Publisher: Toni Anderson
Source: pr firm in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository* | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks* |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.
Blurb from goodreads:
When an international ring of sex traffickers kidnaps an eight-year-old girl in Boston, FBI Agent Lucas Randall heads undercover. But his rescue operation goes disastrously wrong and Lucas barely escapes with his life. Now the ruthless traffickers are hunting him down, along with everyone else who threatens their operation.
Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world—evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills, and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with Lucas, she also has big trouble, because after years of pushing people away, she’s falling for the guy. The feeling is more than mutual, but as Ashley intensifies her online pursuit of the trafficking ring, her traumatic past collides with her present and suddenly Lucas can’t tell which side she’s on. And as the case escalates into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, it turns out Ashley isn’t the only one with something to hide.
If neither can trust the other with their secrets, how can they trust each other with their hearts?
Wow. The book starts off with a bang and the pace barely lets up. It's fast paced, suspenseful, gritty, twisty, rich, deep, and complex. Anderson seemed to have a solid grasp on how the FBI and investigations works; it all felt real and true. I didn't roll my eyes at how stupid or unlikely something seemed, and her people were solid too.
The steam and heat between Ashley and Lucas was scorching but they weren't stupid about it and neither was Anderson. There's respect on both sides as well as caution. They're aware of their responsibilities to the case, to their employer, and even to each other, and they're both keeping secrets from each other. Lucas and Ashley have to navigate their personal issues, professional issues, and the intricacies of working together while being involved. They make mistakes but they keep trying.
Anderson incorporates some tough subjects in "Cold Secrets" - human trafficking, racism, prejudice, stereotypes, prostitution, family and trust. But they're all woven into the story, not tacked on, and she's never heavy-handed. Those topics, the mystery, action, and romance are woven into one smooth fabric and the result is an engaging story that I didn't want to put down.
I discovered when I was setting up this post and the excerpt post that I have the first book in the series but haven't read it. I'll be moving it up the TBR pile! By the way, if you haven't read that book, A Cold Dark Place, the ebook edition is free at Amazon*, Smashwords* (sorry, epub only), and B&N, and maybe at other retailers too.