Marked by Kaylea Cross
When danger lurks behind a familiar face...
Successful architect Rachel Granger lovers her job and her life, but when a terrorist on the FBI's most wanted targets her, there's only one man she can trust. She hasn't seen Jake in years but her former college friend told her he'd always be there for her and she definitely needs him now. Even though her feelings for him go far deeper than friendship and just being around him risks her heart, she would do anything to keep those she loves safe from a madman bent on unleashing hell.
Only one man from her past can help.
FBI Special Agent Jake Evers made the biggest mistake of his life when he let Rachel slip through his fingers over two years ago. It doesn't matter that he hasn't seen her since then--if she needs him, he'll be there. When he learns she's the target of a domestic terror cell, he'll do everything in his power to keep her safe. He's never gotten over her and won't risk losing her again now that she's reappeared in his life. But the threat is more widespread than they realized and now it's a race against time to keep her and scores of innocent civilians alive.
I've been trying to thin out the books on my Kindle as the free downloads are getting a little out of control. Once or twice a year I like to go through and start each title. If it seems interesting, I keep it. If it is a book I've read before, I decide if I think I will reread it again. And sometimes, a book hooks me enough that I have to drop everything and read it right then. That is what happened with Marked by Kaylea Cross. Jake is an FBI agent on the Hostage Rescue Team who is also loaned out to the NSA for special assignments. Rachel Granger is an architect who finds herself in some trouble when a flash drive that stores her work is stolen by a friend of her brothers.. She finds this friend, Tim, creepy and unpleasant. Worse, after a fight that sees her brother slamming out of her apartment, she sees Tim's picture on the news listed as one of the FBI's most wanted. Tim is really Xang, a hacker who has ties to some Jihadist terrorist cells.
Rachel doesn't have enough proof of anything to really feel confident about taking her worries to the cops in case she is mistaken, so she e-mails her old friend, and secret-ish, crush Jake who is happily available to drop everything and meet her at a diner. He quickly feels that she is in trouble and takes her to the local FBI office where things quickly escalate. Soon she finds herself in the midst of a case that is much larger, and scarier than she could ever have imagined. When her brother is taken by Tim/Xang as leverage to get some blueprints from Rachel's firm things get even uglier. And this is where I had a MAJOR issue with the story.
Rachel, who is worried sick about her brother, finds out that he has been tortured. Mere hours later Jake decides to "take her mind off of things" by seducing her and she happily gets her rocks off. This clashed with everything that Rachel has done and felt up to this point. She went from being a smart, level-headed woman who realizes her limitations in what she as a civilian can and cannot do to help her brother, who she has been worried sick about to being able to push that same worry and terror in the back of her mind for some bow-chicka-bow-wow times? It didn't fly with me. In fact, I felt deep disappointment when the story took that turn. I stuck with it and felt that the story was able to redeem itself a bit and Rachel stayed pretty level-headed the rest of the book, but I couldn't completely forget or forgive.
Another problem for me was that while I felt that Rachel was a clearly written character, I felt that Jake was not as clearly or deeply developed. He seemed a bit "thin" as a character although there wasn't anything about him that was objectionable; I just wanted more. I would love to be able to unequivocally be able to recommend this book, but if like me you are annoyed by poorly timed sexy-times I would recommend you give this one a pass. As well written as the rest of the story was, I find myself unable to forgive the tackiness of that scene.
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I downloaded this book for free from Amazon.