Circle of Desire

Circle of Desire

4.3 17
by Carla Swafford
     
 

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She Knew How To Fight But Not To Love ...

As the top assassin at The Circle, a shadowy group of mercenaries, Olivia St. Vincent can hunt down anyone. She's been trained since she was a teenager to kill without feeling, to interact with men without love. But when she's kidnapped by the enigmatic leader of a rival organization, she learns she's been lied to for

Overview

She Knew How To Fight But Not To Love ...

As the top assassin at The Circle, a shadowy group of mercenaries, Olivia St. Vincent can hunt down anyone. She's been trained since she was a teenager to kill without feeling, to interact with men without love. But when she's kidnapped by the enigmatic leader of a rival organization, she learns she's been lied to for years. She never worked for the good guys.

Collin Ryker believes the sultry woman he's abducted knows more than she's telling about The Circle and its plans for complete domination. Over time, as they work together, Olivia's tenacity and vulnerability captivate him. But if he isn't careful, Collin will fall into the biggest trap of all: caring for a woman who can betray him to his greatest enemy.

Editorial Reviews

Sherrilyn Kenyon
“Exciting and breathtaking. Carla Swafford is an up-and-coming author not to be missed!”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062117809
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/08/2011
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Carla Swafford lives in Alabama and is married to her high school sweetheart. A third-generation storyteller, she loves every shade of romance and the many paths taken to find that special someone.

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Circle of Desire 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
She's swift, sexy, scary. Her job keeps her on her guard at all times. There's no room for mistakes. It's a life or death deal breaker. But for one moment, Olivia leaves herself vulnerable. She allows herself to be open with a man, one she feels attracted to. And then, BAM! He turns on her, and takes her captive. Olivia is sassy, saucy, and deadly. Her profession? She kills for a living, and she's damn good at what she does. It angers her that she lost control. She's the kind of woman that has meaningless sex with no strings attached. That's what she thought she was getting into with Collin Ryker. Boy did he ever pull a fast one. He knows he shouldn't, considering they are on opposing sides, but Collin wants Olivia. Badly. He knows he could have her, but he keeps himself under control. He's got a mission to accomplish, and getting it on with Olivia isn't part of that. The two are like fire and gasoline. Both know how to push one another's buttons, and they do so quite often. Collin and Olivia are very much alike, with their stubborn, hard-headed attitudes. The constant bickering then back and forth banter continues throughout the book. Circle of Desire is a fast paced romantic suspense. There's strong language and violence, so be aware if you're not into darker suspense books. The story is executed nicely, keeping readers on a wild goose chase for answers, and you never know what will happen next. This isn't a typical love story. Olivia and Collin are very rough with each other, and in their own way, they show their feelings through that. It isn't until much further into the novel that the two show a little bit more on the softer side of emotions. The roughness and bickering at times was a little overdone, but overall, this intense story sizzled, and I enjoyed the high amount of suspense, secrecy, and deception. The sex scenes are very hot, pretty graphic but not quite to the extent of erotic. The characters could be considered tortured hero and heroine. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel when it comes out. If you enjoy a dark, edgy romantic suspense, then you may want to consider adding Circle of Desire to your reading list. Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
MVF More than 1 year ago
Olivia is an assassin for the Circle. She’s fought hard to carve a niche for herself in this brutal business, trying to put behind her the abuse she’s endured. Now she is something to be feared and hated. Collin Ryker is the leader of the OS and his goal is to take down the Circle and their crazed Leader Theo. His motives aren’t completely altruistic and revenge plays a large part. He views Olivia as his ticket to success. Together, Olivia and Collin are oil and water, but far more explosive. They don’t deny their attraction to each other, but a chasm of mistrust and secrets lies between them. Collin and Olivia have to come to grips with both their pasts in order to have a future together. This is an Erotic suspense-and I found it fascinating. The author dealt with a very difficult subject—the sexual abuse of a girl and how it would translate into adulthood. She made sure the heroine was a fighter and while she struggled with the pain and memories the hope for a happy ending was greater. The hero understood this—but he had his own issues. The emotion and damage was skillfully laid in and I liked that she gave the characters choices—they could choose to embrace total socio-pathic side with no regret or remorse-- or live. This is a solid book. I found the world building strong and I want to know more about the other characters. I like how the author deals with explosive issues and makes the reader empathize and want to learn more. Since it is an erotica there is sex, but it was done very well and not overwhelming. The characters and plot took precedence and that is fabulous. I am looking forward to reading the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, this story really pulled me in. Danger, intrigue, heart stopping romance..what more could you want. I highly recommend if you like a fast paced story..can not wait for the next installment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At the heart of Circle of Desire is a firey physical relationship between two complex characters; one, a strong female assassin, and the other the soft-spoken leader of a covert anti-terrorist organization. But through their sexual chemistry, Swafford has concocted a potent example of the inportance of trust in any relationship. That her characters struggle with questions of loyalty and trust throughout her page turner is no surprise; the plot is intricate and surprising, especially for the genre. Clearly well-thought out and devoid of any chin-scratching moments of "hey, wait a minute" disbelief, the first book in the series covers a lot of complicated ground without losing the reader. I read this book in less than day. I could not put it down! I know very little about the author (aside from meeting her briefly at a Romance Writers of America book signing where I purchased the second book... very nice lady) but I will happily buy any book she publishes from now on, regardless of the story. Compared to other genre titles? This one has a better formed opperation and plotlines than Feehan's Ghost Walker series and a helluva lot more interesting characters to boot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my frist Carla Swafford book. I was swayed by the reviews (so thank you all who wrote a review). This was a very good read. I loved the connection between Collin and Olivia. I'm on to book #2!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good. I read book number two before one and enjoyed it even with knowing certain plot information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast read, kept my interest right to the end. Swafford might become one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Danger and true love a great combination in a great story. Loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great quick read! And so hot...I can't wait for more.
MsRomanticReads More than 1 year ago
As an elite assassin, Olivia (29) not only used her physical attributes to her advantage but also her feminine wiles. From the first chapter onwards, she was described as very sexual, not just as a means to relieve the tension from her job but also to take down any enemy. Collin also correctly assessed that she used sex as a means to cover up other insecurities or to deflect. On the outside she was tough, mouthy, unapologetic. But deep down, she never gave up the dream of finding someone who could love her and have her back. Collin (30+) was a sexy jerk for most of the story, but I kind of liked that about him. He didn’t know how to act differently, nor had he had any prior experience with deeper emotions. Heck, even by the end it was like pulling teeth to get an ILY out of him. With that in mind, his feelings of lust, mistrust but also being intrigued by her were believable. As the leader of The Onyx Scepter, his utmost priority was the safety of his people. But he was generally kind to anyone who deserved it, including Olivia. That didn’t stop him from being cautious around her. Olivia and Collin weren’t your typical romantic couple but they did have chemistry. Despite very different upbringings, neither of them really knew how to love or express feelings at all. With that said, a part of me really liked the emotional angst, the somewhat callous approach to their blossoming relationship, and the distrust everyone showed towards Olivia, pretty much up until the very end of the story. Some perverse part of me enjoyed seeing Olivia’s attempts to get Collin to sleep with her fail time and time again, and I enjoyed Collin’s hot and cold treatment of her. It almost seemed like a game between them – trying to get the enemy to cave first. His behavior wasn’t exactly hero material, but it was both true to his character, and it prompted the change in Olivia. Despite his constant rebuffs, she continued to help The OS where she could and unfortunately the distrust towards her continued. He was intrigued by her different sides, he admired her capabilities and other assets, but he was horrible for making her feel like a pawn in the tug of war with The Circle, and also for making her feel unlovable. His willpower to not have sex with her was amusing most of the time, but once even that was out of the way, he often acted like she meant nothing to him. The sex was always hot with a raw, rough edge that suited their characters and lifestyle. I liked seeing Olivia fend for herself especially in the end. I’m looking forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Posted on Romancing the Books blog / Reviewed by Maria / Review Copy Provided by the Publisher / This novel is described as erotic romantic suspense. I’d consider it to be a whole lot more. It has a relevant message for our time and I don’t say that lightly. With a name like Olivia St. Vincent you’d think she must be a film actress or an international ramp model. She’s neither. She’s a cold blooded killer who can track down and kill a man without giving the matter a second thought. For her, sex is merely a physical activity which relieves the tension which a stalking and killing mission builds up. As the story unfolds, we come to learn about her past. Her being found in a trash can and raised in an orphanage (St. Vincent’s). Being sent to an ill-advised foster home when she was barely a teen led to her walking the streets to earn her bread. Like sexually abused youngsters everywhere, she learns to separate herself emotionally from what she was compelled to do. This quality got her recruited as an operative in an undercover organization. She became the Circle’s most dreaded assassin. Picking up a hot man for a night of tension relieving sex after a successful mission, she’s captured by the leader of the rival Onyx Sceptre (OS) organization. Collin Ryker is very much Olivia’s match and the one man she can’t overcome – with the exception of Theo, the Circle’s sadistic leader. Suddenly, mindless sex is not an option. She wants the real deal now – love, care, nurturing. Collin, however, is not about to drop his defenses. When Olivia is sent back to certain death at the Circle as the OS trades her for two of their captured operatives, it seems to be all over. Only it’s not. The novel hurtles towards a stunning climax where loyalty, stamina and every other quality in an operative is tried and tested. To the limit and beyond. Olivia is by far the strongest female character I’ve read in fiction in a long time. So sure of her aim and so confident in her assignments that she is sent out by men to bring men down. Yet Swafford shows us her evolution as a lover not only of the man in her life but of children too. Her driving force is actually the protection of children, children like herself who are abandoned to the dangers of the world. A woman dreaded and feared by her comrades in equal measure yet, proving herself to be no way lacking as a loyal comrade. Yes, a complex character for certain, but not so hard and tough that you don’t find yourself rooting for her, hoping that she’ll get what she wants in life. I feel that this work is a major achievement in getting inside the head of a terrorist, living as they do with the knowledge that every day could be their last and getting on with the fight for the cause – whatever it is! My two countries – Ireland and India – have grappled with terrorism, as has the United States and those shadowy operatives whom we love to hate and fear are after all men and women like ourselves. Swafford keeps her story out of controversy because all the operatives here are Americans with the cause to rid society of anti-social elements although they end up mostly fighting each other. There is strong language used in this novel, but then it’s not a pretty story. The sex is graphically and erotically described. It helps us to see Olivia’s transformation from a near machine to a woman with feelings and emotions. We also need to remember that she got her initiation into sex at an early age and in a horrific manner. As in all romance novels, if the healing power of love gets the time and space to work its magic, then redemption is sure. A stunning debut novel from Carla Swafford. The sequel, Circle of Danger, is due to release on the 5th of June, 2012. This will carry forward the story of the Circle and its operatives. Favorite Quote: Did he really believe she would meekly do as he said? Hell, no! She hadn’t gotten to be the Circle’s lead eliminator without some guts. “Is this how you thank the person who saved your precious doctor’s life?” Hands on hips, she huffed.
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frosty1 More than 1 year ago
This book had many facets of suspense involved, which I really liked. For a while, you weren't sure if Olivia was working for the good guys or the bad guys. The secondary characters were easy to like, Rex...I have a soft spot for him. The romance scenes were spicy and well written. I guess my complaint about it would be that the sex scenes seemed to be....forced. Like they were added just to have them in there. Some of them, I remember saying...huh? Like I said, they were well written, I just thought a lot of them were unnecessary and out of place. The budding relationship with Collin and Olivia was fun to watch. The unease of both of them, not sure who to trust, and the quips between them both, was very entertaining. I am curious to see where this series goes, there were lots of twists and turns in this one, and intrigue is high for me for the 2nd book.