Title: Targeted (Deadly Ops, #1)
Author: Katie Reus
Publisher: Penguin Signet Eclipse
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Source: ARC received from Author
Hidden in plain sight…
Former Marine sniper and current NSA agent Jack Stone has a new face to go with his new identity. But he still has the same tortured memories—which include the woman he let get away years ago, when they were teenagers. Now his new assignment in Miami will put him so close to the woman he’s never been able to forget, he could reach out and touch her—if only she weren’t under suspicion.
When Sophie Moreno uncovers evidence linking the medical supply company she works for with arms smuggling—and worse—she doesn’t know who to turn to. After a shocking betrayal, she realizes the only person she can trust is a mysterious new person in the company—a man with hauntingly familiar eyes.
As Sophie questions her intense attraction to this man and Jack struggles not to blow his cover, the two of them must race against the clock to stop terrorists from killing scores of people—starting with them.
Targeted is the first book in the new Deadly Ops series by Katie Reus. To me, this is what romantic suspense is all about. Good guys (NSA agents) tracking down the bad guys (drug lords and terrorists). Good versus evil. A hero that will do anything to protect the heroine. A heroine that won’t listen when the hero says to leave him behind. Targeted is engaging and full of suspense from beginning to end.
The love story in Targeted is very unique and emotionally raw all on its own. It is actually hard to talk about it much without revealing any spoilers. Jack and Sophie knew each other as teens and fell in love. They went their separate ways and now Jack is back in her life working undercover, but after some facial reconstruction so Sophie doesn’t know who he is right away. However, Sophie is drawn to Jack in a way she was only drawn to one other man she knew in her life as a teenager – him. Watching their relationship unfold while the two of them are on the run from a drug lord is intense.
Katie does a wonderful job keeping it real in Targeted. The choices and responses are very appropriate for Sophie and Jack while they are running for their lives and being shot at in public. Sophie is freaked out as most people would be and Jack does what he can to protect her but also doesn’t sugar coat anything and makes smart decisions. Katie also keeps it real with the romance. You can see and feel the chemistry between Sophie and Jack without all the sex scenes. They don’t have time with all the moving around they have to do to stay a step ahead of the bad guys anyway! The main intimate scene that is in the book is not overly detailed,very well written and satisfying to the reader. The balance of romance and suspense is perfect for the story.
I enjoyed the flashbacks to Sophie and Jack’s past which help tell their story and how they got to present day. It is a neat way to experience their relationship from the beginning. I am intrigued by Levi’s plot and wonder if he will be in the next book. I really had a hard time putting Targeted down because there was so much suspense going on. I felt like I couldn’t leave the characters and had to make sure everything turned out okay before I could breathe easy. If you are looking for a romantic suspense that really pulls you into the story and makes you feel what the characters experience, I recommend you try Targeted.
Reviewed by: Amy R.