A dangerous cult has recently taken over the desert ghost town of Paradise, Arizona. Members worship at the feet - and in the bed - of its charismatic leader, Ethan Wycliff, and obey his orders blindly. They’ve already tried to murder one woman and they’re implicated in the disappearance of another. Nate Ferrentino, who works for private security contractor Department 6, has been assigned to infiltrate this group. It’s a challenge he welcomes - until he learns that colleague Rachel Jessop will be going undercover with him. Thanks to their shared history, he’d much rather go alone.... The problem is, only married couples can participate in cult rituals. So, like it or not - and they don’t - Rachel and Nate must pretend to be husband and wife. There’s no choice. Because if Wycliff isn’t exposed, if he isn’t stopped, more people will die. And Rachel might be one of them.
©2012 Brenda Novak (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Rachel made a misstep early on in her relationship with Nate and never forgave herself for her misinterpretation of the situation and vowed to never forget it.
However, the two of them are selected to work a case together that required they pretend to be husband and wife. The problem is that Rachel didn’t misread Nate’s earlier interest in her, Nate was affected more than he was willing to admit. Now it seems that Rachel has moved on but Nate still can’t get that night out of his mind either.
This case is not going the way Nate hopes, when Rachel decides to take things further on her own, with her life in danger, Nate realizes his true feelings for her. Problem now: how to get her away from the charismatic leader of the cult, because he has big plans for Rachel.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, not a lot of graphic sex, more of a romantic thriller with lots of twists and turns.
I adore Romantic Suspense. I love Military Romantic Suspense even more. I was very hopeful that this book would meet my (relatively moderate) expectations.
Many things worked:
~I believed that Nate and Rachel loved each other
~I believed her embarrassment about how their relationship began, "last January"
~I liked the premise
~much of the dialogue worked beautifully (in print...the narrator spoiled much of it)
Many more things simply fell flat (or were unbelievable, even in fiction):
~Nate is a former Navy Seal....but so much of his behavior fell short of that history (he easily could've been a police detective, and then every bit of his action, choices, would've rung true).
A) Nate sneaks into the compound and gets caught (Seals can "ghost" in and out and no one would see or hear a thing).
B) Nate enters the compound near the end of the story, Lone Ranger style...no backup, no weapons brought in with him, no communicating with the Mother Ship. I just can't see a Seal doing that.
C) Alpha Military types act first, and take care of emotional support (even of "his woman") later....get her to (physical) safety, FIRST. Too often, Nate was the non-military man who was more concerned if she's OK, feeling good about things when she's in immediate danger.
D) The list goes on and on, but I'll zip it right now.
~much of the plot fell flat....where there was next to no suspense (perhaps it was because we always knew what was happening from the Bad Guys' scenes). I wasn't ever worried for the characters, never felt anxious about how they were going to get out of any messes. It was almost as if the threat wasn't that great and therefore we never got to see their crime-fighting skills, and never any Spec-Ops Warrior skills.
~The narration was well below average. This female voice actor simply didn't have what it takes to do Nate's point-of-view (or voice) justice. I so would have preferred to see either both a male voice actor and a female actor...or simply have a man read this one. Some women's voices simply can't do the alpha male voice believably....and it grated on me. The narration dragged down the "overall" rating THAT much. While the story, by itself could've been a solid "3" on the rating scale for me, I simply can't give it even a 3 overall due to the narration.
My biggest regret? I've already purchased books 2 and 3 (same day as this 1st book in the series)....and now I don't even want to listen to them. I feel like I've wasted my credits for nothing.
Great tension between the primary characters coupled with a very very good story with many twists and turns makes this a fantastic book. Being the first of a series pretty much sells the rest of the series.
I didn’t care about the characters. The climax and how it resolved seemed generic. I listened to the first third and then jumped to the last few chapters.
The audiobook narrator Cris Dukehart was ok in what I heard.
Narrative mode: 3rd person.
Genre: romantic suspense.
I was surprised. This was not what I expected. A pleasant surprise....this was intriguing. The writing was good. Actually liked the narrator. Not having her try to fake voices was a welcome relief for this story. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Yes, I would listen to this story again because it was highly suspenseful and filled with lots of intrigue.
I am not sure. All of this author's books have the right mixture and balance between romance and suspense.
There are at least two scenes that will definitely surprise the listener!
One scene caused to me gasp with shock!
Worth the credit!
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