Covert Evidence by Rachel Grant (Evidence #1)
Released: May 26, 2015
Reviewed by Mandi
With visions of professional glory, underwater archaeologist Cressida Porter embarks on a research trip deep into the heart of Eastern Turkey. Her dreams turn into nightmares when she becomes the unwitting courier for a terrorist network. Stranded and unable to speak the language, she turns to a handsome and enigmatic security specialist for help, even while fearing he may be behind a violent assault that leaves her vulnerable.
CIA Case Officer Ian Boyd’s mission is clear: follow the courier, identify the terrorist leader, and intercept the microchip before it falls into enemy hands. For Ian, cozying up to the alluring archaeologist to find out where her loyalties lie isn’t exactly hardship duty. But spending time with her proves dangerous when she awakens a longing for a life he can never have.
Attraction wars with distrust as Cressida and Ian are forced on the run. When violence erupts in the already unstable region, Cressida discovers everything she knows about Ian is false. With all secrets revealed, Cressida must decide if she can trust the spy with her life, while Ian faces his own impossible choice: Cressida or his mission.
Not too long ago I read my first Rachel Grant book, Incriminating Evidence, and I really enjoyed it. When Covert Evidence went on sale recently, I grabbed it. This author writes really fun adventure suspense, but also gives us steamy romance. I didn’t love how the relationship played out in this one, but I still enjoyed.
Cressida Porter heads to Turkey for a research mission and to hopefully secure a future grant.
The project was ideal: excavation of an Iron Age shipwreck in the Mediterranean. Run by Dr. Brenner, her graduate advisor, it was her chance to win back his trust and that of the other students from her program. Best of all, Dr. Patrick Hill – the oceanographic explorer whose institute was the primary source of funding for the Iron Age shipwreck excavation – was here for a few weeks, giving her an opportunity to impress him before her proposal even landed on his desk.
The reason she needs to win back trust? Her ex-boyfriend Todd, was recently accused of stealing expensive equipment, and tried to throw Cressida under the bus. Recently cleared of charges, but still feels like people look at her guilty, she is desperate to clear her name. But when she arrives in Turkey, one of the first people she sees? Todd. Shocked that he shows up halfway around the world, she punches him (that’s my girl).
Our hero Ian is a CIA operative who has been looking to take down a terrorist group and got intel that Cressida would be able to lead him to another person involved in this group. While Cressida has no idea any of this terrorist stuff is going on, Ian isn’t so sure of her innocence. While he was impressed by her punch, he secretly follows her as she heads back to her room. From here, bad things start to happen. Cressida’s guide and translator isn’t who she thought. She gets mugged, and since Ian is tailing her, he shows up and helps her out. She doesn’t trust him, but he knows he must force her to go with him – partly because he wants to keep her safe, and partly because she is the only link he has to this terrorist group. Cressida goes from excited to start this part of her research to bruised battered, and abducted by a sexy black-ops agent. Not quite what she signed up for.
I think it’s important to note that Cressida really felt like a research, underwater explorer, adventurer. It’s one thing for an author to say that is what her character does for a living, but it’s another to present her that way to the reader. I just read a book where the heroine was a pilot and she never once felt like a pilot to me, and that bothered me. Coming off that book, I appreciated the fact that so much detail went into this character. The setting is fun – and the action is non-stop in this one. Ian is pretty kick-ass too (okay, very kick-ass). He can speak a gazillion languages, he can blend into any situation, he can kill and be calm and collected.
What bothered me a bit is how quickly Cressida fell into lust with Ian. It felt a bit out of place. All of the circumstances coming at her – being abducted, being almost killed, etc.. for her to trust Ian enough to sleep with him – it didn’t fit her personality.
But still a fun book – I really enjoy this author’s voice and I need to read the rest of this series.