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REVIEW: Hush by Cherry Adair

Dear Ms Adair,

Somehow I’ve managed to go this far without reading one of your books. Amazing, I know. I was surprised too when it dawned on me. But I’m afraid that “Hush,” despite the parts I liked, probably won’t turn me into a fan for life. Just too many woo-woo and WTF moments while I was along for the rocket fueled ride.

Hush by Cherry AdairZak Starke and his brother Gideon are adrenaline junkies in the jungle of Venezuela for another of their crazy, risk taking stunts. Why not since they have more money than many small countries. But when armed men wake him up in his hotel room, along with the hot babe he spent the night with, then kidnap him, her and his brother, things turn into a clusterfuck. Driven for hours into the jungle then held in primitive jail cells, Zak knows that as much as he doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s life, he’s now in charge of saving himself, his injured brother and Acadia Gray.

Acadia is so far out of her comfort zone it’s like she’s in another solar system. Dared by her friends to come along on this trip, she’d decided to throw caution to the wind for a one night hookup with a hot guy she knew she’d never see again. Only now she’s stuck with him and his brother in a jungle hell hole and not sure she’s going to survive. Luckily for them all, she’s worked in a sporting goods store for years and came prepared – and the kidnappers dismissed her as an airhead blonde and didn’t search her.

Once they make a break for it, there’s still hundreds of miles of jungle to traverse and armed men after them. And though Zak is aware that without Acadia they’d never have got this far, he still wants to get back to civilization, ditch her get her to safety as quickly as possible and start figuring out who’s behind this elaborate plan. One problem, the thugs are still after them and everywhere they turn, it seems like things get worse.

I said rocket fueled and I meant it. The story starts with a bang up opening scene that, as a woman, had me cringing for Acadia even as the momentum started to build. The disorienting events continue to spiral faster as I learn from the description of the jungle that this is a place I never want to go. Eight inch tarantulas? I’ll pass. The statistics Acadia reels off about the kidnapping and murder rate there also strengthen my resolve to be an armchair visitor to the area.

The romance between these two is actually something that works well for me. Yes, they do go at it as much as bonobo monkeys even after a gunshot wound and days of exhausting jungle travel fleeing from armed killers but, by the end of the book, I believe that somehow these two have found in each other that lifelong someone. That somehow they’ve gone from hot sexing, to actually disliking each other to grudging acceptance to true care and end with “s/he’s the one!”

I do love the fact that despite Zak being all he-man and testosteroned up, it’s Acadia and her travel vest of goodies and headful of information that initially act as their “get out of jail” card. And her ability to play Texas Hold ‘Em. From the number of times that you mention the specific name of this fabulous travel vest, I did wonder if you were getting product placement money. As they hiked and macheted their way to freedom with no insect repellent and drank from streams along the way, I was also amazed that they didn’t end up with chagas disease, leishmaniasis or schistosomiasis.

A Swiss army knife will only get you so far and eventually Zak has to call on outside help. Isn’t it nice that he knows somebody who seems to have invented black ops? And that he’s got a shitload of money from the internet search engine company he helped invent. That’ll get you all kinds of safe houses in Caracas as well as Blackhawk helicopters. It’s along in here that my suspension of belief started to raise an eyebrow. When Zak discovers his newfound talent, my s-o-b groaned. And when the final batshit crazy villain is revealed, my s-o-b stood there, hands on hips, and said “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!”

And that is why, even though I read the whole book in one day, and enjoyed the romance relationship, and felt like I was on one of those roller coaster rides that flips you upside down and backwards, I am grading this book an average C grade because the WTFuckery is just too much.

~Jayne

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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

23 Comments

  1. Son
    May 26, 2011 @ 06:12:47

    Hmmm, I liked her first couple of romantic suspense books (Kiss and Tell, for example), but then things became very, very silly.

    I’m programmed to hate anything where ‘blonde’ is used as another word for ‘stupid’. It pisses me off.

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  2. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 06:38:36

    @Son:Well, things become very, very silly here too. And the fact that Acadia is dismissed as a dumb blonde, though she’s anything but, actually saves their asses if that makes any difference.

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  3. Jane
    May 26, 2011 @ 07:22:03

    This actually sounds like something I might like. But the cover with the sword???

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  4. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 07:38:27

    @Jane: That’s what I initially thought too but actually I think that’s a machete and Zak and Acadia do use one to slash their way through the jungle so it makes sense.

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  5. Eboni-Rai
    May 26, 2011 @ 07:55:23

    I’ve been seeing this book quite a bit & was waffling about reading it. I’m not big on romantic suspense, but I’m always looking for something new. They always seems to be an uber rich Macgyver that’s saving some poor unsuspecting woman. They always manage to have hot sex, while dodging the Big Bad. Paranormals & fantasy also have this, but it works for me there. I’m getting a little burned out on the fantasy, but I guess I’ll have to keep looking. Thanks for the review.

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  6. joanne
    May 26, 2011 @ 07:59:13

    Ms Adair was on my ‘beach reads’ list once upon a time. Guilty Pleasure books! I admit that I can only take one or two of that type book in a year and I lost track of her as an author.

    I don’t remember her stories/characters but I did enjoy the WTF moments and the fact that she set her heroines in places that would normally be reserved for Sylvester Stallone. I may pick this one up.

    Nice review Jayne, thank you.

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  7. Helen
    May 26, 2011 @ 08:01:02

    I actually loved this book. It hearkened back to the days of jungle adventure romances. Way back when I first started reading romances they were everywhere and then they practically disappeared. An occasional one will pop up but I miss the months where I could buy one a week! I think my favorite movie of all time kickstarted it “Romancing the Stone”. Ah, those were the days. I actually got that Joan Wilder feel from the main character. If you loved that movie/book I’d give this book a try.

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  8. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 08:07:33

    @Eboni-Rai: Yeah, the book is filled with what seems to be annoying you so I think looking elsewhere is a smart move.

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  9. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 08:10:54

    @joanne: This is perfect escape reading. And if you don’t think the WTF stuff will bother you, I’d jump right in. Do all her books have WTF stuff?

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  10. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 08:12:48

    @Helen: Now see, if it were just jungle escapes, I would have enjoyed it more. And I love your comparison to “Romancing the Stone” (but with sex). It was all the stuff at the end which derailed it for me.

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  11. joanne
    May 26, 2011 @ 08:46:14

    @Jayne: I certainly can’t speak for all her books but the few I read had them by the bucketfuls.

    For me this author was like indulging in too much chocolate; fun for the sugar rush but the hangover is daunting and I needed a good dose of something less fanciful to get beyond it. No harm, no foul, just fun once in a while.

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  12. dick
    May 26, 2011 @ 09:16:21

    What’s not to like? It was fast-paced, full of action, had some wit, and lots of imagination. Completely believable? Hell, no, but sure was a good read.

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  13. May
    May 26, 2011 @ 09:21:43

    This book was a big fail for me. The “WTFuckery” was too much for me, but more than that I felt like the beginning was rockin’… and then it all fell to shit.
    Had she kept up the pace and excitement that she started with, I could have loved this one. Instead it went from exciting to “yeah I get it, he’s near death but still poppin’ wood and she still has the vest with pockets”.

    I do LOVE a good adventure in the jungle romance – this wasn’t it.

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  14. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 09:29:10

    @May: ROTFL. May, your descritpion almost had me snorting coffee. Thank you for my morning laugh.

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  15. kcstone
    May 26, 2011 @ 09:34:43

    I loved the book. So much fun. Not as quite good as her T-Flac series but darned tootin close.

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  16. JacquiC
    May 26, 2011 @ 09:55:55

    I also loved this book (except the ending which made no sense to me at all). The pace was great, and the WTF moments were definitely plentiful (mostly, I just thought they were funny, and went “oh well” while diving back into the story). I guess I can get past all the WTF-ery because I simply expect it to be there, and view these books as pure trashy indulgence (an antidote to all the serious reading I do at work…). Since my expectations are low, I can just appreciate the relationship between the protagonists, which I think was well done. I agree with those who say they can’t survive on a diet made up exclusively of this author’s books, but that they are a fun diversion in small doses.

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  17. Janet P.
    May 26, 2011 @ 10:22:46

    @Jayne “Do all her books have WTF stuff? ”

    Recently very much so. The earlier one Undertow was even worse than this one. I think that Adair suffers from just trying to throw one or two too many WTFs into her books. I mean this one had the jungle romp, the google-type billionaire brothers, the vest of never ending survival gear … adding in the sudden onset of psychic abilities just sends it into the beyond and that’s before the reader even gets to the big reveal of the villain behind the whole thing.

    You just have to go into with a sense of humor and acceptance I think or you are going to hate it.

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  18. Mary G
    May 26, 2011 @ 12:08:28

    I totally loved this book and so did many in my various reading groups.I love that Acadia’s vest saved the day for Mr. Aplha Hero. I want one! The psychic thing didn’t bother me since I loved her Edge Brothers series. While I hated what happened at the end, I’m going to have faith that it was left that way for a sequel (better be the reason!!)

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  19. Emily
    May 26, 2011 @ 17:26:48

    I have a thing about books set in the jungle or otherwise rough terrain. I’m really not a fan. I think it has something to do with my absolute aversion to the idea of camping. Not just camping, the IDEA of camping.

    I gave a couple of Cherry Adair books a whirl and she just didn’t make a fangirl out of me. Good review!

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  20. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 18:13:37

    @Mary G: Oh, you and I both know what’s going to happen in a future book based on “the way it was left.” ;)

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  21. Jayne
    May 26, 2011 @ 18:20:31

    @Emily: Haha! I’m not a camping fan either but strangely I do enjoy reading about *other* people roughing it. From the comfort of my nice suburban house that is.

    I’m afraid based on this book and everyone’s comments that WTFery is standard Adair fare that I won’t be reading any more of her books.

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  22. LEW
    May 27, 2011 @ 15:55:30

    I enjoyed this book, as I do most of Adair’s books. I completely agree that there was just one or two too many WTF moments for a higher grade, but I expect that by many Romance suspense authors. Romance suspense is my favorite subgenera by far, and I’ve read just about all of Adair’s backlist (except her T-Flack/psy, since I don’t do paranormal – which is why the awakening of the psy connection is something I could have done without). Generally when I read romances (RS in particular), I just want to escape and have fun – something Adair’s books allow me to do. This wasn’t her best for me, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

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  23. Samantha
    May 28, 2011 @ 21:27:46

    I actually enjoyed this one myself. I didn’t bother thinking to hard about it though and just went for the ride :) I liked the romance between the two main characters and the action kept me turning pages. I’m curious to see what the author will do next with this storyline considering it is supposed to be the beginning of a series. Anyways, nice review!

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