Anna’s career as a high-level CIA operative is put on involuntary hiatus. When a trusted colleague passes along the information for the 1Night Stand service, Anna decides to take the plunge against her better judgment and seek some intimate company. But her CIA instincts can’t be ignored, and when she contacts Madame Eve, she uses an alias. Brendan owns a lucrative manufacturing company, but he’s yet to achieve the goal of finding a woman with whom he can share his successes and joys. But beneath his polished, capable exterior hides the painfully shy teenager he’s never been able to escape. When his own efforts in the dating scene fall short, he turns to 1Night Stand. It would be so easy to fall in love with Brendan, and Anna’s protective mask slides away, piece-by-piece, revealing more of herself than she should dare. Before she can slip away with the sunrise, Brendan shows their encounter in a new light. Will Anna take a chance on their future, or will she choose to return to her undercover, but lonely life?
"If you're looking for a read that can balance titillation with a meditation on the double-edged sword of intimacy - fear of it, and desire for it - this is the story for you. The central conceit of the plot, a meet-cute under false pretenses, allows the author to present a romantic liason that is at once tender, transgressive, and even wistful. Anna's search (Or is it Samantha's? Victoria's?) for a human connection serves as a perfect gateway into her long-repressed physical frustrations; her desire is relatable, and palpable. The author also manages deft transitions from Anna's point-of-view to that of Brendan, her would-be paramour, allowing the reader to fully observe the push-and-pull tension building between the two. There's even a casual quote from the bard himself, to satisfy the casual sophisticate, but any such intellectual concerns should be an afterthought when Anna and Brendan's tete-a-tete reaches its climax. One impassioned plea cuts right to the hear of the matter: "Please, Brendan...Please." This reader predicts it will elicit the desired reaction from any others fortunate enough to sample the tale." ~Reviewed by Thomas Kimbark
“It’s beautiful out here, isn’t it?” His breath danced across the tip of her ear.
“Summers in this region are always nice, but they’re nothing compared to the autumn foliage,” he said. “Have you ever been up here during that time of year?”
Anna continued tracing idle lines from his wrist to his elbow. “No, I haven’t.”
His head dipped lower and his lips grazed her skin. “I realize it’s early for us, but I’d love to come back here with you. We could watch the changing colors, cuddle in front of a roaring fire….”
Anguish stabbed at her. The images he described sounded flawless and enticing. Every part of her yearned to agree to whatever he offered, but planning a rendezvous posed too much of a risk. She hadn’t predicted the difficulties of keeping up an ongoing charade with the man she met.
“That sounds lovely.” She swallowed hard and turned toward him. Her cheek rested in the crook of his neck, though its comfort did nothing to assuage her unexpected guilt over the upcoming lie. “Maybe we can work something out.”
#spyromance #thealanden #CIAoperative