Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mind Game, by Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan
ISBN: 0-515-13809-6
Paranormal Romance
Book #07-010

Dahlia LeBlanc has the amazing ability to manipulate energy, which allows her to perform such feats as "walking" on the ceiling. Her gift comes with a high price, because Dahlia is unable to spend more than a few minutes at a time with other people, whose emotional energy inflicts psychic pain. Dahlia has been able to use her talents to help the government recover lost or stolen items, and has created a relatively satisfying, if lonely, life for herself.

When her latest mission goes wrong and Dahlia and her partner are nearly assassinated, Dahlia has nowhere to turn, except to Nicolas Trevane. Nicolas is a GhostWalker, with some of the same talents Dahlia possesses, and others she can only imagine. Nicolas shares his past with Dahlia and reveals that they were both at the mercy of Dr. Whitney, who started his experiments on children and graduated to soldiers in an attempt to engineer and enhance his subjects' psychic abilities. Whitney's daughter, Lily, had no idea what her father was doing, but when she discovered his research tapes, she vowed to track his subjects and help them cope with the side effects of their talents. It is Lily who sends Nicolas and his warrior team to Dahlia's rescue.

As a romantic couple, Nicolas and Dahlia generate a lot of heat, in more ways than one. MIND GAME, however, is a bit stilted in places, and some of the dialogue seems forced. Feehan is at her best when writing about the rapport between the male GhostWalkers. When Nicolas and his buddies are exchanging barbs or teasing each other, the action flows fast and furious. Feehan is masterful with love scenes, as well. It's the rest of the story that doesn't quite work in this novel. Dahlia comes off a bit whiny and sorry for herself, despite Feehans' attempts to make readers emapthize with her, and Feehan too often resorts to telling readers things they should be shown. Dahlia's reluctance to talk to Lily when Nicolas has her on the phone is a contrivance that strains credulity. Her capitulation to desire is also a bit awkward, and her reunion with Lily is disappointing. Readers will enjoy the GhostWalkers and want their favorites to have their own stories, but they should hope that the next installment of this series flows more smoothly than MIND GAME does.

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