An entertaining romantic thriller by VK Powell
VK Powell is one of those authors – like Carsen Taite – who introduces the experience of her former profession in her novels. As a retired police officer, the reader knows that her books are gonna be right on the money in that respect. A romance between a whistleblower and her bodyguard protection sounds like a great make for the story.
Special Ops Agent Rafe Silva has recently retired from the army and is still undecided on her future career path when a friend asks for her help protecting a whistleblower. Jana Elliott is a top executive in a big corporation, happy with her career until a coworker dies and Jana suspects the company is covering up a deadly secret. Jana is determined to discover the truth but as things get dangerous a friend suggests she should hire a bodyguard. When Rafe shows up for the job an irresistible attraction develops between them…
This is an opposites-attract, butch/femme romance. The story reminded me a bit of Radclyffe’s Honor Series, because of the stoic butch vs strong femme rejecting protection plotline. As appealing as the damsel in distress plot could be, I rather not have a completely helpless character in danger. Jana isn’t weak but – like Blair in the Honor Series – she’s determined to keep her freedom. My only issue is that Jana’s behaviour seemed reckless at best and foolish at worst which didn’t feel consistent with a business-savvy person. That took me a bit out of the story and I found it hard to warm to her.
Rafe Silva is the typical stoic butch who is used to hiding her emotions as a result of her training as a delta force soldier, the most elite group in the army. Showing emotions on the battlefield could be deadly so she’s hard-wired to do that in all aspects of her life, even now that she’s retired. I really loved the character and how Ms. Powell slowly lets Rafe peel her layers to show her true self.
There are two parts of the plot, the romance and the whistleblower thriller. The latter takes the backseat most of the time as the attraction between the characters develops. Even though I found that at times the whistleblower subplot was a bit simplistic, it introduced a bit of a thrill to the romance. The chemistry between the mains is really good as well as the intimate scenes.
Those who read VK Powell’s Captain’s Choice will be delighted to see the appearance of the main couple, Bennett and Kerstin. They both have an important role in the plot and they get to participate quite a bit. There are references to their relationship but these two books can be read independently.
Overall, an entertaining romantic thriller by VK Powell. 3.5 stars.