This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Signet
Released on March 1, 2016
The set up on this one is a scenario that never fails to grab me. I love second chances in romances. In this case, one of Wesley’s ops guys encounters a woman he hasn’t seen since he was eighteen, in love, and she inexplicably cut him out of her life. The romance is balanced with a hard-biting mission involving a twisted sort of human trafficking. The author spun-out another riveting and engaging story that I devoured in one sitting.
The story is part of the ongoing Deadly Ops series. Like the others, it is good to get it in order, but also is flexible enough to work standalone or snagged as a first encounter- and trust me, you’ll want to go back for the others.
The story opens when an old buddy of Wesley contacts him and calls in a favor. A young girl who is like a granddaughter to him inexplicably went missing, but it was covered over to look like she had left for a job. When the former CIA man investigated, he learned that a startling amount of young women with eerily similar demographics are missing. Many of those women were associated with Maria’s community center, but a great number of those also worked at a gal named Amelia Rios’ restaurant. Wesley puts together a team to deal with this unusual mission in Miami.
Nathan Ortiz has been on desk duty as he healed from the mission that nearly ended him. As his life flashed before his eyes, it was the only girl he ever wanted who filled his thoughts. Now, on a mission and infiltrating the Miami scene as a smooth shady operator, he comes face to face with Amelia who happens to be on the arm of their chief suspect. Amelia doesn’t give him away, but now after many years he has found her and his emotional response is strong.
Amelia has left her old life far behind as she worked her way out of her poor neighborhood and the past to now be the owner of two successful restaurants. She pushed away the only guy she wanted and now fills her life with work. On one of her first ventures into dating, she runs into Nathan only he is calling himself Miguel. But then she learns that he and some others are there to run a mission to find out who is taking young girls and women and hopefully save even some of them while shutting down the new human trafficking organization. Amelia’s connection to Iker Mercado will help the team infiltrate the man’s tight security and check him out.
Meanwhile, Nathan and Amelia use the time to reconnect. Nathan has the priority of the mission, but he enjoys having this time with Amelia. Amelia is as drawn to Nathan as ever, but will he want anything to do with her when he learns why she shoved him away with no explanation. And now she is in danger and another girl is taken.
Alright, so the situation of this one is one that breaks the heart. People can be so devoid of humanity at times and that is what the team encounters here with the evil group that are exploiting these poor young women. I cheered on Nathan and the team so hard as they worked to bust up this slimy business and take down the perpetrators.
The romance is the type I love- the second chance type, but this one had one of those situations that can go either way with me. When one of the characters breaks up a romance and crushes the other one, I need it to be for a darn good reason otherwise, yeah. Not happy.
In this case, it wasn’t the past reason that caused me problem, but how the adult Amelia handled the reunion and reveal. She screwed up and that was understandable since she was a kid in a tough spot, but as an adult she got snitty when Nathan couldn’t process and work through what she laid on him fast enough (as in the second he heard the truth). Yeah, that’s when I got irritated with her. Amelia- who had years and therapy to work through it along with the fact that she took away Nathan’s choice when she shoved him out of her life- copped a tude because Nathan needed to step away and process (and he was quiet and careful with no hurtful words, but still she pouted and avoided him after that). The snit didn’t last long, but mostly because of circumstances and not because she got over herself and considered Nathan. I didn’t hate her or hate the romance, but I wasn’t completely satisfied, either.
As always, the time with the team on the mission for the action and the suspense was a favorite part. Love touching base with recurring characters and seeing them all working together on Wesley’s missions. Looking forward to the next installment and a new exciting romance and mission. These are fantastic and I can easily recommend them who like the covert ops backdrop to their romantic suspense stories.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #92 RS