by Cristin Harber
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Mill Creek Press
Length: 286 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Military Romance
What happens when nothing is as it seems?
Parker Black wants the one woman he shouldn’t have—his buddy’s girl. She's sweet and smart, but clueless about how deep Parker lives in Titan’s virtual world. Everything is controlled. Chaos is mastered. Black and white data and risk analysis. That is the way he understands his world, how he plays his role to keep Titan teams alive.
But he’s wrong.
Lexi Dare lives two lives. She’s an unhappy fiancée stuck in a spiraling relationship, unsure how she ended up with a ring on her finger and an abuser in her bed. But she’s also elusive. Elite. A master hacker playing deadly stakes.
When the lines blur and the truth comes out, Lexi’s only shot at survival is the trust of her rival—her equal—before it’s too late.
Jared walked in, giving Parker the eye that said he’d have to explain the lady reading a book in the war room. So this conversation was going to get so much worse.
“What’s up?” Boss man grumbled.
Winters gave him a look long enough to answer, but he didn’t, so he turned to Jared. “Parker’s got problems.”
“I don’t have problems.”
“Then he has a chick with a problem.”
“Lady in my war room?” Jared’s eyes sliced to him. “Fix it.”
“Yeah. Working on it.”
Jared pushed, eyeing the dynamic between him and Winters. “Fixed soon? Fixed, when?”
Parker rubbed his temples. “Think I need some time off.”
Jared’s brows bit together. “You need time off for a problem that you haven’t explained with a chick I know nothing about who is sitting my war room?”
“Yeah. Basically.” Though when it was laid out like that, it had a problematic vibe.
“No.” Jared’s boots turned and he pounded out of the room, growling as he went.
The headache punching at Parker’s temples worsened. “Alright, wait.”
Jared pivoted, hands on hips, and glared. “You have twenty seconds to try again.”
“The Union Station shooting, looks like… a buddy was the target but she lucked out and is now on the run.”
“And that buddy is a woman,” Winters added. “The woman.”
Jared frowned. “And she was at the safe house I just had to send a clean-up team to?”
“She’s your girl?” Jared looked a couple notches past his normal pissed off.
“No. Not my woman.”
“Then what is this about?”
Parker pulled a breath through his teeth. Explaining the intricacies of something Jared didn’t care for wouldn’t help his case. “First, it’s a hacker thing. Looks like she was targeted and she’s on the run.”
The line between Boss Man’s brows deepened. “A hacker thing?”
“More or less.”
“And your woman’s involved.”
“I don’t have a woman.”
“But still, she’s the one in my war room that you had at a compromised safe house?”
Frustration wasn’t making this explanation any easier. “Yeah—”
Winters, staring over Parker’s shoulder, whistled low and long. “Tell me that’s not her.”
Parker followed his gaze but already knew what was there. The perfect beauty he’d pulled from security footage. Lexi Dare. The woman was all woman.
“That’s her.” He nodded, suddenly not interested in having either married man looking at her.
“Thought you were smart.” Jared shook his head. “Fuck me, I was wrong.”
“Man, you do not think you need some time off. Something looking like that running free with some attack dog after her, you say call up the fuckin’ troops, we’ve got work to do.”
Parker blinked. “This is off the books.”
“Everything’s off the books.”
“This doesn’t pay.”
“The best jobs don’t.”
Parker leaned back in his chair, rubbing a hand over his jaw. “I’m not sure what I’m getting into. Titan doesn’t need that.”
“Shit. If there is one person that knows what shit Titan gets into, it’s you.” Jared shook his head. “Get Rocco, debrief with him. Winters sit in, keep your boy on point. You have whatever resources you need.”
Parker stood. “Seriously, Boss Man—”
“What?” Jared growled.
“This is personal.”
“Somehow, however long you’ve worked here, you missed this memo. If you have personal, we deal with personal. And, brother, you never have got personal. So when shit pops up like it’s done now—and there’s a lady here to prove it—we go in and fix it.”
“This isn’t like that.”
“Then whatever it’s like, it’s the only outside-of-Titan personal connection you have. Whatever the woman is to you, you make her fuckin’ day. That means you save her life, you kill some rogue shooter, you do a hacker thing, you get the job done. Read me?”
His stomach dropped. “Loud and clear.”
Confession time. I have been wanting to read some of Cristin's TITAN line for a while now. I even own a couple of them. Yet it wasn't until BLACK DAWN, lucky number 8 in the series that I have actually cracked a book and all I can say is... WHAT WAS I THINKIN' WAITING THIS LONG?!!
Oh my gosh, I am in LOVE with a new series!! Action/Adventure Romance is fast becoming my second favorite genre (after my love o' Cowboys of course) and Cristin is going to be one of my favorite authors. Let me tell you why.
Character Development: We got to know Lexi, our heroine really well long before our lover boy and hero extraordinaire really showed up on an ongoing basis. That meant this wasn't just a 'Big ol' He-Man rescues Damsel in Distress'. And Parker, our hero (a fantabulous hero he is too!) he has issues of his own so while he rescues Lexi, she rescues him right back yet none of it is in the way you might think. We also have villains who were more than just a pretty face, so to speak. The first villain we meet in the very beginning and find out just how truly ugly he can be. The other, more stereotypical villains show later in the story but are given enough of a role so that you truly believe they mean what they say. Thank you Cristin for giving us characters we can cheer for, despise, worry about, want to get their just due, get oh so hot and bothered with and over, and those we can so truly love.
Knowing the Job: Nothing is more distracting than when I am reading about a teacher and there are typos or doctors who don't seem to know the name of the bones in the patient's broken hand. While neither my husband nor I are hackers, we are both very computer literate in different parts of the cyber-sphere so if Lexi or Parker had begun spewing lexicon that had not even come close, I probably would have noticed it and been distracted from the story line. Instead, the tech-speak blended seamlessly and believably and advanced the story as the author intended. I am sure she had to research and or consult with her 'experts' and for that I thank her. It was worth every minute of your precious time.
Keeping the Heat Neat: I enjoy a good Erotic Romance often enough and without shame. And in those books, I would not be shocked to find sexual advances occurring in any number of surprising and unusual places and times. In BLACK DAWN however, sex was not the number one priority of the novel and while Cristin could have Parker and Lexi go from 0 to 360 (Forget 60!) in well under a minute, she chose those moments wisely, leaving the characters - and us - always panting (and drooling) for more until the time was right. I'd almost say she has a gift for knowing how much is just enough to get everyone to the edge... and real us back in. Cold showers people. Lots and lots of cold showers.
So, those are my main reasons why, after reading just one of the 8 books in the Titan series and specifically BLACK DAWN, I am ready to consider Cristin one of my new favorite Romance Action/Adventure authors. She does a sensational job with Character Development, Knowing the Jobs of her characters and Keeping the Heat Neat and tidy.
Now, this is a book most certainly for the over 18 crowd but other than that, I can find nothing to keep me from recommending this book for anyone who enjoys a good Action/Adventure Romance and after you enjoy BLACK DAWN, then you can do like me and go back and read the first seven. Enjoy!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Meet Author Cristin Harber:
Cristin Harber is a USA Today bestselling romantic suspense and military romance author. Fans voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was #1 romantic suspense, #1 military romance, and a USA Today Top 100 bestseller. She lives outside Washington, DC with her family and English Bulldog.