Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ARC Review: DEADLY INTENT by Misty Evans

Deadly Intent
by Misty Evans
Southern California Violent Crimes Taskforce, book 4

She’ll do anything to find her sister…

Deep undercover with a Tijuana drug cartel, FBI agent Sophia Diaz is two days away from making the biggest bust of her career…and tracking down her sister who went missing ten years ago. But when a rival cartel puts out a hit on her, there’s only one man who can keep her alive.

He’ll do anything to keep her safe…

Immigration enforcement officer, Nelson Cruz, has his hands full with his own operation while undercover as a member of the Savages motorcycle gang. When orders come down that he has to protect the sexy, but oh-so-aloof, Agent Diaz without breaking his cover, Nelson must put his skills to the ultimate test. Especially since a previous relationship with Sophie compromised his career and wreaked havoc on his heart.

South of the border is no place to die…

Nelson’s never gotten over the time he spent in Sophie’s bed or the fact she double-crossed him on their last mission together. He can’t trust her…and she doesn’t trust anybody. As the two fight their red-hot, south of the border attraction, Nelson discovers a secret that could destroy Sophie’s world forever. Once again, he’s forced to put his job—and his life—on the line for her. Can he keep her alive and out of prison? Or will their careers, as well as their hearts, go up in the flames of desire?

From the blurb, this book has all the elements of my favorite kind of romantic suspense - a second chance love story, an on-the-edge alpha hero who is willing to risk it all for love, and a strong-willed, kick-butt heroine who can go toe to toe with the hero.Unfortunately, although the story was suspenseful, the hero was honorable, and there was a good dose of smexy, I find the heroine so unlikeable that ultimately, I found it difficult to enjoy the story. 

Things that made me stamp my feet in frustration: 

The greatest problem I have with Sophia is her duplicity and dishonesty.  Coming into the story, she has already betrayed Nelson in the past.  She is undercover in a criminal cartel, so I understand the need maintain a cover.  However, she keeps lying to Nelson...the man she supposedly loves.  Her refusal to come clean over her other clandestine activities is very frustrating.  He gives her an opportunity after opportunity to tell the truth and even offers to help her at the risk of his own job, and STILL she deceives him.  
I understand Sophia's motivation and admire her need to protect others, but her inability to let him into her confidence, let him help, undermined the veracity of their relationship. 

Things that made the book worth finishing:

The best part of the book is Nelson. He is a standout character.  As a member of the Southern California Violent Crimes Taskforce, he knows what it means to work as a part of a team.  He is conflicted and his decision to support Sophia times is frustrating, but I do admire his loyalty to the woman he loves.  

Things that made me scratch my head: 

Clearly, bad guy Rodrigo Morales is attracted to Sophia, his bookkeeper.  Given that, you would think that Nelson and Sophia would keep their attraction low profile, but at every turn they are together in front of other members of Rodrigo's staff. The couple doesn't seem to have much fear about being caught.  
This theme permeates other parts of the story as well.  For example, Nelson and Sophia go to Rodrigo's warehouse to search for contraband.  In the dark of night, Nelson turns on the "industrial lighting overhead [flooding] the warehouse."  I thought they were trying to be stealth in their investigation.  

Perhaps Sophia's character crossed a boundary for me that I could not forgive, and this may not be true for all readers.  With so many other great romantic suspense stories out there, I can't enthusiastically recommend this book. However, I'm curious about the rest of the series and am willing to go back to read book one.  

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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