The review I wrote for The Givenchy Code is up. And yes, I really did love the book. I think it's because it combined things I really enjoy. Computer games, solving clues, action, hot heroes with military backgrounds...and a heroine who is NOT TSTL. I read this after there were a bunch of blog postings about what heroines should not do when they're in danger, so I think I paid a bit more attention to that when I read this. Doesn't happen. Now...some may think the premise is a bit odd. Basically, there was this hugely popular MMORPG (massive multi-player online role-playing game) called Play.Survive.Win. There are three people you could play, The Target, the Protector, and the Assassin. Basically, The Target has to solve the clues in order to win while her Protector protects her from the Assassin, who's trying to kill her before she wins. In The Givenchy Code, someone (I'm not saying who) has decided to bring the game into the real world and play God, so to speak. I liked how different the book was, yet it all worked.
Melanie has been chosen to be the Target and she's getting her Masters in history at the moment. She already has a B.S. in Math and enjoys ciphers and such. She also has a thing for designer clothes, but she doesn't come off as shallow, more like and everyday person. So she likes to have designer clothes, well, she works to get them by working odd jobs around the city. She's smart, as it shows in the book, and I liked how much of the book revolves around using her intelligence to survive.
Matthew Stryker is the Protector. He'd been chosen before, in what turns out to be a trial run of the game and didn't take it seriously. That woman died. When he's told to protect Melanie,, this time he plans to take it seriously. Kinda cheesy name aside (but I admit to liking it), he's a great hero with good instincts. And he's hot. BUT, no boinking like bunnies when the bad guy is right behind them. I checked. Doesn't happen. Okay, boinking happens, it IS a romance, but in a safe place.
The villain is suitable nasty. Intelligent, but obviously unbalanced. The type who thinks hunting humans is the ultimate high. That kind of character.
*sigh* What can I say, I really did love this book. It's fast-paced and fun. It may have some flaws that I didn't notice, but I thought it was just plain fun and exciting. Now I need some of you to go and get it so someone can either agree or disagree with me.