INTIMATE ENEMIES (Covert Affairs #1) by Joan Swan
INTIMATE ENEMIES is the first storyline (released June 2012) in Joan Swan’s contemporary romance/mystery Covert Affairs series.
Rio Santana is an under cover officer so deep in Saul Flores’ organization that he is now considered his number one man. But it is the return of Saul’s step-daughter Cassie that will throw a major twist into the sting operation that has been in the works for over a year. On stress leave from her position as an emergency room physician, Cassie will embark on a series of investigations that will compromise Rio’s work and put both of them at risk.
Cassie Christo is Saul Flores’ step daughter. Back in Baja Mexico to stand before the parole board to ensure that the man who, three years previous, had attempted to rape her, Cassie still grieves for the mother (Alejandra) she lost six months earlier in a fatal yacht fire that also claimed the life of her step-brother Santos. And Cassie has other reasons for her return-as the sole owner of her mother’s lands, house and financial assets, Cassie is working to prove that Saul’s is using her mother’s money for illegal operations.
When Saul suspects that Cassie is attracted to Rio, he demands that Rio make Cassie a part of his job. As bodyguard and go-between for Saul’s current illegal operations, Rio must make a choice whether to pursue Cassie in the name of business or protect her from her step-father’s hatred in the name of love.
Rio and Cassie’s relationship faces many ups and downs, especially when Rio is unable to reveal his true identity and purpose within Saul’s business plans. And Cassie’s proclamations that Rio’s affections resemble a case of bi-polar disorder due to his lies and mistruths will put Rio into a position that could compromise the sting that so many have risked a year of their lives to complete.
Throughout the story, we are introduced to many of Rio’s fellow agents and potential friends. In the beginning, we are unsure as to the purpose of many of these characters throughout the novel, but as the operation begins to unfold, their intent and determination are woven tightly into the premise. But it is an investigation of another kind that will reveal to Rio that an attempted rape hits close to home.
Cassie is a heroine with a mind of her own. She rarely listens to reason, ignores Rio’s hints and overt instructions regarding the various illegal elements gunning for her head, and compromises Rio’s life as well as the lives of many of the other agents in order to find out the truth about her mother’s death. Even her best friend’s husband, who is also a policeman, is unable to persuade Cassie to cease and stand down. At a minimum the character is aggravating and stressful, at the maximum…she is a pain in the ass. I had difficulty feeling sympathy for a woman who would never listen especially when the lives of so many were at stake. But that is what makes a storyline great-when the reader becomes emotionally involved. And of course, we all know people just like Cassie. The character of Cassie drove me nuts 😉
INTIMATE ENEMIES is an exciting storyline with rarely a slow moment to catch one’s breath. The number of overlapping stories will coalesce into a final showdown, where once again, Cassie will force the agents to risk their lives to protect her from the plans she put into action. The love that Rio feels for Cassie is continuously examined as she tests his true intent with innuendo and accusations of abuse and neglect. The premise is interesting once you get past the heroine’s Type A obnoxious personality. Previous history aside, Cassie would test any man’s patience and especially by the one man with whom she is in love.
And Jules……NO vampires!!!
Reviewed by Sandy