Full Throttle by Julie Ann Walker
This was my introduction to the Black Knights, Inc Series and I found the characters interesting and their back stories intriguing. However, this particular book, Full Throttle by Julie Ann Walker, was too full of sexual misconduct with not enough emphasis on the action.
The story begins with Abby, a nineteen year old premed college student, admiring Carlos Soto, the twin brother of her academic advisor, Rosa. Their carefree banter makes her late for a meeting at the local cafe when “boom”, the place blows up, killing Rosa and the other occupants. Once we realize that Abigail Thompson is the daughter of the upcoming President of the US, it’s easy to figure out what happened, yet Ms Walker alludes to the obvious resulting guilt as if the reader is an idiot.
Eight years later, Abby has left the field of medicine and turned to Botany (the sight of blood makes her faint). At a Horticulture Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Carlos, now known as Steady, has been assigned to discreetly protect the president’s daughter from harm. Abby has kept alive her love for this man ever since that fateful day when her father made her promise to maintain her distance from Rosa’s twin. In exchange, President Thompson has agreed to keep a close eye on Carlos, even offering him a position in the Black Knights, Inc or BKI, an elite super secret organization who answers only to POTUS. Enter a terrorist organization, a kidnapping, a rescue mission, and some unforeseen mishaps, before the “truth” emerges and the story concludes, with a promise of more adventure. There appears to be a thread that winds throughout the various books in this series, loosely tying the BKI adventures together towards one elusive adversary.
Amidst the camaraderie among the “guys” is quite a bit of sexual prowess displayed by almost all the main characters. A little less bragging and a little more action is needed to make the plot more cohesive. For example, while running through the jungle, trying to keep ahead of the murderous terrorists, the tension between the protagonists shouldn’t be sexual. Also, the random thoughts shouldn’t always consist of hard-ons or hulking body parts. Enough already. We get it – you find each other attractive, but keep it in your pants so you can get the hell out of Malaysia and into Thailand before it is too late.
Not that the readers of this series don’t like a bit of graphic sex, they obviously do or they wouldn’t be reading book #7, but the author needs be sure it fits in with the story and makes sense. And remember, too much is worse than not enough. This is supposed to be an action novel, so more action and less dithering. In addition, since the plot is relatively simple and straight forward, the climax should have arrived much earlier. I felt the storyline dragged a little in the middle. There was too much repetition in the characters’ thoughts and not enough movement.
However, there were some positive aspects which I enjoyed. My favorite part was when Abby and Steady were treated to the hospitality of an Orang Asli village. These aborigines were delightful and added a touch of humanity to the story. Of course, it’s a little far fetched to call someone a doctor who did not complete their medical school requirements, but the sentiment was heartfelt when a family was potentially cured of a debilitating disease. In addition, the final battle scene was immensely satisfying, with just enough tension to make the whole book worthwhile.
My curiosity is peaked enough to wish to compare this novel to other books in the series.
I give Full Throttle three stars and I would like to thank Sourcebooks for allowing me to read a preview in exchange for an honest review.