Tessa Marshal has fulfilled her long awaited dream of homeownership. She celebrates by taking a vacation with a friend but gets more than she bargained for when her adventure becomes a terrifying ordeal.
Deep cover agent Kristopher “Kris” Harmon has spent years climbing the ranks within the Mexican cartel. He walks a tight line between vicious drug runners with agendas of their own and working with the cartel leaders he’s trying to organise. Any distraction could prove fatal for him—and for the hundreds of undercover law enforcement officers his own cover protects.
Their worlds collide when Tessa is mistaken for a drug mule and taken captive. As time runs out for both of them, Tessa has to reach beyond her fears and trust a stranger while Kris must choose between his lifelong ambitions and saving Tessa’s life. If they want to survive, both must trust that there is more to the other than what meets the eye.
What’s with the weird first sentence of the blurb? Home ownership is hardly crucial to the plot!
World’s quickest case of Stockholm Syndrome aside, there was something about the way this book was written that didn’t… work for me. The choppy scenes and descriptions clearly worked in the author’s mind, but on the page they were confusing and random.
To do romantic suspense well, you can’t have mental lusting (or full-on sex!) at inappropriate (i.e. dangerous) times, and Desire & Deception committed this crime over and over. I’m not interested in a beaten and kidnapped woman being turned on by her captor even as she thinks he’s about to rape and murder her. This book is classified as romance; we know they’re going to get there in the end, so it doesn’t need to be established from the outset.
It had some good ideas. The reason I requested it for review was because I thought the blurb was interesting. However, I think it should have gone through a few more revisions to both tighten the story and make the insta-attraction between the two main characters plausible.
There was also a pretty serious tone of misogyny running underneath. The heroine’s friend was – of course – blonde, outgoing, slutty, shrill, pushy, annoying and disloyal. While every other character was referred to by name, she was always called “the blonde” from page one, even by her friend. Misogyny, particularly the stereotyping of blonde women, is my #1 pet hate in fiction.
Speaking of names, I think part of my frustration with the writing style was the way the characters were always, always referred to by their names. Never “he” or “she” or “they”. It was always “Kris this and Kris that”.
Argh! So frustrating! Good ideas but it needs a good edit.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.