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Passion ignites after office hours in this installment of the ICE: Black Ops Defenders miniseries
Bullets whizzed past as Ryan Reitano and Avery Meadows escaped into the night. How could Ryan have suspected Avery of being the mole inside ICE? It was true she was no ordinary secretary. The way she used her wits and her lethal stiletto heels against the gunmen pursuing them astonished the jaded agent. And that killer body he'd ...
Passion ignites after office hours in this installment of the ICE: Black Ops Defenders miniseries
Bullets whizzed past as Ryan Reitano and Avery Meadows escaped into the night. How could Ryan have suspected Avery of being the mole inside ICE? It was true she was no ordinary secretary. The way she used her wits and her lethal stiletto heels against the gunmen pursuing them astonished the jaded agent. And that killer body he'd somehow never noticed before
Too bad there wasn't time to explore the possibilities. With Chiara's men hot on their trail, capturing the mercenary was more than just a mission for Ryan. He had his own reasons for wanting the criminal dead. But with his surprising—and utterly enchanting—new partner, perhaps there'd be a chance for romance later if they survived.
The ICE Agency office was decidedly free of gadgets. Avery had known that in advance of accepting the secretarial position six years ago, but in her enthusiasm over the job offer, she'd overlooked the details that didn't sync up with her lifelong dream to work in national security. Besides, no covert ops agency displayed their gadgets in plain sight. Everyone knew gadgets belonged in the basement.
She still adored her job even though she had yet to stumble upon a secret basement, but she could've seriously used a gadget tonight, some sort of mechanical arm or miniature grappling hook or the like. The problem was that she wasn't flexible enough, nor were her fingers long enough, to grasp the zipper of her party dress.
In the office restroom, she spun in a circle, her body torqued at an odd angle, reaching for the zipper that was stuck in the middle of her back. Then it hit her that she was acting more like a dog chasing its tail than a single girl ready to dance her way into the New Year.
After giving up, she marched to her desk and flounced into her chair, chewing the lip gloss off her bottom lip in irritation. She should've taken Kristen up on her offer to primp at her house. Granted, that would've been awkward now that Kristen and Charlie were newlyweds, but at least she would've saved herself from engaging in a wrestling match with the slinky pink dress she'd spent half her paycheck on.
Rendezvousing at Kristen's house also would've saved her from indulging her overactive work ethic. Here it was nearly ten o'clock on New Year's Eve and she'd put in another thirteen-hour day at the office, leaving herself only twenty measly minutes to change clothes and walk four blocks to the downtown San Diego club where she was meeting her six friends.
"Oh, well. I bet Moneypenny works New Year's Eve, too."
Actually, the true reason she'd worked longer than any sane, healthy person would on a holiday night had nothing to do with her work ethic. The project she'd been helping several of the office's agents with was bringing her the closest she'd ever come to assisting in the capture of an international criminal mastermind, which happened to sit at the top of her bucket list.
It didn't hurt that the man in charge was none other than the office's newest tall, dark and droolworthy agent, Ryan Reitano.
With a little smile, she glanced at his desk across the room. He'd transferred from a different branch of the department six months ago, and while the two female agents on staff hadn't shown much interest in him, Avery sure had. Even if the man barely seemed to notice her presence, much less that she was female—and recently available.
She'd stayed late tonight composing a memo for Agent Lucey while stealing furtive glances at Agent Reitano as he got organized for his surveillance detail at the Mira Hotel in preparation for the big sting operation later that week. She'd just about worked up the courage to give him a genial "Happy New Year's" hug on his way out when she heard his hasty exit as she was in the back hall making copies, off to do his supersecret spy thing while Avery couldn't manage to zip up a stinkin' dress.
She smoothed the creased fabric over her thighs with a frown. Six hundred bucks and the dress wasn't even wrinkle resistant. Between the wrinkles and the obnoxious zipper, the dress was way too high maintenance for her taste.
When she'd seen it hanging in the window of an uptown boutique, she'd thought it a perfect symbol of her New Year's resolution to move on with her life after her disastrous breakup with Zach in October. Plus it was exactly the sort of curve-hugging dress Pepper Potts might wear to a Tony Stark cocktail reception, which made it a must-have in Avery's book.
Well, Pepper Potts would never let a high-maintenance dress get the best of her. She spun the chair toward her desk and grabbed a box of paper clips. She might not be Pepper Potts or have access to secret agent gadgets, but Avery was nothing if not resourceful.
In two minutes flat she'd fashioned a paper clip chain and shimmied out of the dress. Though the office had been crawling with agents all day, Agent Reitano had been the last to leave, so she didn't have to worry about someone catching a glimpse of her Spanx or beige ultrasupport bra.
With only a few minutes to spare until she was supposed to meet her friends, she didn't have time to wallow in the irony of lingerie that made a woman look sexy in clothing but did exactly the opposite once her clothes came off. But given how clingy and revealing this particular dress was, a teensy lace thong wasn't going to cut it. Avery's figure required high-performance undergarments.
Once she'd secured the end paper clip to the zipper, she donned the dress once more and raised the chain over her shoulder, pulling up. The zipper began to close.
"Ha! Take that, sucker."
When the dress was half-zipped, her desk phone rang. The shrill, unexpected sound made her jump. Heart thudding madly, she leaned her elbows on the desk to check the caller ID and yanked the dress's zipper the rest of the way closed.
Odd. Agents never called the office landline from their personal cell phones after hours, especially when on surveillance missions. They had partners and ops contacts and all sorts of important people to touch base with—anyone but the office secretary.
Then again, it was after ten. He should've been done with the surveillance detail already and off celebrating the last night of the year. Brows raised in disbelief, she lifted the receiver. "ICE Agency. This is Avery Meadows." Even her usual telephone greeting came out sounding skeptical.
"You're there. Good." Agent Reitano had the kind of deep velvet voice that resonated in Avery's body all the way to her toes, even though coaxing more than a few clipped words from him at a time was no easy feat. The man gave new meaning to the word laconic.
"Agent Reitano, is everything okay?"
He chuffed. "That's debatable. Listen, I need you to get on my computer and email me a document labeled LM1204. Would you do that for me?"
LM1204 was a classified piece of evidence from the Chiara case. Why would he need that tonight?
"Our computers are password coded and we're not allowed—"
"I know it's against department policy, but I can change my password tomorrow. This is too important."
A little voice inside her told her to decline. It went against her better judgment not to alert her bosses that one of the ICE agents might be in distress and had asked her to go against the rules regarding the handling of classified intel.
But a bigger voice inside her, the proverbial devil on her shoulder, said, This is what you've been waiting for, Meadows. They don't call it covert ops for nothing.
Her gaze caught on the Department of Homeland Security emblem on the wall opposite her desk. An eagle, its wings outstretched and its body guarded by a shield. ICE, the department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, was a critical component of that shield guarding her country's freedom.
"Yes, of course I will." She jotted down the password he gave, then decided to indulge her curiosity by asking, "Are you still at the Mira?"
The line went silent, as though he were thinking deeply about her question. "Yes."
She bit her lip against asking for more details. Clearly he wasn't in a talkative mood. As if he ever was. She rolled her eyes and her attention caught on that afternoon's mail. "Oh! One more thing. I forgot. A letter came in for you a few minutes after you left from an express courier service. It's international and it's got urgent stamped all over the front and back. From a Mr. Paolo Hawk."
She paused as a crazy idea took shape in her mind. Her only New Year's resolution was to finally start crossing items off her bucket list, and one of those items was to be more daring—at work and in her social life. It might be less than two hours until the stroke of midnight, but this was her first chance to get started.
"Wait, what did you say?"
"A letter from Honduras. And it looks urgent." He started to speak again, but she cut him off, knowing if she didn't get this out now, she might never. "What if.. How would you like " She drew a bracing inhale. Come on, Meadows. You can do this. "Would you like to meet for coffee tomorrow? I could bring you the letter then."
He sighed. Not a good sign. She waited in silence, her mortification growing. Just when she thought she couldn't take it anymore, he answered, "Yes. Okay. Take it home with you. That would be best. I'll get it tomorrow."
"Over coffee?" She cringed. She'd sounded a bit too desperate with that question.
"I have to go. Don't forget to email me the file. Oh, and don't tell anyone we talked. Got it?"
"Oh." What the heck was going on?
"Avery, will you do that for me?"
Any other time, she would have thrilled at the sound of her name from his lips, but an uncomfortable tingling had begun in the back of her throat. This wasn't normal, not the request for secrecy or the strain that had leaked into Agent Reitano's usually unemotional voice. "What's happening? Is there someone I need to call? Agent Mickle or—"
"No," he barked before continuing more softly. "Please. Don't tell anyone, especially Mickle. If you want to help me, email me the file, then go home and take that letter with you."
Despite her misgivings, she trusted all the agents in her office. If Agent Reitano needed her to keep a secret as a matter of national security that might aid in Vincenzo Chiara's capture, then she would.
Vincenzo Chiara was one of the world's most wanted men. An Italian black-market mercenary, his crimes included forcing children into slavery and prostitution, the murder of innocent people and orchestrating the sale of drugs, weapons and anything else on demand in the black market.
She glanced again at the department's emblem. It was time to step up and do what she was born to.
Pumped and feeling good about her decision, she sat up straighter and looked at her watch. Drat. She was already late. Kristen was going to kill her. Oh, well. National security never took the night off. "I'm on it, Agent Reitano."
"Thank you. And Avery? Call me Ryan."
Oh. What she needed now was a witty comeback, something flirty and fearless. She screwed her mouth up, thinking hard, but before her brain had a chance to kick into gear, the line clicked dead.
She held the receiver away from her face and stared at it for a beat before dropping it into the cradle. So much for witty banter.
Waiting for Agent Reitano's computer to boot up, she fingered a stack of Post-it notes and tested his name aloud. "Ryan. Good morning, Ryan. Have a good weekend, Ryan. Would you like to take me home and have your way with me, Ryan?"
Hmm. Felt weird on her lips. Apparently, a first-name intimacy with Agent Reitano was going to take some getting used to. She turned her attention back to the computer.
The monitor was black save for an error message.
"No, no, no," she muttered as she pressed every function key to no avail. She tried again, this time pushing the function keys and the control button simultaneously. Nothing. Avery knew her way around a computer. She typed a hundred words a minute and could locate anything on the internet. Spreadsheets and data fields were her comfort zone. But when it came to the actual technological components that made her beloved machine work, she was as clueless as a monkey.
In desperation, she resorted to the only key combination she knew—Control, Alt, Delete. She depressed all three keys with a silent prayer, but the dang thing had the audacity to beep at her like the survey machine on Family Feud.
With an offended scowl, she pushed the power key until it shut down and began to reboot.
The office was loaded with computers, Avery didn't have access through her own computer to the virtual storage cloud the agents used and she couldn't jump onto another agent's computer because each was privately passworded. If she couldn't get Agent Reitano's computer to work, her best bet was to scan the hard copy—if there was a hard copy.
Still barefoot and with the paper clip chain attached to the zipper slapping at her back with every step, she walked to the rows of file cabinets and went straight to the drawer where she'd put the Chiara case file that afternoon. She flipped through the files but found nothing on Vincenzo Chiara.
Baffled, she searched again. It should've been right in the front, but it was gone. She laid her palms flat over the tops of the files and considered her options. Before she got ahead of herself coming up with a plan C, she checked back at Agent Reitano's—Ryan's—computer. It had finished rebooting and the same error message from before still glowed on the screen.
She poked the monitor, muttering a mild curse, then jogged into Director Tau's office. A quick scan of his desk for the file's hard copy yielded nothing.
His file cabinets were locked, as she knew his desk would be, so instead of wasting more time, she pivoted and went straight for Agent Mickle's desk, the other agent working the Chiara case.
It was locked.
With another, more stringent curse, she walked back to Agent Reitano's desk. Maybe the hard copy of the case file had been right under her nose and she'd been too focused on the computer error to notice. The desktop was bare except for the bald eagle bobblehead figurine Director Tau had given him when he'd transferred to the department, as was the office tradition. And, as was the office's tradition, Mickle and the other agents had promptly dressed the eagle in a pink Barbie bikini top and coordinating hat.
With her hand on the top drawer handle, she warned the desk, "Don't be locked," then gave a tug.
It opened, sending Bald Eagle Barbie's head bob-bling and pens in the drawer rolling. She eyeballed each drawer in turn but didn't see the file. Or anything interesting or personal in nature. Nothing to give her a clue into the life or personality of her stoic office crush.
She had her head in the bottom drawer, riffling through form letters and expense reports, when the "Bootylicious" ringtone on her phone started. That would be Kristen, wondering why Avery wasn't in front of Club Brazil like they'd planned. She hustled to her desk and fished her purse from the floor.
"Where are you? We've been standing here for twenty minutes."
That late already? She chewed her lip and glanced at her computer screen to check the time—but all she saw was the same error message as on Agent Reita-no's computer. Stifling the curse that was on the tip of her tongue, she smacked the side of the monitor, then sunk into her desk chair. "Sorry I didn't call. Something came up."
"Aw, sweetie, are you still at the office? You've got to snap out of this work rut you've been in lately. You need to get a life."
Avery was about to protest that she had a great life, and was, in fact, on the verge of crossing off the first item on her bucket list. And maybe a second one if Agent Reitano followed through on her coffee offer. But she didn't have time to get into it with Kristen over the merits of working late on a case, not when Agent Reitano was expecting that transcript.
"Yes. I'm still at work. National security never sleeps, ya know."
"You already used the work excuse to weasel out of joining us for dinner tonight, and now this? I know what's really going on."
"You do?" Avery asked.
"You mentioned the other day how lame you felt being the only single person in our group. You don't still feel that way, do you? 'Cause you'd be the only one."
Posted January 2, 2014
Smart heroine and alpha hero.
I loved this book. Melissa writes her stories with details about the characters so you feel as if you really know them. I loved Avery Meadows from the first chapter when she was trying to rget ready to go out to celebrate New Year’s eve with her friends. She is smart, creative, resourceful and loves everything to do with spies.
Ryan Reitano is an agent with a background as a SEAL and recently black ops. He’s tired and jaded after 18 years fighting the worst criminals in the world. After meeting Avery he does begin to be more human because she amazes him with who she is inside and out. He becomes more open and readers begin to know him as a person – not just an undercover agent.
Although this is the second book in Melissa’s “Ice: Black Ops Defenders” series, this book stands alone and no one will feel lost. This story is all about Avery and Ryan with only a small nod to Diego and Alicia who came to help Ryan’s family.
My favorite scene in the book is in chapter 10, when Ryan is realizing that for six months he had not noticed Avery in the office. “He’d be lucky if he didn’t get his man card revoked for that boneheaded oversight”. LOL!
Melissa took her time developing Avery and Ryan’s relationship. The chemistry was there from the first but it grew along with their trust and love. When they finally took the time just for themselves, it was the right time for them.
The story line was filled with suspense, action, and adventure with a few twists that surprised me. This is definitely another winner by Melissa Cutler. I look forward to the next book in this series. I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Posted January 2, 2014
Avery Meadows works as a secretary at ICE. While finishing up her shift on New Year’s Eve, she gets an unexpected call from Agent Ryan Reitano asking for her help. Suddenly Avery’s thrown into the life of a secret agent and is living out one of her bucket list fantasies. Not to mention it also allows her to spend time with the man she has been secretly crushing on since the start of her employment there.
What makes this book so enjoyable is not only the fact that Avery is a smart, strong character, but that the book is chock full of action and adventure. Avery brings a fun twist to the secret agent lifestyle that has been draining Agent Reitano for some time now.
This book had me on the edge of my seat anticipating what was going to happen next. Once I started it, it was impossible to put down. I can’t praise the author enough for such a high energy, fun book. Secret Agent Secretary is a MUST READ! I highly recommend it and encourage others to run out and buy it!
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Posted February 8, 2014
I loved this story. The humor, action and adventure were top notch. I thought it was great how Avery referred to Ryan's tools as his "gadgets". She was finally able to live out her fantasy of becoming a spy as she helped Ryan search for Chiara, an international bad guy. Avery helps Ryan feel again and wonder if he could have a normal life as the emotions build between them. It's a great read from start to finish!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2014
Feel the RUSH!!!
I love reading romantic suspense. I love the feel of being on the edge as the plot moves at a quick pace. I love the build-up of the romance and tension and wondering if the couple will survive in the next moment. I love how the description of a deadly weapon can be so sensual. Secret Agent Secretary made me feel all this and more!
Avery Meadows feels so fortunate to have her job as a secretary for the ICE Agency. She has a huge fondness for anything related to secret agents, spying, and gadgets. Her job is likely the closest thing to getting things checked off her bucket list even if she doesn't really see any action as an office secretary. At least she can admire her office crush, Agent Ryan Reitano, from afar...le sigh! Then one evening Ryan asks for her help. Oh, boy, what happens next turns into one of the BEST thrill rides I've ever been on. What an adrenaline rush!!!
I was first introduced to Ryan in the previous book, Tempted into Danger. In that book you meet all the members of his Black Ops team. Now, Secret Agent Secretary has details on what became of that team, so if you don't want to know, then I suggest reading that book first. The previous book also made me quite interested in Ryan's character. He's very much into taking down international criminal Vincenzo Chiara and in this book you'll find out why. With Avery by his side, his lifelong quest to getting this particular bad guy could very well happen.
“Number one rule of being a secret agent—there's a time to kick butt and a time to stay cool. Recognizing which is which can mean the difference between life and death—or worse.”
I absolutely adored Ryan and Avery! I loved how Avery kept surprising Ryan at every turn. She sure is not any ordinary secretary. I love the kind of heroine that can hold her own, and Avery sure does kick some major butt! There's a scene with paper clips, and...well...let me tell you that I will now be carrying paper clips in my purse in case I need them in that way. And don't get me started on what she named her car. Yep, I'm sort of a fan of Avery, LOL! Ahh, but then there's Ryan, and when you finally learn all his secrets, your heart will just widen for him, too! I loved how these two challenged each other. Then there's this scene with a weapon that was off-the-charts sensual. Oh, my! Can you tell that I freakin' LOVED this book? I can go on and on, but I won't. You'll have to discover how awesome this book and this series is for yourself.
Secret Agent Secretary has everything for romantic suspense fans. It has secrets, car chases, really bad guys, guns, gadgets, double-crossing, and a likeable hero and heroine. There's plenty of action and danger. The story takes place over only a few days, so the plot is very fast-moving. There are lovely twists and turns including a huge my-eyes-totally-bugged-out moment that I didn't see coming!
I enjoy Melissa Cutler's writing very much. I thought it was so clever of her to incorporate the names of well-known fictional secret agents in the story. She sure knows how to draw out the tension between two people while creating a story that finds the right balance of emotion, suspense, intrigue and romance. I really did not want this story to end. I felt like I was part of the adventure the entire time! I'm already bouncing in my seat for the next book! *A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.*
Posted January 14, 2014
~Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
Agent Ryan Reitano continues his quest to capture the last of the Chiara Brothers. Unfortunately, he is on his own on this mission as his team had broken up. He is now working with the ICE team in San Diego where he will be in the mercy of one very hot secretary.
Whether he likes it or not, Avery Meadows will come to his rescue. Ryan and Avery will be in a dangerous situation where anyone can be the mole and or suspect. They will need to trust and work together to get out of this bind.
Avery reminded of the Girl from Legally Blonde. Of course she is no dumb blonde. But a very girly girl and so desperately want to get out of her skin to be someone else. This sexy secretary has always dreamed of being an agent herself. To prove it, she has a gadget belt, crime fighting wear and a car that will out run any villain’s getaway car. She totally made me laugh, and her bravery surprised me. I thought she was genuine, smart, and very witty.
Ryan also found her fascinating. After all the years of exposure to violence, he found her most definitely out of his elements. I love that he was enthralled by her innocence and cuteness of wanting to be an agent. It made me laugh when Avery did things that shocked the hell out of Ryan. Like finding out what kind of car she drives. I think that’s when he realized, Avery is serious when it comes to spy wear and accessories. I think considering Ryan’s past; it was appropriate that he was attracted to a girl like Avery. She really just lightened his life from the moment they met. I like Ryan, he was confident, sexy,and he knew exactly what to do at every given moment.
There was a little less banter with the boys in this novel which I missed as I enjoyed it from the last installment, Tempted into Danger. Well, less because Ryan was working alone, but you will see some characters from the previous book. Of course, I enjoyed that. Overall, another great read.
Ms. Cutler did such a great job in making this romantic suspense light-hearted and cute but not anywhere close to being cheesy. I haven’t read a book written by Ms. Cutler that I didn’t enjoy. I can’t wait to read more of her work.
Review copy provided by author.
Posted January 13, 2014
Another fantastic book by Melissa Cutler!!!ICE Agency secretary Avery Meadows is working late New Years Eve when she receives a phone call from her secret crush, undercover ICE Agent Ryan Reitano asking her to send him information while he’s doing surveillance. She attempts to call him back when she finds all the information has disappeared. Avery has a photographic memory and knows exactly what information he needs from the missing documents. So she decides to go to the stakeout and relay the information directly to him. Avery stumbles into an ambush planned to take out Ryan. He was surprised to see her in the hotel and suspected that she may be the leak in the agency. When hell breaks loose Avery and Ryan go on the run together. But Ryan still doesn’t know whether to trust her or not. Avery is thrown into the life of a secret agent and is living out the number one thing on her bucket list……Assisting in the capture of an international criminal master mind. It becomes clear Avery is not the mole in the office and Ryan starts to see another side of Avery……the sexy side.Together they find out who the agency mole is and bring down an international criminal mastermind……while breathing life back into the jaded, sexy Ryan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2014
Thank you Melissa Cutler for introducing me to Romantic Suspense!!!! I have fallen in love the genre and Cutler is an auto-buy for me. This is book 2 in her ICE:Black Ops defenders series. I loved it just as much as the first one. This one made me laugh out loud at times. Avery is the secretary for the ICE office in San Diego and she has been lusting after all things spy related, such as gadgets, and Ryan one of the agents. She even has cats named Ashton and Martin. Avery gets her chance to help Ryan, when she accidently steps into a dangerous situation trying to bring information to him. The book is fast paced and it really had a such a nice balance between intense scenes, humor and sexual chemistry. Even though this is the second book, you don't need to read book 1, although you will want to, because it is a great book too! One nice thing that Cutler does that I love and appreciate is that she doesn't spend time rehashing previous books in the current book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2014
ARC was given to me for Honest Review.
Secret Agent Secretary is the story of Agent Ryan Reitano and Secretary Avery Meadows. It is not your typical Secret agency story. Ryan knows there is a double agent at ICE, he just doesn't know who it is, so of course he's cautious about everyone, even secretary Avery, who just happens to show up at the worst time. That time would be when bullets are flying and he needs to be running. What's a guy to do but take her on the run with him.
I think Avery is now one of my favorite heroines. She is KICK BUTT AWESOME! I loved that she was resourceful enough to keep her self alive instead of standing around helpless waiting for Ryan to do the "saving". Who knew there was so much to fear from stilettos and paper clips. I also liked that she was so REAL, she didn't like being a fifth wheel to her friends who had coupled up, but she did like to be social. She had all these secret fantasies, and it was fun to watch the situation with Ryan play out and now she was getting a huge HAPPY from it, flying bullets, secret gadgets and all.
Ryan was a good guy. I loved that he was able to appreciate all the ways Avery helped the situations, and realize she wasn't your everyday average secretary. It was refreshing to see.
The book was a fast paced adventure, but it didn't lack anything and kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for what was coming next. I didn't expect the twist about why Ryan wanted an end for the case. The identity of the Double Agent kept me guessing.
Secret Agent Secretary was a Wild adventure and I loved every minute of it. Ryan and Avery were absolutely fabulous, both as individual characters and even better when they got together. Maximum hotness and fun!
Posted January 5, 2014
Finally a heroine that is worth her weight in gold. She may not always listen to what she's been told to do, but has the brains and nerves to pull herself and ICE agent Ryan Reitana butts out of the fire.
The heat turns up in San Diego on New Year's Eve and Day as Ryan and his "butt kicking" partner ICE Secretary Avery Meadows try to stay a step ahead of International criminal Enzo Chiara, his hitmen and an ICE double agent.
It's a night you won't forget, bullets flying, fast cars, grenades being thrown and that's just the beginning.
Posted January 4, 2014
I Also Recommend:
Reviewed by Kim
for Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Secret Agent Secretary is a standalone book. However, it does contain small spoilers from the first book, Tempted Into Danger.
Agent Ryan Reitano is back in Melissa Cutler’s latest ICE: Black Ops Defenders book, Secret Agent Secretary. This time, Ryan is solo and working in the San Diego office of ICE, trying to figure out who the mole in ICE is. He’s also still trying to catch his archenemy, Vincenzo Chiara.
Avery Meadows has been an ICE Secretary for the last six years. Avery is a MAJOR spy movie/book fan. I’m talking she has a crazy obsession. In fact, she took the job at ICE to help live out some of her bucket list fantasies. However, this occupation is one she keeps from her pacifist family.
For the past six months, Avery has been admiring Ryan from afar. This New Year’s Eve, things are going to change. Trying to help Ryan out, Avery stumbles into an ambush where Ryan is the target. With shots being fired and bad guys dropping dead, Avery rises to the challenge to be the partner Ryan needs, in more ways than one.
While I LOVE this book, it does have a different feel from the first book in the series. This is a romantic suspense, but it’s more heart and suspense than steamy romance. In fact, you don’t get to the steamy romance part until about 90% into the book. When I say “heart” I don’t mean romance or “heart” as in willing to die for your mission or objective. But “heart” in that Ryan has a secret, which he has been hiding for the past ten years. A secret that could get him, his family and now Avery all killed. When it comes down to it, Ryan will do whatever is necessary to keep those he loves safe, even if it means going against orders, facing life in prison, or even death.
In addition to Ryan’s secret, there’s a little nice surprise to the book that I didn’t initially see coming. Secret Agent Secretary will take you on an intense journey through San Diego with some laughable yet thrilling moments. You’ll fall in love with a hero and heroine who will do anything for each other. You’ll see the lengths others will go to in order to do what they perceive is for the greater good.
Posted January 3, 2014
Secret Agent Secretary – Melissa knows how to write romantic suspense!
Avery Meadows wanted more than anything to be one of the secret agents; not just a secretary. Plus, she holds a secret crush for one of the hottest agents Ryan Reitano. While Ryan is out on a stake-out, he calls the office asking for information from Avery. Unable to connect with Ryan by phone, and unable to find the files he needs, Avery decides to visit Ryan in person….That is when all the action, suspense, and danger start, with Avery and Ryan running for their lives. The intense situations lead them to private moments where they become lovers.
I loved Secret Agent Secretary and couldn’t put the book down. The handsome agent Ryan Reitano protects Avery Meadows from bullets, wild chase, thugs, and danger. I loved how Avery changed into a kick butt secretary on her way to agent. As Avery and Ryan’s relationship develops, she learns that there is more to Ryan then just one of the “regular” agents. Their relationship becomes more then they both bargained for as co-workers.
Posted January 3, 2014
Secret Agent Secretary, brings us back to her ICE: Black Ops Defenders series. The black ops team has been disbanded after the last mission. The team has all gone their separate ways. However, Ryan Reitano continues his quest to find Enzo Chiara, the last of the three brothers still alive. To achieve his mission he joins the ICE San Diego field office. There he meets Avery Meadows, a self-proclaimed spy aficionado. Though they manage to avoid each other for the first six months of Ryan’s assignment, New Year’s Eve brings them together in explosive fashion.
Though cast as the titular secretary, Avery is so much more than that. She’s funny, smart, and a fitting partner for Ryan’s exploits. She can easily keep up with him and actually gives him a run for his money in some situations. Her excitement with being part of an effort to capture an international criminal is infectious. She brings life back into the jaded Spec Ops warrior Ryan has become.
Avery’s fascination with spies means that this book is well-populated with spy gear and the fictionalized impression Hollywood has given us of spies. There are many references to James Bond and other famous fictional spies. Instead of taking things over the top, these references give this book a lighthearted feel, despite the on-the-run storyline.
I didn’t love Avery and Ryan nearly as much as I loved Diego and Vanessa (book 1). There was something about Vanessa doing math out loud to keep from freaking out that will always number her among my all-time favorite heroines. However, Ryan and Avery are a fun couple and their HEA efforts well crafted. I did like that Cutler brought backs some of our favorites from earlier books. I only wish there had been more screen time with each of them. This was a perfect end of the year read. I am interested to see where she goes with the next installment next summer there are several loose ends still waiting knots.
Posted December 29, 2013
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Posted November 26, 2013
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