Hidden Impact by Piper J. Drake

Hidden Impact by Piper J. DrakeHidden Impact by Piper J. Drake
Series: Safeguard #1
Published by Carina Press on November 9th 2015
Pages: 183
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As part of the elite Centurion Corporation team, military-veteran-turned-mercenary Gabriel Diaz is a natural defender. He'll do anything to ensure a mission is successful. Anything but get emotionally invested—he learned the hard way that can be deadly. Easy bodyguard jobs in between the more challenging missions are all he's interested in now. Maylin Cheng is desperate and running out of time. Her younger sister has gone missing but no one seems to take her concern seriously. Her last hope lies in asking an aloof bodyguard for help. He dismisses her outright, but all that changes when she is almost killed in a not-so-accidental hit-and-run right before his eyes. As Maylin leans on Gabriel, she begins to rely on him for more than just her safety. But as their attraction grows, so does the danger surrounding them. When the elaborate web they're trapped in unravels, Gabriel will do anything to protect them. Even if that means putting his heart in the crosshairs.

In a nutshell: girl goes missing, girl’s sister desperately approaches a random bodyguard for help. Bodyguard helps grudgingly, discovers a bigger conspiracy in place. Girl’s sister and bodyguard somewhat fall in love. Bodyguard’s vengeful ex-lover returns to make life spicier. And yes, food plays a large part.

But still, this was all…a little odd. I struggled quite a bit with the book, even though the writing itself wasn’t bad. The weird Chinese phrases peppering Maylin’s speech (some had odd spelling and characters – I actually know the language a little, so I’m not speaking out of my arse here) were equally distracting and not entirely necessary. Character-wise, on their own, Maylin and Gabe were alright; together, their relationship felt more like CO and subordinate and frankly, I couldn’t really get into their connection. Motivations weren’t fully teased out by the end as some clichéd ridden behavioural traits made themselves known in the villainous ex.

Cooking and food – Maylin’s passion – played an equally big a part here as the suspense portion did and I’ll freely admit being more curious about the former than the latter, to the point where I actually checked out the recipe for making noodles from scratch. But that probably isn’t the point, is it?