Expected Release Date: July 25, 2011
Imprint: Carina Press
Author’s Website: http://www.shannoncurtis.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Librarian Maggie Kincaid, yearns for excitement — but being accused of espionage is not what she had in mind. Wanted by the police, the FBI and the criminal element, Maggie goes on the run — and runs straight into sexy Luke Fletcher. Unfortunately, when Luke pulls out the handcuffs, it’s not because he has something kinky in mind…
Security expert Luke is intent on seeing the murderous spy known only as the Viper brought ot justice. The un-spy-like behavior of his fugitive makes him suspect he’s apprehended the wrong woman. Just as they give in to lust, new evidence convinces Luke that Maggie’s not as innocent as she claims to be.
Devastated by Luke’s inability to trust her, Maggie runs again. She’s determined to clear her name, and if that means tracking down a notorious spy even Interpol can’t seem to locate, then that’s exactly what she’ll do…
This book started out with a bang and didn’t slow down until the very ending. We open with dowdy Maggie Kincaid, librarian for a large university, having to sneak into work so that she won’t be mobbed by her “admiring fans”. You see, Maggie, for all her prim clothes and boring lifestyle, bears a striking resemblance to a luscious model who recently posed nude for a car calendar.
Unfortunately for Maggie, this case of mistaken identity is not the only one in store for her, and minutes later she finds herself under arrest for theft and murder. It seems she’s been mistaken for a notorious international spy named Viper! But the police aren’t the only ones who want to get their hands on Maggie — the real Viper has double-crossed her boss and framed Maggie, and suffice it to say that the bossman isn’t happy. Kidnapped from the police, she must rely on her own quick thinking to escape a horrible fate when she literally stumbles into the incredibly handsome Luke Fletcher, who insists that if she wants to live, she’ll have to come with him.
Luke is a security expert charged with capturing the Viper and recovering the suit she’s stolen — a prototype of technology that can literally render the wearer invisible as it bends light particles around it. Sounding more in the realm of science fiction, the technology is frighteningly real, and the implications of it being sold on the black market are absolutely devastating.
Convinced that Maggie is actually the Viper, he presents to her seemingly irrefutable evidence of her guilt in an attempt to gain her cooperation, but Maggie insists on her innocence. Chastising himself for falling for the ploys of a master spy, he continues to interrogate her, but the more time he spends with her, the more he begins to doubt that her innocence, fear, and frustration are a ploy, as well as the harder it becomes to ignore the temptation of her body.
Soon, he not only begins to work to clear Maggie’s name, but also allows himself to give into their attraction. When more details come in, however, Luke becomes convinced that Maggie is yet again lying to him, and once again begins treating her as a suspect.
Heartbroken by Luke’s mistrust and casual disregard for their budding relationship, she escapes, determined to prove her innocence in the only way she knows how — by capturing the notorious Viper herself!
What worked for me
- Maggie was freakin awesome! Even though she was a “dowdy librarian”, she was also extremely intelligent and courageous in the face of danger. Her ability to think quickly saved her more than once, and parallels between her and her idol, Wonder Woman, were drawn quite well.
- I loved that the action really never stopped — from the moment of Maggie’s arrest until the very dramatic conclusion, things kept moving with all sorts of chases and explosions and of course her trying to prove her innocence.
- I also enjoyed the surprising twists as to both the identity of the Viper and the Viper’s “boss”, as well as the motivations behind the entire escapade.
- I also really liked the ending. I can’t tell you why without spoiling things, but let’s just say I think good decisions were made all around.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- I don’t know, I felt it a little hard to believe that someone who was so gorgeous she truly be mistaken for a sexy model would end up a 30-something year old virgin. Sure, we’re given the explanation of both her rather crappy childhood, and how she has no time to date because of her sick mother, and her infamous “90 Day Rule”, but even so, virgin heroines in contemporaries aren’t really my thing in general.
- A very, very minor point, but I was actually annoyed in an early chapter when Maggie was trying to quickly tie a knot that would hold, and thought to herself something along the lines of “why couldn’t Mom have sent me to Girl Scouts”. Instead of leaving it at that (which would’ve been both slightly humorous and humanizing), she then thinks to herself something along the lines of “oh yeah, because it was between that or having food on the table”. While I know the intention was to introduce Maggie’s rather crappy childhood and all that, it felt so out of place in that particular scene. On the run from kidnappers who have made it clear they plan to rape and torture you for information you don’t have, and you stop to ruminate about how you had no money as a child? No. Just… no.
Overall, this was an incredibly fun read with just the right amount of sexual tension. A heroine whose prim facade was a result of her situation rather than lack of personality, a hero who can’t help but resist the one woman he knows he should avoid at all costs, and an exciting mystery with both espionage and just enough of a sci-fi element to appeal to the geek in all of us lead me to a solid final rating of 4/5 Stars