Review: Thrill Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Format: mass market, ebook
Pub Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablance
Length: 352 pages
FTC: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley

I have a soft spot for romantic suspense, but it does have its problems.  There are a lot of eyerolling conventions in the genre, and Thrill Ride seems to have used every single one of them. Headstrong heroine heading blithely into danger? Check. Nookie (or some heavy petting) while in immediate danger? Check. Series bait? Check, check, check.

Part of my problem with this book is the hilarious (and heavy-handed) use of military sayings, regional idioms, and clich├ęd folk sayings. This is a case where even clever language use is weakened by overuse. Too much of it yanked me out of the story on more than one occasion, sometimes even causing me to laugh out loud at the silliness of it.

"Because avoiding a ballistic lobotomy was enough to scare the bark out of any dog, even an old hound like him..."

"Rock spun his captive around and nearly shit his own heart."

"And that scared him like a hound pissing peach pits."

"time to get down to brass tacks."

"Dead-dog tired."
"Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs."

I was also bothered by the fact that Rock, in all of his Cajun-speaking glory  (random French sayings thrown in for effect), can't seem to call Vanessa by her name.  Pet names galore— which are sadly a peeve of mine.

[Minor nitpicking I hope they caught in edits: "Looking like it'd take a jackhammer and two WWF wrestlers to break her away from that spot." If you're going to reference something, make sure it's the correct name. The WWE hasn't been the WWF for over a decade. The WWF is the World Wildlife Fund. So...panda wrestling? And I know this as someone who actively avoids professional "wrestling."]

Now despite all of that, the story is incredibly readable. Parts of it are extremely well done, although, admittedly, I liked the other couples paired up in the book better than the main one. The second half of the book is far, far better than the first half.  No, really. There's some serious emotional weight to be found if you manage to make it through that ridiculous first half. If you aren't bothered by the silly similes, the Cajun-speak, or the inappropriate nookie, you'll probably enjoy this one more than I did.

My Grade: C-

The Blurb:

Ex-Navy SEAL Rock Babineaux's job is to get information, and he's one of the best in the business. Until something goes horribly wrong and he's being hunted by his own government. Even his best friends at the covert special-ops organization Black Knights Inc. aren't sure they can trust him. He thinks he can outrun them all, but his former partner—a curvy bombshell who knows just how to drive him wild—refuses to cut him loose.
Vanessa Cordera hasn't been the team's communication specialist very long, but she knows how to read people-no way is Rock guilty of murder. And she'll go to hell and back to help him prove it. Sure, the sexy Cajun has his secrets, but there's no one in the world she'd rather have by her side in a tight spot. Which is good, because they're about to get very tight...


  1. This one was too silly for me. And Vanessa never came across as a black ops agent. I liked the previous books in this series but this one was too over the top

    1. So glad to hear it's not just me!!! I could tell that the others in the series were probably better somehow. I just don't get the love for this book I've seen everywhere. Vanessa was definitely the epitome of the TSTL heroine we've seen so much of in romantic suspense.