His Mysterious Ways
His Mysterious Ways is one of the most unusual series romances I’ve come across in some time. While both the romance and the characterization come up short, this unique paranormal sci-fi romantic suspense is never less than intriguing.
Mercenary Jon Lassiter is in charge of security for an American drilling operation in the Central American country of Cartega. When the call comes that a woman was spotted breaking into the premises, Jon is the one to investigate. He thinks he has the intruder cornered, until she disappears into thin air. Determined to find out how she managed to escape, he goes in search of the woman who literally appeared to walk through walls.
Melanie Stark came to Cartega in search of her father and the answers she’s been after since she was a child. When she was five years old, she was kidnapped from her backyard, only to reappear four years later with no memory of what had happened to her and new abilities that defied explanation. Her father left while she was missing, but after her mother’s death, Melanie finds letters indicating he’d been in touch with her mother all along. Convinced he knows what happened to her, she heads to his last known location in Central America.
She doesn’t expect to become the hunted herself. Jon is known among the townspeople as el guerrero del demonio, the demon warrior. She understands why when she finds herself trapped by the mysterious man with extraordinary secrets of his own.
His Mysterious Ways is the first book in Amanda Stevens’s new Quantum Men series about a group of extraordinary heroes and lays the groundwork for what looks to be an interesting series. She’s got me hooked, even if the book isn’t all that it could be. The romance is minimal, one of those very rushed attractions that feel forced, and the main characters don’t really interact enough to support the huge feelings they supposedly experience. There are some nice moments, including one of sacrifice that had the potential to be very powerful, but the romance needed to be fleshed out a lot more for these moments to be truly effective. Jon and Melanie’s stories were more interesting than they were as people, and nearly all of the story and each of its characters needed further development.
But the premise and the ideas underneath it are so fascinating it remains a compelling read. Without giving anything away, it’s a neat blend of science and fantasy elements that results in something imaginative and unusual. Jon and Melanie both have abilities that are grounded in enough realism to keep from shooting into straight paranormal territory, while still going far beyond the norm. Together they look for answers to why they are the way they are. I may not have been engaged by the characters, but I was caught up in their story and the theories behind what happened to them. Originality doesn’t seem to be a prized commodity in series romances, so Stevens deserves to be commended for getting away with something like this. The story moves very fast and the jungle setting is nicely different.
While this book was far from everything it could have been, it offers a tantalizing glimpse into the high-concept premise the author has devised. I’ll definitely be following this series to see where Stevens takes us next.