Monday, January 12, 2015

Infiltration - Janie Crouch (HI #1544 - Jan 2015)

Series: Omega Sector (Book 1)

She never expected to see her old flame again. Or be kidnapped by him.

The wrong place at the wrong time -- that's the only way Sophia Reardon could explain her predicament. She wasn't even an FBI field agent and now she was being taken hostage. By her ex-boyfriend Cameron Branson. The moment Sophia walked into his undercover operation, Cameron warned her that his "employers" would want to break her. So keeping her by his side, pretending not to have feelings for her, was the best way to maintain his role in the dangerous organization, and the only way to keep them both safe. Because if they got their hands on her, she could expose him and his secrets. And then they'd no longer have any reason to keep her around…

Good first book in a new series. It started out fast and kept up the suspense throughout the book. Cam has been working undercover for eight months, to bring down the leader of an organization that murdered his partner. He's in the middle of negotiations when Sophia wanders into the middle of it. He has to find a way to keep her safe while at the same time not blowing eight months of hard work. Sophia had simply gotten lost while trying to find the building she's supposed to photograph for her job. She's a graphic artist for the FBI. She's captured by Cam, who she'd had a brief relationship with five years earlier, before he disappeared without a word. Now she has to depend on him to keep her physically safe, but protecting her heart may be impossible.

What I liked best about Cam and Sophia best was that they were human. Neither one was portrayed as being perfect in their actions and reactions. Cam had left Sophia without a word when he was recruited for the Omega Sector. He had never forgotten her and frequently wishes he'd done things differently. He's determined to bring down the leader of this gang, not just because it's his job, but this one is personal. He is also beginning to feel that he needs a break from undercover work, as he wonders if it is beginning to have a permanent effect on him. He's stunned to see Sophia and has to scramble to find a way to protect her. This is where we get to see that he hasn't lost himself entirely, as he tries to get Sophia to cooperate without terrifying her. 

Sophia had never forgotten Cam either. Finding him with a gang of criminals really confuses her at first, because the man she had known would never do such a thing. Once she knows the truth, Cam is the only one who can keep her safe. Though she works for the FBI, she's not an agent. She does do a pretty good job of keeping her head, and at the beginning walks back into danger to save Cam's life. She is working with a pretty serious handicap, in that she is very claustrophobic. There is one point where Cam uses that against her and a couple others where it creates an additional obstacle to her safety. However, we also see that she has the tools to fight it, and in the final confrontation is able to successfully subdue it in order to be an asset rather than a hindrance.

As neither Cam nor Sophia had forgotten each other, their reunion was both good and bad. It's bad, because one slip about their past and they could both end up dead. It's good, because it becomes obvious very quickly that there is still a strong connection between them. There are moments when Cam's care for Sophia is so sweet, like when he's helping her through her claustrophobia attacks. There are others when the attraction between them is so hot they can barely think about anything else. I especially loved the scene at the end when Cam made sure she understood how he felt.

The suspense of the book was fantastic from the beginning. Cam does a wonderful job of thinking fast and improvising when Sophia ends up on the scene. The thugs he's working with are definitely scary dudes and their deviousness becomes apparent as Sophia is trying to escape. That scene had me on the edge of my seat as I wondered how it was going to turn out. The addition of the "Ghost Shell" to the plot ramped up the urgency of what Cam had to do, and the danger of being discovered. Extra tension was there as Cam met with the head of the group and had to walk a fine line to keep up his appearances. From that point on it was one crisis after another that kept me riveted until the end.

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