Tag: Rebecca Zanetti

Review: Alpha’s Promise by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted July 8, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Alpha’s Promise by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Alpha's Promise by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #10
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Fated (Dark Protectors, #1), Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2), Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3), Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4), Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5), Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6), Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8), Demon's Mercy (Dark Protectors, #9)
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Pages: 345
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

To hell and back . . . Though he has vampire, demon, and Viking blood rushing through his veins, Ivar Kjeidsen’s soul-crushing trip to hell broke him in ways he can barely fathom.  One vow keeps the deadly immortal standing: To rescue the vampire brother who had sacrificed freedom for him.  To do that, Ivar needs the help of a brilliant physicist with wary brown eyes, fierce brilliance, and skin that's way too soft.

Dr. Promise Williams understands the underpinnings of the universe but has never figured out the human beings inhabiting it.   Her function is to think—and not feel—until she’s touched by a vampire who’s nowhere near human. The primal hunger in his eyes awakens feelings in her that defy calculation. As she shows him the way to step between worlds, he brands her with a pleasure that could last more than a lifetime . . .

Vampire’s Faith (Dark Protectors #8) starts the Dark Protectors series on a new arc. It brings the us the Seven. Seven warriors who scarified everything to protect the world from a religious sect of the Kurjan vampires. If their leader is free from the bubble world that they trapped him in, enhanced females all over the world can be killed. As it stands Quade, the leader of the Seven is in his own bubble world, which is balancing out the other world. But his world is about to fail.

Ivar Kjeidsen went through hell in Demon’s Mercy. Thrown through a portal, he went through a thousand years of hell in only a few weeks on earth. By the time he made it back to his brothers, he knew only one thing. He had to free Quade even if it meant taking his place. To do this, he would do whatever it took. Even kidnapping Dr. Promise Williams.

Someone has been killing Promise’s female colleagues. So when a man bursts into her car with a gun, she does what any sane woman would do. She guns the engine and runs into a police car, sending the kidnapper through the windshield. Unfortunately, he gets away. Promise has no idea what she’s gotten herself into, but she’s all about work and figures it was a fluke. Seriously, a fluke.

I really had a hard time with Promise with most of the book. She was a really hard character to connect with at first. She was all about logic and what would be best for science. She wanted to mate with Ivar because she wanted to be immortal. If she was immortal she would be able to study science forever and ever amen. Who thinks like that?

Luckily for Promise (and me), Ivar is far from logical. In fact, he’s all alpha all the way. He rips Promise out of her scientific bubble and shows her what the real world is like. When Promise is in Ivar’s world, the science looks different. Ivar is certain that she can help him get to Quade. But will she?

I ended up liking Promise by the end of the book. She ended up being good enough for Ivar, but it was a long time in coming. At first Ivar came off as a martyr, wanting to change places with Quade. That wasn’t it. Ivar is convinced that their war with the Kurjans needs Quade leading the Seven. Now they just have to find out how to get him out. It’s a good thing that Quade’s book is next.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Alpha’s Promise by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted July 7, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I love the Dark Protector series. If you have not read it and love paranormal romance, you are seriously missing out. Alpha’s Promise is book 10 in the series and book 3 of the new story arc. I am really enjoying the turn this series has taken. Zanetti has taken us back to the roots of the Vampires and Demons. The Seven are the protectors of the Realm itself and the Realm doesn’t even know they exist. Or they didn’t. Now they do and it has hit the proverbial fan. The Realm and the Seven now have to work together to protect all enhanced women, including the mates of some of the most powerful Vampires and Demons alive. But can they?

Sunday Spotlight: Alpha’s Promise by Rebecca ZanettiAlpha's Promise by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #10
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Fated (Dark Protectors, #1), Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2), Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3), Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4), Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5), Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6), Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8), Demon's Mercy (Dark Protectors, #9), Alpha's Promise
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 345
Length: 10 hours and 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

To hell and back . . . Though he has vampire, demon, and Viking blood rushing through his veins, Ivar Kjeidsen’s soul-crushing trip to hell broke him in ways he can barely fathom.  One vow keeps the deadly immortal standing: To rescue the vampire brother who had sacrificed freedom for him.  To do that, Ivar needs the help of a brilliant physicist with wary brown eyes, fierce brilliance, and skin that's way too soft.

Dr. Promise Williams understands the underpinnings of the universe but has never figured out the human beings inhabiting it.   Her function is to think—and not feel—until she’s touched by a vampire who’s nowhere near human. The primal hunger in his eyes awakens feelings in her that defy calculation. As she shows him the way to step between worlds, he brands her with a pleasure that could last more than a lifetime . . .

Excerpt

The darkness of night carried additional rain. Mature trees scented the air with pine as drops drizzled from rolling clouds and splattered up from the leaf-covered ground. Thick branches protected Ivar as he leaned against a tree trunk, munching on peanuts, watching the quiet bungalow at the end of a private street. He ducked to the other side as a police cruiser drove by and turned around in the cul-de-sac, apparently conducting an hourly check of Promise’s home. Either the local police force lacked manpower, which was likely, or they thought his stupid kidnapping attempt earlier that day had been random.

Promise slid open filmy curtains at the front of her house and waved at the officer. He waved back and drove away.

Leaving her alone.

It was near midnight, and she had changed into soft-looking gray yoga pants with a matching top. Her thick hair was pulled up on her head, and her hand trembled slightly on the curtain. She had long, very curly black hair, high cheekbones, and caramel-colored skin. Her ancestry wasn’t obvious, but her beauty certainly was.

Relief had soothed some of his guilt earlier as he’d watched her walk from a different police car to her front door without a hitch in her stride. So he hadn’t hurt her. Good. The curtain fell, and she disappeared from sight.

A loneliness drifted through him that caught him up short.

Her home was perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and the water crashed loudly against rocks below. Trees and branches blocked his view of the water, which was fine, because his interest lay in the woman. If he had found her, his enemies soon would as well. He slid down onto his butt and extended his legs, resting his head on the rough bark. Protecting her from afar should’ve been his default position.

Yet there had been something about her at the funeral. Something sad and solitary that had called to him. So he’d tried to kidnap her. He banged his head against the tree, enduring the pain as bark dug into his skull. Being half-crazed didn’t give him the excuse to be a moron.

He closed his eyes and let the sound of rain, wind, and waves ground him in this moment and in this world. He was home, and for the time being, he was safe. His mind drifted, and he returned to hell.

He’d been forced into world after world through a portal, and somehow in this loop, he could escape by imagining other portals that soon appeared. Most led to worse places, so he’d try to jump again. Time moved differently—one minute felt like a hundred years of torture and pain. His spirit hung in tatters by the time he reached his brother’s world. Quade was one of the Seven bonded in blood and bone, which made them family.

Quade had pulled him out of the fire and secured them both in a dirty cave littered with crumbled leaves and discarded bones. Fire and glass-filled wind roared in a maelstrom outside. The other male had scar upon scar upon scar on his body, but his nose was Ronan’s. Exactly the same.

Even though pain had engulfed Ivar, he finally knew why he’d been through so many hells. “Ronan’s world exploded, and he’s home now. It’s time for you to go home too. I’ll take your place,” he said.

Quade’s dark aqua eyes barely showed the existence of his pupils in the dingy cave. “It’s almost over, brother.”

Ivar eyed the sharp rock. “Just tell me what to do.” His memories were already dim, but hadn’t Ronan said he’d needed to move rocks and balance the magnetic poles in his world to keep Ulric trapped? If so, what was Quade doing every day besides being tortured by an environment too horrible to believe?

Quade’s torn lips twisted in a parody of a smile. “I feed the dragon, Viking. Not you.”

“Dragon?” Ivar asked. They existed other places as well as back home?

“No,” Quade said, his voice raw. “It’s getting harder, and soon it’ll end. Everything will. Me.” He grunted the last, sounding more hopeful than resigned.

Ivar tried to reason with him. Was he mad? How could anybody have stayed sane here? “You’ll be free, Quade. Ronan survived the end of his world, and so will you. You can heal and find a new life.”

Quade’s lids dropped to half-mast. “Already dead…Viking.” He stood and dragged Ivar to his feet. “You go now. Portals will open, keep following. Maybe you’ll get home.” Even with his body damaged so badly, his strength was beyond that of a normal hybrid. “Tell Ronan. Tell all my brothers…”

Ivar clutched Quade’s arms, fighting the unholy wind that pierced through his skin to his soul. “Come with me,” he begged.

“Tell them goodbye.” Quade pushed Ivar hard, sending him through a portal that swallowed him with a gleeful shriek. He screamed, but the void allowed for no sound. He hit ice in a new world, rolled, and came up fighting.

Through portal after portal, through hell dimension after hell dimension, he hung on to Quade’s last words. Soon they were all he had. After a while, he vaguely remembered who he’d been. But Quade, he never forgot. Saving Quade, rescuing his brother, was the only thought that kept Ivar alive.

Until he finally arrived back home, on a peaceful lakefront, with his brothers surrounding him.

Dark Protectors

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: July 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.


Tagged: , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Taken by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted May 5, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I don’t usually read novellas, but I will always make an exception for Rebecca Zanetti. In fact, I’m not reading very many romantic suspense books these days. Again, I made an exception for Rebecca Zanetti. You should too! I highly recommend starting with the Sin Brothers and moving on from there.

Sunday Spotlight: Taken by Rebecca ZanettiTaken by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Deep Ops #1.5
Also in this series: Hidden (Deep Ops, #1), Hidden (Deep Ops, #1)
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 103
Length: 3 hours and 8 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Hunter Holt might be the most stubborn ex-soldier ever born, but when he’s called on to help find a lost foster kid, he jumps into action. Even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart five years ago—the woman who still haunts his dreams . . .

Faye Smith has spent five long years trying to get her life back on track. She knows she should’ve turned toward Hunter and not away from him. But they both had too many demons to destroy. Maybe now they’ll get another chance—and save someone else’s life too . . .

But first they’ll have to stop arguing long enough to trust the Deep Ops team. Hunter was a lost boy himself once. In fact, he ran away from the exact same man, their monster of a father. Now he and Faye will have to unite to find the brother he never knew—and maybe each other . . .

 

Excerpt

To say that things hadn’t ended well for them would’ve been the understatement of a century—heck, of the entire existence of human beings on Earth. Even a caveman breakup, with swinging mammoth bones and the throwing of fire, would’ve seemed like an afternoon at the beach compared to the day Faye and Hunter called it quits.

Which explained why her hands were sweaty and her tennis shoes kept tripping over the exposed tree roots of the barely-there path on the way to his cabin. Pine trees closed in from every direction, and an animal squawked in the distance. The sound probably came from a bird, but the beast sounded like it had teeth. Did some birds have teeth? She’d had to toss a decapitated bunny off her deck last year because of a sociopathic owl hunting the forest behind her house. So if not teeth, then maybe claws.

At the moment, she’d rather face that owl than Hunter Holt. He would not be happy to see her, and he’d be downright hostile to the news she was bringing. Dread and anticipation boiled inside her at the prospect of seeing him again. Her first love. Heck, her only love. Man, he’d been everything.

Maybe he’d gotten fat and bald in the past five years and had taken up smoking, which would give him wrinkles. The thought cheered her. Then hopefully she’d stop having dreams about him that resulted in her seeking a cold shower.

She turned a corner, and the side of his cabin came into view. It faced the Smoky Mountains and Dogwood Creek, which rushed by surprisingly fast for late June. A tumble of large rocks angled up from the water to a man-made stone wall designed to protect the wood and rock cabin from flooding.

He came out from the rear of the cabin, his gait easy, his gaze alert. No doubt his bizarre instincts had warned him of her approach half a mile down the trail. “Faye.”

Ah, shoot. Neither fat nor bald. In fact, the bastard looked better than ever. “Hunter,” she said, drawing on years of practice to keep her voice level and calm.

His intense blue eyes, the color of a male indigo bunting in the height of mating season, revealed absolutely no emotion. His dark blond hair was cut short and yet was still shaggy—thick enough for a woman to spend some serious time running her hands through it. Despite the short beard and mustache he wore, the hard angles of his face proved he’d grown even more handsome in the past five years. His chest had broadened, and cut muscles shifted beneath the worn cotton of his shirt. “What are you doing here?”

Had his voice deepened? She held her stance on the trail, the toe of her shoe angled on a rock. “Miss Angelina sent me.”

Finally, emotion. His eyebrows rose, and he moved toward her as if unable to help himself. “Is she okay?” Urgency roughened the edges of his southern accent.

“She’s fine,” Faye murmured, something hurting inside her chest. Would he have had the same reaction if somebody had approached him about her? After all these years, the good and bad, would he have cared one bit if something happened to her? Not that it mattered. Not anymore. “She wants our help. That means…” Faye lifted a shoulder.

He sighed and tucked his thumbs in his front pockets. “We help.”

She nodded. The man might be one of the deadliest on the planet, and the crankiest, but when Miss Angelina called, you went, no matter who you were, or who you’d become.

“Why send you?” he asked.

Ouch. Seriously. Double ouch. “I’m the only one she’s been able to reach so far,” Faye said, her hand all but itching to grab a rock and hurl it at his stubborn head. The stone facade of his face was starting to piss her off, and he probably knew it. “Would it kill you to have a cell phone?”

His frown deepened. “I have a cell phone, and Miss Angelina has the number. Called me just last week.”

Huh. What in the world did that mean? Faye tilted her head. “And she hasn’t called you yesterday or today?”

“Nope.”

Well. That was interesting, and not just a little disconcerting. Everything in Faye wanted to hand off the case to Hunter and head back to figuring out what do with her life in Louisville. But Miss A had been insistent that Faye work it to the end, and there was some logic there, considering Faye had once been a shrink. A mistake among many in her life. She drew off her beige backpack, because her shoulders were starting to ache. “Perhaps Miss A wanted me to deliver these to you.”

His gaze dropped to the pack, and then he sighed. “You might as well come inside, then.”

“How could a girl refuse such a gallant offer?” she snapped, holding the pack with her good arm and starting for the green-painted side door.

The quickest flash of a smile lifted his lips for a moment. When she came abreast of him, he reached for the backpack.

She jerked it away. “I’ve got it.”

“It looks heavy.” He reached for it again, his long arm easily snaking across her body to grasp the strap.

“No.” She pulled again, engaging in a tug of war reminiscent of when they were kids. Finally, she twisted her torso, and he either had to let go or pull her entire body toward him.

He didn’t let go.

Instead, he grabbed both straps and pulled, jerking her up against his much harder and taller form. His scent of man and wild maple hit her so fast she gasped as memories flooded in. “When are you gonna learn that life isn’t fair?” He lifted, and she had no choice but to relinquish the bag or somehow grow ten inches. “You’re five-four, a buck twenty, and in a physical fight, you’re not gonna win.”

“Five-five,” she retorted, releasing the bag and instantly punching him in the gut as hard as she could. Pain ripped from her wrist up her arm. His darn ribs were steel.

He sucked in air, pained. “I’d forgotten your sucker punch.”

“You’re a moron.” She turned away, pissed beyond belief that she’d lost the backpack.

“So you’ve said, on more than one occasion,” he drawled, back in control again. “In fact, I believe that’s the last thing you yelled at me.”

“Actually,” she said, looking over her shoulder directly at him, “I believe it was ‘I love you, and I’m sorry.’” Then she turned and shoved open the door to his cabin.

Deep Ops

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: May 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.


Tagged: , , ,

Review: Demon’s Mercy by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted January 21, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Demon’s Mercy by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Demon's Mercy (Dark Protectors, #9) by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #9
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Fated (Dark Protectors, #1), Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2), Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3), Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4), Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5), Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6), Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8), Alpha's Promise
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Mercy O'Malley hates killing people. So when she's assigned to take out Vampire-Demon Logan Kyllwood, she lures him to a seedy bar in Scotland, then decides to kidnap him instead. How can she cold-bloodedly end all that heat, those green eyes, that ripped body? Unfortunately for Mercy, attempted murder and kidnapping are just foreplay for the Kyllwood brothers. Logan may be the youngest of the bunch, but death and violence are already a way of life. Now he's ready to complete a painful, terrifying ritual to become one of the Seven, dedicated to protecting this world from the most dangerous evil it's ever known. But first he has to deal with a blackmailing Fey, a ransom demand and his own pounding need for the last female he ever should have fallen for . . .

Oh, did I ever enjoy this book. This is one of my favorite books in the Dark Protector series. I usually have a problem with the heroines in this series, but not so with Mercy. She was just a breath of fresh air. I found her to be exactly who was needed in this book.

Mercy O’Malley is fae. They are mostly assumed to be a myth in the Realm. The ones that have known a fae in the past all have a couple words for them. Fairy. Crazy. It’s actually crazy that comes up more often. And crazy they are. They often act before they think, especially in Mercy’s case. She doesn’t quite think her plan through when she decides that she’s going to kidnap Logan Kyllwood instead of kill him.

Mercy is not a solider. She’s a business person. Or business fae. She keeps the fae in money. She plays the stock market. She moves money around. Mercy is that person. She’s also one of the few fae left in the world. Her people were happily living on another dimension when it was destroyed. They lost almost all their people. Now they’re forced to live in a dimension that they have no desire to live in. The realm with everyone else. The problem now is that Logan Kyllwood and his brotherhood are threatening they’re new dimension as well.

Logan Kyllwood can’t believe he let himself get kidnapped by a fairy. He’s only days away from a horrifying ritual that could kill him. One where he joins a brotherhood known as the Seven. The job of the Seven is to protect the world from the biggest, baddest evil the world has ever seen. The evil that can wipe out all enhanced females. Including his young niece. Logan can’t help himself from being attracted to Mercy, but he won’t let her stop him.

What made this book so good was the interaction between Mercy and Logan. Mercy got the one-up on Logan so many times and he just kept falling for her shenanigans. At first I was thinking, “Seriously, how stupid are you?”, then I looked at it another way. He just liked her that much. He got stupid around her. There was one interaction that was especially humorous. The vampire mating mark appears on Logan’s hand, signifying that Mercy is his mate. Mercy sees it and loses her shit a little bit.

“Your marking,” she whispered.

“Yes.” He looked down, no expression on his immortal face.

Oh. She blinked. “You’ve found your mate.” What an asshole. He’d brought her to orgasm while soon to be mated to someone else. Obviously he hadn’t transferred the marking to the other female yet, or he wouldn’t have been able to kiss Mercy without succumbing to the mating allergy. The fact that she’d done the same was irrelevant. “You’re such a dick.”

He jerked and turned toward her. “Excuse me?”

A mating mark only appeared when a demon met his or her mate, and then it was transferred to the mate during sex. She’d read all about it, fascinated. “You’ve met your mate, and here is the mark to prove it. Yet you kissed me.” Man, she’d read him wrong. No honor. What a jackass. His poor mate. How incredibly sad. “I should tell her the truth.”

“You are her,” he drawled, dark amusement glittering in his eyes.

Mercy has always felt that she had to work for her place with her people. Logan is determined to show her that she doesn’t have to prove herself to him. His view does differs from Mercy’s in how their partnership is going to work. Mercy just does what she wants. She does what she wants without any fanfare. She just does it. She does what she believes is best. For her people, for her President, for her King, and above all, for Logan. I just adored these two characters individually and together.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted October 4, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: Hidden by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Jen
Hidden (Deep Ops, #1) by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Deep Ops #1
Also in this series: Hidden (Deep Ops, #1)
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hide. That’s all Pippa can do to escape the terror chasing her. But now that she’s off the grid in a safe house, she finds plenty of interesting things to watch through the window. Like her new neighbor, with his startling green eyes, killer smile, and sexy bad-boy tattoo . . .

Run. Malcolm West is fleeing the hell he unleashed in his last assignment as an undercover cop. A backwoods bungalow sounds like the perfect place to start over. Until he discovers he’s been set up . . .

Fight. Someone’s gone to a lot of trouble to bring them together. No matter how much he resents that, and his own driving needs, Malcolm will have to dig deep and let loose the banished killer inside himself, or Pippa’s fears could come true faster than the flip of a bolt in a lock . . .

Pippa lives essentially in the middle of nowhere, secluded except for the sexy new guy who moved into the only nearby house. Malcolm is also running from his life as an undercover cop and the demons of his past. It turns out someone wants Malcolm for a new operation, though, and Pippa is his target. She might be involved with a terrorist plot, and while Malcolm just can’t believe she’s a terrorist, he knows she’s lying and hiding something. Malcolm has to learn to work with his new team and get the info they need about Pippa, although that gets increasingly difficult as he gets to know her. Neither Malcolm nor Pippa can trust the other, but if they don’t they may not be able to stop an attack.

I loved this book. Pippa and Malcolm were richly drawn and interesting characters, both with their own baggage and their own hopes. Both of them were so damaged by their past, though both have channeled that in different directions. Pippa was traumatized by her childhood, experiencing panic attacks and terrible nightmares and largely cloistering herself in her house out of fear. In many ways, though, she’s better off than Malcolm–she is in (online) therapy, has a fulfilling job that doesn’t require her to leave her house, and isn’t self-medicating with alcohol like Malcolm. Malcolm has been working undercover for years, and the stress of being so deep undercover for so long has taken its toll on him. He’s got some serious PTSD and some unhealthy coping mechanisms, and it was tough to read about at first. The way Pippa sees Malcolm’s pain and wants to offer comfort was just lovely, and Malcolm realizes he wants to do the same for her.

There was a bit of a different tone from many of Zanetti’s other books. Malcolm is still WAY alpha, but he demonstrates a deep awareness of how he might appear threatening to Pippa, and he goes out of his way to avoid that not for self-serving reasons but because he doesn’t want to contribute to her fear. There’s also a lot more consent talk than Zanetti’s books usually feature. Of course, he still is bossy and gets off on dominating her in bed, but I honestly appreciated that Malcolm isn’t as much of a cave man as Zanetti’s usual heroes. (The book was still way sexy too.) I hope she continues that trend.

By far my favorite part of the book is Malcolm’s new team of “Homeland Defense Department” agents. They are all misfits and outcasts, people with secrets in their past that got them sent to the middle of nowhere to handle the cases no one else thinks are important. They start to develop friendships in this book, and it’s clear they will become a tight knit and top notch team. Each and every one of them is fantastic, especially the dog Roscoe who provides a ton of comic relief. I CANNOT wait to read about all of them in future books.

This book did have a few inconsistencies, like how Pippa warmed to Malcolm and started falling for him so quickly. I also would have liked Pippa to find out the truth about Malcolm a little earlier. She does find out early enough to resolve some conflict and have a role in stopping the attack, but I would have preferred just a little more time for her to come to terms with Malcolm’s lies.

These are pretty minor quibbles, though. Mainly I just had a great time reading this book, and I am beyond excited to see it continue.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Deep Ops

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,