man who created them. But probably I totally missed this because I did not read the previous books in the series. 

The surgeries performed at the end to remove the chips the Commander implanted in the brothers and that will kill them if not removed are totally not convincing. Spitting on an open wound to clear the blood and get better visibility is not, I hope, a common medical procedure. 

I also thought all women in the story were way too submissive to their husbands/lovers. Probably the title of the book should have been a hint, but I kind of like the heroines to have a bit more of backbone. 

I would not recommend you to read this book without reading the previous ones, though, because it clearly does not perform well as a stand alone. Still, all in all, the story is interesting, if you focus on the general picture and don't dwell too much on the details. It has a 5-stars rating on Amazon, so I'm probably really missing something.

When I can find a bit of free time, I'll probably try to read book 1 in the series and see if that helps. And maybe then I can come back here and improve the rating of Total Surrender, but for now I'm sticking with just 3 stars. 

Happy reading!


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