Series: Cobra Elite, #4
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Pamela Clare on 21st April 2020
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Gabriela Marquez came to her parents’ homeland of Venezuela to help its people. Working undercover for the CIA as Sister María, a Franciscan nun, she spends long days at the mission, giving food to the poor, helping the sick—and keeping a close watch on local drug trafficking. When a violent raid makes her a hostage together with two American journalists, she finds herself the prisoner of the very cartel she’s been spying on.
Fortunately for the journalists—but not so luckily for her captors—Sister María is not what she seems to be. Hiding behind her nun’s habit, Gabriela puts her training to use to ensure the hostages’ survival.
Dylan Cruz spent the better part of a decade with Seal Team Six, ridding the world of scum. Now an operative with Cobra International Security, he’s sent to Venezuela with a small team to gather intel for a hostage rescue. Against all expectations, he gets valuable information from one of the hostages—a beautiful young nun.
Sister María of the Gorgeous Brown Eyes puts R-rated thoughts in his mind, thoughts he has no business thinking. Then again, he always figured he’d end up in hell.
When the rescue fails, Dylan finds himself trapped in hostile territory with lovely Sister María. Together, they go underground to reach the Colombian border, but Sister María is full of secrets—and enticing surprises. Beneath that shapeless, gray habit is a woman whose abilities—and passions—are a match for Dylan’s. As the desire between them ignites, what should have been a straightforward mission of evade-and-escape turns into a fight for survival against a murderous cartel boss who wants them both dead.
Pamela Clare’s Cobra series of late has me wavering between feeling half-hearted about some books; I find that they do sometimes lack something more cutting or hard-hitting than her I-Team series in some ways, but ‘Hard Edge’ was one that was easy to get sucked into. The set-up is typical RS with action-packed, linearly-written scenes that are engaging enough so that the pages by pass quickly—as Cobra operatives go about their shady business doing the ‘unsanctioned’ works of the government while finding their HEA along the way.
In ‘Hard Edge’, having an undercover CIA officer posing as a nun in a longterm assignment when it all goes belly-up with a hostage situation sounds like a woman in need of a rescue, pronto.
Quite the contrary, really, since Cobra’s rescue mission is what kicks ‘Hard Edge’ off but Gabriela Marquez is no ordinary nun and officer, who can probably get herself and everyone involved else out of the deep end with her quick-thinking smarts and wits. But Cobra steps into the fray and compromises her deep cover, even as she and Cobra operative Dylan Cruz discover an attraction that they can’t ignore.
As a pairing, Gabriela/Dylan do work well together—their sex scenes did seem somewhat out of place though and perhaps too soon after he discovers she isn’t a nun—and their attraction believable with a hint of instalove forged through heightened, shared experiences. I cringed when it came to the condom talk in this case—something about the celibacy bit and its implications that rubbed me the wrong way a bit.
But what I liked so much about ‘Hard Edge’ can probably be summed up in a name: Gabriela, my new RS girl crush of the month, so amazingly strong, calm and capable that she near eclipses Dylan. Here’s no damsel in distress, nor is she an accessory as the male protagonist plots and plans while they’re on the run and one who is—perhaps most importantly as well—emotionally brave enough to put herself out there in every way as Dylan shrinks and cowers from a bad experience that he has allowed to rule his private life. ‘Hard Edge’ for me, was really Gabriela’s show and having a very likeable female protagonist who’s at the forefront of the action was simply a soothing tune to my jaded self and perhaps, a triumph for the female romance reader who has always wanted such heroines to jump off the page.