Thursday, October 4, 2012

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Intimate Enemies" by Joan Swan


Cassandra Christo is going home to Baja, California Mexico and she is on a mission.  She is out to evict her stepfather, Saul, from her deceased mother's home.  Her mother died six months ago along with her stepbrother in a boating accident.  Now Saul is bringing prostitutes home and Cassie is going to find a way to get him out.  Unfortunately, for Cassie, Saul is not merely a morally corrupt john, he also happens to be a white slave trader and now a terrorist smuggler.  

When she arrives at her family estate, along with Saul, she meets Rio Santana, Chief of Security.  This is not the first time they have met.  At the her mother's funeral, Rio provided support, warmth and care to Cassie and although, she barely remembers his name, she does remember his compassion and touch.  For Rio, helping Cassie is one of the first times in a long time he's made a human connection.  As an I.C.E. agent working undercover for over a year, he has closed himself off to any ties choosing to keep himself totally focused on his assignment, until he met Cassie.

This was suppose to be an "in between" book (IBB).  You know those innocuous books that fill your time in between when your "highly anticipated" books are published. These books make you happy you read them, but you don't expect to be moved or surprised by them.  So, what an unexpected pleasure when an IBB becomes a highly entertaining book.  

Things I liked about this book:
* Cassie - I like strong female characters in my romantic suspense books.  Cassie is an emergency room doctor (smart) and is characterized as a bulldog for her tenacity in getting to the bottom of things.  She is also smart in other ways.  Without putting in a spoiler, let's just say she is astute and keenly observant and has the smarts to put the puzzle pieces together!  I love it!

* Rio - smart, vulnerable, and oh, so alpha.  

* Setting - Being in Baja, Mexico gets to take advantage of the fear and violence brought on by the gangs and drug cartels. 

* Great action and suspenseful scenes.  Had me on the edge of my seat.  

Things that could've used some work:
* Both characters are wounded by their past.  For Cassie, her situation could've been brought up earlier in the book.  As a reader, it would help me add to the layers of her character earlier on. For Rio, there was not enough development to his past tragedy.  It could've been more developed and also brought in earlier in the story. 

This is, of course, a great IBB, but don't be shy to move up your To Be Read (TBR) pile.  

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