Hmmm looking at a few reviews, there seem to be quite a few disappointed fans. Haven’t really read any of these previous books in the series or a contemporary by Julie Garwood before but I wouldn’t say I felt like I wasted my time. A pleasant enough read that had a good pace and one from which I wasn’t emotionally wrung out.
Allison Trent is extremely gorgeous, a model and a brilliant hacker. She is currently in college trying to finish off her degree when FBI agent Liam Scott tracks her down with the help of another fellow agent. Liam needs someone with a brilliant mind to hack into the FBIs servers and leave no trace behind so that the source of a leak within his own department can be found. Allison is exactly what he has been looking for. She has done her fair share of illegal hacking (for good of course!) and is reluctant to help the FBI without cutting a deal that serves her own purpose. Working together uncovers Allison’s deep family secrets and her vulnerability which brings out the protector and stirs something deeper in Liam tempting him to reconsider his fast-paced lifestyle and look forward to a different type of future.
This was great as a stand alone and I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything from the previous books. The coder style lingo was believable from a reader’s point of view, but I wonder what actual coders think of Ms Garwood’s research?. Allison does have a lot of issues going on in terms of her personal life and her hacking career creating new enemies for her. I do feel like I got to know Allison more than Liam as there was more focus on her emotions and thoughts rather than Liam’s. Allison was portrayed as someone who has a tender heart and tries to help everyone who depends on her but she comes across as a weak, indecisive character and a bit of a doormat, unfortunately. Liam does fade into the background a little and is not that memorable at all, but Ms Garwood somehow has a knack for writing characters, as I couldn’t find a strong reason to dislike either of them! The terms of Allison and Liam’s initial relationship is a no strings attached deal and Allison accepts this from the beginning, but does do a sudden turnaround and wants no more of the relationship as she realizes she wants something deeper. This is, of course, acceptable and fair enough from Allison’s point of view, but the way the change of heart was written in the book was so sudden, it comes across as slightly crazy! The last quarter of the novel does feel rushed and this is also where Allison seems to have her sudden change of heart and many of the suspenseful scenarios that have been building up, also abruptly come to an end.
This wasn’t a bad read at all, but if you are looking for something a bit more intense, set this aside for when you feel like something lighter. This should be a 3.5 helm rating, but I’m rounding up because of its steady pace, and I finished it quicker than expected.
*Thank-you Julie Garwood, First to Read & Berkley for the ARC.