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Black Opal Series, #1

Natalya Trubachev is an undercover CIA agent of the deeply secretive Black Opal team. For three years she has acted as a fiancé to the Russian mob leader, Dmitri, to bring down a sex slave ring that he has been conducting for several years. Dmitri is responsible for several women who are murdered while trying to ship them overseas to awaiting “customers.” Natalya’s time to bust this slave trade has just ran out when she learns the next victim is her own twin sister who works in a strip club in Vegas.

Brandon Moretti is an undercover officer trying to stop a serial killer who targets strippers in Vegas. To the public, he is a manager of Fantasia, a Gentleman’s club in Vegas. Inside the club, however, all of his security employees know he is a cop, because they work undercover with him.

Soon Natalya and her “friend” Sergei, who also works undercover with Natalya, are working at Fantasia as a house mom and a body guard, trying to find the killer before he takes Natalya’s sister. Neither Brandon nor Natalya is aware that they are both working towards the same goal, nor are they aware of each other’s real history.

The attraction between Brandon and Natalya is hot, hard, and steamy, with neither one being able to deny what they feel for one another. When the truth that each hides from the other is revealed, will they be able to put aside the lies and deceit and work towards the common goal while keeping a relationship with one another?

Properly categorized as Erotic Romance, this book is full of hot, sexy love scenes. If sex is what you are looking for, you will not be disappointed. The supposed suspense of this story was not all that suspenseful for this reader. I did, however, enjoy the mystery involved trying to figure out who the killer was. I would suspect one person, then change my mind and suspect another and it was not well until the end that I finally smacked my forehead with my hand and felt silly that I didn’t catch it before.

A couple of areas in this story seemed ridiculous to me. For one, Natalya is working to save her twin sister from being a victim, but no one, not even Brandon, even thought for a minute that they were related. After all, they are twins that look very much alike. Another issue I had is that Sergei, which is not his real name and he is not even Russian, is really Brandon’s younger brother. Yet everyone is oblivious to these familial ties, even Brandon himself!

The love affair between Natalya and Brandon was believable enough to make the story interesting even though at times their trysts seemed to happen at inappropriate times. Once I was able to just let the story unfold in its own way, I found it more enjoyable. I don’t know if I would read the next installment of the Black Opal series, but I would probably recommend it to others.

Book Blurb for Stripped

Body of secrets.

As a member of the CIA's elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss. His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games. Natalya's business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts. But the stakes are raised when she learns that the next target is her own sister Kate, a dancer in the famed club Fantasia. Only now does Natalya realize how personal her mission has become, and how far she's willing to go to complete it.

Body of lies.

The manager of Fantasia is Brandon Moretti, an undercover detective who keeps a close eye on his girls, and an even closer one on his sinfully sensual hire. For Natalya, working the club could be the break she's been waiting for. But for Moretti, Natalya is a possible link to a killer. Only he never counted on her being so lethally seductive or so dangerous to get close to. As every forbidden pleasure between them is stripped away, his own secrets threaten their security, but it's Natalya's that could destroy them both.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2012 3.50