3 out of 5 Licks
Always ready, always deadly. That’s the motto of the Atrati—a mercenary organization of black operatives who specialize in doing what no one else can.
A former sergeant in the Marine special forces, Kaden Marks dreams of one day having a family. But he’s haunted by the deeds of his past and won’t let anyone get close. Then a new mission comes his way. A fellow operative has had her cover blown—and it’s up to Kaden’s team to bring her out safely. What he doesn’t realize is that the beautiful but stubborn Rachel Gannon has no intention of letting herself be rescued…
Rachel will come out only when she can promise adequate protection for her unwitting informant. As a former DEA agent, Rachel still blames herself for her sister’s death—and is unwilling to let someone else get hurt because of her. But she hadn’t counted on falling for Kaden Marks, and falling hard. Now she must convince him to help her bring down the enemy’s entire organization—without risking the life of the man she’s come to love…
I just realized this book is loosely connected to a series Lucy has that I have not read. I don’t feel like that took away too much from this book. There were a few times when I was wondering if I was supposed to know more about some of these characters, but there was enough background info provided that it didn’t really matter. I really liked the premise of the book and wanted to absolutely love it but sadly that just didn’t happen. The previous relationship between Kaden and Rachel is sad and although she has clearly had a rough go the last several years she was borderline unlikable. She was whiny and she did have valid reasons for her feelings she went on and on about it and even though she said she was over it she clearly wasn’t. Too much of the book was spent with her dwelling on and clinging to the past hurts. Because of that the ending felt a bit rushed to me. The sex was ok. It was described a bit clinically for me. I would have liked to see the author go for it, but it felt like she was trying to be careful not to get too dirty with the descriptions so it came across feeling a bit cold. There were a few political references that I don’t feel added to the book. I felt more like the author was trying to share her political views rather than add to the story line. That is just my personal feeling. Politics makes me very uncomfortable and I tend to shy away from it.
There is a second minor story line between Neil and Wyatt. I also found that the switch between team nicknames and real names went back and forth a lot instead of being consistent. All that said I liked the book but it wasn’t something that I just couldn’t put down. The idea is interesting and the feeling is there but a bit hidden. I would be interested in reading the previous books and seeing if they help bring a better understanding to this one and round out the series.