—RT Book Reviews on Marked, 4.5 Stars Top Pick
Hide. That’s all Pippa can do to escape the terror chasing her. But now that she’s off the grid in a safe house, she finds plenty of interesting things to watch through the window. Like her new neighbor, with his startling green eyes, killer smile, and sexy bad-boy tattoo . . .
“Sizzling sex scenes and a memorable cast.”
—Publishers Weekly on Claimed
Run. Malcolm West is fleeing the hell he unleashed in his last assignment as an undercover cop. A backwoods bungalow sounds like the perfect place to start over. Until he discovers he’s been set up . . .
“Fast-paced romance . . . very compelling. Highly recommended.”
Fight. Someone’s gone to a lot of trouble to bring them together. No matter how much he resents that, and his own driving needs, Malcolm will have to dig deep and let loose the banished killer inside himself, or Pippa’s fears could come true faster than the flip of a bolt in a lock . . .
“Sexy . . . packed with action and danger—a real page turner.”
—New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin
About the Author
Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day—or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.
Please visit Rebecca at: http://www.rebeccazanetti.com.
Read an Excerpt
The day he moved in next door, dark clouds covered the sky with the promise of a powerful storm. Pippa watched from her window, the one over the kitchen sink, partially hidden by the cheerful polka-dotted curtains. Yellow dots over crisp white background — what she figured happy people would use.
He moved box after box after box through the two-stall garage, all by himself, cut muscles bunching in his arms.
Angles and shadows made up his face, more shadows than angles. He didn't smile, and although he didn't frown, his expression had settled into harsh lines.
A guy like him, dangerously handsome, should probably have friends helping.
Yet he didn't. His black truck, dusty yet seemingly well kept, sat alone in the driveway as he removed the crates.
She swallowed several times, instinctively knowing he wasn't a man to cross, even if she had been a person who crossed others. She was not.
For a while, she tried to amuse herself with counting the boxes, and then guessing the weight, and then just studying the man. He appeared to be in his early thirties, maybe just a few years older than her.
Thick black hair fell to his collar in unruly waves, giving him an unkempt appearance that hinted nobody took care of him. His shoulders were tense yet his body language fluid. She couldn't see his eyes.
The question, the damn wondering, would keep her up at night.
But no way, there was absolutely no way, she would venture outside to appease the beast of curiosity.
The new neighbor stood well over six feet tall, his shoulders broad, his long legs encased in worn and frayed jeans. If a man could be hard all over, head to toe, even in movement, then he was.
A scar curved in a half-moon shape over his left eye, and some sort of tattoo, a crest or something, decorated his muscled left bicep. She tilted her head, reaching for the curtains to push them aside a little more.
He paused and turned, much like an animal going on alert, an overlarge box held easily in his arms. Green. Those eyes, narrow and suspicious, alert and dangerous, focused directly on her.
She gasped. Her heart thundered. She fell to the floor below the counter. Not to the side, not even in a crouch, she fell flat on her butt on the well- scrubbed tiles. Her heart ticking, she wrapped her arms around her shins and rested her chin on her knees.
She bit her lip and held her breath, shutting her eyes.
No sound, no hint of an approaching person, no rap on the door. Her throat closed, making it nearly impossible to breathe.
After about ten minutes of holding perfectly still, she lifted her head. Another five and she released her legs. Then she rolled up onto her knees and reached for the counter, her fingers curling over.
Taking a deep breath, she pulled herself to stand, angling to the side of the counter.
He stood at the window, facing her, his chest taking up most of the panes.
Her heart exploded. She screamed, turned, and ran. She cleared the kitchen in three steps and plowed through the living room, smashing into an antique table that had sat in the same place since the day she'd moved in.
Pain ratcheted up her leg, and she dropped, making panicked grunting noises as she crawled past the sofa toward her bedroom. Her hands slapped the polished wooden floor, and she sobbed out, reaching the room and slamming the door.
She yanked her legs up to her chest again, her back to the door, and reached up to engage the lock. She rocked back and forth, careful not to make a sound.
The doorbell rang.
Her chest tightened, and her vision fuzzed. Tremors started from her shoulders down to her waist and back up. Not now. Not now. God, not now. She took several deep breaths and acknowledged the oncoming panic attack much as Dr. Valentine had taught her. Sometimes letting the panic in actually abated it.
Not this time.
The attack took her full force, pricking sweat along her body. Her arms shook and her legs went numb. Her breathing panted out, her vision fuzzed, and her heart blasted into motion.
Maybe it really was a heart attack this time.
No. It was only a panic attack.
But it could be a heart attack. Maybe the doctors had missed something in her tests. Or perhaps it was a stroke.
She couldn't make it to the phone to dial for help.
Her heart hurt. Her chest really ached. Glancing up at the lock, a flimsy golden thing, she inched away from the door to the bed table on her hands and knees. Jerking open the drawer, she fumbled for a Xanax.
She popped the pill beneath her tongue, letting it quickly absorb. The bitter chalkiness made her gag, but she didn't move until it had dissolved.
A hard, rapping sound echoed from the living room.
No, no, no. He was knocking on the door. Was it locked? Of course it was locked. She always kept it locked. But would a lock, even a really good one, keep a guy like that out?
She'd been watching him, and he knew it. Maybe he wasn't a guy who wanted to be watched, which was why he was moving his stuff all alone. Worse yet, had he been sent to find her? He had looked so furious. Was he angry?
If so, what could she do?
The online martial arts lessons she'd taken lately ran through her head, but once again, she wondered if one could really learn self-defense by watching videos. Something told her that all the self-defense lessons in the world wouldn't help against that guy.
Oh, why had Mrs. Maloni moved to Florida? Sure, the elderly lady wanted to be closer to her grandchildren, but Cottage Grove was a much better place to live.
Her house had sold in less than a week.
Pippa had hoped to watch young children play and frolic in the large treed backyard, but this guy didn't seem to have a family.
Perhaps he'd bring one in, yet there was something chillingly solitary about him.
Of course, she rarely set foot outside her house, so maybe family men had changed.
Probably not, though.
He knocked again, the sound stronger and more insistent this time.
She opened the bedroom door and peered around the corner. The front door was visible above the sofa.
He knocked again. "Lady?" Deep and rich, his voice easily carried into her home.
She might have squawked.
"Listen, lady. I, ah, saw you fall and just wanna make sure you're all right. You don't have to answer the door." His tone didn't rise and remained perfectly calm.
She sucked in a deep breath and tried to answer him, but only air came out. Man, she was pathetic. She tapped her head against the doorframe in a sad attempt to self-soothe.
"Um, are you okay?" he asked, hidden by the big front door. "I can call for help."
No. Oh, no. She swallowed several times. "I'm all right." Finally, her voice worked. "Honest. It's okay. Don't call for anybody." If she didn't let them in, the authorities would probably break down the door, right? She couldn't have that.
Silence came from the front porch, but no steps echoed. He remained in place.
Her heart continued to thunder against her ribs. She wiped her sweaty palms down her yoga pants. Why wasn't he leaving? "Okay?" she whispered.
"You sure you don't need help?" he called, his voice rich and deep. Definitely sexy, with a whole male edge that went with that spectacular body. "I promise I can be all sorts of helpful to damsels in distress."
Was that a line? Was he trying to flirt with her or put her at ease? What could she say back? Something equally flirty so he'd be at ease and not curious about her? Nothing came to her fuzzing mind. "I'm sure." Go away. Please, he had to go away.
"Okay." Heavy bootsteps clomped across her front porch, and then silence.
He was gone.
* * *
Hours later, Malcolm West kept moving boxes into his house, wondering about the pretty lady next door. She hadn't reappeared in the window for hours.
He knew the sound of terror, and he knew it well. The woman, whoever she was, had been beyond frightened at seeing him in the window. Damn it. What the hell had he been thinking to approach her house like that?
A fence enclosed their backyards together, and he'd wondered why. Had a family once shared the two homes?
He grabbed the last box of stuff from the truck and hefted it toward the house. Maybe this had been a mistake. He'd purchased the little one-story home sight unseen because of the white clapboard siding, the blue shutters, and the damn name of the town — Cottage Grove. It sounded peaceful.
He'd never truly see peace again, and he knew it.
All the homes the real estate agent had emailed him about had been sad and run-down ... until this one. It had been on the market only a few days, and the agent had insisted it wouldn't be for long. After a month of searching desperately for a place to call home, he'd jumped on the sale.
It had been so convenient, it seemed like a stroke of fate.
If he believed in fate, which he did not.
He walked through the simple one-story home and dropped another box in the kitchen, looking out at the pine trees beyond the wooden fence. The area had been subdivided into twenty-acre lots, with tons and tons of trees, so he'd figured he wouldn't see any other houses, which had suited him just fine.
Yet his house was next to another, and one fence enclosed their backyards together.
No other homes were even visible.
He sighed and started to turn for the living room when a sound caught his attention. His body automatically went on full alert, and he reached for the SIG hidden at the back of his waist. Had they found him? Somebody had just come in the front door.
"Detective West? Don't shoot. I'm a friendly," came a deep male voice.
Malcolm pulled the gun free, the weight of it in his hand more familiar than his own voice. "Friendlies don't show up uninvited," he said calmly, eyeing the two main exits from the room in case he needed to run.
A guy strode into the kitchen, hands loose at his sides. Probably in his thirties, he had bloodshot eyes, short, mussed-up brown hair, and graceful movements. His gaze showed he'd seen some shit, and there was a slight tremble in his right arm. Trying to kick a habit, was he?
Malcolm pointed the weapon at the guy's head. "Two seconds."
The man looked at the few boxes set around the room, not seeming to notice the gun. Even with the tremor, he moved like he could fight. "There's nowhere to sit."
"You're not staying." Malcolm could get to the vehicle hidden a mile away within minutes and then take off again. The pretty cottage was a useless dream, and he'd known it the second he'd signed the papers. "I'd hate to ruin the minty-green wallpaper." It had flowers on it, and he'd planned to change it anyway.
"Then don't." The guy leaned against the wall and shook out his arm.
"What are you kicking?" Malcolm asked, his voice going low.
The guy winced. "I'm losing some friends."
"Jack, Jose, and Bud?" Mal guessed easily.
"Mainly Jack Daniel's." Now he eyed the weapon. "Mind putting that down?"
Mal didn't flinch. "Who are you?"
Broad shoulders heaved in an exaggerated sigh. "My name is Angus Force, and I'm here to offer you an opportunity."
"Is that a fact? I don't need a new toaster." Mal slid the gun back into place. "Go away."
"I'm not a detective any longer. Get out of my house." Mal could use a good fight, and he was about to give himself what he needed.
"Whoa." Force held up a hand. "Just hear me out. I'm with a new unit attached to the Homeland Defense Department, and we need a guy with your skills."
Heat rushed up Mal's chest. His main skill these days was keeping himself from going ballistic on assholes, and he was about to fail in that. "I'm not interested. Now get the hell out of my house."
Force shook his head. "I understand you're struggling with the aftereffects of a difficult assignment, but you won. You got the bad guys."
Yeah, but how many people had died? In front of him? Mal's vision started to narrow with darkness from the corners of his eyes. "You don't want to be here any longer, Force."
"You think you're the only one with PTSD, dickhead?" Force spat, losing his casual façade.
"No, but I ain't lookin' to bond over it." Sweat rolled down Mal's back. "How'd you find me anyway?"
Force visibly settled himself. "It's not exactly a coincidence that you bought this house. The only one that came close to what you were searching for." He looked around the old-lady cheerful kitchen. "Though it is sweet."
Mal's fingers closed into a fist. "You set me up."
"Yeah, we did. We need you here." Force gestured around.
Mal's lungs compressed. "Why?"
"Because you're the best undercover cop we've ever seen, and we need that right now. Bad." Force ran a shaking hand through his hair.
"Why?" Mal asked, already fearing the answer.
"The shut-in next door. She's the key to one of the biggest homegrown threats to our entire country. And here you are." Force's eyes gleamed with the hit.
Well, fuck.CHAPTER 2
The smell of comfort and sugar filled Pippa's kitchen in the form of freshly baked banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, and homemade apple pie. By the time the pie had started to cool, her heart rate had returned to normal. Almost.
How much of a dork had she made of herself hours before? She tried to keep from peeking through her kitchen window like some creepy stalker, but her neighbor had a visitor. So the guy did have friends.
Tough guy, kind of sexy, dangerous-looking friends.
Well, one friend anyway. She'd seen him stride up the walkway and go right into the house without knocking. He was tall, like the neighbor. Messy dark hair and muscly arms beneath a ratty T-shirt. Who were these guys?
Giving up the fight, she dusted off her hands and walked at a sedate pace, just like a normal person, through her living room to the wide window facing the street. The visitor had a clean black truck. A big one.
Maybe the two guys were some sort of black truck club. She grinned at the thought. You could tell a lot about people from their vehicles.
Take her. She had a fifteen-year-old, sturdy Subaru she'd purchased five years ago. It sat quietly in the garage and was only used about once a month. Just growing old and dusty. Like her.
Movement in the truck caught her eye.
She sidled closer to the window. Somebody was in the driver's side of the truck. Even though it was chilly outside, a sign of the early spring season, the window was down. Her sofa sat under her window, so she perched on her knees and squinted.
A furry head turned, and sharp brown eyes caught hers. A dog. She gasped. How did the dog know she was looking?
His tongue lolled out. She chuckled. Adorable. The pooch had a huge head with darker fur across his eyes and nose in a kind of a mask. She'd seen German shepherds on television, and they always looked so dangerous. This one looked furry and bored. Somehow, his expression appeared as if he was put out by something — maybe by being left in the truck.
She slowly lifted her hand and waved. Man, she was totally losing it. Maybe it was time to venture outside again to the real world. Visit a mall or something.
The dog's left ear lifted higher. His powerful shoulders bunched, and he leaped through the window, landing gracefully on the asphalt.
She jerked back.
As if on a mission, he cleared the clean row of shrubs between the two driveways and prowled up hers, sleek muscles moving beneath his thick brown fur. He paused at the sidewalk and sniffed the shoots of her tulips, which were just beginning to sprout.
Turning his head, he gave a mighty sneeze.
He lifted his head and continued on, reaching her porch. Then he barked. Once.
She blinked. This was a little nutty. Catching her breath, she looked outside in every direction. Nothing. The two houses were located at the end of a cul-de-sac, across from forested land. The nearest house was more than twenty miles down the quiet road.
The dog barked again.
Okay. A normal person wouldn't just go and open her door to a barking German shepherd. She pushed herself off the comfortable denim sofa and turned for the door. Since when had she been normal?
It took several seconds to disengage the multiple locks, and then she opened the door, keeping a tight grip on the edge in case she needed to slam it shut. "Um, hello."
The dog remained sitting and cocked his head to the side.
She knew better than to crouch and put her face close to his teeth. So she held out a hand.
He moved forward, sniffed her hand, and then gave it a giant lick. A slight whine escaped him, and he pushed toward her, trying to lick all her fingers up to the wrist.
She laughed and shoved him back. Apparently, she hadn't wiped the sugar from the pie off her hand.
"Roscoe!" A sharp voice snapped from the other porch.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Hidden"
Copyright © 2018 Rebecca Zanetti.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book The characters were so well developed and sucked you in more as the pages turned. Pippa was a great character who had a bad childhood and had escaped from a cult. Mal was an ex-cop but was investigating the cult with another agency. There was lots of action and some suspense as the story unfolded along with some humor. Secondary characters were also well developed and made me want to read more about them. Along with interesting characters there was also Roscoe, a German Shephard with his own little quirks and great personality. I couldn't put this book down! I look forward to the next book in this series!
This was a great book with enough hot steadiness and plot was spot on. When is the next one in this series?? I can't wait. This was a great book with enough hot steaminess and the plot was spot on. When is the next one in this series. I can't wait.
This new series is fantastic. The hardest part is always waiting for the next book. I've read several things by this author and they've all been great.
We've got a cult, a shut-in, an ex-detective, an alcoholic german sheppard, a Wolfe that keeps a kitten in his pocket and a newly established government team consisting of rejected law enforcement. What is not to love about this combination? This book had it all from romance, action, comedy, and some serious stuff going down. I loved it! This group of people and animals kept me highly entertained. The action was pretty exciting and the serious stuff had me wanting to jump in and take some people down. This was a great start to a new series and I can NOT wait for Wolfe's story! Call me crazy, but I kinda love the crazy men.
## Not the best, not the worst. Frankly, it was a little weird. A little out there. A dog that wears high heels? And a 6'6" enforcer who carries a kitten in his pocket? Oookaay. Those things are minor, I assure you. Really my biggest problem was the hero. He was all kinds of messed up. I don't think he had a clue who he was. His morals were a little scewed as well. And the BDSM that was thrown in was so random and really didn't fit these characters at all. For those couple of reasons I deducted a star. Otherwise pretty good.
Love her storytelling!
interesting storyline. keeps you interested. will definitely read the next in the series.
Quite interesting .
A woman on the run from a cult. A man looking for some peace after an op goes sideways. A new group named Homeland Defense Department that knows a cult is up to no good. And a whiskey drinking dog that loves Jimmy Choos. I have the ebook, but I got the audio book from the library. Action, secrets and the makings of a found family. A good read/listen. I needed more of Roscoe, the dog.
A great Start to a new Series. I was a First Read Winner of this book and I really enjoyed it. I have been a fan of Rebecca Zanetti for awhile now, so when she started a new series I was immediately on board. I loved the plot line and the characters and there was plenty of chemistry between Pippa and Mal. Lots of action and suspense with some steamy romance sprinkled throughout. I like the camaraderie/quirks of the new team with all its colorful characters, but lets cut Roscoe off the booze. Very entertaining and I can't wait for the next book.
Funny story with this book: I started reading it unintentionally at my son's football game. To be fair this was the varsity game which he only usually dresses for but doesn't usually play in (he starts on both offense and defense for JV but that's neither here nor there). Our varsity team was getting stomped so I decided to download a book to my phone during a break in the game. Which turned into me almost missing my son FINALLY going in because shortly after I was sucked into the book and not paying attention to the game any longer. Luckily my youngest announced that his brother was in the game so we didn't miss it. It's a mark of how readable and compelling I found this book that I was even able to read during a loud football game. I have to admit I was instantly sucked in! This is my second book by this author and both reads (two separate series) were books that I just could not stop reading. The thing that made this book so compelling for me was that the two main characters were both hiding major secrets from each other while also beginning a relationship. A relationship that may or may not have survived if the other found out about the other's secrets. It's a twisty read like that and as much as I wanted each of the characters to be honest with the other one already, I also found that I couldn't put this book down because of the tension created from those secrets. I also really enjoyed the humorous moments that the author included in this book. Malcolm's new work team is filled with amazing secondary characters that I'm looking forward to each getting their own book. I'm especially a fan of the quirky German Shepard names Roscoe - some of his funnier moments where the perfect break from all of the seriousness and tension that filled the pages of this book. I found that the pages of this book just flew on by - so fast that before I knew it I was at the end and was reading as fast as I could to see how it would all turn out. It turned out to be a very enjoyable read for me that I'm glad I picked up! Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book and am looking forward to reading more books featuring these characters. I love a good romantic suspense but don't always find authors that do it well. This author does romantic suspense well though and has me adding the rest of her books to my TBR list (it's out of control anyways so why not). And the good news is that I have lots of her other books waiting for me to catch up on while I wait for the second book in this series to release. Always a good thing in my opinion! I don't have much else to say as I really don't want to give anything away with this book. It was a very enjoyable read that I think other romance readers will enjoy. If you are a fan of romantic suspense and you're not reading this author - I feel like you missing out. I certainly was! Recommended! Bottom Line: An edgy and compelling read that left me unable to stop reading! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. Thoughts are my own.
Very good book and highly recommended
This book got me out of my reading funk. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down! The story and characters were great. Even though this is the first book in a series you feel like you know the characters. They are well developed but with enough mystery left that you can't wait to learn even more. The plot and character reactions feel very true to life, no contrived drama. The characters are badass yet quirky. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Hidden is the first book in the new suspenseful romance series Deep Ops by Rebecca Zanetti. Pippa is hiding from her past. Not your typical past, Pippa is hiding from a crazy cult leader and his followers. Malcom is an sexy hot ex undercover cop hoping to start a nice new peaceful life after the hell of his last assignment by purchasing the house next to Pippas. Nothing about the move was a coincidence, someone is pulling stings to get Malcom close to Pippa. This plot is absolutely astounding! I loved every minute reading this book. Rebecca did a great job developing each character, even down to the kooky pets some of the characters have! One of my new favorites of Rebecca’s work. Trust me when I say you will not regret reading this book! Now to wait for the next book in this series!
Ive heard of Rebecca Zanetti, but have never read her books! I now have to remedy that. This book was great. Pippa is a recluse whos hiding from something. Malcom is her new neighbor. Both have secrets and are suffering from past traumas, but the attraction is there from the beginning and its HOT! The twist and turns of the plot were good, we dive a little into the life inside of cults. The other characters in the book are interesting, especially Wolfe and his kitten, which he keeps in his pocket (wouldnt mind learning more about this quirky man) Theres a certain dog with shoe fetish lol. I say, pick up this book, you wont regret it! Looking forward to reading more.
Hidden is an intense read about ex-cop Mal and shy girl Pipa. They have instant connection may be because they have the same problems and are drawn to each other. But Pipa ends to be Mals new assignment and Pipa is hiding a lot from Mal. The story is intense until the end all the characters are interesting and we can see that this will be one interesting series of unique characters. They are great funny input in the book, great sexy times between real characters. I liked that the story was not predictable and it literally kept me on my toes. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
I won this book through a Goodreads contest and in return I promised an honest review. This is the first book in the Deep Ops series. It's a stand alone issue with no cliff hanger and HEA. The German Sheppard Dog, Roscoe, has unlimited issues and is hilarious. Pippa lives as a shut-in in a house at the end of a long road, she's hiding from the horror chasing her. A new neighbor moves in next door and she finds herself watching through a window. He soon becomes to interesting with knock out green eyes, a terrific smile, and a slamming body with tats that she just wants to keep touching. Malcolm West is running from the hell he went through while undercover in his last assignment as an undercover cop with the mob. He buys a what he thinks is the perfect home with privacy in the woods so he can start his life over. Mal soon finds out he's been set up by the HDD and wants nothing to do with the new job offer until he meets his new neighbor. She can't be a terrorist! His new boss makes sure he brings them to together, Mal is resentful until his need for Pippa is what is driving his fight to prove her innocence and to save her from a maniac who thinks he is God. Malcolm will have to push aside the madness he carries around or Pippa's fears will come true and she will be lost to him forever.
This is the first book in a new series and I am loving it. It starts with Pippa, who is hiding out in an area with only one neighbor visible. She is practically agoraphobic, has panic attacks, and is fearful of people and being seen. When her elderly neighbor sells her home, a large, intimidating man moves in next door. Malcom left the police department where he had been undercover for two years with a mafia family. All he wants is to be alone with his physical and PTSD, but he is curious about his neighbor. But then someone shows up and he finds it wasn't luck that he found this home, it was planned to put him close to Pippa. Pippa and Malcom were the heart of the story, a very serious, intent story. However, there was an amazing cast of characters and lots of quirky things that lightened the mood. I was fascinated by Wolfe, who had been a Lieutenant Commander, just as Malcom had been a police detective. Past tense. And then there was FBI Profiler Angus Force and Roscoe, his German shepherd. I've never met a pair like these two, Roscoe is one crazy dog. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next book in this series.
First book I’ve read by Rebecca Zanetti and it definitely won’t be the last! Hidden is the first installment of the Deep Ops Series. Pippa and Malcolm both have secrets. He’s an ex-cop and she’s on the run from her past. Intensely sexy, action packed, and completely un-put-down-able! Hidden was a page turner that kept me riveted from page one. I needed to find out what was next. Great cast of characters that I’m looking forward to reading more about. Looking forward to more in this series.
Another fantastic book from Rebecca Zanetti!! Great read!
I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This is my unbiased and voluntary review. A terrific begining to a new series. Skillfully developed, fascinating characters, an interesting story line and lots of action, with steam on the side. Pippa Smith quietly lives like a hermit, works as a virtual assistants as she hides from a dangerous cult, which she fled years ago. The quiet is shattered when gorgeous Malcolm West, ex undercover cop, moves next door. Like her, he suffers from panic attacks and abuse as a child. He is lured away from his plan of a quiet retirement by Angus Force, a government agent from a secret agency, when he informs him that Pippa might be in great danger as are many innocent Americans. The team he creates is made of of a number of interesting characters, all, I assume, will get their own books. One con. Malcolm has doubts about Pippa, when he finds she has a go-bag, which he believes, is not something "most innocent people have". I have a go bag, as does my husband and dog. The Red Cross, FEMA and DHS all recommend that everyone have a go-bag and have used tax dollars to pay for public service ads to advocate for them.
I have mixed feelings..... What worked for me: I liked the idea of assembling a motley crew of law enforcement officials, mental health providers and yes, even convicted felons to work the most undesirable and heinous cases threatening the livelihood of society. Every single one of the assembled team has one defining screw-up in their careers/lives that’s sentenced them to this new task force. It’s equal parts exasperating and comical. I especially loved Roscoe, a whiskey drinking German Shepherd with a high-heel fetish and a plethora of other hidden quirks. I literally laughed out loud at his antics. What didn’t work for me: Pippa is a very delicate and damaged heroine. She’s scared of her own shadow and her character is overshadowed by the hero Malcolm—often referred to as Mal. Pippa escaped a cult after years of mental, physical and psychological abuse. She’s not strong and she is afraid of Mal for the first part of the book. I felt she was uninteresting and easily forgettable. And then there’s Mal. He’s a very damaged undercover cop that’s perfected the art of lying. 99% of his interaction with Pippa is deceitful. I never got the sense of him having genuine feelings for her until the very end of the story. I didn’t like Mal’s character at all. Pippa’s character was also living a lie because she’s in hiding from the cult. I didn’t like that the relationship was based on lies. It rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning and made it difficult to stay engaged in the story. What also really bugged me were the issues I had with the speed in which Mal and Pippa got together. What kept me interested in the story were the secondary characters. Overall, it was an okay read. Yes, I had a lot of problems with it but that won’t stop me from reading the series. I’m looking forward to the next book. I just hope the hero/heroine are more evenly matched. ***I voluntarily read a copy of the book generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own***
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 Hidden is the first book in Mrs. Zanetti’s new Deep Op’s Series. This was a good start to a new series. I enjoyed the world that Mrs. Zanetti build with a bunch of rejected hero’s who are being a given a second chance. A second chance at a career, a second chance at a family and possibly a second chance at love. I really enjoyed Malcolm and Pippa’s story. It was a little fast but you can’t fight love. And all the other characters are great! I really loved Roscoe. Who is Roscoe only the coolest dog ever (that has some very interesting quirks *wink, wink*). And the little kitten owned by Wolfe (I can’t wait to see this kitty’s personality grow). I am already looking forward to the next installment in this series!!!! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Zanetti never fails to entertain with her unique characters and this new book is a great start to a new series. While I loved Malcolm and Pippa, my favorite character was Roscoe, the dog. His personality will have you laughing all the while enjoying the suspense that Zanetti is so great at building. Can't wait to see who's going to be in the next book in this series!
Hidden is the beginning of a new series by Rebecca Zanettii. If you have read her books before you know her books have steamy sex scenes but she is also able to weave it between character building, a story that will haunt you as you put the book down and humor. That's right humor this story has moments where you will laugh. I was surprised how much I fell in love with the secondary characters and the humor they bought into the story. Malcolm isn't one of the funner moments the animals and Wolfe were perfect and a good balance to some of the darker side of the story. This book straddles the line (Pun in Tended) of erotic and Romance. Readers can skip the sex scenes because they do not add to the basic story line which is what readers will not be able to get enough of. I can't wait to read the next book in this fun, dark romantic suspense series. Thank you to Netgalley and the publsher for the advance copy of Rebecca Zanetti Hidden (Deep Ops #1)