This was a long anticipated story for me after being briefly introduced to Levi’s situation earlier in the series. After losing his wife and unborn child to brutal torture by a sick fiend, Levi escaped the agency he worked for and lived only for revenge. He crossed into gray areas and established himself with a dangerous persona to get close to the people who would lead him to the one who killed his wife. Any good in him and any sense of conscience is buried deep under his consuming need.
Now however, the situation with Levi has many people concerned because his need for revenge will put thousands of lives in jeopardy forcing those who would claim him as friend or even owe him their lives to put him down for the greater good. One woman takes a chance that Levi still retains the honor, integrity and sense of duty he was known for and seeks to make Levi her mission partner. Surprisingly, even to Levi himself, he is ready to step up and do the job for reasons beyond revenge and for the first time since his wife was killed, he is interested in another woman.
And so begins the shaky and tentative partnership between Agent Selene Wolfe and former agent, Levi Lazaro. Levi may seem like the weak loose cannon on the team, but Selene has big issues and secrets of her own that may jeopardize things particularly her soft spot for Levi. Selene is a good agent and knows that the evil man plotting against innocents needs to be stopped even if it means destroying any chance with Levi and maybe having to take the final step to stop him.
This was a powerful story beyond just the romance and suspense elements. It’s the story of Levi’s journey back from darkness and Selene’s final step of healing. The action is intense and the villain is truly vile. Like the others in the series, the hero and heroine narrators are joined by the villain in telling the story. The tension isn’t so much in not knowing who is doing what, but in how they will accomplish what they are to do. The romance builds right alongside the action. Attraction is there, but wisely, the author gives this time to tease out. They have a lot of baggage that needs to be dealt with first.
The characters were phenomenal. Levi was easily a hero that I could get behind. He may be nearly broken by what happened to his wife and the isolation he lives in after parting with everyone he knew, but he falls in line when he is needed, he respects Selene and her skills without feeling threatened, and he is the one who makes the grand gesture even though he had every reason to feel hurt and betrayed.
Now while I loved Levi, it was Selene who really surprised me. She was a fantastic heroine. She is brilliant, capable, and loyal. She is young and impulsive at times, but her motives and actions are sound. Her flaw is difficulty bestowing complete trust. If there was one thing that I would have liked to have seen, it would have been a scene demonstrating real faith in Levi particularly after he kept patiently proving himself. This isn’t a real criticism so much as just a dreamy wish because Selene made all the right decisions even when they were tough ones. She loved him and everything worked out in the end- most satisfactorily, but there wasn’t that moment with everything on the line where she had to choose to trust. Guess the romantic in me wanted that. Not that I was gypped on the romance because they were a passionate pair.
All in all, this series continues to impress with strong, gritty, action, intriguing twists, and characters that are tough, mature, and sizzling hot. Even better, these are connected as a series, but in such a way that they can be read out of order. Romantic Suspense lovers really shouldn’t pass these up.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #226
Cliché Klatch #138 ‘I’ve got trust issues’
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