Final Exit by Lena Diaz
Series: EXIT Inc #3
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
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Lena Diaz concludes her sexy, suspenseful EXIT Inc. series as an FBI agent teams up with a beautiful assassin to uncover a deadly government conspiracy...
After a tragic mistake nearly destroyed his life, Special Agent Kade Quinn will do whatever it takes to save his career. His latest mission? Track and capture the remaining EXIT operatives to determine if they’re still a threat. But his next target—a stunning female assassin—is both elusive and dangerously appealing.
Bailey Stark has outsmarted the FBI so far, but she’s tired of running. Tired of watching her friends ambushed by government agents in tactical gear and never seen again. She suspects they aren’t being evaluated—they’re being exterminated—and she’s determined to convince Agent Quinn his mission is a lie before it’s too late. Bailey doesn’t want to rely on him. She definitely shouldn’t desire him. But she knows teaming up with the skilled, sexy agent may be her only hope.
Kade doesn’t want to believe Bailey’s claims, but he promises to keep her safe. Trusting one another is difficult. Fighting their attraction is harder. And as they uncover the disturbing truth behind his mission . . . staying alive will be nearly impossible.
I’ve been reading Diaz’s EXIT series from the beginning. I loved the premise–a secret “black ops” type organization that everyone thought was helping the good guys ends up doing some bad things due to a leader with another agenda. We see piles of these black ops groups in romance, and I was very interested in the idea of them crossing the line of good vs bad and how operatives who thought they were the good guys would react. While I enjoyed it, the series never quite lived up to its potential.
This final book centers on Bailey, a former EXIT assassin on the run. Kade is the government agent hunting her, but she keeps alluding his grasp (because she is a super BAMF). Bailey knows EXIT agents caught by the government for “evaluation” are ending up dead instead, and she has no plans to be one of them. Kade believes he’s simply rounding up agents so they can be debriefed and assessed to see if they were part of the bad contingent that took over EXIT. When Bailey tells him the truth, he doesn’t believe it, but his sense of honor compels him to look into the matter further, and he starts to realize something hinky is going on. Eventually he throws in with Bailey and resolves to help her get to the bottom of things.
Bailey was great. She’s tough, brilliant, and loyal to her friends. She can more than hold her own with all the boys in her field! I liked that Kade is tough and smart too. He and Bailey are evenly matched, and it leads to some good tension, sexual and otherwise. There is a lot of fast paced action that kept me reading, and I liked getting the resolution to this series.
The overall series just didn’t grab me like I wanted it to, though. There are tons of not-very-memorable characters, and even though I’ve read the whole series I still struggled to remember who everyone was. Mostly, I didn’t think that the really big issues were explored like they should have been. For instance, all these assassins truly believed they were doing “good” deeds and killing people who deserved it. Finding out that you were killing people based on grudges and selfish interests? That is huge! I would have liked to see more discussion of how the EXIT operatives felt about the situation. What does a revelation like this mean about secret, off-the-book organizations? How will all these operatives live with what they’ve done going forward? Those issues were briefly touched on, but not given any depth. It was a major lost opportunity, in my opinion.
Grade: 3.25 out of 5
*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.