Deadly Game is book 5 in Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series. And it’s one of my favorites. Our hero is Ken Norton, Navy SEAL. He, like his twin Jack, is a Ghostwalker, a soldier who volunteered to be physically and psychically enhanced. Ken has endured a great deal. He was kidnapped and tortured at the hands of an evil general in the Congo. He is terribly scarred all over his body and he thinks he is dead inside. He only cares for Jack and his sister-in-law Briony.
He is on a mission to protect the very senator who he had been sent to rescue in the Congo, when a second Ghostwalker team approaches. Ken thinks they are trying to kill the senator, so he opens fire on their sniper. Fortunately, she was wearing a bullet proof vest. When he gets to her, he realizes she is Mari, Briony’s long-lost twin sister. Ken figures out instantly that mad-scientist and super-genius Dr Whitney had used some pheromone mojo to make him and Mari attracted to each other. So much so, that while Ken’s team holds Mari in captivity, they succumb to their desires. This is a really big deal for Ken, because during his torture, his man parts had been cut up –and he wasn’t even sure he could have a sexual relationship again. Turns out he can, but “normal” sex is out –due to the scarring, he needs any coupling to be rough. I mention this because it’s a huge issue for Ken and one he struggles with throughout the book. He thinks himself a monster on so many levels and believe Mari deserves better.
She has spent her whole life in training to be one of Whitney’s supersoldiers. She has never known a home –or love. She has only the camaraderie she shares with the other women in her program. Woman, like her, who are now being forced to have sex with men they don’t want –in order to have babies with two enhanced parents. Mari has been raped countless times and she will not leave her sisters abandoned at the lab. So she goes back, with Ken right behind her, planning to break them all out.
This is a dark book all around. But in my opinion, it’s one of Feehan’s best. Ken is so starkly broken in just about every way. But he has held on to his humanity despite everything he has endured. The same is true for Mari. I wanted them both to be happy and finally have someone love them the way each has yearned for. Ken’s sex issues were a big deal for him, but I thought the love scenes were very steamy despite that (or even perhaps because of it.) 5 stars.