This one had me so very thoroughly in the grips of the story, I didn't know if I was coming or going where the hero and heroine were concerned. Rio is very alpha and likes to be in-charge whereas Cassie’s independent spirit consistently challenges and tempts him at the same time. Their relationship was built from the start on lies, deceptions, and too many high emotions before they really even knew each other. The attraction and chemistry is instantaneous and explosive, which leads to some very entertaining verbal sparring and heated physical interactions both in and out of the bedroom. From the beginning, Rio and Cassie's time together isn't easy and I admired that they had to fight all the way to the end to get what they wanted.
The suspense in the storyline is complex and so intricate that there was no way to really know what was going to happen next. Rio and Cassie are working toward a common goal, but how they go about it is very different and lends to the high suspense of the story. There was also quite a bit of depth that I hadn't expected and wished could have been further explored, but seeing as how this is the beginning of a series, I am very interested to see how it all develops.
After the multitude of emotions, I experienced right alongside the characters I am definitely invested in continuing. I will say that the emotions in the story do run the gamut and change quicker than I could blink, which was a bit frustrating and at times confusing. However, I did appreciate the balanced point-of-views in both the lead characters and even the villain, which helped to alleviate some of the frustration and confusion. The ending doesn't exactly tie up all the loose ends, but that could be left for another time in the series.
Her mother often said Cassie’s heart is twice the size of Texas and although that may be true, Cassie has felt nothing but heartbreak for a long time. Going home is bittersweet as the memories of her mother and the happiness of her childhood surround her, but Cassie has bigger fish to fry and her stepfather is the biggest of them all. However, the shock lies in the identity of the mysterious man who comforted her at her mother's funeral and now stands before her as her stepfather’s right-hand man. Now Cassie must battle dueling desires to keep her enemy close without falling into bed with him while uncovering the dirty secrets that he’s keeping for her stepfather. Easier said than done.
Rio’s undercover missions require not just loss of identity, but sacrifice as well. This latest mission has landed right in the middle of a human smuggling and trafficking ring where sex, slavery, and terrorism are the trades. In order to bring down the kingpin, Rio must maintain cover, which means sacrifice in the loss of life kind. The only bright spot was in learning of the daughter who was making her way as a physician in the states. Rio’s brief interaction with her at graveside left him wanting more while knowing it can never happen. Now she’s back home and brings nothing but trouble with her for him and his mission. After being told to shadow her, Rio becomes increasingly conflicted between his duty and desire and ultimately which sacrifices are worth making.
New York Times bestselling author Joan Swan...
She is on a quest for answers; answers that could just get her killed.
Six months after the mysterious yacht explosion that killed Cassie Christo’s mother and stepbrother, authorities still have no answers to the cause. Searching for closure, Cassie returns to her childhood home on the Pacific Coast of Baja, Mexico, where she launches her own investigation into the accident. She never expected to find an adversary in the man who had once touched her heart with kindness in her darkest moment.
Rio’s been fantasizing about reconnecting with Cassie for months. But not here and sure as hell not now. As an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he’s working the biggest sting operation in all of northern Mexico, and he definitely doesn’t have time for the wild attraction he feels for Cassie.
Not only is his cover on the line, so is his heart. Because as the end of a yearlong operation draws closer, Rio knows if he tells Cassie the truth about who and what he is, it won’t only jeopardize his mission, it may result in him losing her forever. And if he doesn’t, his lies and deception could get them both killed. (Super Plus Novel - 100,000+)