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Against the Dark: The Spy’s Fake Fiance (Undercover Associates Book 1) by [Crane, Carolyn, Martin, Annika]
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Against the Dark: The Spy’s Fake Fiance (Undercover Associates Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 294 pages Word Wise: Enabled Language: English
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Product description

Product Description

She hates him. And now she has to play his girlfriend.

Deadly abs. Deadly aim. Deadly brilliant.
Cole is one of the Association’s top agents, but he’s up against a clever, dangerous psycho…and he’s running out of time.
Until he catches Angel cracking the man’s supposedly uncrackable safe and blackmails her into helping him. Why should he worry about her safety? She’s just some criminal…right?
But the more deeply Cole and Angel plunge into Borgola’s web, the more he realizes Angel doesn’t deserve being pulled into danger…and the more real those fake kisses start to feel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1319 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CF6IY50
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #193,838 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 129 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This was ok for suspense, but it just didn't excite me. Things felt superficial. 6 November 2014
By Jane - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to buy the audiobook but I did not, because I could hear the narrator's BREATHS. The narrator Romy Nordlinger needs to use a different microphone, or do something in the editing process to remove her breathing.

The main weakness was not enough showing how things got done or how knowledge was obtained. I didn't know enough about the bad guys - why they kidnapped, how they kidnapped, what they did with victims, how victims were released and saved. I also wanted to know more about the good guys - Cole and others in the Association. The main story is between the couple and their conversations together and not enough about things outside the main couple. She breaks into a building. He catches her and then they both do it again together. So the main suspense is the risk of getting caught and then escaping. Everything else is background. I think character development was a little wooden. She had some issues I did not understand. He is supposed to be a math genius who does things with formulas and probabilities, but I didn't see anything done with that skill. That would have been interesting.

Narrative mode: 3rd person. Kindle count length: 2,824 (202 to 296 pages). Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 5. Setting: current day California. Copyright: 2013. Genre: romantic suspense.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fast and readable introduction into the world of the Associates. 11 August 2015
By Robin Snyder - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the premise of a reformed safe cracker coming out of retirement to help out her old crew for one last job and getting caught up in something bigger. Angel was only going to do this one job and that was it. It is for a good reason too, to save her Aunt Aggie who has been kidnapped. But it seems that life wants to drag her back into it and very hot bad boy Cole.

*** They used to joke about it back in the day—if they wanted to know if a guy was troubled or self-destructive in some way, they just needed to check if Angel thought he was hot. Bad boyfriend radar, they called it. Because if Angel was attracted to a guy, it meant he was probably wounded or feral, a doomed thug with a hurricane for a heart. It meant that she could love him, but never save him.***

But at least Cole is a bad boy with a good heart. He needs Angels help to break into the safe of his current mark in hopes he can find the material he needs to save some kids….ahhh see he isn’t a bad guy. How better to do that then to pretend she is his girlfriend to get her onto the compound.

The chemistry between the two characters is really good and I liked them together. Cole is even pretty good at dirty talk and had I not just finished 4 books in the Kit Rocha’s Beyond series it would have been hotter…but I had so it was just okay. Still this was an easy read and I enjoyed the time with the characters and getting a hint of the lives of the Associates.

The associates seems like it is going to be a decent anti-hero series. Cole isn’t quite a bad guy but he has made some hard choices in the past and has let some people get killed along the way if it helped his end goals. The thing I liked about this book was the unconventional HEA she gave the characters. They are who they are and it really fit.

I’ll probably give a few more of these a try as Carolyn Crane writes very readable books. They aren’t perfect but engaging enough with fast escalations and resolutions that everything rolls along at a speed that makes them really entertaining.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jewelry Thieves, Undercover Investigator, Mobsters, and Romance all in one story. 3 June 2015
By John Kurtze - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
AGAINST THE DARK immediately involve readers in Crane’s romantic suspense story. Crane sets the stage for her story to unfold at the mansion of a mobster. If you add a jewelry heist, a mysterious undercover security guard, and a retired safecracker, you have all the elements of a fast moving storyline that will keep readers reading until the end. Crane introduces her female protagonist, Angel Ramirez, who is a retired expert safecracker. Angel has come out of retirement to help her kidnaped friend. Readers learn Angel’s backstory and Crane continues to add additional details as the story progresses. The male protagonist, Cole Hawkins is a member of a secret organization working to bring criminals to justice. Cole’s special analyzing talents and his backstory give him an attitude of the means justifies the end.

Readers meet the antagonists, Walter Borgoia, leader of large criminal organization dealing with drugs, human trafficking, and murder. The author introduces the supporting characters and their backstories as the story progresses. Crane adds twists and turns and storyline direction changes. Cole is an undercover investigator looking to find details to stop Borgoia. Borgoia gives Cole the job of recovering his diamonds. Angel’s criminal record as a safecracker leads Cole to her and her friends. Cole doesn’t believe Angel is anything but a thief and is willing to blackmail her into joining him in his undercover investigation. The author provides additional backstory explaining Cole’s attitude while doing anything to bring his target down including using Angel regardless of the danger. Crane creates an atmosphere of danger, intrigue and regret for Cole when things go wrong for Angel. Readers will find an action-packed unexpected ending . AGAINST THE DARK delivers a great story with exciting characters and earns a thumb up.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised 26 October 2015
By Becky - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not a huge fan of the freebies offered under the romantic suspense category because they tend to be too detailed with little depth to the hero/heroine or the suspense is so inauthentic it's hard for me to overlook it and I am one who has a low bar for that type of thing. I don't read romance novels to get me to think too deeply. -wink-

This book had a great mix of both. Character development by way of their interactions and suspense due to the situation they were dealing with. I appreciate the author didn't explicitly tell me how the heroine or hero had emotional epiphanies at the end (whether in their own minds or through a contrived discussion with each other) but instead had a scene which reflected each person's pivotal moment logically and simply. For that, this has earned my 4 stars. I might have given it 5 if I had a little more closure around the bad guy & his operation. All in all, I don't think his will disappoint and I will probably purchase the next in the series's now.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If the rest are this good, I'm all in. 3 July 2015
By Courtney L - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this!! Angel is a reformed, top notch safe cracker who gets pulled in for one last heist. Cole is an Associate (think SEAL/spy) undercover, trying to bring down the same criminal Angel's gang has marked. When the heist goes bad, Cole blackmails Angel into helping him reach his goal. Neither anticipated falling in love.

The Good:
+ Loved the story. It's got a gang of girl jewel thieves. What's not to love?!
+ Cole. He's one bad- shut your mouth!
+ I loved that Angel wasn't really an archetype. Her base was, for sure (good girl gone bad, trying to reach redemption, getting sucked back down, etc.), but she was totally real. She hated herself. She didn't like to look at herself in the mirror. When Cole tried to force her to see herself as he saw her, she didn't change her view. I'm not saying that that's a good thing, but it's real.

The Bad:
- Usually, there is something I can think of to throw here. Not the case with this one.

The Ugly:
-- nada. I'm soooooper stoked to read the next in the series!!

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