The Maximum Security series has been very hit or miss for me. THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL has broken that trend, mostly because this was the most “meh” romantic suspense book I’ve read recently. Jessie Kegan hires her deceased brother’s best friend Brandon Garrett to help her solve the mystery of her father’s death and protect her from the people suddenly shooting at her.
The pros: I liked Brandon more than most Kat Martin heroes. He was alpha without beating the heroine over the head with a club caveman-style (metaphorically). The action was spot on, and the suspense storyline had lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing. I also really enjoyed that Jessie and Brandon had to delve into their fundamental differences with their relationships. It wasn’t insta-lust or love (although it happened quickly) and they had some difficult conversations before they got their HEA.
The cons: Where the book really fell apart for me was how Jessie’s trauma and grief were dealt with. So her brother and father and mother are dead, but that’s not enough trauma? She also was kidnapped and sexually abused by a bad guy (before the start of the book), which didn’t add to the overall story. I felt like the author was using the heroine’s former sexual abuse to add depth to Jessie. It was a cheap ploy. Plus (spoiler), the hero heals her with his magic penis and zip ties. Generally, I am okay with this relationship device, but this particular sexual healing moment had me rolling my eyes.
In addition, while the mystery had lots of twists and turns, there were too many darn characters! I couldn’t keep them all straight. The different groups, the red herrings, the secondary good-guy characters almost overwhelmed the plot at times.
Overall, this book is a fine read if you’re looking for some fast-paced escape reading and magic sexual healing, but I have read much, much better romantic suspense novels and much better Kat Martin novels.
**I received a free copy of this book in order to provide an honest review**