EXIT Inc., #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Date of Publication: June 30, 2015
Number of pages: 384
Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble...
When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he's there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn't expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks... or that he came to rescue her.
Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?
Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina Mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT's lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on... but it's nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.
Mason shook his head as Sabrina Hightower tore off through the trees to escape him. Obviously, telling her that he was supposed to kill her wasn’t the wisest thing he could have said. But not killing someone he’d been sent to terminate was a new experience and he was a bit out of his element.
He’d expected a tiny woman like Sabrina to be docile and scared, easily subdued, especially barefoot, in a nightshirt, and without the glasses that he’d pocketed when he found them on her bedroom floor. Most people in her position would have cowered before him instead of acting like a little warrior, trying to bite through his shirt even though he was twice her size. He’d had to work at not laughing when she’d threatened to kick his balls up to his throat. She definitely had spunk and courage, which—unfortunately—only added to her appeal.
When he’d carried her through her backyard, her sexy, round bottom bouncing so temptingly next to his face, a fog of lust had slammed into him until all he could think about was the feel of her soft thighs beneath his hand. He hadn’t planned on stopping in the clearing. It had been an act of desperation, to put some space between them so he could re-engage his brain. And then she’d ruined that plan by pelting him with questions while her nipples formed mouth-watering, tight peaks against her shirt. Add to that her arrow-straight, no-nonsense black hair that swished half-way down her back, and sassy bangs that framed her defiant blue eyes, and he’d been lost.
He swore viciously. He was a fool to have let her rattle him. The only reason she had was because of the questions his friend from his Army days, Ramsey, had raised about Sabrina’s guilt. Or, more accurately, the concerns of Ramsey’s friends—a former enforcer and his wife who both believed Sabrina’s EXIT order had been faked, even though they were still trying to prove it.
Mason had always been honored to work as an enforcer for EXIT, to bridge the security gap left by the traditional alphabet agencies. Killing, when called upon to do so, wasn’t something he relished or enjoyed. But sacrificing one evil life in exchange for dozens, hundreds, or even one innocent life, was a trade he was compelled, and duty bound, to make. He couldn’t stomach the idea of waiting for a heinous crime to be committed if he could stop it ahead of time. Inaction, allowing people to die when he could have saved them, was inexcusable.
But only if the target, the mark, was truly guilty of the charges listed in the EXIT order.
Mason was betting—hoping—that Ramsey’s friends were frauds and they couldn’t prove their claims. Because, if Sabrina was innocent, if her EXIT order was wrong, then other orders could have been wrong. Which meant that people he’d terminated in the past could have been innocent too. That prospect was too horrible to contemplate.
I love a spunky, sassy female protagonist. I don't want the docile, weak willed damsel in distress, unless she learns to how to kick some ass along the way. So I was thrilled that this story opened with Sabrina doing her utmost to stay one step ahead of an intruder in her house. She doesn't hide under the bed and cry, but starts sneaking through the house, wishing she still had her shotgun to defend herself. Even when she gets captured, she doesn't stop fighting or using her head to find a way out of the situation. That's my kind of girl!
Mason, was an interesting guy. He reminded me a bit of John Cussack's character in Gross Pointe Blank. He's the guy who doesn't kill because he enjoys it, but because he is good at it, and someone has to do it. Mason has this semi-normal life, complete with family and friends. He's not some hard core assassin, just tough and determined to be part of the solution. And oh, that can be downright sexy.
One of the interesting things about this book, was that our villian wasn't this evil mustache twirling heinously bad dude. He was a good guy that made a mistake, and then got caught up in circumstances and made a bigger mess trying to fix the initial mistake. Funny how that can happen to any of us. I am really hoping that this allows for some redemption down the line.
There were some over the top scenes, but we are talking super secret covert black ops and spy style missions. Which means plenty of action, chase scenes and shoot outs for me to be sucked into and enjoy. I flew through this book and read it in one setting. The only thing stopping me from giving this book 5 stars, is that this didn't feel like book 1. There was another couple in the book and whenever they were mentioned I just felt like I was missing some backstory on them, like their story should have begun this journey. I don't know why, but their story nags at me - hence 4 stars.
Thank you to Tasty Book Tours and the author for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she's won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.
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