During the launch of Moncure Therapuetics’ new flu vaccine, Mia Moncure is rocked by news that the public relations director at her family's company has been found dead in Switzerland. A cryptic video warns her that something is amiss with the vaccine, and convinces Mia that his death wasn’t accidental.
Determined to expose the killer, Mia heads to Lucerne, where her own life is threatened. Desperate for backup, she turns to Gio Lorenzo, communications director for a high-ranking senator, even though she’s still reeling from their one-night stand months before. Mia and Gio race to uncover a deadly scheme that threatens to ruin her family’s company. But time is running out. Millions of people are being vaccinated, and any of them could be the next to die.
About the Author
Tracy March is also the author of the political thriller Girl Three and the sweet contemporary romance The Practice Proposal, both of which take place in Washington, DC. Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA. They recently spent two years living in Washington, DC, and enjoy visiting often—especially when the Nats are in town.
Visit Tracy online at www.TracyMarch.com.
Read an Excerpt
A Shot of Red
By Tracy March, Stephen Morgan, Stacy Abrams
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Tracy March
All rights reserved.
Mia Moncure squinted against the piercing Haitian sun, unable to see an end to the line of anxious people waiting in front of the makeshift clinic. It only took simple math to figure that there weren't enough flu shots in the humanitarian aid team's coolers to vaccinate everyone waiting. Hopefully there was more on the way from Moncure Therapeutics, the biotech company her grandfather had founded years ago and built into a powerhouse in the industry. But the vaccine never seemed to arrive fast enough or in large enough quantities to ease her constant worry about protecting people before ... before it was too late. She took a deep breath of the stiflingly humid air and blew it out slowly as the sun inched closer to the bleak horizon. Even if more vaccines were on the way, they wouldn't arrive today.
And that could mean trouble ...
She turned, stepped beneath the tent, and veered off track a little as her eyes adjusted to the shade. Her knee caught something solid, yet frail. She stopped short and glanced down to see a tiny Haitian girl she'd knocked off-balance. Grasping for the child's bony arm, Mia hoped to save her from scraped hands and knees, and from dropping her tattered baby doll in the dirt.
At the last second, Mia managed to grab a fistful of the girl's once-bright lime-green sundress that looked dull next to her creamy brown skin. The fabric strained but didn't tear, and the child stayed on her feet.
"I'm sorry, ti pitit." Mia spoke in a soothing, remedial version of the Creole patois she'd picked up without instruction. She glanced around quickly, looking for the girl's parents, apology in her eyes. The Haitians had already survived a devastating earthquake and a deadly cholera outbreak. Tempers were frayed now that they faced a flu outbreak that could turn epidemic, with a limited supply of vaccine. The slightest misstep might cause an incident — the politically correct term the aid team used for all sorts of trouble. There had already been some tense moments, yet Mia liked to think that she, the aid team, and Moncure Therapeutics had done more good than harm here.
She searched the snaking line of people, but no one looked her way. No one paid any attention to the little girl. Mia knelt and gently placed her hands on the child's shoulders, her bones as delicate as a bird's. Unshaken, the girl gazed at Mia, her large eyes an unexpected pale green, her lips pursed in a bow. She clutched the plastic baby doll to her chest. Mia's heart hitched.
"Where's your mommy?"
A fleeting look of question passed behind the toddler's eyes, but her solemn expression didn't waver.
"We'll find her," Mia said. I hope. On the ravaged island, there'd been numerous cases where desperate mothers abandoned their children, or simply died.
"What's your name?" Mia waited expectantly.
A delicate barrette dangled from the end of one of the girl's pigtails, attached to just a few strands of hair. Mia unclasped the barrette — enamel white daisies soldered on a metal backing — then clipped it more securely. "There you go." Mia smiled.
The little girl tipped her head and studied Mia, her brow furrowed. Slowly, she held out her doll and offered it up.
The armor Mia had constructed against emotional swells melted away in an instant. "She's beautiful — like you." Mia tucked the doll into the crook of the child's arm. "Love her."
Mia felt a surge of compassion that dwarfed countless others she'd experienced in her long but rewarding months in Haiti. She pulled the girl into her arms and held her tightly, trying not to imagine what might become of her.
"Pearl!" a woman bellowed.
The little girl flinched.
Mia turned to see a heavyset woman wearing a navy skirt and a short-sleeved white blouse trudging toward them from beyond the tent. Mia took the girl's hand, then stood.
"Pearl." The woman stepped beneath the tent. "Ou pa ka kouri ale tankou sa. Vini non isit la."
You can't run off like that. Come here.
With little effort, the woman lifted Pearl and set her on her well-rounded hip. She quickly inspected the girl, then narrowed her gaze at Mia. "You already give her a shot?" the woman asked in her native tongue.
Mia interpreted the question and shook her head. "I just found her here," she said in her best Haitian Creole. "Are you her mother?"
The woman gave her a rueful look. "One of them. We got about fifty kids under three years old in our orphanage right now. They want to give us more, but we can't take care of the ones we got. We're in line back there — twenty of us." She pointed to a group of small children and several busy women about thirty yards away.
Dwarfed by her caregiver, Pearl stared at her doll with wide eyes. A miniature yellow flip-flop dangled from Pearl's tiny foot.
Mia swallowed hard. The child had no mother, and her guardians were responsible for fifty children. No wonder she'd been willing to give up her doll in exchange for a little attention. Mia secured the flip-flop between Pearl's toes. "What orphanage?"
"Maison des Anges."
"Didn't someone arrange for a team to come there and vaccinate you and the children?" Mia knew she'd butchered the question, yet she hoped the woman had understood.
The woman lifted her broad shoulders.
Mia made a mental note to check the schedule to make sure the orphanage was included in their coverage — sometime soon, if not today. But judging by the number of people waiting now, tomorrow would be the earliest they could make it there. She'd have to reserve the needed vaccine — if there was any left after they treated everyone in line, and it was doubtful they even had enough for that. Their stock had dwindled as they made their way farther from Port-au-Prince. If they ran out today, the children and caregivers who remained at the orphanage would have to wait until more vaccine arrived.
If more arrives ...
"Bring the children in here," Mia said to the woman. "Skip the line and come to this table." She gestured toward a rickety folding table nearby.
The woman nodded and turned to go, but Pearl's gaze stayed locked on Mia.
"Wait," Mia said.
The woman stopped and looked over her shoulder.
Mia reached out and took Pearl's hand again. "How old is she?"
"Almost two." The woman started walking away, and Pearl's hand slipped from Mia's. "I think."
With a weak smile of encouragement, Mia held Pearl's stare until she and the woman rejoined the group from the orphanage. Then she rushed to check on the dwindling vaccine supply, hurrying behind the table and through the obstacle course of aid team supplies — portable cots, boxes, and coolers.
Three of the four large coolers that had held syringes of vaccine stood open and empty. Mia's pulse pounded as she approached the last cooler, afraid of what she'd find. There had to be enough vaccine to inoculate the orphans and their caregivers.
"Please be there." She lifted the cooler's lid, and her stomach knotted. The supply was critically low. Two, four, six ... she rushed through a count of twenty-three, shut the cooler, and rolled it toward the table. On her way, she signaled and whispered to her team, "We're out." Several of them exchanged wary glances, having experienced the unrest that had occurred when people were told they'd have to wait until more vaccine arrived.
Within moments, the aid team's head of logistics briefed the Haitian government liaison assigned to their operation. Tall and rangy, dressed in a red polo shirt, the man narrowed his eyes, his dark features stretching into a grimace.
Ditto. Mia's heart raced. Nothing good could come from a situation like this.
The liaison shared the news with the brawny officer in charge of the U.S. Marines who accompanied the aid team — in full camouflaged fatigues and loaded with gear in the searing heat.
Mia followed the unspoken message as it passed from soldier to soldier, their postures shifting from alert observation to readiness. The knot in her stomach twisted tighter.
The group from the orphanage moved closer to the tent with little sense of urgency — several children in the arms of their chaperones, the rest hand in hand. Pearl remained on her caregiver's hip. Mia motioned for them to hurry, though only she knew why. Surely those left in line wouldn't begrudge the orphans getting the last of the vaccine.
Mia approached the Marine closest to her, a very tall, broad guy who faced the crowd with his back to her. She tapped him on his arm, which was like steel beneath her touch. He turned and her heart jackknifed. For a split second, in the glare of the sun, he reminded her of Gio Lorenzo, the man she'd spent months in Haiti trying to forget. She blinked several times. Of course the Marine wasn't Gio, but her adrenaline had kicked in, making her hyperaware of their similarities — the shape of strong shoulders that tapered to a narrow waist, the sturdy jawline, the olive skin highlighting heavily lashed, rich brown eyes, the perfect lips ...
Mia's breath hitched. The young Marine's good looks only hinted at Gio's, who was probably ten years older and wore them with a manlier edge, but the resemblance had brought Gio front and center in Mia's imagination. Tingling warmth surged in her body as her mind replayed sultry scenes from the night they'd spent together months ago. Heat rose in her face, as if the Marine could sense the abandon Gio had aroused in her — intensity as she'd never experienced, but regretted ever since. She knew all about the hurt and confusion that kind of passion could cause.
Her one-night stand with Gio had happened just a week after she'd ended her safe and predictable relationship with her boyfriend and former co-worker, Brent English. He'd startled her with an unexpected proposal, and Mia had turned him down. Her feelings for him hadn't been deep enough to commit to marriage, and his proposal made her realize they probably never would be. As much as she'd loved Brent, something had been missing in their relationship. She hadn't been able to explain that to him, or really understand it herself. But her night with Gio had made it clear. Nothing she'd experienced with Brent compared to the fire she felt with Gio. And she knew what a scorched path a fire like that could leave. Frightened and confused, she'd quickly rearranged her life and left for Haiti.
Hindsight told her that hadn't been the most mature strategy, but her impulse to run had won out at the time. She owed Brent an honest explanation — maybe Gio, too, since she'd ignored his calls and texts. Most nights she lay awake in bed, planning what she'd say to each of them face-to-face when she returned to DC in a couple of months. Surely she'd be thinking about it again tonight. Until then, she'd stay focused on helping the Haitians.
Mia set her gaze on the Marine, struggling to shove aside her thoughts of Gio. "Let this group through, please." She tipped her head toward the orphans approaching the tent.
With a brave expression and worried eyes, he gave her a quick nod. The corners of his mouth turned up in a half smile. "Yes, ma'am."
At twenty-nine, she didn't consider herself old enough to be called "ma'am," but she appreciated his manners just the same. "Thank you for helping." Mia shot a weary glance at the M16 dangling from a strap on his shoulder. "And for keeping us safe." She hoped this time, unlike several before, the Marines wouldn't be forced to brandish their weapons. She mirrored his half smile. "Good luck."
A flicker in his dark eyes. Another efficient nod. "Yes, ma'am."
As soon as the group from the orphanage gathered beneath the tent, the soldiers moved, as if choreographed, and formed a barrier between the aid team and those remaining in line. The government liaison announced that no more vaccine would be administered today, and the people would be notified when more was available.
Amid shuffling and shouting but behind the buffer of Marines, Mia and her team vaccinated the women and children from the orphanage. Needles plunged into arms, and cries pierced the sweltering air. Mia wiped sweat from her forehead.
Children's cries mixed with the terse yelling of orders, angry retorts, and the rhythmic thud of boots on the ground. Mia dared not look beyond the shield of Marines. She took wide-eyed Pearl from her caregiver and sat in a folding chair with the child on her lap. Pearl's bottom lip quivered.
Mia swabbed Pearl's upper arm with alcohol, reached for a syringe, then hesitated. What is wrong with me? She'd vaccinated countless people — all for their own good — but she couldn't bring herself to stick this child with a needle. "I need someone to give her a shot," she called out.
Pearl flinched, and Mia hugged her closer.
Two of her teammates exchanged bewildered glances. One, a fifty-something woman who was den mother of the team and a registered nurse, took the syringe from Mia and went to work.
Mia turned Pearl's head so she wouldn't see the needle. She braced herself for a shriek from the little girl, but all that came was a whimper. And huge, glistening tears that trickled down her dusty face.
Mia rocked her and wiped away her tears. She closed her eyes and swallowed hard.
Gunshots crackled in the distance. Mia opened her eyes to see the Marine who reminded her of Gio standing in front of her with several others, knee-deep in Haitian children.
"We'll escort them back to the orphanage." He reached for Pearl, but Mia couldn't let her go.
She balanced Pearl in her lap and cupped her face in her hands. "You're going to be okay, sweetie." One of the straps of Pearl's sundress had fallen from her bony shoulder and Mia smoothed it back in place. "I promise."
Mia stood, holding Pearl. Before she could hand her to the Marine, Pearl began combing her fingers through Mia's ponytail, her gaze curious.
"Jòn," Pearl said in a small voice that was barely a whisper.
Mia's heart tumbled.
"Jòn?" Mia waited and was rewarded by a single nod. She pointed to Pearl's dress and gave her an expectant look.
"Vèt," Pearl said.
Mia beamed. "Good job."
The Marine cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but we need to head to the orphanage."
Mia nodded, although she wasn't anywhere near ready to let Pearl go. "There's one more thing we need to do." With Pearl on her hip, she dashed over to her duffel bag, pulled out her camera, and returned to the Marine. "Could you take our picture?"
"Yes, ma'am." He took the camera from Mia, snapped several shots, and handed the camera back to her.
Mia hugged Pearl tightly. "Go with the nice man," she said and passed her and her doll to the Marine.
"Thank you, ma'am."
She gave him a wan smile. "You guys are the heroes."
He nodded politely and turned to go. Pearl gazed over his shoulder, just as she had done when her caregiver had walked away with her earlier. After a beat, she waved good-bye. Mia waved back just as the den mother of the team tapped her on the shoulder.
"There's a phone call for you." She handed Mia the team's satellite phone. "It's your grandmother."
Mia's heart jumped up into her throat. They rarely received phone calls, and then only in emergencies. She held the phone to her ear. "Hello?"
"It's nice to hear your voice," Lila Moncure said sincerely.
"Yours, too. Are you all right?" Mia couldn't help but sound kind of frantic. Her grandmother was her rock. The thought of anything bad happening to her tipped Mia's world off axis.
"I'm fine, sweetie."
"Thank goodness." Mia tried to walk off the shakes caused by her alarm. "Please tell me you're sending more vaccine. We ran out again today. Had to turn people away. And there wasn't enough for all the children at the orphanage."
"That's why I called," her grandmother said. "I'm sorry to have to deliver the news, but there'll be a delay getting more vaccine to your team."
Mia's heart sank.
"We've depleted the supply of vaccine you've been using," her grandmother said, "and its efficacy is questionable anyway in light of the new active strain information we got from the CDC. All production was switched to the tiered vaccine with the new formulation. We've gotten it ready much sooner than we anticipated and, initially, we'll be distributing it in the U.S. only."
Excerpted from A Shot of Red by Tracy March, Stephen Morgan, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2014 Tracy March. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wow this book had it all from passion, suspense, murder. It was so hard to put this one down. I stayed up a few nights because I just had to see what was going to happen next. Some twists I didn't see coming in this one. One highlight for me was the the epilogue it was so perfect and it closed the book on the perfect note. I highly recommend this one.
I was given an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Tracy March has really written a great book with this one. Her characters are well developed, the scenes are detailed and richlly written. I enjoyed the twists and turns this one took. Action packed andit was a believeable crime. She keeps you guessing with this one, who will die next? Brent, Mia's exboyfriend has died in an accident or so that's what everyone thinks, but Brent was looking into something which is why he was in Switerland. He left a cryptic message for Mia with his mother, once Mia returns to the United States she receives a call from Bents mother asking her to come to her home. After viewing the message Mia and Brent's mother are left with questions that only can be answered if Mia travels to Switerland. But Mia is supposed to be doing a tour to promote the families latest vacination for the Flu, how will she get out of the tour and out of the country without anyone knowing? Will Mia and Gio uncover the mystery in time to stop thousands more from dieing? Who killed Brent? Why was he in Swtizerland? Who is now trying to kill Mia? Is she getting too close to solving the mystery? Mia and Gio the two main characters in this book have such a hot chemistry and bit of history. They work well together and compliment each other. Mia is spontaneous and unpredictable and has trouble expressing her emotions. Gio is calm, level headed and head over heels for Mia. When Lila Mia's grandmother asks Gio to go to Switerland to help Mia and to keep Mia safe he can not refuse. You can tell that Tracy March has done her homework in this book, the places, the murder weapon all very well thought out and researched. The ending was a total surprise and I will not spoil it for you, just be ready to have your mouth hang open.
I have known Tracy Marsh as a Goodreads friend, so I was interested to order and read her book. It was good, not outstanding, but pleasant. A book group might like to discuss it.
Way too little mystery; way too much clumsy,soppy, nauseating, totalky unbelievable romance. Don:t believe the overview or reviews; this is 100% romance, and a very poir one at that.
I picked this up after meeting the author and was finally able to read it. I loved it. I was pulled in right away. Mia is in Haiti giving out flu vaccines when she is called back to the U.S. because her family owns the company that handles the vaccines and they are having issues. There is the medical angle and politics, secrets and betrayal. And then there is Gio, the one-night stand that she ran away from. A perfect blend of romance and suspense. I couldn't put it down and then I was sad when it was over. The ending totally blew me away and I didn't see coming. A definite must-read for romantic suspense fans.
This book has it all! Romance, Mystery and Murder. The multiple twists and turns will keep you gripping onto your ereader/book for dear life and feverishly turning pages to the very end. The chemistry between Mia and Gio is undeniable! The two work side by side to get to the bottom of a possible tainted flu vaccine and the murder of Mia’s ex (and Gio’s former co-worker) Brent. As Mia and Gio start to unravel the mystery they find themselves in danger and wondering if they will both survive.
A Shot of Red is an outstanding, fast-paced, romantic thriller! An absolute winner! Ms. March's talents shows from the first page as the story grabbed me an wouldn't let me stop. Lately I haven't been able to read even the best books straight through but I started this one at 10 at night and read to the last page. The sex is steamy but appropriate to the characters and is part of the flow of the story. The plot is intriguing and unexpected and awesome. I was sooo tempted to peek, but I am glad I resisted! T his is the first book I have read by Tracy March, but I will be looking for more!
A Shot of Red offered an enjoyable escape this weekend--I was especially glad that the only snow involved was fictional (for a refreshing change)! Though I might be a little hesitant to visit Switzerland in the future now--or if I do, I'm sure as heck not getting into a gondola to ride down a mountain in a snowstorm. Well, unless Gio's with me. Then it's a big maybe. Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Holy smoke!! This was one amazingly intriguing story. There is suspense, tragedy, powerful people and an underlying love story. Great attention to detail and character development move this story along nicely as it keeps you guessing at every turn. This compelling story is full of mystery from start to finish and also has its share of sexual chemistry. This was a fantastic read and I will definitely read more from this author. Gifted copy for review
The main character Mia is a very determined young woman set to possibly take over a multi million dollar pharmaceutical company. Her brother is also in line with her. She returns from a humanitarian trip to Haiti (which she also uses as an escape hatch) she finds out her former fiance has died, there is possibly something wrong with the flu vaccination just released, a possible flu epidemic, foul play and decides to tackle it all. This is where the sexy Gio helps her. I really liked this book. The author Tracy did a fabulous job with the characters. They were realistic and easy to relate to. There was enough background information to make it interesting but not to much to overwhelm you. I couldn't put the book down wanting to know the outcome. I was shocked to say the least. If you are looking for a good mystery with romance this is a great book to try out. I was provided a free copy of this book for my honest review.
Mia is a strong willed, powerful woman who has chosen to take after her grandmother, the leader of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the United States if not the world. She is not normally one to let emotions dictate anything; however the majority of this book from her running to Haiti to possibly searching for a killer is based on her feelings that not all is right and to better serve her grandmother along with herself she must find the cause of those feelings. Tracy March did a very good job of making the characters real and making you like or hate them. Her character attributes are just as you think they are, if you immediately dislike them then you will probably dislike them the entire book, same with characters you are immediately drawn to. I really liked the entire book, it was suspenseful, tense, sexy, and sent a shiver down my spine on just how easy it would be to mess with someone’s health. I did not like the ending though, I really wished that the author had just ended it about two pages from the end, not counting the epilogue. Adding in that last twoish pages really undermined the entire book and didn’t fit in at all with what the story was about, at least in my opinion. Since I don’t spoil I cannot tell you what happened.
A Shot of Red is a thrilling romantic suspense that pulls you into a complicated story with edge-of-your-seat danger, irresistible passion and leaves you with so much hope. It's a story about so many things – love, death, betrayal, deceit, and hope. There are several story lines that are going on and Tracy does a fantastic job of weaving them all together to make for a very intriguing read. In short, the heroine Mia, learns that several vaccines her company Moncure Therapeutics formulated may have been tainted during the manufacturing process and she is set out to find the truth because hundreds are dying. When things turn dangerous and she is nearly killed, Gio rushes to her aid. From there they have quite the adventure in digging up any evidence they can find. A Shot of Red is definitely a book you need to read carefully. Tracy alternates between past and present at the beginning of the book and if you don’t pay attention you could miss it. Once I realized that, I didn’t have any problems following along with the story and the style of the writing. I found Mia to be very compelling. She wasn’t the damsel-in-distress heroine, but an assertive, decisive woman who knows the difference between right and wrong. She knows what she wants and goes after it, which was very refreshing to read! Gio is a no-nonsense type of guy so the two of them compliment each other. He is a little torn between his job (working for Mia’s mother who forbids any relationships between her staff and her family) and his feelings for Mia. The chemistry between Gio and Mia is undeniable, but the complication of their situation prevents them from going all in with their relationship. Love will find a way, though, right? Tracy does a fantastic job with the building of their romance. The intimate scenes are done extremely well, are very romantic and hot, but also fit the story. I will admit those scenes left me squirming in my seat while reading them! The overall story is a tricky one and several times asked myself how Tracy plotted it all out. She develops the characters in A Shot of Red extremely well, describes settings so well that you feel as if you are living out the story and she is also a master of twists and turns. The ending totally blindsided me. Just when I thought the book was over, and I felt a little disappointed in the ending, BAM! She threw in another twist and ended the story perfectly. Well done, Tracy. If you like romantic suspense, you must try A Shot of Red.
This book is a great read. Mia and Gio story is a mystery, some detective work, adventure, and finding love.
I got a copy in exchange for an honest review I was in the mood for a suspense book and am trying to read more books in this genres. A Shot of Red is an interesting story and I really liked the political aspects and the vaccine plot. Pretty soon it’s obvious something is going on with the vaccine and I couldn’t wait to find out more alongside main character Mia. The political aspects surrounding the pharmaceutical company Moncure where done really well and I liked how some characters seemed to focus on the fact people where dying while other where more focussed on the problems for the company, it made for an interetsing dynamica. And while A Shot of red was an enjoyable story that kept me reading, there where also some things that could’ve been done better. One of my biggest issues with this book is a certain plot twist at the end. If you think back to the story, nothing seems to make sense anymore in light of this relevation and it feels like the story is falling apart with it. You know some books are fun to re-read because then you see the hints and can make sense of things earlier? Well with this book the story would be ruined when you re-read it. Nothing makes sense in light of the last plot twist and actions and motivations aren’t properly explained. I would’ve liked this story better without that twists, it didn’t add anything except for the surprise element at the end. Mia was a great character, she genuinely cares about people and wants to do things to help them. She also is loyal to her family’s company, but for her the people are more important than the reputation of the company. I liked her and thought she was a great character. When she first gets hints something might be wrong with the vaccine she reacts very believeable. The cast of side characters mostly consist of character that shouldn’t be likeable like Mia’s mother, Richard and Mia’s brother. I did like Mia’s grandmother Lila, she was an awesome character and some of her actions towards half of the book made me like her even more. The romance also is an important part of this book, but the romance didn’t do it for me at all. I couldn’t feel their chemistry and while there was some lust between them, I didn’t feel their emotional connection they claimed to have. They where nice together and Gio was really protective of Mia, but I just didn’t feel chemistry and I wish they talked a bit more. There are a lot of misunderstandings between them and there wasn’t enough talking and finding things out about each other. It just didn’t work for me and I didn’t care about the romance and even skiped some of those scenes later on in the book. To conclude: A Shot of Red is an interesting story that kept my attention. The political aspects where done well and I liked the mystery surrounding the vaccine. I didn’t like a certain plot twist towards the end and thought it ruined the story a bit, as many things didn’t make sense in light of that. I liked Mia as a main character, but the romance between her and Gio just didn’t do it for me. They had some lust going on, but nothing more it seemed and their misunderstandings where annoying. All in all an enjoyable book and I liked the suspense and mystery aspects, but it could’ve been better.
A Shot of Red is a mix of suspense, thrill, romance, with a hint of Dan Brown's conspiracy and politic plot. This book remind me at the time when I read old Linda Howard's romantic suspense and Sandra Brown. This book basically about Mia Moncure, the heiress of Moncure Therapeutic and her journey to investigate her ex-boyfriend's death. She believe that her ex death somehow connected with her family business, a business that produce vaccine that believed to cure the flu epidemic in USA. So, Ms March bring readers to follow Mia's trip into Lucerne, Switzerland to unravel the truth. While in the other side, Mia also deal with her feeling to Gio Lorenzo, a man who work to Mia's mother, Senator Moncure. To have a relationship with him is dangerous and forbidden. But Gio is not a man who easily to give up. Together with Mia in Switzerland, he will do anything to ensure the safety of a woman he loved, when someone try to kill them. I admit I read this book very slowly, much because my tight schedule and the early part make me bored. But, when Mia found that her ex might be murdered to hide a sinister wrongdoings, things got interesting. I love that Ms March took me into Lucerne, Switzerland. She mix myth (about dragon. Loove dragon!), art and so many description about Lucerne, from Mount Pilatus, Reuss river, Museum Sammlung Rossengart, and much more. I wish, someday if I have money, I will go there. Of course, with ease not like Mia who constantly on alert, because someone target her when she at Lucerne. The thriller and the suspense is well written, same with the conspiracy and politic part. Some part that irk me, maybe is the romance factor. Don't get me wrong, Ms March did know how to write a steamy scene. She also make Gio as sexy as hell. But,I just wish that Mia do not act as coward. Gio see her as sexy, independent woman, and dedicated. But what Mia did to him is otherwise. I want Mia to stop hiding from her feeling, because what she did to Gio, somehow was awful. Other part is.. ehm, the sex scene. I'm so disappointed when Ms March didn't write the actual sex scene, when Gio first have sex with Mia, and when they met again after 8 month. I become panic. No way I read so much sexual tension between Gio and Mia, a sexy and hot foreplay between them to finally read fade to black scene in the end, right? It's like slam a door in front of my face, and I admit that I'm a little bit pissed off. Surprisely, their time in Switzerland and in the end is well, I give my smut approval, which make me a happy reader. Well, it's not that I read this book just for the sex only, but when the hero described with a physical description that make your mouth drool, add it with hot foreplay, of course I want a hot and sizzling sex scene after that. Amirite? One thing that I like is a twist near the end. Well, to sum it up "don't see it coming!". Even, I think that the reason why someone target Mia and Gio is a little bit meh and I have a "oh, really. It's the reason why the culprit do that?". So this is why I reduce the star, but oh, well, A Shot of Red still an enjoyable read for me. Especially when knowing that Gio love to ride bike. I love men who ride bike (ssstt, don't tell my husband! :P) Recommended if you want to read a romantic suspense while also enjoying lush description of Lucerne, Switzerland.