When a simple mission to deliver the beautiful and brilliant Vanessa Crosby to a safe house goes horribly wrong, ICE agent Diego Santero’s life gets complicated. Keeping the anti-crime analyst safe from the notorious mercenaries after her program will put everything he’s worked for at risk.
Relentlessly hunted and not knowing whom to trust, Diego takes Vanessa on the run, deep into the heart of the deadly Panamanian rainforest. Vanessa reminds herself that she’s just another asset to the ruggedly handsome black ops agent…until their intense situation leads to a release of passion neither expected. But even if they make it out alive, how can they ever have a future together?
This is book one of the ICE: Black Ops Defenders miniseries from Harlequin Romantic Suspense
This book was gained from NetGalley. I have had many dealings with the author and consider myself a fan. This has not influenced my opinion nor was I paid for the review.
I fricking loved this book. It was fast paced, sexy and just good fun. I loved both the characters and the plot; I can honestly say that I will be picking up the next in the series.
Diego is the head of a black-ops operation tasked to deliver an important asset to a safe house to be protected. He is a bad ass leader who decides that maybe enough is enough with his current employer after this last task reduces them to overpaid postmen. When he realizes that the “asset” is Vanessa, his life plan goes back up in the air. After the situation becomes FUBAR (see, I know military lingo :D), the mission becomes less delivery service and more protection detail. A new problem arises as he starts to become attracted to her; his job and romance do not mix but he just can’t resist her.
I love love LOVED Diego. I thought I would from his first interactions with his team (give me a protective leader any day) but once he gets near Vanessa, I knew I loved him. His protective attitude was expected but I enjoyed that, although he was protective, he gave her the opportunities to show her strengths and was proud of them. I adored the fact that he got turned on by her spouting math equations and knew that, even though he fought against it, he was destined to fall. I just didn’t know how he was going to get round the whole secret identity deal…..
Vanessa was A-MAZING! A mathematician, she gets into trouble purely because of her intelligence. Once she is in it up to her neck, she refuses to step out of the firing line because she realizes that, in doing so, she dooms others. The formula that she has created could stop a criminal gang that deals in drugs and people trafficking and she refuses to save her own skin at the expense of the victims. She made an informed choice to risk her life and I respected her for it; her strength of conviction was lovely to see. Of course, as soon as I saw how determined she was in this aspect of her life, I knew it would translate to her relationship with Diego. She knew what she wanted, knew and understood his reservations, but was determined to make it work. She was my ideal heroine.
The chemistry between the two of the main characters was flammable. As the relationship built from sparks to a raging inferno, I fell more in love with their pairing and I wanted to see them find their HEA. There is some seriously cute moments between them (see quote below) which are punctuated with scenes which are downright dirty. Melissa Cutler writes some seriously hot romances and this is a fantastic example.
“Roger that. Mouth shut. Weepy chicks get tissues except girlfriends, then you have to offer yourself as the tissue”
The suspense plot was so much fun and it kept me turning page after page until, before I knew it, the book was finished. I loved watching the whole team work together and I cannot wait for the next in the series. If this book is anything to judge the series by, we are in for one hell of a ride.
Overall, this is a brilliant start to a series and I am desperate to read more. With a bad-ass black-ops hero falling for a math-geek heroine who wants to save the world, I was hooked in from the first second they met. It has action, sex and a hero whose idea of dirty-talk involves algebra… give it a try!