Night Game
Christine Feehan
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Night Game
Christine Feehan
496 pages
November 2005
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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In a nutshell, Gator Fontenot is on the hunt for Flame Johnson; what they have in common are enhanced abilities acquired through the diabolical experiments of Dr. Peter Whitney. Third in a very popular series, this ongoing drama pairs these physically enhanced but emotionally crippled people, all finding their true love (or is that TRUE LOVE), and living reasonably happily ever after.

While Christine Feehan appears to have done her research on viral therapy, she sadly misses the mark on the lingering psycho-social damage that plagues children who have been brutally abused in their early childhood. All the women in this series were bought from foreign sources, then experimented on and abused physically, emotionally, and psychically. They come out relatively intact, however, just needing to find their one true love to complete their healing. This is so far from the reality of early childhood abuse it is staggering - and certainly not romantic in any fashion.

Further, Flame, the heroine of this story, has been given cancer by Dr. Whitney, surviving a bout or two of it during her incarceration with him. The cancer is not in remission, however, making Gator's mission to bring her back to the fold of the Ghost Walkers even more urgent. He does this by tricking her, for despite her advanced mental, physical, and psychic abilities, she's not quite bright enough to make her own independent choices. The deception is born of love so, of course, is forgiven.

Maybe not forgiven by anyone who has dealt with adults trying to sort out brutal childhoods and certainly not by survivors of leukemia. In one memorable scene, Flame, who has been throwing up for several hours after a dose of chemotherapy (Feehan carefully points out that chemo has always had a bad effect on Flame), Gator appears. He duly admires her beauty despite the loss of all the hair on her head and body, even finding her loss of pubic hair exciting. Of course a tender sex scene follows.

No woman (or man either, for that matter) wants to have sex after retching all night. Only a brutal dolt would even approach a woman with such a request - for heaven's sake, the woman still had the shunt in her collarbone area for the next dose of chemo!

Feehan is a good writer; the plot is interesting and has the proper amount of twists and turns to keep a reader interested. It's her premise that needs serious work. I realize the romance genre is handcuffed by certain criteria - it is formula writing. I had not read any of her work prior to this, though she came highly recommended to me by several trusted friends. Though I found this book disappointing, I admire her talent enough to keep on eye on her and hope she breaks out of formula writing into something more worthy of her.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Pamela Crossland, 2005

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