Book Review: Built to Last by Julie Ann Walker

August 20, 2018 Book Reviews 2

Book Review: Built to Last by Julie Ann Walker

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Built to Last by Julie Ann Walker
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks on July 3, 2018
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Wild Ride, Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three

Twelfth (and last in the series with this cast of characters) in the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series set in Chicago and revolving around a covert government ops team hiding in plain sight as high-end motorcycle designers. The couple focus is on Jamin “Angel” Agassi and Sonya Butler.

My Take

Do pay attention to all that fidgeting Sonya does. Whoo-wee. It’s an odd sort of foreshadowing. I must confess I was irritated with Sonya throughout most of the book. She comes across as rather inept, naive, whines a lot about the past, and is always wearing the wrong shoes. As for her reactions under fire…I can’t believe she ever was with Interpol! I mean, even if she primarily works more as a politician than an operator, surely she’s hung out around the water cooler and fantasized a few times?? I guess she’s just been reading the wrong books, if she can’t figure out where Grafton’s little chat will lead.

I do have to confess that I had this need to bypass all the whining and get to the good stuff, the action…no! Not the sex. The hai-yah kind of action *grin*

It’s that third person global subjective point-of-view that really rubs in all the whining, as we hear, primarily, Sonya’s and Angel’s thoughts, as well as Ace’s insistence on staying out of the closet and that any future partner must be as well. He has no intention of going through that hospital nightmare again! Rusty, of course, has his own views on that closet, which we hear. And, of course, Grafton slithers his thoughts out there too…yuck… That man scared me and needs to be taken down!! Talk about scum of the earth…whew…

I guess his character was what made me really enjoy the way Angel reacted to Grafton. I do wish we’d had even more of his “lip”, lol. Of course, Angel’s confidence and moves had me “swooning” as well, *more laughter*

Pace-wise, it was a lot of slow, then a little fast, for the reasons I’ve already mentioned, yet it is a sweet story that made me a bit sad.

Of course all the BKI boys are as snarky as ever with their skills intact. Walker gives us a rundown of where everyone will be once BKI shuts down. It’s sad to realize this is the end…until that last page. Oh, yeah! It’ll be different, but fun.

The Story

It’s but a part of a long-term mission to recover ten more enriched uranium canisters that finds Jamin “Angel” Agassi slipping under the radar to be “ensnared” by the blackmailing Lord Grafton.

Angel thought he was prepared for anything…until he encounters Sonya Butler, a love from his past, who begins to suspect this rogue agent of being more than he claims. Something about Angel tells her he’s more than he seems, and sometimes, when she least expects it, he reminds her of a man she used to know…

The Characters

Passionate about classic books, Sonya Butler was with Interpol ten years ago, but has since fallen from grace. During those ten years, she’s added Italian to her repertoire of five languages that include English, Hebrew, French, and Arabic.

Jamin “Angel” Agassi, a.k.a., the Prince of Shadows, is really Majid Abass, a nuclear scientist. No, wait, he’s actually Mark Risa, a Mossad agent who spoke four languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, and a little Yiddish. Wait… Divinity is the name of his bike.

Black Knights, Inc. is…
…a world-renowned custom chopper shop based in Chicago with Frank “Boss” Knight, a former SEAL, as their leader. He’s married to Becky “Rebel” Reichert, the lead motorcycle designer (In Rides Trouble, 2). Ethan “Ozzie” Sykes is the BKI on-site computer whiz; Samantha is his investigative reporter fiancée (Wild Ride, 9). Colby “Ace” Ventura is an ex-Navy pilot; his husband, Air Force Major Glen Brogan had been the love of his life. The Cajun, Richard “Rock” Babineaux keeps proposing to Vanessa Cordova (Thrill Ride, 4). Nate “Ghost” Weller is a former Marine sergeant and sniper; he’s married to Alisa (Hell on Wheels, 1). Emily Scott, ex-CIA, is the BKI office manager and with Christian Watson, former SAS (Hot Pursuit, 11). Jake “the Snake” Sommers is with Michelle who works as a pharmaceutical rep (Rev It Up, 3). Wild Bill is with Eve Edens who is working on her doctoral thesis (Born Wild, 5). Bryan “Mac” McMillan and Delilah Fairchild were in Hell for Leather, 6. Carlos “Steady” Soto is the team medic, and his wife, Abby, is a botanist (Full Throttle, 7). Dan “The Man” Currington has found his happily ever after with Penni (Too Hard to Handle, 8) and their baby girl, Cora May. Dagan Zoelner has hooked up with Chelsea who is the BKI liaison with the CIA (Fuel for Fire, 10). Manus Connelly is one of the four brothers who man the BKI front gates. Peanut is the way-too-fat mascot.

Rusty “Bloodhound” Parker is an ex-Marine and now a cod fisherman in England… and temporarily a member of BKI. He’s also in the closet as he doesn’t want to disappoint his parents, Gary and Sylvia.

Thompson is the former president of the United States, and when he was leaving office, he set up a trust for one more year to keep BKI going when he left office, to fulfill one more job.

Asad, Lord Grafton, a.k.a., Spider, is the king of the underworld behind closed doors and vice chairman of the Conservative Party and a controlling owner in Land Stakes Corporation in public. Sharif Garane had been his son (In Rides Trouble, 2). Phelps is his butler. Benton Currothers is a young (and brilliant) computer hacker, a surrogate son you could say. Captain Wilfred is the pilot. Lou Cox is the head of Grafton’s No-Necks, er, I mean, security detail. He and Charles Gibson and Gordy Mills are the bodyguards who fly to Romania with them along with Richie, his driver. Luke Winterfield had been a rogue CIA agent in Grafton’s employ. Harold Ellis is the team leader of one of Grafton’s stand-by units.

Chişinău, Moldova, is…
…a poor town in Romania. Igor Grosu is the middleman. Victor Popov is Angel’s contact for the uranium at the Graffiti Café. AC/Dickmunch is a pimply East Ender and part of Al Qaeda.

Mossad is…
…the famed Israeli national intelligence agency. Ramsad is the head of Mossad.

Interpol…
…does not directly investigate nor prosecute. It does promote cooperation and communication between policing units from different countries. Zhao Longwei is the president of Interpol.

Al Qaeda is…
…a Muslim terrorist organization which is grooming Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s son, to take the reins.

The Cover and Title

The cover is is a black-and-white photo of a gorgeous guy with a bit of scruff on his chin, leaning against something and wearing a black T-shirt and jeans that fade behind the author’s name at the bottom in a white to slight pink gradation. The title uses a distressed font in hot pink and is centered across his chest with some stylized flames flaring out behind the “L”. A white italic slips in between the author’s first names and last for a bit of an info blurb. There’s a pink band angling across the top right corner…with a bit of encouragement in white.

Hmmm, I’m not sure if the title refers to Angel, for no matter what, that boy is Built to Last or if it refers to the love between the two.

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