by Cindy Dees
Published: February 25, 2014, Harlequin HQN
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️
When she set out with Doctors Unlimited as a translator on a humanitarian mission, Katie McCloud knew she was heading into a dangerous area. With most of her family involved in either law inforcement, the military or intelligence, her job as a kindergarten teacher seemed bland and she had wanted to expand on her experience. Expand she did, under fire and with a newborn baby tucked in her coat she was running for her life....along with her teammate, the brooding and enigmatic Dr. Alex Peters.
In an ongoing attempt to distance himself from his past and the burden of his heritage, Alex Peters has chosen to place himself in unfriendly territory, using his medical degree to assist pregnant women who no longer have medical care. As a physician for Doctors Unlimited, he has been assigned the assistance of a translator, the innocent and chatty Katie, who surprises him with her grit and determination when they end up in the middle of some kind of attack.
Forced to reveal some of his closely guarded secrets, Alex manages to get them out of immediate danger and eventually back into the U.S., but once there he is starting to seriously question his teammate's innocence. His attraction to her grows as his suspicions do, but when attacks occur on homeground and clearly directed at them, his only concern is to keep Katie safe.
The constant unknown threat has forced Katie into Alex' protection and the close proximity has flared up the sparks flying between them. Even though her feelings for him grow, trust is still difficult to give. But in order to stay alive, both Alex and Katie have to let go of what they think they know, and have faith in what is in their heart....
A highly graphic and action-packed opening sequence had me completely hooked into this romantic suspense novel!!
My first introduction to Cindy Dees was a good one! An international counter-intelligence/ espionage novel with substantial romantic and sexual tension and heat is just what this reader enjoys!! An intruiging story with some descriptive chapters not for the faint of heart, and I don't mean that in a sexually explicit way.....
The story starts in a region ravaged by war and civil unrest and some of the resulting scenes and events we encounter are therefore perhaps outside of our frame of reference, but they serve to place the story in the appropriate context.
Katie's character holds more depth than appears at first sight. She proves that fairly early on by her tenacity and ability to adapt under dire circumstances, but also later on in the story when under a tremendous amount of pressure as well as in danger for her life. She has a sense of clarity in the way she regards the world and the people around her, being able to detect BS from a mile away, which proves to be helpful to her.
Alex has had a tough start in life, and frankly, it hasn't gotten much better. He has trained himself to shut down his emotional side completely out of self-preservation, giving him the ability to consider what is around him from a purely analytical perspective. But since meeting Katie, some of his emotions have been flaring up and that is something he is unfamiliar with. Something that makes him automatically distrustful. For someone who has relied on skill and analysis for so long, it is difficult to put any faith in his feelings.
Aside from the fact that this was a very exciting and interesting action filled novel, I really enjoyed the character development of our two protagonists, Alex's being the most dramatic. Very insightful and intelligent writing by Cindy Dees with absolutely blistering hot sex scenes.
So for any lovers of, for instance, the KGI novels of Maya Banks, this is a fantastic read!!
✨An adrenaline packed, sinfully sexy spy story!!✨
**ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin HQN in return for an honest review.**