ARC Review: Cold Cruel Kiss by Toni Anderson

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Cold Justice: Crossfire, #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Max Hawthorne
Heroine: Lucy Aston
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 28, 2021
Started On: January 12, 2021
Finished On: January 19, 2021

Cold Cruel Kiss, the 4th installment in the Cold Justice: Crossfire series brings to readers the story of FBI Supervisory Special Agent Max Hawthorne and Lucy Aston, a staff at the US Embassy in Argentina. Story begins when the daughter of the US Ambassador to Argentina is kidnapped in broad daylight on Christmas Eve, and FBI sends Max, one of their best agents in hostage negotiations to find a way to navigate the treacherous waters surrounding the Ambassador’s family in the wake of the kidnapping.

As Max tries to piece together the events that led up to the kidnapping and attempts to make sense of what has unfolded since then, the one person who gets under his skin is Lucy. She stands out, not because she wants to. On the contrary, she tries really hard to fade into the background, to be rendered as unnoticeable as humanly possible. And she has been quite adept at achieving what she had set out to do, that is until the too sexy for his own good FBI agent, with that sexy accent of his, walks through the door.

When Max and Lucy are “forced” to work together in the field owing to circumstances, Max’s interest is piqued beyond the professional lines, and it is not long before the two start developing feelings for each other. Lucy however, carries a secret that could devastate the fragile ties that are coming to life between the two. Her penance for that one mistake in trusting the wrong person had cost her more than she is willing to be let known, and she walks a path sharper than a double-edged sword when it comes to balancing out her duty to her country and what she must do in order to keep her deepest and darkest secret from becoming common knowledge.

However, Max and his sincerity makes it difficult for Lucy to stay unaffected, and before long she is pulled deep into the web of desire and want that wreaks havoc on both their senses. At the same time, the kidnappers reach a point of no return which could mean devastating consequences for the Ambassador’s family, if even the slightest mistake were to be made. With a second operation running in parallel which brings the Kremlin to the forefront, it is a race against time for Max to bring the Ambassador’s daughter safely back home.

Cold Cruel Kiss for the most part was an engaging read for me. I liked the main protagonists fairly well and rooted for their happily ever after. At the same time, the investigation and the secrets lurking in the deep shadows of the world of secret service operatives was one that had me working through nervous tension as the story sped along.

The most intriguing aspect of the novel for me was the setting – how FBI had to balance out investigations into a crime involving an American diplomat in terms of working with the less than reliable local law enforcement and getting the job done.

Recommended for fans of the Cold Justice series.

Final Verdict: Cold Cruel Kiss explores the shades of grey that colors the world of secret service agents and the murky waters that federal agents must navigate through when it comes to crimes committed on foreign soil.

Favorite Quotes

She tilted her hips and took him deeper as he found the rhythm that made them both gasp and groan and cling. Again and again, over and over. She did not want this to end. She would live in this instant for an eternity if she had the choice, poised on the edge, waiting for the crash that they both knew was coming.

He positioned himself at her slick entrance and pushed inside, and it felt so good, so right, she bit her lip to hold back a moan.
She tipped her head back as Max filled her perfectly. She saw the pulse in his neck kick up a notch and then he began pounding into her, all raw power and honed male beauty. They were both wet and slippery, and his grip on her bit into her muscles with a delicious sharpness. It was incredible. It was amazing. Once again, she never wanted it to end.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s