Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Garrison's Creed" by Cristin Harber

Nicola is an injured CIA agent on the run from a failed undercover operation. Her escape plan shatters when she slams into the man who buried her a decade ago. Cash Garrison. Her first and only love. Now, sexier than her best memory and cradling a sniper’s rifle, he has questions she can’t answer. Why was she alive? And armed?

Cash is an elite member of a black ops organization, The Titan Group. He thought Nicola died his senior year of college and swore off love to focus on a decade of military missions. But when she shows up behind enemy lines, bleeding out and wielding a weapon, his heart and mind are unsure how to proceed.

Titan and the CIA join forces to uncover a mole hidden in a network of international terrorists and homegrown mobsters, teaming Cash and Nicola again. They fight old wounds and re-ignite sparks while closing in on a double agent. When disaster strikes, Nicola’s hidden past makes her the hunted target and Cash’s best kill shot may not be enough to save them.

Garrison's Creed is book 2 in Cristin Harber's Titan Series.  This story follows Titan's resident gigolo (do people even use that word anymore?), Cash Garrison.  We are reminded from the first book, Winter's Heat, that Cash is THE player of the TItan Group, a covert operations organization that does the work that the government can't or won't do.  We learn that Cash erected his wall against emotional involvement after he lost the love of his life, who also happens to be the younger sister of his spotter and best friend, Roman. So imagine his surprise when he finds her alive during an operation.  Where has she been?  Why did she not contact her family?  Is she a friend or foe? Will he feel the same for her as he did when they were young lovers?  Can they re-kindle their love?  Does he even want to?

As a huge fan of romantic suspense, especially of the black ops variety, it takes very little for me to like a book from this genre.  Mostly, I'm easy to please as long as it is well written and has likeable characters.  However, it take a lot more for me to be impressed by a book.  I really enjoyed this second chance story.  Nicola is really a character I can get behind and root for.  She is a female agent in a male dominated profession.  She is constantly having to prove herself and throw off the mantle of needing to be protected by the males in her life.  She is smart, can think on her feet, and kick some major ass.  So when she is forced to partner with her former lover, how will this partnership work? Figuring out this solution is the fun part - I appreciate the back and forth tension between the two characters. 

Garrison's Creed departs from the first book in one very important manner.  We avoid a serious case of insta-love.  Because the main characters already have an established relationship, we avoid the implausibility factor.  I also appreciate the fact that it doesn't take too long for the characters to decide that they are going to be together.  The conflict is less about whether Cash and Nicola are going to be together or not, but rather how they are going to make it work.   I like it that when Cash decides he's in, he is all in. So for being such a tough guy, we see Cash's sweetness and soft heart.  

Liked it a lot.  This one works for me.  Can't wait to tackle the next book. 

Thanks to the author, Mill Creek Press, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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