Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
You gotta love thrillers with snarky protagonists! Josh Cooper works for CDR, a security company in Seattle that usually provides bodyguards and such to celebrities, but he and his team have been sent to London for a special assignment. This job is more of an investigation than what they usually do, and they first have to find their mark, before they can protect him. CDR has contracted with a London based company to assist them, and set Josh’s team up with an equivalent team there. From the beginning, there is mistrust and animosity as both teams – as well as various London law enforcement agencies – battle over turf and refuse to share information.
Josh is unapologetically out, gay, and willing to hit on anybody who is attractive – gay or straight – sometimes to get laid, but mostly because he just loves to get a rise out of people. He is snarky, abrasive, has a massive caffeine addiction, and proud that everyone at CDR knows him as an asshole, but an asshole who gets things done. About two years prior to the events of this book, after an accidental message, he started up a virtual friendship with a man whom he dubbed “Charlie” who called Josh “Angel”. Yes, there are mentions of Farrah Fawcett in here and references to the original TV series! Josh comes to regard Charlie as a close friend, confides in him, is happy every time Charlie contacts him, and realizes that he is falling in love with him. Now he just needs to find out Charlie’s identity so they can get together in real life.
The pace of the book was fast and exciting, both the investigation and the romance, and I basically read it in one sitting. Just when I thought that the action was peaking and the book was wrapping up, I’d realize I was far from the end, and the plot would take another twist. Some of those were very predictable (Charlie’s true identity was pretty obvious to everyone but Josh), but I have to admit the big reveal at the end really surprised me.
There were a lot of loose ends that weren’t completely tied up at the end of the book, which would have been disappointing, until I realized this would be the first of a series. Josh and Charlie don’t get their HEA, but they definitely have a HFN and the set up for more danger and adventure in the next installment. This is a series I am going to enjoy reading! It reminded me a little of the Shadow of the Templar by M. Chandler, for those who enjoyed that series.
The cover art by Meredith Russell made me think of an entirely different story – the model looks like a mild mannered software engineer looking out over Seattle instead of who I imagined Josh to be, and even had a beard that Josh certainly didn’t have. The book reads like a thriller, and the cover doesn’t convey that at all.