Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Angel Double Dares You - Two from Christa Faust

Christa Faust has written two hard-hitting crime novels featuring former pornstar Angel Dare.  Will there be a third?  Only time will tell...

Money Shot (Hard Case Crime, #40)Money Shot by Christa Faust
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When you shoot a woman and leave her in the trunk of a car, you'd better make sure she's dead...

Former porn star and current talent agency owner Angel Dare is duped into meeting an old friend, beaten, raped, shot, and left for dead in the trunk of a Honda Civic, all because of some missing money she knows nothing about. But Angel doesn't die and, with the help of an ex-cop named Malloy, goes looking for those responsible...

Money Shot is a quick read, full of action and suspense, as befits its place in the Hard Case Crime series. Angel's quest for vengeance leads her through the underbelly of the porn industry and the seedy world of sex slavery. Her feeling that her life was stolen from her is completely understandable. The action is quick and brutal. Christa Faust is a fairly capable writer. Money Shot reads like an action movie. I suspect porn enthusiasts would enjoy it even more than I did.

The big payoff at the end was worth all of the bumps in the road along the way.

Choke Hold (Hard Case Crime, #104)Choke Hold by Christa Faust
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Working in a diner, Angel Dare thought she left her past behind her, both her former career as a porn star and as a vigilante taking down the men that left her for dead. All that changed when a former co-worker, Thick Vic Ventura, walked into her diner to meet his son, an up and coming MMA fighter, for the first time. Seconds later, Vic is mortally wounded by gunmen and asks Angel to take care of his son. Can Angel protect Cody and keep one step ahead of the men that want both of them dead?

This time out, Angel Dare's path intersects with the seedy underbelly of the mixed martial arts world. Much like the porn industry, there's a lot of unsavory elements lurking in the shadows and Cody is caught in the middle.

Angel is much as she was in the previous book: tough, crass, and more than a little randy. The dynamic between her, Cody, and Cody's trainer, Hank, was well done, as was Angel's conflicting feelings about Cody. The main characters went from the frying pan to the fire so many times it was almost like reading one of Norvell Page's old Spider pulps. The action was fast and frequently brutal.

Since Choke Hold takes place around the MMA world, you might think it has less smut than the previous Faust offering, Money Shot. You'd be wrong. Angel has needs, after all. (view spoiler)[One of my favorite parts near the end of the book is when Angel and company wander into an adult film convention while on the run from the bad guys. (hide spoiler)]

The ending was shocking and more than a little abrupt. If I had a complaint, that would be it. Then again, it's a Hard Case so you know things will likely not end well.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I enjoyed this even more than Money Shot.

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