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Something wicked this way comes.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.
While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.
If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove
O no; It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken
Tempest is the third (and final) book in Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock’s “Playing the Fool” trilogy. Based on my own experience, this series is best enjoyed by doing a marathon reading. That way, I wasn’t annoyed with the cliffhanger from the previous two books. I feel like I could appreciate Mac, Henry, Viola, and other characters better. The authors are able to blend in romance, mystery, and action as one satisfactory reading. They keep the pace quite swift, throwing a few twists along the way. The final action at the farm pretty much brought me to the edge of my seat. However, I must say that the winning element, for me, is definitely the character development in that of Henry.
While hiding at Mac’s family farm, Henry is forced to face his own fears, his primary instinct to run and takes Viola away, because at the same time, Henry also knows that his feelings for Mac are deeper and stronger than anyone else. Can he stay with Mac? Can he trust Mac to protect himself and Viola? Throughout, I thought Henry’s inner fight with himself was fascinating to read. The way that his past as Sebastian kept coming to the surface – Sebastian, the source of Henry’s guilt, someone that he doesn’t want to acknowledge ever again. This complexity was what drew me in … and I admit, I’m such a sucker for this kind of characterization.
My biggest complaint with this third book is related to Mac as a character. I felt that starting book two, Mac’s role seemed to be demoted into basically a supporting character. Yes, Mac is solid, his family is pretty much normal, which makes him a perfect ‘home’ for Henry. However, this also makes the book pretty much the “Henry show”. Heck, even Viola, who has her own scenes several times is able to shine more brightly than Mac. I wouldn’t be complaining much if the book was written solely from Henry’s perspective, but since it is not, I thought it was pretty much an unbalanced situation, especially since both men were the narrators.
On top of that, Mac’s status as FBI agent was pretty much ineffective. In fact, I thought the whole FBI division, in this book, was pretty laughable – the way that the bad guys seemed to be able to ‘fool’ them in every turn. Let’s just say that I’m not planning to trust my life in the hands of these agents anytime soon.
Still, despite those complaints of mine, I was head over heels in love with this book. The fact that I pretty much read it with my heart tied in knots, and at one particular scene I had to secretly wipe my eyes from tears (I was reading at the office, hush!), I can say that this is one of my favorite books of the year. The whole series, essentially.