"Shoot to Thrill," Nina Bruhns

Pros: Wonderful characters; tons of action & adventure
Cons: Maybe a little melodramatic, but that’s also a plus…
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review book (uncorrected proof) courtesy of Penguin Group.
Expected publication date: 8/4/2009.


Kick Jackson is a former spy & sniper who lost his team—as well as some of his leg—to terrorists his last time out. The government is calling him up to go after a terrorist only he can recognize, and he’s determined to stay out of it. In his attempt to hide out in the home of a beautiful ER nurse, however, he only ends up accidentally dragging her into his inevitable mission.

Rainie Martin is a strong and capable nurse despite her deep anxieties and a childhood trauma. She’s mad as hell when she gets roped into helping Kick get off of painkillers before his mission, but she can’t abandon him when he isn’t quite ready to go in time—so she agrees to take part of the trip with him, and a surprise attack leaves her stuck in the middle of a war zone.


Despite the inherently far-fetched premise of getting a panic attack-prone nurse into a war zone with a reluctant sniper, I’m amazed at how well Nina Bruhns’s Shoot to Thrill executes its plot. It’s about as believable as possible, which is much more believable than I expected! Certainly it’s enough that if you like dramatic action, I think you’ll be quite happy. (I do find myself wondering if this plot started with someone daring Nina, “I bet you can’t find a way to do *this* in your book and make sense!” In which case, I think they lost the bet.)

Rainie is a really fun heroine. She has her flaws and imperfections, from panic attacks to a weakness for bad boys (which of course is how she ends up in so much trouble with Kick), all of which makes her human and gives her room to grow—and grow she does! She doesn’t miraculously turn into superwoman out in the desert (another one of those things that makes the story more believable), but she definitely becomes a stronger person and learns a lot about herself. It’s truly enjoyable to follow along with her journey of self-discovery.

Kick is entertaining, sexy, and interesting in his own right. He has his own complicated background and his own traumas to overcome, and there’s plenty of baggage standing in the way of a relationship between our two lovers. The route to overcoming that, however, is strewn with plenty of hot sex and delightful sparks! Nina has a talent for letting sparks fly between her characters and creating tension without artificial conflict, which is so nice! All of the conflict between Rainie and Kick felt entirely natural and justified, and it wasn’t carried on too far.

All in all, I definitely enjoyed this one! It was action-filled and fun with plenty of romance and sexy goodness.


[STANDARD NOTE: Adult material, including explicit sex and dark adult topics—we are talking a war zone and terrorists, after all.]

[ADDITIONAL NOTE: I swear I don’t usually include such a grotesque number of parentheticals. I seem to be in a circuitous mood this morning!]

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4 comments on “"Shoot to Thrill," Nina Bruhns
  1. Jim Jones says:

    What other titles do you recommend from Nina Bruhns?


  2. Heather,
    Thanks for the great review. I’m interested in reading this one now.

  3. Raquel says:

    It is a good thing that I have read the standard note. Now I remember I have only read one book, which includes adult material. But the good review makes me realize that it has thriller and suspense because of spy character and terrorist kind of story. Thank you for the nice review.

  4. Roy says:

    This was my first time reading this author and I was not disappointed I thought the main characters of Rainey and Kick were fabulous but then I found myself even more interested in the secondary characters Gina and Greg. There was plenty of hot romance and hot action.

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