Christine Feehan’s Ruthless Game starts out with Kane Cannon and his team of psychic supersoldiers infiltrating a drug cartel owned town to liberate some hostages. During the mission, Kane finds out that the love of his life, Rose, is in the town. She is pregnant with his child which she got when the evil Dr. Whitney forced them to copulate to produce supersoldier offspring. Kane and Rose escape together and start a difficult path in discovering whether their love is genuine or just faked by the evil mastermind.
I’m not particularly impressed by the plot, but to make up for it, the writing of the book is quite good. In particular, the character development of Rose to actually trust her new friends is quite well done. Surprisingly for a romance, the action scenes are extensive and fast-paced. Even though psychic supersoldiers are not exactly my favorite topic, I enjoyed reading them.
My main gripe with the book, outside of it being romance, is the role model it perpetuates for women. Kane is a chauvinistic swine and incorporates pretty much every kind of stereotypical male role, and Rose either just puts up with his antics because she loves him, or gives some explanation on why she is different from normal women—implying that for other women, those expectations are quite ok. For example, the main reason she gives why she can’t be the house wife watching the kids while the husband is out working is not that that’s a pretty antiquated and horrible role model, but that she is a trained soldier and this special predicament means she has to do something else, too.
In real life, the interactions between the two would set the perfect beginning for an abusive relationship.
Another mind-numbing scene had “the girls” finally going out of the high-security building to enjoy their freedom. This was a good point in the story and nicely built up to. Rose has always been either imprisoned with no freedom, or on the run, so never could taste freedom like how the protection of her new friends allows her to.
So what do the three girls do? They go shopping. What do they shop for? Shoes of course. Why do they shop for shoes? So they can look sexy for their lovers. They sadly couldn’t go to the negligee shop to get Rose an outfit that would make Kane drool because that shop was a bit too far away. No, Ms. Feehan, the main purpose in life for a woman is not to find a partner and make him happy.
So, while the book is well-written, has some interesting character development and fast-paced action, it perpetuates horrible gender roles which are never challenged in and by themselves. Rose is only exempt from some of them because she is a special person. For this reason, I’d rather not recommend the book.