Zoe Chandler picked Ely to finish her book for two reasons. First was the peace and quiet she found in this rural community. The second was the great coffee house that was located only two miles from the cabin she was renting for the summer. Zoe is writing a book about stolen pieces of art. She has proof and she has names, which is making a certain very rich man in CT very nervous, so nervous he has sent two lawyers to Ely to offer her a large sum of money and if that doesn't work to threaten her to stop the book.
Next door to Zoe's rental house lives Nick Mirovic. He's not very social but he sure does look good. According to the town barista, Nick has women throwing themselves at him all the time but he doesn't take any of them up on it except an occasional night with Lucy, a married woman who sleeps around with no strings attached. Nick worked for the government as an interpreter for a year or so in Kosovo for a sadistic man who liked to torture people to death. This man, Harry, had tried to have Nick killed before he left Kosovo putting Nick in the hospital for 18 months. Now, Harry was being nominated for director of the CIA and Nick knows that with his knowledge of Harry's activities his life is once again in danger.
When Zoe turns to Nick for help, he doesn't know if she is for real or if Harry sent her. What he does know is for some unknown reason he is attracted to her and Zoe is just as attracted to Nick. While he'd like to bed Zoe, he doesn't want to take the chance that she would kill him while his guard was down. Though he offers to call his cousin to watch over Zoe so he can escape to the Canadian wilderness, Zoe isn't really interested but it becomes a non-issue when Harry's men attack Nick's house with bullets flying. Nick has no choice except to take Zoe with him because if he left her behind she would be killed. The problem is, Nick still doesn't know if Zoe is working for Harry!
Ms Johnson does an excellent job with her characters. Nick is always on guard and paranoid. He has booby traps around his house. But you feel for Nick because he knows that this isn't normal behavior and he knows that he is suffering from PTSD. Zoe is so na‹ve that you know she had to grow up away from any kind of civilization and when she tells you she grew up in the Amazon jungle, you know that it's the truth. Both main characters are fairly well developed and real. Many of the secondary characters are only seen briefly but they are also fleshed out with only a few scenes.
Part of the story line while interesting isn't very realistic. While I'm sure Harry has lots of resources at his finger tips, I can't see him sending an Apache helicopter followed by two Huey helicopters after one person. I also can't see the Hueys continuing on a suicide mission after their firepower had just been blown up in front of them. This was a little over the top. Also, how someone can get experimental French radar equipment and no one is the wiser? Still, if you want to imagine and imagine big, this would be it.
Still other parts of the story line were excellent. I can see Nick going after Harry. I can also see Zoe hiding in plain site with friends. So, the story line pretty much balances itself out.
My biggest complaint with this book is its ending. Nick had PTSD to the point it was a major part of his life. Then without counseling or medication, he gets over it in two years due to the love of Zoe. While this sounds so good, I'm sure thousands of people with PTSD would love it to be this simple.
However, overall this is a pretty good book that I had problems putting down. Due to the short chapters it seemed as though I was flying through it but due to the excellent writing I wanted to know what next.
All new sexy suspense from a New York Times bestselling star in erotic romance. To finish writing her exposé on art collectors, Zoe Chandler has fled to a secluded lake house where a muscle-bound neighbor in cargo shorts catches her attention. The problem: he likes seclusion too. Haunted by his past in the CIA, he isn’t looking for company. But when Zoe’s controversial book brings a threat to her door, she begs Nick to protect her from danger…and keep her close. With his own trouble brewing, he’s not sure he can trust her––but she’ll do everything in her power to persuade him.