25 April 2013

Code Name: Princess (Code Name, Book 2)


Synopsis: Two FBI agents are dead. A top-secret government lab animal has been stolen. Now Hawk MacKenzie just walked in on a naked woman in his hotel shower. She says she’s royalty and has the attitude to match. Whether this arousing female is a true blue-blood or not, the combat-trained Navy SEAL isn’t letting her out of his sight.

Actually a hotel investigator in disguise, Jess Mulcahey can’t believe she’s being held against her will by this gorgeous commando who’s about to blow her cover. Lucky for her, she’s good at narrow escapes. But just when she hits the road, dodging bullets and outwitting cold-blooded pursuers, her luck bottoms out…and Hawk is her only hope of protection. A few stolen hours in a stalled elevator show Jess a different, more sensual side to the hard-edged SEAL. Now the two are closing in on their missing government secrets and trying to hard to ignore their memories…But they’re about to discover that the most dangerous revelations come from an unguarded heart…

First line: Something was wrong.

Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, published by Dell Books, 2004; 256 pages (not including excerpt in back); purchased at Half Price Books.

My thoughts: I read CODE NAME: NANNY back in 2010, before I started blogging, and the only note I made about it at the time was:

I really enjoyed this. I gather there are a lot of romances now about CIA agents and Navy SEALS and the like, sort of a new mini genre, but this is the first one I've read. I picked up a couple more books in the series though and plan to continue it, as well as keep an eye out for other books by the author. 

The heroine in CODE NAME: PRINCESS is the twin sister of the heroine from the first book, but the girls are very different. Summer is an FBI agent, while Jess is a civilian. Though Jess is only a few minutes younger than her sister, Summer has always mothered and worried over Jess, trying to take care of her. The girls were put in the foster care system as teenagers, but their paths diverged there, with Jess having behavioral issues and being sent off to have them worked on. That experience had a profound impact on her life and her character.

Hawk is a Navy SEAL, recovering from broken ribs earned on his last mission, and on a new mission to help rescue a very valuable stolen lab animal. There was a side plotline about Hawk being given experimental drugs for his broken ribs, which cause his hormones to go crazy, likening him to a horny fifteen year old. I thought this part of the story was a bit stupid and unrealistic and didn’t really contribute any worth to the story, but others may disagree.

Jess finds herself thrown into the middle of Hawk’s mission, and they part company more than once, only to have circumstances thrust them back together. I loved both Jess and Hawk. I don’t know people like Hawk in real life, but I felt I got a look at how hard it would be to be involved with someone who can’t talk about his work or share his day with you. Hawk has always been a loner, indulging occasionally in casual sex but never in a real relationship, and seeing him have to put his feelings and emotions aside to focus on his mission and his orders, I could understand why he chose to live that way.

By the middle of the book I was in don’t-want-to-put-it-down mode, and last night, even after taking Nyquil around 10:30, I stayed up past midnight to finish the book. While I felt the resolution was a little too drawn out, it was very satisfying.

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