I'll try not to give too much plot away, but here's a bit more than the blurb. We have Lucy who works at the Smithsonian as a rare documents restorer. Her parents were CIA operatives, and she grew up all over the world, sometimes caught up in very dangerous situations for a child. Now, as an adult, she likes to keep her life as stress-free and low-key as possible, until her Uncle Edwin asks her to do something courageous for her country.
Her Uncle is the CIA Deputy Director of Operations, and he wants her to return to Nhala, a country Lucy knows well and whose royal family she has close ties to. The CIA has intel that there is an Al Qaeda biowarfare lab in Nhala and that this lab has mutated and weaponized a viral hemorrhagic virus like Ebola with plans to attack America and Israel. Also, someone in Nhala has plans to use the virus against a bordering nation in order to gain more land.
With Lucy as the free pass into the country, Captain Mike Shafer of the Tenth Mountain Division, US Army, will go undercover as Lucy's fiance. He's to protect her while at the same time finding out more about the lab, the plans of the attack, and making contact with the double agent inside the Nhala palace. I hope I explained enough but not too much. I thought the story was a good idea, the concept complicated enough to be exciting and intriguing, but that just didn't happen for me, not at all.
I found the story flow slow and even tedious. It wasn't until about 60% in that I felt things were picking up some. In my opinion, most of the real action was confined to the last 25% of the story. This made it seem rushed to me. First, really slow, and I mean slow, with repetitive descriptions of the palace, Lucy's past and memories, and so on. There was a lot of thinking to one's self, of the same thoughts, over and over again, like why Mike needs to stay focused, how brave Lucy is, what she's been through. It just seemed to me like killing time, and then suddenly, we're at the end of the book almost so we better hurry things up and end the story.
So for me, the action was slow to begin with, then rushed at the end, hurriedly tying things up, and the romance aspect of the story was practically non-existent. There was just a little sexual tension and sex, and what was there was lukewarm to me, really a pale shadow of what this author can do. That was a total let-down. I feel as if I didn't get to see the h/H really connect until the very last quarter of the story, almost like a Hail Mary pass. While this was satisfying, finally!, it was too little too late. Just not enough to make this story a good read for me.
And I have to tell you I absolutely LOVE Lisa Marie Rice/Elizabeth Jennings and thought I'd never be giving a story of hers less than 4 stars, but I have to do it here. This story just does not compare or live up to her other work, even her work as EJ. This is only my opinion, but I'm feeling let down by the story pacing and execution, the bland h/H connection, and the lack of really good romance. For me, this story is only okay at best, definitely not good or great, and not what this author is capable of doing. It's hard for me to say it, but 3 stars may even be generous.