This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Zebra Books
Released on September 24, 2019
After the first Deep Ops book, Hidden, which was one of my best reads of the year, took me on a suspenseful, action-packed ride that had a sexy romance pair along for kicks, I was more than ready to dive head first into the next mission for this misfit Deep Ops team run by the enigmatic and out of the box, Force.
Fallen is indeed the second of the Deep Ops romantic suspense series books and they do work better when they are read in order, including the between novella, Taken, to meet the team and their situation. But, in a pinch, this one could get read standalone if you don’t mind not having the down lo on the situation right at the beginning.
Brigid Banaghan finds herself in a tough situation. She was in prison for her computer hacking skills that took her into hacking the wrong place and she has her freedom if she works with Forces HDD group of misfits. The latest mission is personal. She knows for a fact that her dad is out of the Irish mob and not doing anything criminal, but yet there is intel that says differently. Raider Tanaka, straight arrow and a tough, trained operative is now her handler on the mission. She wants to ignore the sparks that leap between them when he lets his inner bad boy out to play. She has secrets and divided loyalty that put her in the swirl of the danger pool that only Raider can see her through if he can forgive her for what she is keeping to herself.
Raider is draw to the talented computer geek, but she’s a criminal and closely associated with a mark who might be dealing in human trafficking let alone other things. He grew up fast and hard until he got a lucky break with his last foster mom. It was Miss A who taught him to stay on the straight and narrow and every other good character trait he has, but if he is to do his job and get him and Brigid out alive, he must whole-heartedly step into the new role. And, not get distracted by a certain sexy Irish woman.
Right away, I was glad to be back in Zanetti’s Deep Ops world. I was enamored with that team of misfits that Force brought together even their crumbling poor excuse for a facility and Force’s neurotic dog Roscoe with all his bad habits. Right from the beginning, I could see that the story was going to have layers of secrets between the mission, the inter-agencies, and even the team members. Some of that is to be expected because it’s covert ops- nothing is ever simple or exactly what it seems. The mission struck a chord with me right away, too. The mention of human trafficking was all it took to have me down for a successful finish against the bad guys.
I really love the action scenes and the twists that the author can infuse into her stories. Generally, I love the main characters and their friends, too, which was the case here. But…
Yeah, there is a but. I just couldn’t get into Brigid and as a result, the romance. I didn’t hate her and found her role important to the story, but there was something about her that left me meh. Then, as the story got on, I was done with her big secret from Raider. It was a big deal and I waited for it to blow up in her face. I ended up frustrated with her because of the stupid secret and how it all went down. Sorry to be vague, but I don’t want to spoiler here. This of course had the trickle effect that meant I couldn’t care about the romance end. I’ll take part of the blame because I pictured a totally different story for Raider who was sexy with his cool and lethal vibe going on. Maybe I needed a little more before the declarations. I don’t know. It was okay.
Each member of the team was fun to meet again from Force to Nari the psychologist and most especially a certain big burly warrior type with a hint of crazy to him and a kitten riding in his pocket. The team is new and ill-fitted, but they are coming together and have each other’s backs. I was glad to get to know them even better which is definitely building anticipation for the future series books.
All in all, it was another strong installment in the series and the action kept me flipping pages fast. A few well-placed surprises and tense situations were golden. Even though the romance was so-so, I enjoyed several moments with this pair even some laugh out loud quips.
I want the next book badly and I can’t wait to see where the author takes the Deep Ops crew next. I can definitely recommend this series to those who love spicy romantic suspense.
I rec’d this book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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