If you love romantic suspense, don't miss the first three books of Toni Anderson's award-winning Cold Justice Series...now available in one thrilling bundle! A Cold Dark Place (Winner of the New England Readers' Choice Award in Romantic Suspense and Aspen Gold)
FBI Agent Mallory Rooney is hunting the monster who abducted her twin sister and begins to suspect there's a vigilante operating outside the law. Former CIA assassin Alex Parker works for a clandestine government organization hell-bent on taking out serial killers before they enter the justice system. Alex doesn't enjoy killing, but he's good at it. He's good at dodging the law, too - until a beautiful rookie agent has him wondering what it might be like to get caught. Cold Pursuit (Winner of the 2015 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award for Romantic Suspense)
A single mom and her son escape with their lives after terrorists attack an American mall. When the boy is targeted for death, an FBI agent helps them disappear and ends up falling in love. But can he keep them safe when the players are more powerful than he ever have imagined and he doesn't know who to trust? Cold Light of Day (2015 Winner of the Heart of Excellence for Romantic Suspense, and Book Buyers Best Contest)
Physicist Scarlett Stone is the daughter of the most notorious Russian agent in FBI history. With her father dying in prison, she's determined to prove he's innocent, but time is running out. Using a false identity, she gains access to the Russian ambassador's Christmas party, searching for evidence of a set-up. Former Navy SEAL, now FBI Special Agent, Matt Lazlo is attracted to Scarlett, but when he discovers she lied to him about her identity, he hunts her down with the ruthless efficiency he usually reserves for serial killers. Scarlett's scheme fails, but as agents involved in her father's investigation start dying, Matt and his colleagues begin to wonder. Could they have a traitor in their midst?
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Book One – I read this one on my kindle, so I won’t give a review because I find that what sometimes works on kindle, does not always work in audio and visa versa. However, I did like this book enough to buy the three book series on audible, and as it takes something pretty good to part me with my hard earned cash, this means I did enjoy book one!
Book Two- This fast paced romantic suspense is a good example of the genre. The plot was bang up-to-date starting with a terrorist mall shooting and then delving deeper into the politics and plotting behind the attack. Unusually (and bravely) the writer often goes into the POV of the terrorists and makes them into real people. She looks at their backgrounds and motivations and attempts to make the reader understand what drives people to carry out what, to the outside observer, seems like mindless violence. Although she never condones their actions, she does give the reader a complete picture of all sides of the issue.
The romance is believable, but does, annoyingly, have that overused plot device of an H who does not want a relationship because he (illogically) blames himself for his girlfriend’s death many years ago (a scenario never really fully explained), and an h who does not trust men because of her lousy ex. Intelligent people do not let one bad experience colour their lifetime judgement and this reluctance to trust and/or commit is, I think, getting a little stale in romance books.
While listening to this book I often got irritated at some of the stupid actions/words/thoughts of the main characters. But they both later took time to reflect and face up to their mistakes, and their ability to mess up, screw up but then “fess up” just made them more human. It is skilful writing that allows the H and h to make mistakes in the heat of emotion, but then acknowledge, and work to rectify these mistakes later.
This is a good book, with never a dull moment right up to the very surprising plot twist at the end. I didn’t see it coming and I admire the author even more for shining a light on the double crossing and double-double crossing (!) that is so much an ugly, but very real, feature of modern day international politics. The final chapter was a good plot wrap up and as the romance had happened pretty quickly, I liked that the couple discussed the future sensibly and realistically, in acknowledgement of the fact they had only actually known each other for several days.
Book Three- Wow. What a contrast to the previous books. The plot is simply ridiculous and its hard to believe it was by the same author.
The daughter of a convicted spy has spend years developing advanced surveillance electronics (like that would be allowed to happen!), and decides she can prove her father’s innocence by planting a bug in the Russian Ambassador’s office. We are supposed to believe that a party guest at the Russian Embassy can somehow wander into the Ambassador’s office with ease? She fails to consider that the Embassy may actually have CCTV, is surprised to find someone else is already bugging them (duh!), and then manages to drop an earring for the Russians to find. This was less “James Bond” and more “Johnny English”, especially when she decides her way out of the mess she has created is to go to the Russian Embassy “knock on the door, apologise and promise never to do it again”. Seriously???!
The Navy Seal/FBI agent H was just as incompetent. Someone attaches a mine to his boat, but he stops to put on his jacket and collect his wallet and keys before leaving! He then decides the best place to go after this incident is the hospital where his mother has lain in a non responsive coma for two years, but conveniently still owns a fully charged mobile phone he can use. Huh? He repeatedly makes pretty illogical decisions, probably because he cannot stop musing on his sexual attraction to the h: He “gets hard” when she bites her lip. The h is just as bad and obsesses about her lack of experience but still finds the need to strip half naked just because she gets a bit of blood on her jeans. I am soooo bored with the stereotype of an H with tonnes of sexual experience, but an h who cannot enjoy sex until she falls in love.
The story takes place over two days and the speed with which the characters involved obtain information is unreal. With relative ease they find huge flaws in the 14 year old conviction against the “spy”, and announce a Presidential Pardon for the wrongly convicted man within a few minutes of the real spy being found.
Special mention has to go to two scenes that were particularly awful: The first sexual encounter of the H and h, when their passion is interrupted by a discussion about their sexual history; and the “fake rape” scene involving the hostage, which was so ridiculous it actually made me laugh out loud.
I found myself more interested in the side characters: The H’s boss, the h’s best friend, and the H from the first book in the series, all of whom were much more appealing characters in this books than the couple featured here.
I will read more books in this series because, as I said in the title "Two outa three ain't bad" but I advise you give Book three in this series a miss.