Grade: 3 stars out of 5
Source: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc
Currently available: 1 June, 2014. paperback at Harlequin
Synopsis: "Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York's elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof?Avenge Me is an interesting take on a series as it is written by 3 authors. Avenge Me begins the story with the introduction of the main villain's son--the one who's going to get the theoretical ball rolling. As the main protagonist, Austin Treffen is a strong male lead; he's very dominant, headstrong, with a take charge attitude, both for work and in the bedroom. I personally found his characterization decent. I enjoyed reading his multidimensional personality from the way he behaves with his peers, his lovers, and with his family. He's definitely not a monotone character.
Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen's reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and sublime pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?"
The main female lead, Katy Michaels, is just as multifaceted though I wished she was more assertive. It's repeated time again that she's quite stubborn or independent, but aside a tale and one incident there isn't much action. I had hoped that as the reader we read more about Katy outside of the bedroom and in environments where it showcases her strong. A part of her life is that she's never had someone really take care of her, but having Austin fill that role shouldn't have robbed some of her independence.
The relationship between the two is a play on the forbidden fruit. At times it can read like a softcore porn with a BDSM element though I guess it's to be expected from a Harlequin novel. The balance between Austin and Michael works well in the bedroom, but outside of it I feel that Austin's personality dominants Katy and she starts to fade even with the split POV.
With the actual plotline, I quite like the idea. I like how it was structured, how it brought together different characters that each author could write about, and how it all tied together. The unraveling was suspenseful and a short climax was exciting. The transition from romance/fun times in the bedroom to the more serious conflict was choppy and kind of awkward at times.
Overall I would continue with the Fifth Avenue series if time permits, mainly because I am curious how the other authors would continue with the plot and how they would tie it together.
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