Collateral Damage by Gwenan Haines #review #goddessfish
Posted by brriske
by Gwenan Haines
GENRE: Romantic suspense
For three years Laura Drake has watched Senator Pete Worthington promote a series of gorgeous women while she sits in a forgotten corner answering constituent letters on an outdated computer. When Worthington asks her to find an elusive file one Friday night he sets off a series of events that brands her as a killer and puts her life in jeopardy. The path she sets out on forces her to confront not only the nature of evil but the ghosts from her past that have never been set to rest.FBI Agent Dalton Ross transferred from Chicago to Washington to escape his own ghosts. When his investigation leads him to Laura he’s torn between his desire to keep her safe and the need to protect his own heart. As the mystery that surrounds them deepens, Laura and Dalton race to save themselves and the nation from someone willing to sacrifice anything to protect a secret.
He slid onto the barstool next to hers. From the way the man who had been sitting there had gotten up she wondered if he’d slipped him some cash. Though, to be fair, she hadn’t actually seen him do it…
His eyes locked onto hers. “You don’t sound too sure about that.” What was it about him that made her pulse quicken? Was it “sexual chemistry,” a phrase Zoe always used when explaining her latest one-night stand? Or fear, an emotion even more basic—and more dangerous. “I am meeting someone,” she said quickly. “Or I was.”
“Now you’re not?”
Before she could answer the bartender appeared and set down two pints of beer in front of them. Her companion paid, sliding the lighter pint toward her. “I’m Dalton Ross, by the way. And you would be—”
“Well, Laura,” he said after a slight pause, “I hope you don’t mind Pilsner. Didn’t figure you for a Guinness girl.” He raised a glass of dark liquid to her and took a swig. “To new friends.”
Laura raised her own glass and took a tentative sip. “And to old ones, too.” Was it her imagination or did his eyes visibly darken? Before she could decide, he was again the charming redhead hitting on her in a crowded bar.
This is a standalone book with an HEA. Laura works in a senator’s office, trying to fly under the radar due to trauma early in her life. She gets pulled into a conspiracy and catches the attention of FBI agent, Dalton. Dalton has trust issues, thanks to a cheating ex-wife. Laura and Dalton find themselves running for their lives, while trying to save the country at the same time.
The action in this story is endless. The only time the story stalls is during the whole reveal scene at the end of the book, when Laura is finally told what is happening and why. The plot is intricate and maybe more should have been revealed a little at a time, instead of a huge monologue at the end of the book.
The computer hacker, Eli, is used to solve a lot of Dalton’s and Laura’s problems, but also to act as comic relief. His lifestyle is funny, as is his choice of defense when he is attacked (Viking garb?). The way he tries to get the FBI’s attention is funny in an extreme way.
Some of the scenes and subject matter are very disturbing, but only as much detail as is needed is actually given, leaving much to the reader’s imagination, which is a good thing. The seriousness of the subject matter actually causes the reader to feel the urgency, along with Dalton and Laura, of stopping the Senator.
I am a reviewer for Romance Author’s that Rock. This book is appropriate for an adult audience. I am giving the book 4 stars. The Epilogue was actually the reason for lack of a perfect score. Laura still isn’t sure Dalton isn’t 100% happy. We still get an HEA, but more like an HEA with a question mark.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I live in an old Cape house with my daughter, too many books, and a red-and-white Siberian husky born on Halloween. After working in Washington, D.C. for several years and traveling to Russia, Europe and Pakistan, I moved back to New England. I’m the author of the romantic suspense novel Vertigo, which is available as an E-book from Amazon Encore and in paperback from Wild Rose Press. Collateral Risk, the follow-up novel to Collateral Damage (which features Dalton’s boss Nick Doyle and scientist Mia Lindgren), is forthcoming from Wild Rose Press. When I’m not working on fiction, I write poetry, teach literature and am still trying to learn how to cook.
Gwenan Haines will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.