Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SUNNY: ARC REVIEW "Savage Secrets" by Cristin Harber

When the past is impossible to ignore, love may be the only
way to survive.

Caterina Cruz has no home. No loyalties. No objection to exacting torturous revenge. Her life’s mission is to destroy the terrorist who murdered her family. Then she steps into an elaborate game of charades alongside a Titan Group operative posing as an arms dealer—and her newlywed husband. The sexy distraction may be more than she can handle.

Attacked with a psychedelic drug weeks before, Rocco Savage is plagued with hallucinations that threaten his new rank as Titan’s second-in-command. No one knows and he wants to keep it that way. Throwing him further off his game, he now has a wife with her own secrets he can’t crack and an agenda he can’t control.

Their mission—an elaborate deception of heated glances and passionate kisses—spins out of control. With Rocco's mind already compromised, can he keep his secret and his distance? And with Caterina's tragic past controlling her every move, can she keep the con up long enough to secure her revenge? Or will both go down in flames?

This one threw me for a loop.  I had expectations for this book - uber alpha character (most of the male characters in this series have been a smidge over the top), good action, a bit of drama, with a dash of emotion.  The story starts that way.  Rocco Savage is the new second-in-command at Titan.  He is working with a world-class interrogator to bring down a terrorist group.  They are posing as an arms dealing couple.  Things heat up, buildings go boom, and then our couple goes riding off into the sunset, right?  Cristin Harber gives us that and a lot more.  

Ms. Harber chooses to write a very gritty trauma into the storyline.  I applaud her for that. It is a courageous portrayal.  When reading romantic suspense there is one thing you can usually expect -   the story can be violent.  The plots often revolve around international or domestic terrorism, serial killers, or slave trafficking.  However, when it comes to the relationship between our two main characters, we don't expect that violence to touch them in an intimate way.  I don't know why it is so unexpected.  Maybe it is because we suspend our reality just a little so that we can get our happily ever after.  In this story, issues have to be worked out. We do not find a simple ending; although we do get a satisfying one in the end. 

My one critique of this book is the disconnect between Rocco's drugging and the rest of the story.  His episodes only seem to exist as a device to bring Rocco and Cat together.  Disappointingly, it loses it role in the cat-and-mouse story with the Dog Killer.  I thought there could've been an additional tension to the mission with Rocco's uncertain status due to the effects of the drugs.  Still, this is a minor point in an other wise successful romantic suspense story. 

I've never been so relieved for a happy ending.  Cristin Harber takes a adventurous romantic suspense and ties it with a plot turn that has my emotions in a twist.   A great read. I highly recommend it. 

Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

1 comment: