When a simple mission to deliver the beautiful and brilliant Vanessa Crosby to a safe house goes horribly wrong, ICE agent Diego Santero’s life gets complicated. Keeping the anti-crime analyst safe from the notorious mercenaries after her program will put everything he’s worked for at risk.
Relentlessly hunted and not knowing whom to trust, Diego takes Vanessa on the run, deep into the heart of the deadly Panamanian rainforest. Vanessa reminds herself that she’s just another asset to the ruggedly handsome black ops agent…until their intense situation leads to a release of passion neither expected. But even if they make it out alive, how can they ever have a future together?
This is book one of the ICE: Black Ops Defenders miniseries from Harlequin Romantic Suspense
In this Harlequin read, Diego Santero is more of a black and white kind of guy. Save the good guys, kill the bad ones. There aren't any messy grey areas for him. It's this attitude he's lived by after joining the SEALs and later an elite Special Black OPs unit, ICE. He's all alpha male with an ego who doesn't like to have his word challenged, and he especially doesn't like the fact that the bureaucratic stiffs want him to play chauffeur to beautiful and brilliant, ex-American analyst Vanessa Crosby.
Vanessa is afraid of being alone, but that's all she's ever known. She keeps herself occupied with that brilliant mind of hers, throwing herself into her work. When she needed a challenge she created a bank program to track bulk cash transactions that could finally give ICE a chance to take down a major international cartel. Diego's unit is given the demeaning mission of being her chauffeur and bringing her to a safe house so the stiffs can gain her cooperation in bringing down the Chiara brothers- human traffickers, drug smugglers, and money launderers.
En rout of intercepting Vanessa, Diego and crew find her in the enemy's clutches. After an impromptu rescue mission-with guns blaring, bombs detonating, and a wild car chase- the unit realizes that the safe house isn't so safe and abort the mission. With only one goal in mind- keeping the asset safe (which is Vanessa)- the unit decides to fall back on their foul proof plan. When all else fails, each crew member goes off the grid to a secluded hide out that only they know about to rendezvous when the coast is clear. Vanessa is with Diego, and he takes her to his hideout via a stashed away helicopter, but danger is close on their tails.
This book is FULL of suspense. There's never a dull moment. The action and adventures that they go up against is plausible and not outlandish at all in my eyes. My heart was literally in my throat most of the time, wondering how in the hell they were going to get out of the trouble they found themselves in. They never get a break! But that makes for a very entertaining read. I stayed up late into the night unable to put this book down.
I also loved that this book wasn't too heavy on the black ops part of the plot. It's there, but it doesn't overshadow the crux of the story. Diego and Vanessa grow closer through the dangers they face, and their priorities in life start shifting. Lines get blurred. Vanessa tries to hold onto the fact that she's just a job to him and that once their adventure is over, they'll go their separate ways. Diego tries to rationalize a way for him to keep Vanessa but not lose his identity as a special black ops either. Each cause has an effect. Everything is crucial to the plot and it's not bogged down by unnecessary information.
Tempted into Danger is the second book I've read from Ms. Cutler and I liked it a lot better than The Trouble with Cowboys. This book was right up my ally and fed into my love for a damsel in distress, but not completely incapable, and a true, fiercely protective, alpha male with a hard shell and a soft gooey center that can only be pricked by her. It's them against the world. I really enjoyed it and would like to read more of this series.