Series: A-Tac #1
Published by Forever on April 1, 2010
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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TORN BETWEEN DUTY AND DESIRE
Covert operations expert Nash Brennon has spent the last eight years trying to forget Annie Gallagher, his former field partner and the only woman he ever loved. Annie betrayed him when he needed her most, then vanished without a trace. Now suddenly she's back in the game - this time as a suspected traitor and threat to national security.
Annie's son has been kidnapped by political terrorists. The price for his life? Assassinate a UN ambassador. When Nash and his group find her, the smoldering passion between Annie and the man she swore she'd never contact again blazes out of control. But can Nash trust her? The stakes couldn?t be higher: Their enemy's endgame is personal, and one false move could cost them their lives.
Nash Brennon and Annie Gallagher were once CIA covert operatives and partners. She disappeared following an op that went terribly wrong and hasn’t been heard from since (eight years). He’s now part of A-Tac, an elite CIA unit masquerading as faculty at an Ivy League college. She’s been underground in Colorado. When they hear chatter about an assassination threat, Annie’s name surfaces as the suspected sniper associated with the plot. What they don’t know is that Annie’s son was kidnapped and she’s being forced into service.
I cannot describe the heightened level of tension when a child is involved in this kind of scenario. Add a lot of deception from both sides to the mix and you get an even more toxic concoction. The book is aptly titled because both Nash and Annie have reason to be mistrustful of each other and don’t know if they’re the same people they knew eight years ago. The A-Tac team members also have points of view about it all and we are left to try to figure it out. Fortunately, we get Annie and Nash’s perspectives and have a leg up but not much.
It helped knowing how passionate Annie and Nash’s romance was before their split because there was a definite chill when they were reunited. Though it took awhile for these two to find their old common ground, it fit neatly into the storyline. Their romance developed slowly as they regained trust, which would have been tough to swallow if things had progressed more rapidly.
One more thing
Annie’s son was another highlight of the story! He’s just precocious enough to make you smile but not so much to be irritating. Having him at the center lessened the cynicism of a fairly jaded bunch.
The bottom line
The nod goes to the suspense in this story as everything centered around recovering Annie’s son and determining who was behind the assassination plot. The ending was exciting but not all of the deceptions were resolved. Not a big cliffhanger, just a little tease that’s working to get me started with the next book:) I love the concept of A-Tac (academics who are moonlighting as skilled operatives!) and the rest of the team was as intriguing as Nash and Annie. This was a great start to the series and I’ve already invested in the next books.