Deep Rising by N.R. Rhodes
In his nine-year stint with the CIA, Jared Caldwell thought he'd seen it all. But when his latest mission instructs him to apprehend a beautiful scientist who's allegedly linked to a devastating new form of warfare, he isn't prepared for the prospect of battling man-made tsunamis—or the misplaced feelings he harbors for his number one suspect.
The irony of being accused of crimes her research was intended to prevent isn't lost on Svetlana Orskya. She also didn't expect her wish for a strong, sexy man to sweep in and change her life to come true—especially not when he appears, gun in hand, pointed at her.
But time is running out and Jared and Lana must work together to protect the mainland. As the heat between them—and the threat of mass destruction—rises there is more at stake than just their hearts.
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September 6 - 7:52 am
Sierra Madre Ridge
Outside of Guatemala City
"So this is what hell looks like," Svetlana Orskya whispered.
The crater spanned four hundred feet across and was so deep that light ceased to penetrate its depths. Lana dangled from a rope suspended over the abyss. Water roared beneath her, compliments of an underground river and a broken sewer main. Remnants of the housing complex crowded the lip of the crater, which halved the once-populated area, its surface littered with bedding, cookware, and abandoned household goods.
This was the third sinkhole to open in the last month. They perforated the town like holes in a sieve.
The temperature increased as Lana descended. She adjusted the rope and lowered herself another ten meters. Tendrils of mist twirled about her legs and along her arms like steam from a sauna. She considered the number of microbes rising from the pit and prayed she didn't inhale something modern antibiotics couldn't cure.
Another gust of hot air arced from the abyss, reminding her — as if she could forget while dangling inside a giant cavern within the earth's crust — that the planet remained alive and active, and as tempestuous as a scorned woman.
Being divorced, she could relate.
Lana adjusted the rope and locked her harness. The hot air from below mixed with the cooler, drier air above, creating miniature convection currents. A particularly strong gust sent her reeling. With bone-jarring force, her shoulder rammed the wall of the crater.
That's gonna leave a mark.
Although she would have preferred to hightail it to the surface, she couldn't go anywhere until she obtained the requisite carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and temperature readings. Then, perhaps, her team would be able to determine if the crater was an anomaly formed by the shifting lava pools deep beneath the earth's surface and the result of limestone in the lower rock levels eroding — as scientists in the region claimed — or if it was a forewarning of something far more dangerous.
"Don't get testy on me, girl," Lana murmured. "I'm just taking your temperature. You don't need to show off."
The dark pit breathed hot, horrid air.
Lana extracted a correlation spectrometer, extended the COSPEC into the hadal depths, and waited to obtain a sulfur dioxide reading.
Her rope made an odd creaking sound, and Lana's attention shot upward. Forty feet above, the line tangled on the side of the crater. When the sinkhole had opened, it had swallowed everything above it — buildings, homes, and three blocks of roadway, part of which hung like a rumpled concrete blanket, replete with tangled rebar. A jagged protrusion of twisted metal and asphalt snagged her rope. The seesaw motion succeeded in working over the line like giant scissors.
Lana grabbed the radio on her belt and called the surface. "Adam?" Her throat constricted until she could barely speak. "Adam, it's Lana. Do you copy? Over."
A pair of heads appeared at the lip of the crater.
"What's up, Lana?"
"S-send another safety," she breathed into the radio, her voice so hoarse she could barely form the words.
"You're gonna have to yell, doll. I can't hear over the sound of the water. What's that you say?"
"I need another rope!" she screamed.
A light shone down, followed by a great deal of muffled commotion. A moment later, two heavy cords dropped into the crater. But they dangled beyond her reach.
She glanced below. There would be no surviving the fall. If she did survive the impact, the rushing water would sweep her along, forcing her deeper beneath the ground until she was pummeled to death or drowned. Fear shot up her spine, paralyzing her. She didn't want to die. Dear God, not like this.
"Adam, h-help." Her voice was barely audible over the roaring current.
"You're gonna have to swing over to them," he shouted. "If I get any closer to the wall, the rebar is gonna chew up these lines just like it did yours."
Swing? Is he crazy?
Her gaze flew to the frayed strands of the yellow rope. With each passing second, tiny threads slowly unraveled, further straining the fibers. Her life was literally on the line, each moment peeling back like the damn rope. A shuddered breath, more of a whimper, slipped past her lips. She fought to breathe, to remain calm. She focused on the second line Adam had cast into the pit. Here was her chance. If she wanted to live, she needed to act. Now.
"Drop the probe," Adam instructed. "Push off the wall and reach for the line. You can do it, doll. I know you can!"
But if I move, I'll fray the rope more.
If I stay still, it'll tear anyway.
She was caught between a rock, a hard place, and a thirty-foot drop to her inevitable death. Terror made her muscles cramp and her movements awkward. Blood pounded in her ears.
"Do it, Lana! Now!"
She tucked her legs to her chest, and then extended them. Arching back, she repeated the motion. It took a few seconds to gain momentum, but she gradually started to swing.
The rope cried like a child.
"Hang on!" Adam shouted.
Lana glimpsed the length of yellow nylon. She stretched forward and heaved backward. On the next swing, she reached for the cord.
The rope pitched her toward the wall, and she used her legs to strike against the jagged ledge. Her feet met metal. She pushed with all her strength and twisted in the harness, extending completely. When the rope came into focus, she willed her fingers to grasp it.
The line snapped as her hands brushed the cable, and she fell in a blur of flailing limbs.
The men atop the crater shouted. The darkness below purred.
Her fingers clasped the line. She clenched her hands into fists, squeezing hard. The cord tore through her hands as she slid farther, plummeting until the light at the surface faded to a hazy glow. She jerked to a halt. Her shoulders screamed from the strain.
Lana took one shuddering breath, then another. Nothing existed save the fetid air pounding in and out of her lungs and the lifeline clasped between her sweaty palms.
"We're hooking you to the winch!" Adam yelled.
Her heart threatened to jackhammer from her chest, and the drumming in her ears grew louder. It eclipsed Adam's voice, the sound of the hydraulic winch, even the roar of the water slapping at her feet. The sound intensified until her vision blurred.
The line rose in an erratic rhythm until she felt the final jerk that landed her on the surface. When her feet hit solid ground, she collapsed.
A collection of worried faces swam above her, some new, others reassuringly familiar. Her body trembled now, a natural reaction to the epinephrine coursing in her veins, and she didn't fight it.
Warm brown eyes and a smiling face appeared before her. "It's good to see you." Adam crouched beside her and kissed her brow. "You okay?"
She didn't trust her voice, so she nodded instead. It had been close, so close. She trembled at what might have been.
To the crowd he shouted, "Give us some space, please." To the other members of the team he said, "Draw straws, kids. Somebody needs to get those measurements."
Lana reached up and tapped Adam on the shoulder.
"What?" he intoned with his New York accent. "Shouldn't you be swooning or sleeping or something?"
Lana found the strength to laugh. She reached into her hazmat suit and brandished the correlation spectrometer.
Lana smiled. "I did."
September 6 - 5:16 pm
The whitewashed stucco buildings stood like dominoes in a row, their clay enclaves and fifteen-foot walls preserving the traditions of the ancient city. The souks still housed merchants, all boldly displaying their wares, from hand-woven cloths and rugs to knockoff handbags and the newest DVDs. The hammams, or bathhouses, and food stands littered the Djemaa el-Fna much as they had for the last two millennia.
All in all, Morocco surpassed Jared Caldwell's expectations.
Jared shifted his bag. The tiny movement shot a pain along his arm. The damn wound continued to ache, but a body never fully recovered from a gunshot wound. Anyone who suggested otherwise — lied. Boasting an assortment of such trophies from knives and bullets, and in one case, a particularly offensive terrorist's teeth, Jared's body ached in a number of places. Easing some of those aches took precedence, and he hoped the old healing traditions here could provide something science couldn't.
His cell phone rang.
Jared glanced at the flashing number and cursed. So much for sick leave.
Answering the call, he ducked into an old pay-phone booth. It didn't provide the most secure location but it beat the mayhem of the souk. He shut the door for privacy. An automated server on his cell prompted him to enter his numeric ID. It took a few minutes to convey the various clearance codes, but a computer eventually transferred his call to the deputy director of the CIA, Gordon Quaid.
"What's up?" Jared drawled.
"We have you pinpointed on our satellites."
Jared leaned his head from the phone booth and flipped the bird.
Gordon's laughter rumbled over the phone. "You're offensive."
"You didn't call to discuss my lack of manners."
"No," Gordon agreed. "We have a problem."
What else is new?
Once upon a time, Jared would've shouted hoo-rah at the prospect of a mission. Lately, he'd rather eat glass.
"You're one of the only Bravo-4 operatives in position."
Jared's least favorite aspect of being a CIA operative was this hired-gun role. "Send me the profile on the target."
"It appears one of our leading scientists is selling cataclysmic scenarios to the enemy," Gordon murmured. "You're staying at the Caval Casbah, correct?"
While it was surely the cell phone that allowed them to pinpoint his location, Jared couldn't help but say, "I don't have some tracking device inserted in my ass cheek, do I?"
Gordon snorted. "Go back to the hotel. When you arrive, a car will be waiting. It will take you to Menara Airport. Find hangar sixteen. The pilot is a level-three operative named Randall Wyerman."
"You aren't commenting on the tracking ... "
Gordon plowed forward with the details. "Randall will provide the proper identification and clearance papers required for you to infiltrate Italian intelligence. He'll also take you to Capri. You have two days to determine what transpired on Ischia. Then you'll head to Guatemala."
"If you have my ass on satellite, you should see I'm five thousand miles from Guatemala. Isn't there someone else? Call Evan or Galen."
"Galen is on assignment and Evan retired. I'll drop him a line if you like, but you're the man for the job."
Gordon ignored him. "Your target is Dr. Svetlana Orskya."
A woman. He'd never been called to make a hit on a woman. And damn it, he didn't want to start now. If Quaid was calling, the woman obviously posed a serious threat, but ... "Knocking off females isn't my style. I'm out. Find someone else."
"You aren't out until I say you are. And Orskya isn't up for assassination. Not yet, anyway. We need her for questioning and suspect that she may be working with the terrorists. Intel reveals she's in Guatemala. Randall will brief you on the details regarding a tsunami in Italy."
"Hold up," Jared drawled. "You're using the steamroller technique you're famous for, and I don't feel like being the asphalt. Why me?"
"Save the good ol' boy routine. You're the best operative we have for situations involving bombs and counterintelligence. And for some odd reason, you're acting like you have a choice in the matter."
Jared had no control regarding a mission, but that didn't mean he happily accepted it. "I want out. My sister died and my mother needs help taking care of her kids."
"I don't blame you. But it isn't going to happen right now. Look, I heard about your sister. I'm sorry. You do this, and I'll hand-stamp your walking papers."
Jared could barely think about his sister Julia's recent death in the car accident that took her life but spared her alcoholic husband's. Thanks to his last mission and a pesky little stray bullet, Jared had been in the hospital at the time, missing the funeral and a chance to get his hands on his sister's husband, Brett, prior to the bastard's incarceration.
"I do this and I'm out for good? No other strings?" He thought about the pain and suffering his mother had endured, losing Julia. He pitied his nieces and nephew, who lost not only their mother but their father as well due to the tragic accident. The sooner he finished with the Company, the sooner he could return home and help out.
"No more strings," Gordon reiterated.
That was as good a promise as he would likely get. "Run the MO by me again."
"Our miscreant uses incendiary devices to generate tsunamis."
"Of course he does," Jared mumbled.
"This could be a threat the likes of which we've never seen. We're talking about every man, woman, and child in every coastal city from Nova Scotia to Argentina, Alaska to Antarctica."
Jared banged his head against the door. He'd heard the "save the world" spiel before. He wasn't Superman or Iron Man or any of the comic book heroes he'd idolized as a kid. Yet they asked — no, insisted — that he carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. Again.
"Someone detonated a bomb on the coast of Ischia, Jared. The blast and consequent landslide caused a tsunami. It decimated the Isle of Capri and killed twelve hundred people. If this madman detonates a bomb in the correct location he can potentially eradicate the entire Eastern or Western seaboard of the United States. We're talking obliteration in the tens of millions."
"Exactly. Are you in?"
As if he had a choice. "Yes, sir."
The phone disconnected with a gentle click.
Slamming from the phone booth, Jared strode toward his hotel. He'd evaluate the evidence on Italy. Then he'd get his answers from the woman in Guatemala because ferreting out information was his forte.
Svetlana Orskya would tell him what he wanted to know, he vowed. Or she would take her secrets to the grave.
September 7 - 11:54 pm
Gordon Quaid stared at the seismic data. A potential terrorist bent on instigating tsunamis. Seriously? In his many years with the CIA, he'd thought he'd seen it all.
"Gordon, I'm keeping the wolves at bay, but they won't hold much longer." Katherine Russe waved her ringing cell phone and then consulted the number. She frowned. "It's the White House. You want me to run interference for a while?"
"I've got no reason to hide."
She took the call. Muffled yelling resonated halfway across the office. "They want to speak to you."
"Somebody's been talking out of turn," Gordon mumbled. He accepted the phone. "Yes, sir," he said, when he found a pause in the litany of accusations pouring through the line. "We are completely aware of the situation. I have an agent en route to detail our findings for the commander in chief." He punched a button on the phone and flung it back to her.
Keeping his face devoid of expression, Gordon regarded his associates, Katherine Russe and Christopher Parkins. Katherine, an honest, intelligent woman, had climbed the ranks through hard work, unwavering dedication, and a sprinkling of nepotism. Gordon appreciated having her on his team. Christopher, however, remained a backstabbing asshole.
"Here's the deal," Gordon muttered. "Swiss tabloids claim this is the kickoff to the Super Bowl of Armageddon — and now our president is convinced he has box seats. We need to set the record straight. Christopher, you'll deliver the statement personally."
With any luck, they'd shoot the messenger.
"It will be as follows," he continued. "A possible earthquake occurred in the Tyrrhenian Sea along a fault line on the southernmost part of Ischia. This anomaly caused a landslide. The displacement of seawater generated by the landslide was responsible for the localized tsunami that slammed into the northern coast of Capri."
He'd spent three hours conferring with geological experts. This was the most plausible explanation they could cook up.
"What about the 'boom' heard by natives on Ischia prior to the earthquake?" Christopher countered. "The bomb utilized in the attack generated deafening reverberations."
"Delayed sound blast catalyzed by isostatic rebound," Gordon replied.
"Good," Katherine said. "Oh, Gordon, that's very good. I'll contact CNN."
"Yes. For all intents and purposes, a natural disaster occurred, nothing more. Let's get our ducks in a row." He glowered at Christopher. "What are you waiting for? Foreign news crews are having a field day with this!"
When the door to the office closed, Katherine snickered. "I could've handled it, you know. I grew up with the VP."
He still had the letter of recommendation that Vice President Chandler had sent. He'd hired Katherine without glancing at it. "I thought you worked for him."
"I did. His family and mine own a real estate corporation. I managed the development division before I went to NIU."
Excerpted from "Deep Rising"
Copyright © 2013 N.R. Rhodes.
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
Find this review and more at Lusty Penguin Reviews! Debut author N. R. Rhodes delivers a stunning novel of romance, mystery, and action in Deep Rising, the first novel in the Outside the Lines series. Volcanologist Svetlana “Lana” Orskya wrote a thesis discussing how seismic activity could cause mega-tsunamis to earn her doctorate. Unfortunately for Lana, an eco-terrorist is using her thesis to purposely trigger natural disasters and cause the deaths of thousands. Furthermore, the terrorist is using coordinates that were not published in the article. When CIA agent Jared Caldwell arrives on her doorstep, Lana finds herself under investigations as a possible terrorist herself. Jared is prepared to do anything to get to the truth and Lana’s connection to the terrorist activities, but he finds himself attracted to the vulnerable Lana, which he knows will only complicate his investigation. Stunned by the terrorist label, Lana cannot believe that someone would use her research in such an evil way. She feels threatened by Jared’s size and confused when he blends physical and sexual intimidation to gain information from her. As a result, Lana realizes that she needs to find an inner strength that she is not sure she possesses in order to prove her innocence, which made me fall in love with her character. Their sexual chemistry sizzles as they determine Lana’s involvement, or lack of, in these terrorist acts. The witty banter between Jared and Lana provides many light moments within this suspenseful novel. Rhodes does a masterful job of writing realistic scientific conversations between Lana and Jared that are technical but do not distract from the story in any way. After Jared and Lana are injured during a face-off with the terrorist, Jared tenderly takes care of Lana. Jared’s feelings run deep, but he is afraid of rushing Lana, who is falling for him too. So, he is content to watch movies, hold hands, and take walks in the woods with her. I loved seeing the softer side of Jared, a man who can kill with his bare hands, which makes him the all-around perfect hero. With her strong storytelling voice, Rhodes develops a complex plot with tons of page-turning action and jaw-dropping plot twists along with Lana and Jared’s relationship. It has been many years since I have read an eco-terrorism book that had grabbed my attention as thoroughly as Deep Rising has. I was completely drawn into this story, so much so that I spent the better part of a day gobbling up this book from cover to cover. Containing all of the elements that I love in a romantic suspense, a captivating couple with strong personalities, plot twists galore, and pulse-pounding action, Deep Rising is one of the best romantic suspense books that I have read this year! I, for one, cannot wait to read the next story in the Outside the Lines series. I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading Deep Rising is like being on the world's longest roller coaster. Just when you think you've crested the last summit and will be able to breathe easy soon, the novel's main characters are thrust once again into heart-pounding peril and the ride begins all over. For the most part, this was good. More on that in a few. This is a densely written story. There's a lot going on here, and a whole lot of technical scientific explanation. It's not really something you can sit down and read in a single sitting, but instead a book that needs to be absorbed at a slower pace. At the same time, though, it's pretty much non-stop action. Sounds like a contradiction, I know, but somehow it pulls both off. For a first book, this novel is really something else. It definitely held my attention throughout, and I even felt like I was learning something while I read-with the added bonus of no pop quiz after! I was thrown a bit when we find out where the information leak is coming from-it's earlier in the book than I would have expected. I soon discovered, though, as soon as Lana and Jared solved one puzzle, a new challenge emerged. I felt as if I could hardly catch my breath at times-I can only imagine how the characters felt! Two things kept me from giving this another star. One is how quick Jared and Lana's relationship moved. It felt a bit fast as compared to how slowly the parts of the mystery were put together. For the most part, it was believable, but Jared was a little quick with the "Honey" label for my taste. A second element is that at times it felt as if too much were thrown into the mix, too quickly. Neither issue significantly impacted my enjoyment of the novel, though. On the whole, this book was a win. I liked Rhodes's style of writing a whole lot, and appreciated the scientific aspects of the story. Blended with the spy stuff-one of my weaknesses from way back-it all made for one heck of a thrilling yarn. I'm really looking forward to what will be next up in this series. In a nutshell: a solid debut effort. Nonstop action and characters you can root for make reading this one time well spent. B+ I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Imagine that somehow the awesome and sometimes destructive power of nature could be harnessed by those who want to cause terror and death around the globe. Scary, huh? Well that’s what this book deals with. The heroine, Svetlana, is a scientist who wrote her thesis on the power of tsunamis and the areas of the world that are vulnerable and could cause mass damage and casualties. Someone has taken her paper –which she wrote as a warning to show those in power, basically, that such vulnerabilities exist— and plans to use it for nefarious purposes. When the book opens we see the devastation that the “bad guys” can cause and we soon learn there is more where that came from. Enter Jared, a CIA agent and former Special Forces member who just wants to retire so he can help his mother take care of his sister’s children. (His sister died several months before). Jared is tasked with finding Lana and determining whether she is on the evil plot, or just an innocent in all of it. I’m sure you can imagine that sparks fly when these two meet. Not only is Lana appalled someone would use her research for evil, but she’s also super attracted Jared. And horrified that he, and the government, would think her capable of being in league with terrorists. What complicates things further is that Jared finds himself believing Lana, and wanting to get her between the sheets. But he has a job to do, so he needs to focus on saving the world, not making out with Lana. And soon, the two are on a plane to stop the baddies and save the world. And of course, if it all works out, fall in love. This book was a really great mix of suspense, romance and action, and I found myself engaged in the plot (and with the characters) right up to the end. It’s not often that a romantic suspense book is actually written in a, well, suspenseful manner. Often they either drag in the middle, or resolve to quickly at the end, and I’m left unsatisfied. I am happy to say that this book does not leave me in such a state. The author did a great job writing a fast-paced and action packed adventure with a hot hero, a smart, sassy heroine who is no wimp, and a plot that seriously has me questioning ever going to an island again. (I was already more than a bit frightened by the power of the ocean. Now, yeah…I think I’ll stay on dry land!) *I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*
Somebody triggers a devastating tsunami and the race is on to try and figure out who would do such a thing. Lana becomes a suspect when it's learned that her theories and a thesis may have been stolen, leaked and used as part of the devastation. She's aghast that she'd even be considered a suspect and is responsible for such an atrocity. She wants to clear her name because she knows she's innocent. Jared is the CIA agent, sent to retrieve Intel from her, and even he, has some doubts about her guilt once he starts the process. It had everything, suspense, thrills and you really wanted to find out who'd be behind such a horrific event. Jared and Lana made an interesting couple and you even rooted for them to get together and hope that she truly was innocent. Definitely, a great read and if there's a series and it probably could lead into one, it'll be a good one. Don't miss it. You'll enjoy it.
Deep Rising is seriously intense! You can't sit and read through it in a couple of hours. It took me a week to read. I couldn't read it when I was tired because I had to pay heavy attention to the details so I wouldn't miss out on anything. It is filled with suspense, action, a mystery that you can't solve right off the bat, romance and lots of information on the earth. Lana is a volcanologist. So be prepared to learn a lot about our world. I love to learn new things so that was interesting and terrifying at the same time. Because the author made it seem so plausible that someone could create a man made tsunami. Anyway, Lana, our heroine, is proud of her work and shared her thesis with her family which included her deranged brother, Sergei. Jared is a good man. A real hero and is stuck in a world of moles and people who betray their country and terrorists who want to kill. He fights for freedom. His only regret is that he couldn’t go to his own sister’s funeral because he was on a mission. Now, he only wants to retire and go home and help his mom raise his sister’s children. What a man!! The only thing is he happens to be at a spot where the CIA needs him and he has to do this one more mission before he can retire. That mission has him training his gun on Lana Orskya. Lana is a good person. If only Jared would believe her. Her papers show how it is possible that things could go really bad for the world and someone knows her work and uses it for evil. She is of course, suspect number one. It is her work after all. But she never intended for her work to be used for ill will. But the terrorists know her work intimately well! So even though Jared is instantly attracted to her and wants to believe her there is too much evidence that says she is responsible for the tsunami that just killed too many innocent people. Sparks fly and eventually she proves her innocence. Jared and her work together, in more ways than one (cough cough); to fix the mess the world has no idea is happening all around them. There is a lead in at the end at the next person- SEAL Master Chief Tyler Houston’s story. If you like trust issues, betrayal, family loss, gunshots, multiple hospital visits, action adventure, hiking, volcano learning, deep sea scuba diving, things that go boom, a little romance ,military men and a mystery that isn’t solved in the first book than you will love Deep Rising.
Ok,so this is a awesome book.A received the book to do a review. Jared it is a employee on CIA.His sister died about 5 monts ago and he dint`t go to the funeral because it was in a mission.he want to retire,to help her mother with the 5 kids of his sister.But something was heppend.In Italy,happened a earthquake who caused a tsunami,and kild a lot of people.The CIA send them to find out what heppend.What thet found it is the earthquake was caused by o bomb.Somebody want to kil people.This samples lead him to a beautiful woman,who has divorce,and try to found his way. She study the earthquake, volcanoes,the think that can cause major disasters on earth.Jared thinks that she works with the terrorists who caused the disaster in Italy.When he interrogates Svetlana,he notice her will and strength.They fall in love with each other and both of them help to stop the person who want disaster.It is a perfect book.How trust must be earned.The book has so many informations,about the thinks the humas.I love tha book.And I love the humor,and the lines between Jared and Svetlana.It makes me laugh.Everyone has to read this book.
DEEP RISING is a completely different than a lot of other books I've read recently and I loved it! It was so fast-paced and there was so much drama! I literally could see it all playing out in my head as if I was watching an action film. N.R. Rhodes is a superb writer! The story-line throughout DEEP RISING held me captive and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. When you thought everything was over and done with you realize real quick that you were wrong. It was literally one dramatic "omg the world is about to end" scene after the next. Throw in the chemistry lighting up between Jared Caldwell, a rough around the edges CIA operative, and Svetlana, a woman is who snarky and smart, and you have yourself a great read. Every character in this book was well developed and relatable. I found myself laughing out-loud at the sarcastic remarks and conversations between Svetlana and Jared. Yes, their chemistry burned deep but they also matched one another on personalities. They were good for each other. I'm excited to see more from N.R. Rhodes and I'm even more excited to see where this series will lead us.