I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley but all opinions provided are my own.
Characters straddle the gray line in Kaylea Cross’s Vengeance series, and I love it. They’re not perfect, but they’re ultimately good people…who kill bad guys.
Listen, sometimes you want to read a book about leads who can rescue hostages, protect themselves, plot deviously for a good end, and oh yeah, fall in love. If that’s the case, sink into your favorite reading chair (the one your husband still makes fun of from college), pull up your favorite blanket (the one you’ve hidden from your dogs and kids), pull your snacks in close (the ones you’ve hidden from your dogs and kids), and start reading one of Kaylea Cross’s Vengeance books.
Covert Vengeance is the second book in Cross’s aforementioned series, and it had me captivated from the very first motorcycle chase. Once a government-sanctioned assassin, now an assassin running from the government (and others), Amber Brown believes she made a huge mistake. Members of her former team betrayed her, and out of revenge, she slowly turned them over to the Bad Guys one by one. But one of those team members might not have been guilty after all. Now Amber wants to rescue her from her kidnappers.
Hitman-with-a-conscience Jesse Cordova is hired by a mysterious person to kill Amber, but he trusts his instincts and accepts a job to help her with her rescue mission instead. Good thing he does, because Amber is very impressive and obviously has a heart, although the government program that trained her to be a ruthless assassin tried to crush that out of her.
Jesse pretty much immediately has feelings for Amber, but Amber’s not willing to commit. Then there’s the fact that someone is trying to kill Amber, and well, you can see how a romance between them would be difficult…but thank God, not impossible.
Covert Vengeance is wonderfully done with fantastic (and I don’t think I’m over-stating it?) action sequences. Cross is one of the best romantic suspense novelists I’ve read at writing physical scenes that are detailed without losing a sense of pace. Everything is fast, fast, fast, pretty violent at times, and overall cinematic.
But Cross doesn’t keep every scene at an 11, and that’s part of what makes this book so great. She writes confessional moments sensitively, drawing the characters closer together and allowing the reader to see the heart carried around in each character's impressively muscled physiques. It might be difficult to imagine how a book about a hitman and assassin could be sweet and tender, but it works here, mainly because it’s obvious they care about right and wrong and they’re both looking for a place to land (although Amber would probably deny that with every breath in her body).
In case it’s not clear: I’m a huge fan of Cross’s Vengeance series, of how she writes formidable women (and men), how she shows that being physically fierce and having a heart aren’t incompatible, and how she crafts books where great passion and (eventually love) are possible--even inevitable--with the right person…like your deadly-with-any-remotely-sharp-object soulmate.
5 out of 5 stars.
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