Monday, April 03, 2006
Naked Truth by Amy J. Fetzer
Naked Truth is a tightly written, fast-paced story featuring CIA operatives, ex-military, private for-hire retraction specialists, military, DEA, drug and arms dealing, and more. Amidst the whirlwind of action, Fetzer weaves an emotionally intense romance that kept me turning pages until the end.
Clandestine operative Alexa Gavlin has nothing left. No country. No contacts. And no memory. Thirty days have been chemically erased. Stolen by whom she knows. Why, that's anyone's guess. Accused of murder and treason, Alexa becomes the hunted, trapped by what she can't remember and betrayed by her own people. Struggling to refit the puzzle before someone catches her between the crosshairs, her new mission is to stay alive long enough to learn the truth. Till she meets the man behind the laser sight...
Killian Moore is a lot of things, former Marine, retrieval expert, and pissed off. Blackmailed into hunting down the operative suspected of ruining his career, Killian sees Alexa as nothing more than some sexy vital statistics and the means to clear his name. His mission is specific, bring her in or take her out--until he locks horns with the beautiful agent and everything he believes and feels unravels with each encounter. He tells himself she's an expert at deception, yet what they share between the sheets is raw, tender, and very real. But she's on the run again, and Killian knows if he doesn't catch her, the enemy will. Alexa has every reason to be wary, but Killian desperately needs her to believe in him.
Cut off from their government, betrayed and hunted, they can rely on no one but each other. From the jungles of Colombia to the sparkling metropolis of Hong Kong , as each piece falls into place, Alexa and Killian learn that nothing is as it seems, and stopping terrorists set on a collision course will test their precious trust to the absolute limits.
I love contemporary romance as much as I do historical romance. However, I usually find the love stories in contemporaries more difficult to 'fall into'. In stories featuring a good deal of action, it is even tougher. The realist in me almost always finds it hard to believe anyone, woman or man, can get carried away by infatuation and lust when their lives are in constant danger. In Naked Truth, Fetzer more than convinced me, building characters that were true in both action and emotion.
Fetzer delivers the action and each development in the relationship between Alexa and Killian in a writing style that is sharply punctuated. The pace is very fast; each scene sharply written, then edited with a scalpel. There doesn't seem to be a single word wasted. I'd describe her telling of this story as staccato and unapologetic.
The end result is an emotional relationship between her main characters that is sharp, cutting--palpable to the reader. And, given the pace, the highly emotional moments between these two take both them and the reader by surprise. Very nicely done.
Fetzer's economic writing style also served to save readers from cliches, stereotypical villains and cookie cutter government types. It was hard to know who to trust; difficult to differentiate villains from honest government agents. Fetzer proved very adept at weaving a current of distrust through both the action and the romance. Like I said, kept me turning pages until the end.
This is another case of finding an author I love. Looking at her backlist, I see a number of Silhouette titles. Not sure if I will attempt to find and read those, but I will certainly pick up her latest, The Perfect Weapon (which does not appear to be a sequel to Naked Truth).