Series: Deep Ops #1
Published by Zebra on September 25, 2018
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Contemporary Romance
Source: Self Purchased
Reading Challenges: Romanceopoly 2020
Hide. That’s all Pippa can do to escape the terror chasing her. But now that she’s off the grid in a safe house, she finds plenty of interesting things to watch through the window. Like her new neighbor, with his startling green eyes, killer smile, and sexy bad-boy tattoo . . .
Run. Malcolm West is fleeing the hell he unleashed in his last assignment as an undercover cop. A backwoods bungalow sounds like the perfect place to start over. Until he discovers he’s been set up . . .
Fight. Someone’s gone to a lot of trouble to bring them together. No matter how much he resents that, and his own driving needs, Malcolm will have to dig deep and let loose the banished killer inside himself, or Pippa’s fears could come true faster than the flip of a bolt in a lock . . .
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
Hidden is the first book in the latest series by Rebecca Zanetti, “Deep Ops” and this is a start to a new series and I went into this story with no inkling of an idea what the framework of the story would be, or what the series was even about. That is how much I actually have learned to trust this author over the years. I even put it as a entry into the “Romance-opoly” reading challenge, knowing that I would enjoy this one and even though it was a ride of sorts, I am glad that I trusted my instincts with this one here.
Hidden begins with seeing our two main characters…Malcolm and Pippa who are next door neighbors. Malcolm is an ex police officer and is ready for a break from law enforcement but then he gets called into a special ops team with a unique variety of men with various talents to contribute. But they have asked him to go on a certain mission which is two fold…investigate and seduce Pippa and go undercover into a religious cult who have aims to kill many people with an “endgame” and Malcolm with his experience in undercover to stop it if he can with the help of their team. Pippa is a ex member of the cult, where she and a close friend ran away from it and they both have been on the run ever since then. But Pippa knows her past with catch up with her and she will have to face up to it. But as the secrets begin to collide with Malcolm and Pippa’s relationship—a new found trust will be tested in ways they don’t expect …
Hidden was such a great read and even though I struggled with the first half of the book I got a kick out of this story and I seemingly couldn’t get enough of it. Now lets talk about the downside to this story …the big one is the pacing of this book. I do want to make it clear that I am not sure if this has anything to do with the beginning of a new series and setting all the factors up…that could definitely be the case. But the first half of the story was SLOW, much slower paced than I expected, rarely have I seen this from Zanetti, so I really had to stick with this book but overall I am glad that I did though. Because once you read about the 40% mark, it really picks up pace super quickly. Which was a relief for me, as I had such high hopes for this story but Zanetti doesn’t lead her readers wrong.
I found that I was super intrigued with how this book played out and man I TOTALLY didn’t expect a religious cult theme at all. I have only seen one other author cover this topic and quite frankly I found it so refreshing to see another author place it in her books because this is a issue I think needs to be discussed way more than it is. And the way that she went about it was truly fascinating but it definitely had the “zanetti” stamp on the story. I just love seeing her style be woven so well in this one. I had a blast with the main couple here, and even though I am SO not a fan of secrets, the secrets these two keep from each other is definitely understandable. It makes perfect sense if you truly think about it. And even though I think they went on long, if you read the story and get the plot of destination of where this author is building up to….you can see why it takes so long. BUT, of course, I am always more for honesty over secrets. The bedroom scenes were HOT as you would come to expect from this author. I swear every time I read her I am bowled over by how hot these scenes on and then I ask myself “why?” her writing style hasn’t changed in that. HEHE
Overall I found Hidden to be a delightful piece of romantic art that sweeps you up into a story of hidden secrets, complex portrayal of uncommon elements and a love story that beats a vibrant heart