Can’t Hide From Me, by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 3, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.
For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.
As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.
But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.
I went into this book with a bit of trepidation as Cordelia Kingsbridge is a new-to-me author and I wasn’t sure what to expect from her writing. However, the action in this story held my attention throughout and ended up making this a fast paced and, despite a few minor annoyances, a very enjoyable read.
The book focuses on the relationship between fellow ATF agents, Charles Hunter and Ángel Medina. Charles is surprised to find out that the agent his team has been tasked to extract from a dangerous undercover assignment is none other than his ex-lover Ángel. When the crime boss is assassinated, Ángel’s position in the cartel becomes precarious and he requests an extraction before it’s too late. It’s decided that Ángel will remain with Charles’ team until Ángel has been fully debriefed and a new assignment is available, and they must figure out a way to work with each other without allowing their past and their still simmering attraction to each other from getting in the way.
I wasn’t sure I was digging Charles and Ángel’s relationship for the first part of this book. While their chemistry was supposed to be sizzling, it seemed more like hate-fucking, especially on Charles’ part. Initially, their relationship is very antagonistic and mostly involves screwing and yelling at one another, then running away, which was incredibly annoying. But as things progress and they are forced into an uneasy truce, I was all in and I found myself rooting for them to work things out.
The mystery of the stalker’s identity is fairly easy to figure out before the end of the book and it was amusing to me that a team of experts couldn’t figure things out before I did. Still, it made for some compelling reading and the kidnapping and long-distance pursuit at the end was some exciting, edge-of-your-seat stuff that wouldn’t have been out of place in any action movie.
In fact, if you approach this book like you would a Bruce Willis thriller, you’ll really enjoy it. Yes, you do need to suspend reality for a bit but that’s okay. Not everything has to be about intense character development and exploring dark themes. Sometimes you need a fun time-waster with an HEA and this book delivers on both.
Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.
Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.