Merciless by Diana Palmer

Title:  Merciless

Author:  Diana Palmer

Published:  July 2011 HQN Books

Genre:  Romance

About:  FBI agent Jon Blackhawk finds out that a criminal he helped put behind bars has been released and wants revenge. People in his life are getting threatening anonymous phone calls. When Jon is shot he realizes the situation is more dangerous than he thought – especially to the people he cares about most: his mother, his brother, and even his smart and efficient office assistant, Joceline. She’s been his loyal co-worker for years and harbors a secret that could change his life. Will Jon learn the secret? Will he be able to keep his loved ones safe?

My take:  Merciless is the first book I’ve read by Diana Palmer. There are references to the case that involved a family of criminals that made me think it was the focus of a previous novel but Ms. Palmer caught me up to speed along the way.

The Blackhawk family is quite loyal to one another. Jon’s mother is a force to be reckoned with and it is no secret that she doesn’t like Joceline. She’s constantly trying to match him with women she thinks are suitable – something that drives Jon a little crazy. During those scenes there’s a lot of witty banter between Joceline and Jon which I found amusing.

All in all, Merciless was an ok read for me. I would have liked a few of the characters to be a little more fleshed out – but perhaps they were in a previous book?  Although I enjoyed the banter between Jon and Joceline I found their romance a bit forced and rushed. I really liked the conclusion that surprised me with a bit of a twist.

Source:  Planned Television Arts