Series: Blood Brothers #1
Published by Forever on October 4th 2016
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Under siege. That's how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can't outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he's been trying to keep at arm's length is in danger...and he'll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.
Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She's making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There's a lot Ryker isn't telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn't catch up to them first...
Having read Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series, the transition to this is seamless, only because the plot is familiar in ways that echoes in the other books. There are groups of boys experimented on; they develop special abilities, some more than others and they’re scattered throughout the country, all of them in some sort of confusion and doubt about this traumatic past. ‘Deadly Silence’ isn’t military-focused nor is it very strong on the paranormal side, but there are many things going on—seemingly unrelated events that fill in the gaps of a boys-home childhood and a growing ‘romance’ that starts past the casual relationship that Ryker and Zara have gotten going when the book begins.
But familiarity breeds contempt as well; I think what bothered me is the rinse-and-repeat feel of the story: a pairing of a dominant (who should belong in a BDSM club) whose crazy personality overwhelms a woman trying to be strong and independent, a blood-forged relationship with other men and an ongoing plot to uncover just what had been done to them years earlier.
I liked Zara well enough, thought her brave, compassionate and strong enough considering the kind of macho males we’re dealing with. The neanderthal male ‘hero’—if that is really the word to use here—however, bothered me the most: possessive to the point of being controlling and demanding, always at the edge of losing his temper and control, asking for Zara’s complete trust and disclosure when he wouldn’t offer up his own past and secrets, then uses sex to get her to capitulate and manipulate when she refuses. Surely there has to be a limit to the definition of ‘protective tendencies’? I was horrified by this behaviour even in fiction—in real life, this would be reported to the police for stalkerish behaviour (with a restraining order in place) and it’d be a relationship I’d be in a hurry to be rid of.
What kind of man says and does these things to a woman? I think it’s one from whom she should get far away as possible.
Yet I read on, engaged by the plot and sub-plots more than I could stomach Ryker, going through the ill-timed sex scenes that put the suspense down a notch because Ryker needed yet again to convince Zara with a heavy hand on her bits that she needed him for protection, as though good sex is the cure-all. The ending got somewhat insane, with the bad guys shaping out to be caricatures with very little shades of grey in between and still not getting caught.
So the saga lives on, only because the bad guys can’t seem to die and will continue to pose a threat throughout the series.
I’m not quite giving up, but I’ll tread with caution, because Zanetti and her writing can do so much better.