Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: Intimate Enemies ( Covert Affairs #1 ) by Joan Swan

Intimate Enemies by 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.




This is quite a surprise find because there seems to be very few reviews on this book. The first few chapters felt a bit off and I kept wondering whether did I miss a prequel novella or maybe this is not Book 1. We were thrown right into the heroine's dilemma and those background information was not presented to me upfront. But worry not, I did get the big picture later on and able to get into its flow.

Cassie, a doctor practicing in San Diego is still mourning for her mother and stepbrother after six months of their accidental passing. She decided to seek out the truth of their fatal incident back in Baja, Mexico and kick her mobster stepfather, Saul out from her mother's estate. While in Mexico, she found out that the kind man that she met during her mother's funeral was Saul's right hand man. 

Rio Santana is deep undercover within Saul's human smuggling organization. However, Cassie's arrival at the estate threaten to crumble his plan and put both of them in harms way. I find Rio instantly likable after I get pass the awkward first meeting moment where I'm not sure what is their past history. Besides being totally professional and serious with Saul, he is down to earth and playful in front of Cassie. The way she tried to hit on him and Rio trying his damnest to ignore the temptation is pure hilarious. I love seeing him getting frustrated and crazy over her. 

Well, Cassie is stubborn as hell, she is like a dog on a bone that just wouldn't let go. She is determine to avenge her mother's death and put Saul behind prison. But her sense of right and wrong was blurred when she got close of Rio. Is he a bad guy or a good guy? She isn't sure with all the conflicting action he'd done, but one thing she know is that she isn't willing to let him go. I just love Cassie for believing in Rio and loving him despite the circumstances. 

I had read plenty of romantic suspense, especially those with undercover theme, but I find the plot in here quite refreshing. But for me to give any hint will be too spoilery. I will just say is quite different. This is a pretty solid writing for a romantic suspense with a evil villain, suspenseful plot that keeping me engage and some light humor thrown in, so I didn't feel the setting was too bleak and depressing. Considering this is a romance catering for the female reader, I don't expect the procedural detail to be realistic and detailed. Some of the things that Rio did make me roll my eyes wondering how come he was not dead yet. Anyway, putting that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic suspense and looking forward to read the next one in this series. 

Rating 4/5