Cassie Modine is an FBI agent working in the Art and Cultural Property Crime Division where she helps to recover and return stolen artwork to its rightful owners, she is successful in her career and has friends she is close to as well as an adopted family who mean the world for her, however Cassie holds secrets which even she can’t remember fully of a time in her past where she experienced something she would never wish on anyone, not even her worst enemy. Ian Chase is out of the military and now is the successful CEO of Chase Security and his teams work like a well oiled machine working in the background on cases where government forces have too much red tape to get through, as well as personal security for those who need it.
Six years ago Cassie and Ian met at an art gallery where she showed him round and introduced him to one of her favourite pieces, now six years later, they have bumped into each other again st Cassie’s uncle’s house where she has just arrived after experiencing something disconcerting while grabbing coffee with a friend, all the feelings she felt about Ian the first time round are coming back to her and it seems it is the same for him as well, but Cassie is not interested in a relationship, not after what happened. As she talks to her Uncle about what happened in the coffee shop, but she is determined that she isn’t going to give up her current assignment because of it, even if her boss is making her feel uncomfortable, so at the briefing the next day, she makes it clear to all in the meeting that she will not accept any behaviour towards her which is not strictly professional and if it does happen that it will be reported. Meanwhile Ian is running a security check on her as she has intrigued him, as well as organising the teams current operations, after he has done this, Cassie returns his call and he asks her to dinner to help him out with something and to get to know each other a bit better, she agrees and when he picks her up later on, they have a lovely time, but this upsets Cassie as she doesn’t feel that she is deserving of him, but this only makes him more determined to find out why.
As the night of her mission approaches, Cassie is ready to protect the target and dresses for the part, however, when she arrives at the table she will be dining at she is blindsided when she is confronted with people both from her past and her present, she manages to hold her own throughout despite the challenges she faces, but when things start to turn sour, will Cassie be able to protect her charge and herself, or will someone from her past harm her while she is in the line of duty? How will Ian react when the cards are down and things happen which are beyond his control? This is a fast paced thriller with a romantic twist which will keep you guessing what will happen until the conclusion presents itself.
Martin Bailey is the new CEO of Chase Security, he is an ex Navy SEAL and excellent at his job and Elizabeth Reed is a trauma surgeon at the local hospital in Silverton Iowa and she does everything she possible can to save the patients who cross her surgical table, no matter how bad the damage is, she does her very best with more successes than losses.
As Elizabeth is doing her rounds she notices that there has been a pattern emerging in admissions, when she checks it out in the hospitals records department, her hunch is confirmed that the inmates from the local prison are showing identical signs of bruising and injuries. It is after she has finished that an emergency call to a young girl being brought in with serious injuries comes in and after four hours and an amputation later, the girl is out of surgery, but she is still in a critical condition due the the extent of her injuries, but she hasn’t got time to deal with her emotions before another emergency call comes in. The next day is one of tragedy when she loses a patient and has to break the news to their family, but when another surgeon makes comments which are unprofessional and derogatory towards her and in front of her students, she struggles to keep her cool. As she checks in on the other patients on her ward, she sees another patient in the same pattern as before, she immediately knows what to do and orders further tests and surgery for the patient, contrary to the primary surgeons report and the primary report by the jail.
Out on patrol Sergeant Austin Bailey has come across another child who needs medical attention in the middle of nowhere, as well as another unidentified male, however, as he is calling for aid, the call is cut off, the next thing that happens is he is rushed into the OR where Elizabeth is the on call surgeon and she rushes him into surgery. Meanwhile, Martin is checking on the operation his teams are working on and finds that one involving illicit pornography and the stealing of identification to sell it, as well as the danger for his teams is showing that there is something deeper going on which they need to investigate, next on his list is a teleconference, however when he finds out that his brother Austin has been injured while on duty, he immediately flies out there to be with his family. As Elizabeth is working on Austin in the theater, Martin sends his own people out to go to the scene and start to liaise with the local officers there and start an investigation of their own when they are roadblocked as soon as they start asking questions. When an update on his brother’s condition comes in and he finds out that Elizabeth is the surgeon, memories of when they were younger come flooding back to him and he is hoping that it isn’t her, however, when it is, he struggles to maintain his anger towards her when she is so professional with him.
As the days pass and Elizabeth carries out more of her duties, she reports her thoughts about the pattern to the inmates injuries while also fending off the comments her coworker keeps throwing at her, especially when she has to attend his patients when he is unreachable and when one unfortunately passed away due to complications, her coworker is on the warpath. However, when Martin reads the background report on Elizabeth he knows he needs to see her, but when he does, she is immediately taken into custody and marched to the police station under mysterious circumstances, so Martin calls in his team to help her, but when he comes across information about what happened after he left, he knows that he needs to talk to her about what happened and see if they can they rekindle their romance, or will the investigation into her being carried out by the police put her in harm’s way? This is another thrilling mystery with telling consequences and an undercurrent of romance which will keep you enthralled until its conclusion.
Julian “Smooth” Dupart an ex Navy SEAL widower who is still coming to terms with the loss of his wife five years before and has been given a promotion to become the new head of the Chase Group’s San Diego branch where he can use his skills and stay close to the family he loves. Holly Dupree Morrison is a singer with the world at her feet, she is beautiful, talented and has a young daughter Sadie whom she adores and is her silver lining after a past fraught with abuse and hardship.
As Julian heads to San Diego to meet his new coworkers and try to figure out what is happening in the office which has his bosses worried, but first he pays a well overdue visit to his family after getting settled in at his brothers house, but when he finds out that the situation isn’t as all happy as he thought, he starts to make plans and tell them what he has already started to do for them in the last five years. Meanwhile Holly is going through the soundchecks for her next performance when a light falls down from the rigging, however, her manager is also making her feel uncomfortable as he is far too familiar for comfort, despite her protestations. When she returns home after the show, she has no idea that her manager had other plans while she was performing and when he drives her home, he invites himself in and proceeds to drug her and have his way with her while her daughter is sleeping next door.
Julian starts his next day in San Diego picking up his company car and meeting the realtor and look around the properties they have arranged for him to see, at the third property, he finds what he is looking for and puts an offer in before heading into the office. Across the city, Holly wakes up feeling groggy, naked and with a pounding headache, she finds that it is late and is concerned when she finds her daughter in the bathroom and in the middle of an asthma attack, as she screams for her manager to call for an ambulance, she starts the treatment she can until they get her to the hospital. At the same time, Julian gets a call that his nephew is in the same hospital after being hit by a car, he heads over there while his brother is called out to investigate a horrific crime scene and this is where he sees Holly and Sadie for the first time while he is helping to keep his nephew calm, but she makes an immediate impression on him.
As Julian starts to dig deeper into the branch and is finding problems, from staff committing fraud to counterfeit or diluted medications, it is also spreading to other external places as well and as he visits them, he comes into contact with Holly more and more often and one of these times, a case is discussed which reminds him of his past. As all of this is unfolding Holly receives some threatening letters from a stalker who will not leave her alone. Will he be able to sort out the Sand Diego branch’s issues in time, or will the amount of issues cause him to fail and will he be able to make something of the connection he feels with Holly, or will her stalker get to her first? This is a whirlwind of a thriller which keeps you unbalanced and guessing the whole way through to the conclusion.
Reviewed by @roxsannel