Series: Red Stone Security #16
on 15th June 2021
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He thinks she’s out of his league.
Lyosha Vasiliev met Mila by chance, and now she’s all he thinks about. But the two couldn’t be more different, so Lyosha won’t go there. As a security expert, he skirts the law on the regular. Unlike Mila, the newest employee at Red Stone Security, who spends her free time volunteering at an animal shelter. Despite his determination to stay away from her, when it becomes clear his past has come back to haunt him—and poses a threat to her—Lyosha immediately steps in. And he’ll cross any line to keep her safe.
But he can’t seem to walk away.
Mila met Lyosha when he brought in a half-starved stray cat to the shelter she volunteers at. He tries to act tough—and okay, he is. He should be the last man she wants, but she loves his sexy tattoos, gruff demeanor, and that he has a marshmallow inside that only she gets to see. When someone threatens her, he’s convinced it’s linked to his past. He’s made it clear that he’ll protect her with his life—but he won’t give her his heart. Not when he blames himself for bringing danger to her doorstep. Except Mila isn’t the kind of woman who walks away from what she wants. And Lyosha finds himself unwilling to let her go without a fight.
Katie Reus seems to have mastered the format of the suspense novella, packing a huge punch in what feels like a brief, but full story in Lyosha’s and Mila’s romance. And it’s for this reason I like going through her suspense series: they’re eminently readable, easy to go through and don’t quite require a huge emotional investment that tends to leave you feeling wrung-out for days in the aftermath.
Like the rest of the Red Stone Security series, it’s a threat that brings the couple together, although there’s a little more stubbornness built into Lyosha, who pretty much spends most of the book vacillating between denying his feelings and convincing himself that he’s not good enough, while Mila simply hangs on (sometimes, literally) for dear life. As far as the suspense plot and relationship build-up go, ‘Secret Enemy’ is nonetheless a predictable and formulaic one, with the typical emotional turning point coinciding with the climax of the action. The highlight however, is that same pining and longing that have Mila/Lyosha dancing around each other and it’s a slower burn than usual which I could appreciate.
Things do wrap up a little too easily as Lyosha/Mila ride off into their HEA (absolute suspension of disbelief kicks in here) but Reus does deliver a short but delightful burst of entertaining romantic suspense with this one.