Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Review: Spy Games by Sidney Bristol


Spy Games
(Tarnished Heroes #1)
Sidney Bristol
Release: November 27, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Haunted by the mistakes he made while fighting for his country, Rand Duncan has become the CIA’s go to man for tough jobs in an effort to atone for his sins. Late-night phone calls and covert meetings are the norm. Until she arrives and his past crashes into his present.

Sarah Collins never thought she’d see her brother’s former best friend again. But one of Sarah’s fellow undercover informants has been captured and the briefcase containing the identities and locations of twelve other operatives are in Chinese hands. If Sarah and Rand can’t retrieve the documents, people will die.

The shock wears off quick as the two must figure out how to retrieve the briefcase before it can be opened or sold. If they want to save lives, they must confront their past, while avoiding an enemy that will stop at nothing to crush them.

I love spy shows - Alias, Covert Affairs, Berlin Station. They have such interesting living-in-the-gray-areas characters, not to mention great action scenes. That's probably what inspired me to pick up Spy Games. I'm also a fan of a friends-to-lovers story, which is sort of what Rand and Sarah have, though it's also a second chance romance in a way.

Rand was Sarah's older brother's best friend but disappeared from their lives after Matt lost his arm in the Navy. Eight years later, Matt's married to Sarah's best friend and Rand is still blaming himself for the incident. There are several references to the way Matt and Emily got together and I'm sure that they have their own book, but I looked through Goodreads and couldn't find it. And Bristol's website lists Spy Games as first in a series so I'm confused about where this prequel might be. But I digress.

Though I liked the story, I felt like the pacing was off. It just dragged for me in spots. And I wish that there was more romance in the second half of the book. But my biggest issue is that it was obvious who the mole was in chapter two. Sure there were complications and red herrings along the way, but never enough to convince me that I had guessed wrong.

However, I was impressed with how many interesting characters Bristol introduced in this group of CIA agents and contractors. There are some damaged heroes who must have fascinating stories, as well as a budding romance between an older couple. I'm curious to see what happens to them if the series continues.

Recommended for fans of: The Associates series by Carolyn Crane, Julie Ann Walker's Black Knights Inc


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