Author: Jamie Michele
Published on: November 6, 2012
Genre: Mystery, romance
Published by: Montlake Romance
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible
Undercover agent Evangeline Quill knows the dangers of getting personally involved in her cases. But this one is unavoidable: someone murdered her parents, and she’s sure she knows the killer. To hunt him down, she’ll need evidence…and someone to lead her straight into the murderer’s lair. Enter handsome and elusive Oliver McCrea, a man with ties to the criminal world.
Although McCrea wears a tough outer shell, Evangeline senses something vulnerable beneath his wounded, golden gaze. He’s the one man she shouldn’t want, but she’s never been big on resisting danger. McCrea knows he should turn Evangeline away, but there’s something about her that calls to the man he used to be before the underworld disintegrated his humanity.
Evangeline is determined to draw out a killer, and McCrea’s going to stay right by her side to keep her safe. But will their passion lead to love…or death?
Mystery/thrillers and romance are two of my favorite genres. Mix them together, and I’ll seriously consider such a book. An Affair of Vengeance delivers a great amount of action and suspense, and the romance makes it even better. This novel is told from the first-person POVs of Evangeline Quill and Oliver McCrea. Both of them are undercover special agents, and their investigations are about to make them cross paths.
An Affair of Vengeance turns out to be an interesting read right away. Evangeline is the protagonist you meet first. She is a waitress at a popular bar in Marseille, France, and something has caught her interest. After she decides to investigate, Evangeline runs into the enigmatic Oliver McCrea. At first, Evangeline is struck by how handsome he is. McCrea acts as if she wasn’t worthy of his interest, though. Evangeline tries not to take much offense. After overhearing the end of McCrea’s conversation with someone else, Evangeline marks him as a target.
McCrea is a highly trained and cautious operative, though. He easily catches on to Evangeline, who as a CIA agent is no rookie. The two play a game of cat-and-mouse until they end up meeting in person. Evangeline, who believes McCrea to be a crook, can’t understand why he treats her so courteously…as if he returned her attraction. To Evangeline, McCrea is just a means to an end, and she tries to keep her feelings in check. At one point, McCrea makes Evangeline look a little stupid, though. It’s not that she made any serious mistakes; Evangeline just acted with a bit too much zeal. She is eager to nail Lukas Kral, the powerful weapons smuggler she’s been after. McCrea happens to be Evangeline’s best lead yet, as he’s trying to land a meeting with Kral.
Fast-paced as this book is, Evangeline and McCrea soon end up joining forces. This comes with some tension at first. On McCrea’s part, he’s concerned about Evangeline even though she is slightly better trained. And Evangeline is considerably attracted to McCrea. She is able to keep her head and keep her focus on the goal, which I admired. The two of them take the best opportunity that no other agent has ever had in getting to Kral. Only, Evangeline and McCrea may just find that they’re in over their heads.
Even though An Affair of Vengeance isn’t that short, it is quite fast-paced. No pages are wasted on fluff. Every scene helps get the story forward. There is a large amount of backstory in the beginning, but it is needed to understand latter parts of the book. Most of the backstory is McCrea’s, and it helps shed light on who he is and why he became the man he turned into. Evangeline got some backstory too. Although it’s not as much, it gets the job done.
Like other readers, I thought the book ended a bit quickly. Evangeline and McCrea are good characters, and I wish we could have seen more of them. Their romance also grows at more than a steady pace. They have excellent chemistry, which surprised me a little given how stiff McCrea can be sometimes. Evangeline is a more likeable character. Even if she’s not as skilled as other fictional spies such as Chandler, she’s still a force to be reckoned with. The book’s editing did not shine as much as the characters, though. There were quite a few errors through, the most glaring of which is spelling Lukas’s last name as “Krai” instead of “Kral.” This mistake messes up the Kindle X-Ray feature a little. Otherwise, An Affair of Vengeance is a great book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys good action and suspense to go with their romance. This book strikes a balanced mixture of all those.
This book is recommended for readers 17+ due to some steamy scenes and nudity. Violence level: Medium High.
Seriously liked it!
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