Series: Alpha Ops #6
Published by Forever Yours on May 3rd 2016
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He is a trained professional—but nothing can prepare him for the hottest mission of his life. Assigned to protect his boss’s daughter, British former SAS operative Malone Garrett breaks the first rule of covert surveillance—don’t make contact. And especially don’t take your mark out to dinner, then agree to a rooftop quickie. But now that Mal has Abby in his arms, he has no intention of ever letting her go.Abby Baston told herself it was a hit and quit, a one-nighter with a hot, handsome stranger whose hands were trained to take action. Working undercover for the CIA, she can’t risk anything more. But when an international crisis ignites, Abby must make a call: trust Mal with her secret—and her heart—and partner up, or lose everything in a split second . . .
While it all started out quite well and witty, I eventually found it hard to go on soon enough. Unfortunately, it was characterisation that tanked the story for me, made all the more disappointing because of the fantastic blurb, but mostly because it was difficult for me get a read on the lead characters who behaved so oddly and almost with artifice, like they were in some play on stage acting out for an audience with dramatic hand gestures and movements. Nothing much around them seemed real enough to like at least and while I understand the need for covers, illusions and protective shells, both Malone Garrett and Abby Baston made the incredible but unbelievable leap from that to ‘true love’ like trapeze champs.
The ‘sparks’ between Malone and Abby came in the form of sniping, temper tantrums, blackmail and sudden bouts of emotional outpourings, interspersed with hot sex and quite a bit of it at inappropriate times, which makes me wonder about their self-preservation instincts.
Great, if that’s your thing, but it clearly isn’t mine.
Usually it’s a special sort of banter that makes a growing relationship fun to pursue and great to read, but everything about Malone/Abby simply came off as bizarre and forced. Consequently, all I wanted to do by the time I hit midway was to give their flimsy, changeable-as-weather personalities and that volatile joke of a relationship a wide berth; they were arses in their own special ways most of the time and not likeable enough for me to cheer for their own HEA.
Or maybe it’s just my inability to appreciate that form of humour and that sex really is a clearing path to a happy ending.