Riki Maddox is not your average tomb-raiding treasure hunter. Her targets are carefully chosen to wound her father's killers, the Japanese Yakuza. To thwart their quest to recapture World War II loot initially stolen by Japanese forces, she puts herself in constant danger--and in the sights of a man as driven and as daring as she is.
Working for the Department of Homeland Security, Special Agent Dallas Landry is a rare breed: an academic with an unmatched lust for adventure. He had a perfect success rate recovering stolen art and antiquities--until he came up against an intriguing menace known as Riki Maddox. She's placed his reputation on the line, and stopping her becomes his number one priority.
Now the two will cross paths once again in Australia--on a quest for the legendary Phantom Pearl, a priceless mammoth tusk carved by 15th century monks. Barely one step ahead of the Yakuza, it's a three-way race to recover the long lost treasure. One Riki is hell-bent to win. But playing games against a federal agent like Dallas will cost more than her freedom. The chase will demand she risk her life and her thirst for revenge--but it just might offer something more to live for...
What a suspense and danger filled adventure!
With vivid images, the author paints a world where I wanted to step in and be part of.
The story is riddled with history and mystery from the WW II and the current date with an intriguing point of view and a clever twist as the fiction is built upon facts, making Phantom Pearl captivating and exciting read. Add the combustible attraction simmering between Riki Maddox and Dallas Landry and you have a sure winner, a summer read for all romantic suspense fans.
It was easy to enjoy and to be entertained by the story as it has a natural flow with witty dialog. Unexpected humorous moments had me chuckling, the romantic moments swooning, and the action biting my nails.
Dallas Landry is a charming character, used to maneuver in the big, dangerous world. He has a romantic side that comes as surprise. He is generous and kind, capable and confident. Completely a swoon-worthy hero!
Riki Maddox is a complex character. She is tough as nails, she can take down the biggest thug, she is used to dealing with life on her own, being fueled by revenge and payback. She is sarcastic to the bone, a person I would not turn my back on. Yet there is brokenness inside her that makes her more human, easier to like. The spark between Riki and Dallas is palpable, yet the results manage to surprise, and all the intimate moments are just between them, left to the imagination of the readers.
There's a moment right there in the middle of the story that things are less combustible and explosive in nature, where I felt the story took a little lull, but not to worry, things pick up again, with a grand finale that leaves you breathless.
As all the books in the series are completely standalone novels, with just a theme of treasure hunting and romance in common, you don't have to read the previous books before you join the hunt for the pearl.
If you enjoy action and suspense with a dash of romance, an exotic background of Singapore and Australia to the tale, love stories that have a multitude of layers, part being fact and part being fiction, twists you never expected, and characters you want to be friends with you are going to enjoy to feast on the Phantom Pearl!
~ Four Spoons
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me