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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Book Review: Toxic Game (A GhostWalker Novel) by Christine Feehan + excerpt

Toxic Game (A GhostWalker Novel)
by Christine Feehan
March 12, 2019
416 pages
Publisher: Berkley
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan takes readers into the hot zone in this pulse-pounding GhostWalker novel.

On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory....

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

I absolutely love a medical thriller or a virus outbreak or even a book with a plague story in it. But mash that up with a paranormal romance and I'm all in! Dr. Draden goes to the jungle with his Ghostwalker team to try to help wounded soldiers get out fast without getting infected by a crazy virus a terrorist faction had unleashed. Ghostwalker's were classified soldiers that had been enhanced physically as well as psychically. They almost made it out and then one of the terrorists gets a lucky shot with a dart. When Draden gets infected he orders his team to leave him behind and get the wounded soldiers out, fast. He thinks he can stop the terrorists or at least a few of them and stop the virus from spreading, hopefully. He's a lethal hunter and takes out a buttload of the terrorists but then he gets hurt and that's when Shylah steps in to try and save him, not knowing how badly he's hurt.

Shylah was sent there to track and stop the virus but was to remain unseen and undiscovered. So when she deviates from the plan to save Draden, she unknowingly exposes herself to the virus too. At first, Draden doesn't trust her but he soon realizes that she's been enhanced as well even if she's not a Ghostwalker. They find the lab that the three virologists had been testing the virus in and also find internet and a computer so they are able to get in contact with Draden's team. His team is trying to come up with a cure so Draden and Shylah have a little hope that they might not die from the virus but they still have to go back out into the jungle and see if they can track down the virologists and stop them from unleashing more of the virus someplace else.

I really liked Draden and Shylah together and how well they worked with one another. Draden might have been used to working with the men on his team but when he realizes that Shylah is a trained assassin as well and can handle herself and have his back he has no qualms about treating her as an equal. Even though they are fighting for their lives, they can't help but notice the attraction they have for one another and when they do finally act on it, they are hot and wild. I really loved watching them get to know one another. There were a couple of great twists and a few secrets come to light which made this story really fun to read. That coupled with all the action and a crazy virus made this book a real page-turner.

I give this book 4 out of 5 sheep!

Mary Kirkland
Dark Thoughts Blog

Excerpt 1 (ch 1)
The last of the helicopters had lifted from the ground, gunners providing cover for him, spraying the tree line to keep the terrorists from taking aim at Draden. Diego and Malichai used automatics to aid the gunners as Joe and Gino worked on the wounded. A rope was dropped down as the chopper circled back. Draden kept running as gunfire erupted from the cover of the forest. Bullets spat around him.

The chopper came slipping out of the sky toward him, coming in low, the rope flying like a slinky tail. Behind him, the forest went strangely silent. No gunfire. He didn’t stop. He leapt for the rope, his gloved hands catching hold, the jerk so strong it nearly pulled his arms out of their sockets. Still, his enhanced strength allowed him to hang on while the chopper began to climb.

He was twenty feet up when he felt the sting in his thigh, and his heart stuttered with instant awareness. He glanced down to see a dart protruding from his muscle and knew why the terrorists’ weapons had gone silent. They had a sniper, and he wasn’t armed with a bullet. He was armed with a virus. If Draden went up into the helicopter, he was condemning everyone in it to the same death as those in the village. Without real conscious thought, he let go of the rope, dropping out of the sky and back to earth.

Virus injection. It was the best information he could give them, so they would know to leave him behind.

Malichai was staring down at him, their eyes meeting as he fell away. He saw Malichai practically dive from the helicopter, but Diego caught at him, holding him back. Draden landed in a crouch, his enhanced DNA allowing his legs to act like springs to absorb the shock. He somersaulted forward and stood up, facing the forest, his arms spread wide. Let them shoot him if they wanted, but if they didn’t, he was infecting the bastards. He began walking toward the edge of all those trees and brush.

Draden. What the hell happened? Joe’s voice slipped into his mind. It was faded, as if the distance was already too far. He heard the helicopter circling back so Joe would be able to reach him. He pictured Joe holding a weapon on the crew. He could get that intense.

By the time he reached the trees, the MSS members had faded away, leaving him to die however the villagers had. He’d seen the reports the Indonesian government had shared with the WHO. It was one of the reasons his team had been in the region. Two team members were two of the leading scientists developing treatments, therapies and pharmaceuticals in the field of viruses.

Infected with the virus.

Draden had taken the time to finish both his doctorate and MD, to be an asset to others on his team. He’d dabbled in biochemistry but finished his undergrad degree, a BS in genetics. Stanford offered a dual MD and PhD program and he’d taken advantage of that. He’d gotten his MD as an infectious disease doctor and his PhD in microbiology and immunology. He found it ironic that he would be dying of a weaponized virus after all that work to earn his degrees. Determined to be of some use, he decided to record everything he could about his symptoms, along with any suppositions he might have before he put a bullet in his head. He’d leave final conclusions for them.

Tell Trap and Wyatt I’ll leave behind a recording. Don’t know if they can use whatever I find, but they should remotely be able to access my recorder without touching the device.

I’m sorry, man. Trap and Wyatt may have ideas.

Draden knew, just from the earlier reports, that their ideas would be too late. The virus acted too fast. He would be dead before Joe had time to make it back to the States.

About the Author:
I write every day and have done so since I was old enough to pick up a pen. (I spent a lot of time getting in trouble at school for writing instead of doing the things I was supposed to do.) Once I create my characters, I try very hard to have them react to situations as they really would. Sometimes I have preconceived ideas of what I would like them to do, but they don't mind me, because it would be out of character for them. They take on a life of their own. Sometimes when I throw difficult situations at them in the hopes I'll get a certain reaction and they don't do what I want, I complain bitterly to my husband and he laughs at me. Still, it is important to me to have them be real, not perfect people, so they make mistakes we lesser mortals might make.


  1. I don't think I ever read beyond book one of the Ghostwalkers... Maybe I should fix that for this sounds pretty good!
    Great review Mary!

    1. Thank you, I would start reading it because the series is a good one.