4.5 INFILTRATE MY HEART STARS! ★★★★☆
“There are two things about me you should know. Don't fight me, unless you're prepared to kill me. And don't kiss me, unless you're prepared to fuck me.”
Nothing makes me happier than discovering a nice little gem read within my TBR pile & Cloak and Dagger truly took me by surprise when I was looking to enjoy a suspenseful read!
Michael Boutilier, an assassin from a secret organisation known as IMA, was sent on a mission to handle an infiltration attempt that hit IMA’s computer mainframe. After tracing down the hacker, the only attainable lead that he could go on was to go through the hacker’s 18-year old daughter, Christina Parker. In a typical assassin style, all he needed to do was get the job done; kidnap the girl, get the information & finish her off.
Only problem is what happens when the line between a captor and a captive becomes blurred?
What I truly loved about this book is that it stands out from the typical kidnap-romance stories whereby usually the Stockholm syndrome kicks into play & the victim starts developing feelings for the captor & does some 180 change shenanigans (sorry, too cliché). But nope, not in this book! Told from a dual POV, I’m superbly pleased with both MC’s characters; no insta-lust, their reactions/feelings were realistic & stayed true to the premise of the story.
It was refreshing to read Christina’s character as she strayed away from the typical clichéd heroine of a kidnap-romance story. For an 18-year old girl, I was quite amazed by her resilience during the entire kidnapping ordeal. I can obviously sense the overwhelming distress and distraught she’s going through, but she’s a feisty fighter & doesn’t take shit from Michael eventhough he’s more likely to react worse to that. Also she can be quite quirky during distress times which makes up for some light-hearted humor.
"Please God, let me get out of this and I swear, I'll start going to church again. I'll lose the twenty pounds my mother keeps insisting on. Just don't let him hurt me. Please, please don't let him hurt me."
And well, for Michael’s character I had some love/hate going on with him. He’s that kind of anti-hero you wanna hate but you can’t help but love him later. I wanted to kick his balls for a good portion of the book but he slowly grew on me. Started off as a cold & rather violent bastard, he closed himself off from emotions but once the lines of morality started blurring, you start to see a different side of him.
"You shouldn't trust me. But trust me on this: I am coming back."
The best part is that I LOVE the villain in this book/series! Nothing makes a story more utterly compelling than having a truly devious, manipulative psychopath to keep you on the edge. Adrian Callaghan is simply brilliant in his evil ways. I mean seriously, he offers his captive a cup of tea and tells them very nicely & politely on his murderous ways. Gotta love a well-mannered baddie ;D
Only a minor issue (hence the lack of 0.5 stars) which I encountered with this book is that I couldn’t really grasp on what triggered Michael’s feelings for Christina during the entire ordeal. Was it her resilience or something she said/did that made him feel more...human? However, the chemistry and sexual tension between these two is undeniable as lust and confusion is thrown into the mix as the story progresses.
Overall, Cloak & Dagger is a well-paced gritty, intense read with a good dose of thrilling action! Please do note that it is a slow buildup romance story. Also, loved all the characters in the book (except Christina’s mum who I wanted to bitchslap!), had great witty banters and it ended on a bearable cliffie that has left me with heart-ache.
It’s my first book by Nenia Campbell & I truly enjoyed her writing style in this one, especially with a slight undertone of the Greek reference, Pandora’s Box ;) Looking forward to jump into the next book!