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Into the Shadows (Undercover Associates Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Nadia and Thorne have history together but their combustible relationship fell apart right around the same time her father’s empire did. It is now nearly two years later and Thorne is in deep with the Hangmen as part of a personal revenge quest,and works with the Associates when their goals align with his. However a series of mysterious raids at warehouses that used to belong to Nadia’s father, cast suspicion on him, endanger his position within the gang and threaten to incite inter-gang warfare between the rival but associated organizations that divided up Nadia’s father’s criminal empire. The only way for him to stay alive and not blow his cover is to figure out who is orchestrating the raids and prove his loyalty. His search brings him back to Nadia’s door when he comes to search the neglected mansion she inherited from her father.
Nadia is the former “Party Princess” one of the coddled spoiled daughters of a criminal kingpin, and she has remade herself after her father’s death. Nadia has become a mother in that time and is no longer blind to the the source of the wealth and excess she used enjoy. She is also painfully aware of the ugliness of her father’s lies, and has become obsessed with finding and rescuing her mother, used and abused by him.
“She could never face herself in the mirror again if she didn’t make this right. Most important, she could never look her little boy in the eyes again if she didn’t make this right.”
I thought that Nadia and Thorne’s relationship was deliciously complex. Both of them are scarred by their childhoods, by their fathers' abusive presence and their mothers' absences. They rarely say what they mean to each other and doubt the words of the other, but they believe and see each other in ways no one ever has before. Thorne has never felt worthy of Nadia’s attention, and she has never felt secure of his.
Nadia fears that despite their cruel parting she still loves him and won't be able to resist him, even if she has resolved to keep her distance for the sake of her young son’s safety. Thorne knows he is terribly dangerous to her personally and by association due to the life he lives and his enduring “lovehate” for her also makes him vulnerable to those who want to control him.
I read the book in close to one sitting, so completely sucked in and had to go back and re-read the intense last few chapters to make sure I understood everything that happened because I was reading so fast trying to find out what happened.
I would highly recommend Crane’s Associates series, all stand-alones even if romantic suspense is not usually your thing,because it is not usually my thing but I find them highly entertaining with a great balance of romance and action. However the action level is intense, people are shot, killed and menaced through out, so not for the faint of heart.
A copy of Into the Shadows was provided by the author, Carolyn Crane via NetGalley for review purposes.
Into the Shadows is about two broken people who are fighters and survivors. Thorne is part of the Associates and so deep undercover that until recently, others in the group didn’t even know he was an Associate. Most people think he’s one of the leaders in a criminal group called Hangman. Nadia’s deceased father was a gangster that Thorne used to work for (undercover) and she and Thorne had an intense, sexual relationship. No one in her life ever saw her, the real her, except Thorne. And it’s the same for him; Nadia saw through all his crap and they formed a relationship that worked. When he overhears something that’s a lie (Nadia only said because she couldn’t bear to lose him) he thinks that he means nothing to her so when her father died years before, and Thorne got what he needed for his undercover job, he just cut her out of his life because he assumed he meant nothing to her.
The story starts two years after their intense time together with Nadia’s gangster father dead and her a new mother. And her priorities have changed in a big way; she’s no longer the ‘Party Princess’. Not only that but she found out something she was never supposed to and it changed her reality. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but what she’s doing with her life is incredibly noble and her actions inadvertently make her life intersect with her ex, Thorne. When Thorne storms back into her life years later the chemistry between them is so potent it jumped off the pages. What he’s working toward is also noble and I loved that two broken people got a second chance.
There’s so much action and mystery in this book and it’s skillfully woven with intense sexual tension. I think my favorite thing about Crane’s characters is that they’re all incredibly flawed yet likeable. It makes getting to the ending that much better. Into the Shadows is an edgy, gritty romantic suspense with two main characters who will break your heart and have you laughing moments later. I highly recommend this romantic suspense to fans of the genre!
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