Title: To Russia With Love
Author: Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Eire Publishing
Pages: 344 Paper, 346 eBook
Source: Authors, for purpose of honest review
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Yes. Book #2 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 is my second adventure with Cassandra and Trevor: and my favourite of the two. Cassandra and Trevor are now married and living in Dublin, eight months into their marriage and searching for clues to the disappearance of Trevor’s parents. As arranged, George still has freedom to contact and work with Trevor from his position in the secret rooms of the NSA. George finds information about papers pertaining to Trevor’s father, along with a missing piece of software. Trevor contacts the man who bought the notes, and Devlin asks him to retrieve a piece of software, in return for handwritten notes from his father.
This was a fast paced novel, tasting the worlds of corporate espionage, action, internet technology, programming and the Russian Mafia; as Cassie and Trevor find themselves in St. Petersburg to solve the case.
Meanwhile, Cassie has convinced her best friend Jessica to pack up and move from California to Dublin, to join them and add her talents for financial tracing and tracking to the company. Jessica is smitten with Stephan, Trevor’s ‘honorary’ uncle and now the man running Brennan Enterprises. After declaring her interest at Cassie and Trevor’s wedding, she can’t get him out of her mind, nor he her. Here we watch them dance about their attraction, fall into bed with some light domination as Jessica works desperately to get Stephan to declare his love for her. Of course, Stephan is guarded and determined to never give his heart to anyone, a sure temptation for the gods, and he cannot remove her from his mind, or heart. The two storylines are intermingled throughout this book, while the focus is on Cassie and Trevor the story of Jess and Stephan are sexy, hot and heated interludes from the tension.
It’s really difficult to decide if this series is written to appeal to romance readers looking for adventure or James Bond-type lovers where the characters are not so expected; for it hits on all levels. The characters are so neatly defined and developed that you will find yourself jumping when the doors open on Trevor, looking over your shoulder as Cassie wanders in St. Petersburg trying to settle her nerves, and often wanting to shake Stephen into realizing that he is older, not dead and should not resign himself to a life without love, and Jessica.
These are not books that you finish and forget – the characters live on in your memory and you wonder where the next adventure will take them, and what tricks will Trevor pull out of his magic hat to impress and astound once again. His facile intelligence, wrapped up in a pretty package that just glows with the love he has for Cassandra, and the depression he feels over his parents disappearance. Cassandra is no damsel in distress; she is full of her own bag of tricks from years of training first with her father the ex-Navy SEAL, and then with the CIA. The two complement each other’s strengths, while drawing on a large pool of assistance from their connections. This is a series that has me wanting the next instalment NOW: I want to see Trevor have his answers to his personal mystery, see Stephan and Jessica find their own ‘happily ever after’, see George get the girl and even see what sort of man Nathan will be, now that he has realized and accepted that Cassie will never be, nor never was his; despite his dreams otherwise.
You won’t be disappointed with these: again the sex is knee-shaking in intensity and the reading of those scenes is very voyeuristic in feeling – a good thing. The characters leap off the page in a way that makes the reading of the story as intense and captivating as watching a film. I can’t recommend this series enough, and cannot wait for the next instalment.