Aidan and Liam have been partners, both in work and in life, for about two years now. They also clearly have things they both need to work on, individually and as a couple. This interested me right off the bat. They are apparently both nearing 40 and are working at life just like the rest of us.
Title: The Noblest Vengeance (Have Body, Will Guard #6)
Author: Neil S. Plakcy
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Ginny Glass
Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Bodyguard partners Aidan and Liam are deeply in love, living as expatriates in Nice, France. When Aidan’s distant cousins in Istanbul need protection from dangerous adversaries he and Liam are on the the next plane to Turkey – but the real danger to their relationship may come from their very different ideas about family connections. Can their love withstand assassins with a deadly secret to keep hidden – and Liam’s foul-mouthed mother?
Also right off the bat, it was obvious to see that Mr. Plakcy enjoys detail. A lot of detail. Often times there was too much and it slowed the pace of the story enough to give it an uneven feel. Examples are things like discussing a seamstress for a leather vest with a ripped seam, one of them teasing the other about having no kindle meant no joy, and tips on packing so that clothing doesn’t wrinkle. Some detail is definitely good, necessary, in allowing the reader to get to know the characters and paint the physical scenes, but not when it takes away from that painting itself.
I do like the international settings: Paris, described wonderfully, personally; Istanbul, intriguing and mysterious; and then mixed in are settings in the States.
We get alternating points of view between Aidan and Liam. They’re clearly marked so there is no true head hopping. It’s interesting, Liam mentions how he thinks Aidan has issues to work out but Liam is the one with some hang-ups. Characters can be, and are, definitely flawed and Liam is carrying around several flaws of his own. Like many people, these make him appear judgmental but are instead ways to shield his own insecurities. I think Aidan understands this on some level.
This is a talented writer, and anyone who has read any of his books would more than likely agree with me. It feels like he enjoys the leisurely pace of regular life detail while trying to tell an intriguing, danger-filled and diversely populated story. Unfortunately, any momentum built during any intense action or revelatory dialogue scenes gets doused by that detail. The exception comes during the last 15% or so of the book.
Ishak and Havva are two of the supporting characters and are integral to the story. They are a part of the family Aidan and Liam are assigned to protect. I like these two a lot. Ishak is gay and a cross dresser and his sister is the only one in their family (they are from Turkey) who accepts every part of Ishak. To me, more than Liam and Aidan sometimes, they were the more interesting arc in the story. The relationship between Havva and Ishak is loving, strong and openly supportive. I very much liked the way their storyline evolved. Definitely elements of family in this book, both with this one and Liam’s.
In an attempt to solve the mystery around the family, Aidan works on their family tree, looking for clues and connections. Again, a lot of detail, but I find genealogy very interesting and engaging. Even though this was about fictitious characters, it was all logically presented and fun to watch Aidan work through the lines and branches.
The story took a slight turn and unexpectedly so. I liked it. Along with genealogy, we get some familial and cultural history added to the mix. At this point, I was still waiting for the larger story to take off but I was enjoying the read.
Liam is impatient with everyone. The things he’s not dealing with are influencing his short temper. Can we say transference, anyone? Finally, some forward movement with the characters and their emotional motivations.
As I mentioned above, the last 15% or so of the story does pick up and maintain a good pace, telling us more about all of these characters and revealing realistic and impactful resolutions.
The few glimpses I saw of the tenderness and true caring between Aidan and Liam were wonderful, honest and fulfilling. It felt like I didn’t get much of that during the story, which meant not a lot of progress in their relationship. Since this is a series, I’m hopeful there will be a next book with more of that. I’m curious enough to add it to my list and give it a whirl if there is. 🙂
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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