BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bea Reviews Contracted Defense by Piper J Drake

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Contracted Defense, Piper J Drake
Series: Safeguard #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 11th, 2017 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Google Play | Kobo  | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Time is running out and the enemy is at the gate.

Adam Hicks may be the rookie at Safeguard, but he’s no novice in the field. Retired from active duty after multiple tours and back fresh from a brief rest in New Zealand, he’s itching to return to action. But the challenge he hoped for arrives in an unexpected form: his sexy yet stern new partner.

The last thing Victoria Ash wants is to work with the new guy—especially one as gorgeous as Adam. His relaxed attitude about their first “easy” assignment together—setting up a private home defense network for a reclusive client—doesn’t impress her. Easy usually means trouble. She’s proved right when Adam discovers that the multiple incursions on the physical and cyber security systems aren’t just glitches. They’re under attack…and there’s a traitor in their midst.

As tension mounts, so does the attraction between Victoria and Adam. They must protect their client and the research he’s desperately trying to keep secret. Working together, they have to find the mole before their defense measures, in the fortress and online, are compromised and the deadly secrets they’ve sworn to protect are revealed.

My Thoughts:

I like romantic suspense and I liked the first book in this series (I haven't read book two yet) so I was happy when the publisher approved my review request for this one. "Contracted Defense" worked fine as a stand alone.

The story gets off to a fast, if cliched start. Safeguard agent Victoria Ash and former Marine, newly-hired Safeguard agent, Adam Hicks meet and have a one night stand, then discover the next morning that they are now work partners. Raise your hand if you didn't see that coming. Yawn. 

Despite that inauspicious start, "Contracted Defense" thoughtful, steamy blend of action, mystery and romance. Victoria is freshly divorced, has a tight rein on her feelings and is an organized, somewhat anal creature of habit who has trouble delegating, trusting, and sharing. Adam is a mostly laid back New Zealand citizen who served in the US Marines and was honorably discharged under a cloud. Both Adam and Victoria are experts at what they do. They've been hired to beef up security by a local business but come to realize he's keeping vital information from them. The mystery was a little confusing to begin with but gradually made sense and Adam got to show off his skills and his ridiculous sense of humor. There was forward motion on the series story arc though not as much as I would have liked.

As they try to figure out what's going they're also dealing with their feelings for each other. It's hard for Victoria to trust whether it's other people's work or their willingness not to hurt her. Adam had a knack for respectfully challenging Victoria and making her think without challenging her authority or attacking her. He even coaxes her out a side of her that is little used; passionate, open, even playful. He did have one huge flaw, something at irritates in books and real life. He had the condescending attitude that finds a woman upset or angry to be "cute" or "attractive":

 Of course, if she did decide to butt heads with him on it, at least he enjoyed the glory of her temper. She was beautiful when she's worked up some anger, and he'd bet her rage was glorious.

Yeah, it's nice he isn't afraid of her temper but respect, which he usually has, is completely missing from this scenario. Grrrrr.

"Contracted Defense" had a fast start, then a slow steady pace then boom, around 69% the pace picks up and pretty soon there are explosions left and right. As in the first book, Drake goes into too much detail about security. Some detail, yes, to establish authenticity and ground the story, but then she went into eye-glaze territory. Despite that, Drake wrote a story that smoothly told of a emotional romance, a slightly confusing but engaging mystery and progress on series arc. It was engaging, sexy, sweet, and full of intrigue.

My review of book 1, Hidden Impact


  1. I read mixed reviews on this one. Glad to see you enjoyed! Thank's for the review.

    1. It definitely had some flaws but I did like it.


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