The first in a new contemporary romance intrigue series by multi-published author Paula Altenburg about spies, lies, and the games people play.
The games are about to begin.
Au pair and Canadian ex-pat Isabelle Beausejour has been living abroad for most of her twenty-four years, traveling the world with her irresponsible father. When Isabelle finds herself stranded in Bangkok, with no job, no money, and nowhere to turn, she soon becomes desperate.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service officer Garrett Downing is on the hunt for Canadian military goods that have gone missing. Instead, he finds himself coming to the aid of a young Canadian woman with more resourcefulness than common sense.
Isabelle has no choice but to accept a stranger’s help in getting back home to Canada. Once there, however, as enemies turn into lovers, it soon becomes a game of keeping secrets. Garrett is more than he seems. Isabelle knows more than she’s willing to admit. Will she choose loyalty to her father over the love of a man who tells lies for a living?
Loving and tender romance between a daughter of an international criminal and Canadian spy, who takes interest in her, in more than just professional meaning.
The set up is interesting in this story, since Garrett first time meets Isabelle, when she is about to commit a crime. From the first moment, Garrett goes way beyond his duty, and gets tangled in Isabelle's life, maybe more than he should, considering the positions they both are, thanks to her father.
The story takes a look at Garrett and Isabelle's life, and the difficulties her father and his crimes, bring to them, and the possible relationship they could have. It is a story of a troubled young woman, who can thank her lucky stars, that Garrett game and saved her, again and again, it seems. The story is a romance, with a shadow of a mystery in the background regarding to her father, and the secrets they keep from each other. There's no suspense or action to speak of, so I would have a hard time classifying it as a romantic suspense story.
Garrett and Isabelle have a connection, they are attracted to each other, that is clear, but the situation they are in, is nearly impossible for them to act upon the growing feelings they have for each other. Garrett's family generously opens their home for her, and gives her a chance at life with a future, when it seems that there's no one else she can turn to for help. The tale provides plenty of fun, sweet, moments Garrett and Isabelle have with the kids of the family.
The story is well written, the plot very thought out, making the story flow nicely and freely. At times the dialogue felt a little stiff, mostly when the characters were talking about their feelings. The emotions, for me, stayed rather superficial, I had difficulties connecting with the characters on the emotional level. They both, Garrett and Isabelle, seemed a bit cold, emotionless, and detached most of the time. The utter desperation of her situation could have brought much deeper feelings, even little angst to the picture, in my opinion.
An interesting, noteworthy beginning of a new series
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me