Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Against the Dark ( The Associates #1 ) by Carolyn Crane

Against the Dark by Carolyn Crane


Angel Ramirez left the safecracking game five years ago, and she’s worked hard to make amends and build an honest life. But when a beloved aunt is kidnapped, she must reunite with her girl gang to acquire the unique ransom: Walter Borgola’s prized diamonds. It’s a simple job that turns into a nightmare, thanks to a surprisingly clever—and searingly sexy—security guard named Cole Hawkins.


Cole is one of the Association’s most brilliant agents, under deep cover investigating a ruthless killer. He’s also running out of time: hundreds will die if he doesn’t stop the plan Borgola’s set into motion. Catching Angel is the break he needed--he promises not to turn her in if she poses as his lover and uses her unique talents to unlock the sociopath’s dungeon vaults.

But as pretend passions turn real, Cole regrets drawing Angel into his deadly game…and danger is closer than either of them could ever imagine.




I used to read Carolyn Crane fantasy books the Disillusionists series and had a hell of a time swooning over Packard. When I found out she had a new series, I just know I had to get my hands on them. 

Angel Ramirez is retired safe-cracker, the best in the business. Currently working her own interior design company, she got dragged back for a job with her best friends when their Aunt Aggie got kidnap. The last thing Angel expect is to be trace by one of Borgola's security guy, the one who flirted with her at the party and being blackmail to work for him. 

Cole is a brainiac undercover agent from the Associate. With his glasses and deadly stealth, he reminds me of Camden from TAT. Hah! He is looking for a breach into Borgola's secret safe to acquire intel and Angel is his way in. 

Cole proposed to have Angel act as his girlfriend in order for him to bring her into Borgola's mansion. They have to make up stories and compare notes and it was freaking hilarious the way they negotiate about it. She thought he is Borgola's business rival. A total nutjob. He thought she is a no good cat burglar who deserve to be sacrifice for his mission.

"I'm not your girlfriend."
"If you want to blend in somewhere, the first person you have to convince is yourself. You care about me. Right now, you'd be thinking, I want to make my hot, virile hunk of man meat comfortable and happy."

"I'm going to be a little different in there. More possessive."
"Do you open doors for me?"
"Yeah. A little bit caveman."
"And do you have an unnaturally high opinion of your sexual prowess?"
"Be serious, Angel.

Cole is totally badass even with his glasses on. He is torn between going through with his mission while trying to keep Angel safe or sacrifice her like a lamb. The way he blackmail and handle Angel sounds so crude and matter of fact. He keeps telling himself that she is just a means to an end. His Plan B involve throwing her under the bus, if it comes to that. His mission in saving lives is much more important than a life of a woman, a thieve at that. 

Angel is also not just a thieve as Cole presume her to be. She had enough regrets in her life and for once she wanted to do something good and take pride on. She suppose to hate Cole for the way he used her, she hated herself even more for being attracted to another self-destructive man. 

In the end they both make the ultimate sacrifice for each other. Cole had me swooning over his kickass-ness. Is just something about a man who can fight brutal that makes me feeling hot all over. This is a lighthearted action-packed romantic suspense full of bullets flying, fist pouncing, safe-cracking, lies and sacrifices. I'm at the edge of my seat most of the time wanting to see how both Cole and Angel are gonna to come out safe from all the chaos. I thought the epilogue is really clever of Carolyn for giving us a different type of HEA. Macmillan who happens to be Cole's colleague will have his story next. Can't wait for December.

Rating 5/5