Author: Cecilia Aubrey & Chris Alameida
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Eire Publishing
Pages: 512 Paper, 514 eBook
Source: Authors, for purpose of honest review
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Yes. Book #1 of Countermeasure Series
Best Read in Order: Yes
Let me begin with a small notice that was given by the authors (and copied from the Amazon site) “The Countermeasure Series also has a tie-in series called Countermeasure: Bytes of Life. This new series of shorts gives the readers glimpses into the day-to-day life of the Countermeasure characters. Although the shorts are standalone stories, they are character-driven, NOT plot-driven. Please be advised that ALL short stories in the spin-off series contain EROTIC content. They are NOT recommended for younger audience. Some of the events that take place in the short stories might be referenced in the novels and vice-versa. It is strongly advised that you read the novels and shorts in chronological order.”
This was a fast paced novel, tasting the worlds of corporate espionage, national security concerns, action, internet technology and murder all wrapped up in a very character driven story of finding oneself and love in trying circumstances.
We meet Cassandra, ex-CIA agent, daughter of a widowed Navy SEAL and fraught with doubts about her inability to ‘be good enough’ all while denying and controlling the emotions that assail her. We meet Trevor, Irish born son of two parents lost at sea, a geek extraordinaire, working for the NSA in the super-secret division that listens in and flags conversations and contacts that contain specific keywords that could damage the security of the United States.
Each character is detailed and defined with painstaking precision. I actually felt Cassandra cringe under her father’s scrutiny and harsh words. Trevor is as beautifully detailed, with the inclusion of a touch of Gaelic that is so neatly incorporated you can hear the words sing in your ear.
When the authors state that this story is character and not plot driven, they are not joking. Delving deeper into the reveal of each character is like finding a new puzzle piece that was long missing: you may not know what isn’t revealed until it is in place: and then it all makes sense. As a romance it works, although there are times when you want to shake them both and make them listen to their hearts, without being so afraid of ‘what may come’.
The sex is hot: knee quivering, satisfyingly appealing to both a man’s and a woman’s point of view – and told in both voices. While the real erotic and sexy bits are more toward the end, the emotional foreplay and sense of electric connection between Cassandra and Trevor is palpable. This is one of those books that you read it for the characters, are entertained and learn bits about security and technology from the action, and are revelling in the sexual tension from the moment Cassandra and Trevor meet. This is one of those satisfying books with an ending that will satisfy every reader, and has an open view to more. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.