ORDER A COPY: Bound to Danger: A Deadly Ops Novel
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: August 5, 2014
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
At a benefit dinner, community activist Maria Cervantes overhears two men plotting a terrorist attack that could rock Miami to its core. But before she can alert authorities, she’s almost killed in a massive explosion—and wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. As the sole survivor of the attack, she is now a person of interest to the NSA—and especially to Agent Cade O’Reilly. Because Maria is the one woman Cade has never been able to forget.
Years ago, they were closer than either was willing to admit—until Cade disappeared when Maria needed him most. Now he’s sticking by her, whether she likes it or not. Because the memories locked inside her mind could hold vital clues to the next attack. Because terrorists want her dead—and because he never wants to let her go again.
Maria Cervantes is feeling sick as a dog. She’s had a stomach bug for the past week, but she can’t miss the Westwood’s gala. There are too many of her biggest contributors to the Bayside Community Center which she runs and she needs to make an appearance. By the time the car makes its way down the winding driveway, Maria is once again pale and nauseous. Her mother’s friend takes her into a back room and goes to find Maria’s mother. After losing her fight to keep things down, Maria returns to the room only to overhear several men talking, including a voice she recognizes. They are discussing bombing several locations including homes and the Freedom Tower in Miami. After they leave, Maria scurries out the side door but before she can locate any of the suddenly missing security guards, the night turns into day when a bomb destroys the mansion she just escaped, killing everyone inside, including Maria’s mother.
Maria wakes up in the hospital. She is suffering from a concussion and minor memory loss. The Feds want to know why she was the only survivor and what she was doing outside of the mansion but so does Maria. She can’t remember what happened, she just knows that she needs to tell someone…something, something very important. She hasn’t forgotten the bomb and unfortunately, she hasn’t forgotten that the NSA agent walking into her room is the man that broke her heart.
Cade was one of her brother’s best friends and they served together in Afghanistan. Maria was always part of their correspondence back home and she and Cade were growing closer, close enough to think about dating when he returned to the U.S. But after her brother was killed, Cade cut off all contact with Maria. She lost her brother and her love that day.
Cade won’t let anyone else protect Maria. She is in danger. It’s all over the news that she is the only survivor and the bombers want to know why she not in the rubble as well as the NSA. They also want to make sure Maria doesn’t know anything about their plans that she would be sharing with the authorities. Someone she knows is feeding information to the bombers and memories start to resurface, will Cade and Maria be able to stop the bombers before they get to Maria?
This was a good story which kept you on your toes. Although I do like Katie Reus’s writing, this story did have a few annoying and too common plot points. There was the temporary amnesia of only the important information Maria needed to share and what happened the few minutes between the time she got to the party and the time she woke in the hospital. Friends, family, her mother being dead, phone numbers, everything else was unaffected. Just that one important point of who was responsible and what would be bombed next went bye-bye.
Maria was heartbroken that Cade abandoned her when her brother died even though there was a romance blooming between them. Cade gives her a half-truth story about why he did, and said simply that he was messed up and had to deal with his own grief. Although we know he is still hiding something, Maria accepts this statement as the whole story behind his abandonment. Grief affects people differently, and this does sound like a reasonable explanation, and Maria says she understands completely. But Maria keeps going back and harping on “I can’t have feelings for Cade again because he’ll just abandon me again.” You can’t accept his explanation for being grief stricken 8 years ago, and then keep harping on it like he didn’t just give you a plausible reason for it. After awhile, it started to bother me.
When we finally get the full story of why Cade walked away, Maria brushes it off as if it was no big deal. Is this because she has had 8 years to come to terms with her brother’s death or is she so mesmerized by bouncing on little cade that nothing else is important. So the giant wall separating them for all these years, turns out to be not worth the drama.
It was certainly an intriguing story with terrorists and bombings and trying to find them before they can hurt more people. I just found a couple of the plot points were not very imaginative. It may simply be that I have read too many ex-military/FBI adventures and am simply focusing on the commonality. If you read enough of any trope, they become too commonplace.
Overall, it was an enjoyable and easy read.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cade stood there for a long moment, watching her, as if unsure whether he should go or not. Wearing plain black boxers and nothing else, the man looked delicious. Not that she should be noticing him like that. Especially not now.
But it was hard not to when all those muscles, tattoos, and raw sexuality were right in front of her face. It was as if he’d been cut from marble. His body was exquisite, though something told her that if he knew what she was thinking it would embarrass him. But the man had a body that artists or photographers would kill to mold or photograph. There was such a raw sexual vibe he put off.
He exuded a quiet strength and undeniable power. It was one of the things that had originally drawn her to him years ago, part of why she’d decided to start e-mailing him. She swallowed hard, hating how weak she felt at the moment. But she was human and decided to ask for what she wanted. Even if he rejected her. “Will you stay with me? Just until I fall asleep?” She’d been tossing and turning and even though she’d finally fallen into a fitful doze, her eyes were gritty and she felt as if she’d run a marathon instead of sleeping.
His eyebrows rose in surprise, but he immediately nodded. “Yeah, just give me a sec.”
Once again he disappeared from the room, returning moments later with a gun, phone, and pillow. After placing them on the small nightstand, he started to stretch out onto the floor, but she frowned and pulled back the comforter, still keeping herself mostly covered by the sheet.
“You can sleep on top of the sheet if it makes you feel better,” she muttered. Maria was too damn tired think of sex right now. She just wanted someone to hold her. If that made her weak, then she didn’t care.
After a long pause this time, he slid in behind her. Maria turned her back to him, hoping he’d wrap his arm around her. The bed depressed a little and shook as he settled in. Seconds later, he did what she’d hoped. Pulling her close, his chin resting on the top of her head as he wrapped his strong arm around her middle, he sighed. “This isn’t protocol for an NSA agent.”
It was to heard to read his tone, but he didn’t sound put out by holding her. “I don’t care.” She laid her own arm over his and settle back against his strong chest. The man was so warm she was like a furnace. Considering how chilled and shaky she’d been, this was heavenly comfort. She wished the sheet wasn’t between them, but even with it covering her back, she still savored his embrace.
“Neither do I.” His voice was almost a whisper, his warm breath teasing her hair.
An unexpected frisson of awareness curled through her at his words, but she ignored it and closed her eyes. She wasn’t sure how much time passed as they lay there in the near darkness, but she knew he wasn’t asleep. His breathing was steady and reassuring but he was tense. And…she could feel his erection even though he’d tried to move his hips away from her. Apparently the man was huge all over.
Something she didn’t want to know because it made her think all sorts of things. Like how that thick length would feel thrusting inside her. Her nipples strained against the thin sheet as heat slowly built between her legs. Cade was turned on. Because of her. Finally she couldn’t stand it anymore. “Are you…”
“Yeah,” he said through gritted teeth. Even though is breathing was steady, his voice certainly wasn’t.
“You don’t have to stay.” Even though it was selfish, she still wanted him to. She might not be able to sleep yet, but she felt safe. All because of him.
“I want to.”
If she was completely honest with herself, she wanted him with her but not just because of the comfort factor. I had been a long time since she’d had sex or any sort of relationship, but right now the thought of…No. She didn’t need to do anything stupid. Lord the man had cut communication with her years ago as if she meant nothing. The thought made her go cold, the iciness invading her veins as she thought of how much she’d cried, not only over the loss of her brother, but of her friendship with Cade.