Reviews: Lethal AffairsThanks for your fantastic reviews and appreciation! The following have been featured on quite a few sites:
What Reviewers Say:* KISSED BY VENUS - JUNE 2009 REVIEW.
Reviewed by Alexandra Wolfe for Kissed By Venus
To quote off the back cover: "Love is never more lethal!" Is a fun way to sum up this fast-paced, action-packed thriller and first outing for newcomer, Xenia Alexiou, writing with her seasoned partner, Kim Baldwin. Who, if you read a great deal of lesbian fiction, has several action-packed novels already under her belt. Lethal Affairs is an excellent first outing for this pair of long-distance writers, collaborating on a new series that offers a great deal of fun, fast reads...
...Lethal Affairs holds up well ...What keeps this one together is the deft writing well grounded in a sense of reality, the fully fleshed out corpulent characters (even the minor characters) including their personal foibles and weaknesses... hauls you along at such a well-constructed pace, that you just have to turn the page over and read the next chapter...
...Kim and Xenia did a fantastic job of pulling all the strands together, and giving us, the reader, a thoroughly credible thriller, laced with enough innuendo and romance to heat up all the action.
Over all, this one is up there with the best of them.
* JUST ABOUT WRITE - OCTOBER 2008 REVIEW.
Reviewed by RLynne for Just About Write
Lethal Affairs is the first book in the Elite Operatives Series. It starts off with a bang, (pun intended), as Domino is cooped up in a hotel room in Istanbul. She is waiting to neutralize the founder of an extremist group which is causing grief for both American and U.N. Forces in Kuwait. This is the introduction to both Domino and the Elite Operatives Organization, (EOO), that Baldwin and Alexiou give to their readers.
Few, if any, are better at creating tension, drama, and suspense than Kim Baldwin. Her attention to details, and her character building are incredible. In Lethal Affairs, Alexiou adds her voice, drawing the foreign born Domino as a complete contrast to the American investigative journalist Hayley Ward. Domino refers to Hayley as "an innocent," and so she is. Hayley just wants to become a respected investigative journalist for an important news agency. Domino has been raised to serve EOO, an organization in which she completely believes. As Hayley's and Domino's worlds cross, both women are put to a test which will require courage, brains, and the ability to improvise.
Lethal Affairs is an exciting read, which definitely puts its reader on the edge of their seat. We can only hope that it is the first of a long series of books.
What Readers Say:* MY FIRST REVIEW EVER AND ONLY BECAUSE IT'S LIKE LUDLUM WITH LESBIANS
By Washington, J "booklover" (Washington DC) 2008-12-11
This Ludlumesque (yes I'm a Bourne Identity fan) story with its sexy female version of Jason Bourne had me at the go.
Domino aka Luka is a highly trained operative with an interesting past,who works for a secret organization. She is called to action when someone threatens to expose this organization.
Hayley Ward is a struggling journalist who is being used by the wrong people. Ward needs to verify the mysterious information about a covert institute, that has been given to her by corrupt entities, before she can use it to write the story that will place her at the top. Little does she know that digging into this story will open a whole new deadly can of worms. Domino has been assigned to eliminate this ambitious reporter before she finds out the truth and exposes her organizations existence.
This book is very plot driven and difficult to put down. The characters are original and well developed and although Domino is an anti-heroin of sorts you can't help but fall for her. Hayley is heartwarming in her efforts to keep up and save herself. I found that the romance/intrigue ratio was just right for this kind of story and I was especially glad that the book was not just a vessel to bring the two women together and therefore lacking in substance, which is unfortunately too often the case in this genre.
The scenes done in flashback (Turkey, Indonesia) and the "payback" scene are incredibly vivid.
I have read all of Baldwin's previous books and have a deep appreciation for her writing but Alexiou's voice offers something altogether new and exciting. Both the story and writing are bold and real. Sometimes too real.
The concept is not new (secret organization and special ops), but what's important to me as an espionage fan, is that it's well done and innovative.
I hope the series continues in the same trend. I'm all signed up for parts 2 and 3.
* FAST PACED LESBIAN THRILLER
By Marguerite A. Fowler (Clinton Twp, MI United States) 2008-11-08
This fast paced thriller kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. Domino, the female operative finds herself falling in love with Hayley the journalist that is determined to expose the organization that Domino works for. The action is nonstopand keeps pace with the building romance between Domino and Hayley. I highly reccommend this book.
* LOTS OF ACTION, ONLY SOME OF IT BETWEEN THE SHEETS!
By Steven van L. 2008-09-18
I laughed, I cried, I was at the edge of my seat. And all that was from just looking at the cover. Seriously though, Lethal Affair is an action-packed joyride. The book swerves between full-on romance and full-on action. The intrigue part feels realistic, as in 'this is how a secret organisation of assassins would operate in the real world'. It brings to mind Alias and La Femme Nikita as well as the current movie Wanted. Being an alarmingly gay guy, the explicit lesbian sex scenes went a bit over my head, but they will no doubt hit the right spot - between the legs that is - for a lesbian or straight male audience. Domino makes for an engaging lead with a complex past and Hayley is her interesting romantic foil as well as her opposite in most ways. I am no expert on this genre, but had a good time with this story. I eagerly await the sequel: Thief of Always.
* KUDOS. MASTERFULLY WRITTEN.
By Wolfe I.M 2008-09-17
I won't bother with recaping the story, since it has already been done BUT I will give my 2 cents. As far as romantic intrigue books go, this is the one to read. I couldn't put it down. It has great, one-of-a-kind characters, is well written and fast-paced, describes settings so vividly it feels like you are there, and contains a very satisfying romance. What occured to me while I was reading is that the story was so believable it made me wonder whether this could really happen, and whether people like this really exist. Lethal Affairs is a book I will keep and re-read.
* PROMISING NEW SERIES
By Sage320 (Newport News, VA United States) 2008-09-13
Lethal Affairs introduces a new adventure series featuring the Elite Operatives Organization. This is a top secret group based in Colorado that recruits children with special talents from all over the world and then raises them to be super agents with espionage and combat skills. The EOO is contracted by governments and other organizations to deal with situations that they legally can't solve. When they aren't on an assignment, the agents assume regular identities and mix in with the rest of the world.
Luka Madison has a reputation as a very skilled art restorer who travels the world working in exotic settings. That she is also the highly effective agent Domino is a secret kept by the EOO. It seems like a routine assignment when she is called in to lead a team in eliminating a drug lord, but mistakes are made and the situation isn't concluded with Domino's usual efficiency. Hayley Ward is an upcoming newspaper reporter who is looking for that one big story that will make her career. When she receives a videotape of the assassination and a note about the EOO, she knows she's found it, but now she has two mysteries to solve. What is the EOO and who is feeding her the information to uncover its operations? Luka's new assignment is to find out what Hayley knows, how she knows it and if she needs to be eliminated to protect EOO. The story spins through murder, blackmail, corrupt officials and political intrigue. When the EOO decides to go after both Domino and Hayley, Domino finds herself not only trying to save their lives, but questioning her loyalties and priorities.
Kim Baldwin has long been known by her fans for her adventure books. This series written with Xenia Alexiou introduces an edge and sense of intrigue that are new. Lethal Affairs fulfills its function of setting up the series very well. It gives enough details about the operation of EOO so that readers will understand what it is about, but there aren't enough details to cause this particular book to bog down. Set in sophisticated and exotic locales, the book shows the depth of research done by the writing team and their ability to portray scenes vividly. The action is fast paced, the bad guys are really bad and the reader can be swept up in the ability of the agents to handle any situation. If all of the books follow this pattern, this series will probably become a reader favorite.
By Mercedes Wilson "Mac" (Bethesda, MD) 2008-08-26
I totally enjoyed this book, it was one I did not want to put down...the fact that love saved her and that the love was offered unconditionally was a big plus...when you find someone that loves you for all that you are you are truly blessed...I hope these two continue to write about this woman and the woman that saved her soul.
* GOOD COLLABORATION
By V. Moss "SK8ER" (Chattanooga) 2008-08-24
I've read all of Kim Baldwin's books and enjoyed each fast paced plot. I was concerned that a collaboration between the two authors would weaken the flow. What a nice surprise. The plot had all the energy of Kim's previous books and both Domino and Haley are strong characters. I vacillated between wanting to be them and wanting to be with them.
* LETHAL AFFAIRS
By Esther G. Kumjian 2008-08-23
Kim Baldwin and Xenia Alexiou are a great writing team. This book is first-rate quality. All I have to say is, where's the sequel?!
* LETHAL AFFAIRS
By Sempre 2008-08-10
I'm an intrigue fan at heart and was happy to discover that I can find an engrossing plot, full of unpredictable situations with vivid, unique characters and a very rewarding end, within lesbian fiction. The romance was realistic and heartwarming and I can't wait for part II of this series. I highly recommend this book for intrigue and romance readers alike. It's truly a cut above most books out there.
* A STEP ABOVE
By Claudia Goos 2008-08-05
This is my first review, although I've been reading lesbian fiction for years. But in this case, I couldn't help myself. Unforgettable characters, a story that has you holding your breath from beginning to end, twists you never see coming, pop-off-the-page vivid settings, a sweet romance, this book has it all. If Hollywood can spend big money on mediocre plots, why can't they spend it on a worthy novel like this one? If you're an intrigue fan, this is THE book of the year. Highly recommend.
* KEEP 'EM COMING!
By Nicki (The Netherlands) 2008-08-02
I'd been anticipating reading Lethal Affairs for months and can say that it was well worth the wait. Being a crime/thriller/action/intrigue/plot junkie, I was pleased to have all my favourite elements accounted for.
There were enough twists and asides to keep my mind busy and, while the genre may dictate the general outcome of the story, I wasn't thinking about it all the way through the book. I was reading/experiencing the moment on each page instead of plodding through a predictable plot. Put it this way: If this was on the telly, I wouldn't be doing any zapping between channels.
My only wish is that the book had more pages so that I could have gotten lost in it for a while longer.
The characters have history and depth, making them believable. Hayley is the kind of woman I'd like to be, confident, industrious and beautiful. I like that she isn't afraid of speaking her mind or, rather, heart. Luka remains mysterious but through the flashbacks and narrative I got a glimpse of who she is. She's certainly someone I'd like to learn more about.
Quite a number of their insights were recognizable, some of them straight off the pages of my diary, which made for a week of vivid dreams. Also, a book that touches me personally stays with me, and Lethal Affairs will be on my 'special' book list.
I closed the book thinking wistfully of my own trip to Malta... and happy for the girls, satisfied with the plot and looking forward to the next one!
* BLOCKBUSTER OF A BOOK!
By Diane Summers (Ireland) 2008-07-27
A well written, fast paced intriguing plot with a fascinating cast of characters. Found myself unable to put it down and was sad once it was finished. Suspence at its best.
* TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT !!!
By E. B. Mulligan (Tampa, Florida) 2008-07-20
Be prepared to spend the rest of your day reading this fast-paced thrilling novel after picking it up the first time. The book opens with a fabulous opening prologue, leaving the reader on the edge of their seat.
Thirty-three year old Domino is utterly believable and at the same time quite original, she is a terrific and wonderfully intriguing character, you want to know everything about her that the authors provide.
I really enjoyed every moment focused on twenty-nine year old Hayley Ward, every aspect about her seemed true.
The locales set the mood and tone perfectly, Istanbul, Washington DC, Malta, Colorado, Baltimore, Miami, Sumatra, NYC. The use of flashback really added to the story at the right time.
I loved the bad guy - a completely excellent villain, I found him as interesting as the two heroines. He is also fully fleshed out with a wife, twin sons and a high stakes career with ruthless ambition to go along with it.
In addition to the perfect ending there is a very sweet romance that builds slowly and subtly at just the right pace and develops at the right moment.
* LETHAL AFFAIRS IS A MARVELOUS RIDE!
By Cheryl Craig (San Francisco, CA) 2008-07-19
I only had two hours to read. I sat down in my office, on my favorite chair, and began to read where I had left off the night before. I was on about page 65 and thought, " WOW. LETHAL AFFAIRS is like a movie. I need popcorn and a soda!" So I made a batch of popcorn and ate like I was watching an action packed James Bond movie.
LETHAL AFFAIRS is loaded with all the love gusto a girl needs.
It's jammed packed with action nooks and crannies that jump out of their corners and scream in your ear, "BET YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING!"
The writing is fluid, smooth, and dynamic.
The plot is cutting edge, edge of your seat, rip roaring bold.
Harness yourself into your seat. This is the Indianapolis 500!
LADIES - START YOUR ENGINES!
* FIVE PLUS STARS ON THIS WINNER.
By Long Beach Les Fic "Lisasg13" (The City of Angels) 2008-07-17
OK - I just finished Lethal Affairs late, late last night. This is a great whirlwind of a story that is well-researched, well-written, and sexy in all the good and bad ways we come to expect of a brilliant work of literature.
Upon finishing the last page, I got up to get some badly needed water (whew!) and glanced at my image in the bathroom mirror. As I passed, I saw that my hair had been blow straight up, just like when you get off a roller coaster.
Yes, folks, it's that kind of a ride and THAT good.
Xenia Alexiou and Kim Baldwin - Bravo.