Thursday, May 17, 2018

I Am Justice by Diana Muñoz Stewart

This bad-ass band of sisters plays for keeps.

She's ready to start a war

Justice Parish takes down bad guys. Rescued from the streets by the world renowned Parish family, she joined their covert sisterhood of vigilante assassins. Her next target: a sex-trafficking ring in the war-torn Middle East. She just needs to get close enough to take them down...

He just wants peace

Sandesh Ross left Special Forces to found a humanitarian group to aid war-torn countries. But saving the world isn't cheap. Enter Parish Industries and limitless funding, with one catch—their hot, prickly 'PR specialist', Justice Parish.

Their chemistry is instant and off-the-charts. But when Justice is injured and her cover blown, Sandesh has to figure out if he can reconcile their missions. With danger dogging their every move, their white-hot passion can change the world—if it doesn't destroy them first.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This story reads like a Clive Cussler adventure aimed at a #metoo audience. It’s the start of a series about a wealthy and secretive family of female vigilantes. In this first book, the Parish family has their sights on a human trafficking organisation preying on refugee women in the Middle East.

Justice Parish is the family’s black-ops style badass warrior. She has a short temper, a passion for saving vulnerable women, and a desperate need to get revenge for her sister’s death. She’s a brilliant action hero leading lady.

Sandesh Ross is a former soldier running a humanitarian organisation. Initially, the Parish family uses his organisation as a cover for Justice’s assassination mission, but he is quickly drawn further into family business.

I have really mixed feelings about this book. It’s an exciting story with some fantastic new female characters. I love the racial diversity in this story. I love the feminist take on the classic American Vigilante storyline. I love that the story highlights the many forms of ongoing violence against women and girls. But I also recoil from the insidious right wing American values behind the story. The Parish family lives in an armored enclave. There is a firm message that guns and violence solve problems. I like that women are recast from victims to vigilantes, but I’d be more comfortable with a more considered #whatif response to violence against women.

I’m similarly conflicted about the romance in this book. I’m still not sure Justice needs a romantic partner. There are a few hot scenes between Justice and Sandesh, but the romance detracts from the action, and the courtship to wedding storyline doesn’t quite feel right for such a fierce character. The family’s uniformly heteronormative relationships are also problematic for me.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/F Thriller Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Justice Parish is not a woman whose bad side you want to be on. She is a tough as nails, what I would consider, black operative who knows what needs to be done and will complete her mission no matter the costs. She comes from a league of incredibly strong women who are all similar. Justice's sister was taken from her and Justice has revenge in her heart. But Justice is also aware that she can't save them all, even though she wants to. I loved her character but felt that the romance that this story offered was almost an afterthought. It didn't really mesh with Justice's character – she was so strong, yet needed or wanted a partner, which didn't really fit with who she started as in the beginning of the book.

Sandesh is a former soldier who has had to do too many morally compromising acts. He's trying to atone for those acts by doing humanitarian work. However, that work requires money and when he partners up with Parish, not only do sparks fly, but danger follows. He is a hard character for me to know. While I can understand why he wants to do humanitarian work, it was tricky to see past that aspect of him to the hardened soldier we were supposed to believe he was. When he's pulled into the Parish family, not only does his world change, but his protective instincts kick back in.

Overall, this was a fast-paced, amazing thriller. The romance aspect was a much weaker part of the story and I think the book could have done without it and been just as great, if not better. However, I am looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Having earned her Master’s Degree (MFA) in Creative Writing, Diana Muñoz Stewart went on to write multiple novels garnering awards and recognition in paranormal, science fiction, and contemporary romance genres. A believer in the power of words to heal and connect, she blogs and provides web-content on health, writing, and social issues.

When not writing, Diana can be found outside her lakeside home gardening, kayaking, or hiking with her kids and the man who’s had her heart since they were teens.

Connect with Diana

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of I Am Justice (Black Ops Confidential #1) by Diana Muñoz Stewart to read and review.

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