Series: Cold Justice #7
Published by Toni Anderson on January 31st 2017
Buy on Amazon
When an international ring of sex traffickers kidnaps an eight-year-old girl in Boston, FBI Agent Lucas Randall heads undercover. But his rescue operation goes disastrously wrong and Lucas barely escapes with his life. Now the ruthless traffickers are hunting him down, along with everyone else who threatens their operation.
Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world—evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills, and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with Lucas, she also has big trouble, because after years of pushing people away, she’s falling for the guy. The feeling is more than mutual, but as Ashley intensifies her online pursuit of the trafficking ring, her traumatic past collides with her present and suddenly Lucas can’t tell which side she’s on. And as the case escalates into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, it turns out Ashley isn’t the only one with something to hide.
If neither can trust the other with their secrets, how can they trust each other with their hearts?
It has been a while since the last Cold Justice book, but I’m glad this one came just as the year began.
It’s best to say right out that I’ve always admired Toni Anderson’s writing. Her stories are always credible, well-plotted, well-written and so realistic as they deal with issues that we face today—thrown in with a very hot dose of romance and steamy times. I’ve more or less liked her protagonists as well (some of them clearly more than others) in the Cold Justice series, but ‘Cold Secrets’ is special because I’ve wait so long for Lucas Randall’s book and this good guy didn’t disappoint. I loved his compassion, his need to always do the right thing even as he struggled with his growing feelings for Ashley Chen and her deception and most of all, just how forthright and directly about what he really wanted. Ashley however, was a little harder to like, even though there is a lot to admire about her: strong, determined, headstrong yet these very qualities did eventually lead to unforeseen consequences where others were affected negatively because of her actions.
Yet the biggest surprise I’ve had so far, is the consistent (but never unwelcome) involvement of Alex Parker, the shadowy figure who really spearheaded this series. He remains one of the most standout romantic heroes that I’ve ever read, and I can only say that I’ve more than enjoyed how he keeps popping up even though he’s on the periphery of all the FBI action.
Anderson’s deft handling of gangs and cultural knowledge of the Asian community definitely came through here and I was fascinated to not just go through the twists and turns of the suspense, but also her nuanced representation of this group of people which didn’t fall into any stereotypical depictions at all. Even her villains are as memorable as her heroes/heroines, multifaceted and smart enough to present a challenge.
Overall, ‘Cold Secrets’ is a very satisfying read, but that’s probably because I loved every moment with Lucas and Alex in it.