One of my favorite all-time movies is "The Long Kiss Goodnight." It was one of the first action/suspense movies I had seen where the female was the main character. Geena Davis starred as an assassin for the CIA. As I met Skye Mathews in Deception's Guard, the first book in the Deception series by Jacqueline G. Randolph, I was reminded of my delight in having the female as the lead in an action-packed thriller! In Deception's Guard, Skye is a top Drug Enforcement agent working undercover. She is called back from her primary assignment to become the bodyguard for CEO Rhys Wielde, who has agreed to work with the DEA. Just as with the character played by Geena Davis, readers will quickly come to admire Skye's courage, strength and commitment, while maintaining an underlying warmth and concern for those she serves and protects.
Rhys had been shocked when, after extensive research and elimination of his possible involvement, he was contacted by the DEA, regarding his company, Genoreach. They had determined that his company was responsible for the creation of a genetic receptor, code-named Omega, for all known illegal drugs. That is, the receptor was designed to annihilate the biological receptors in the brain responsible for addiction and necessary for withdrawal and rehabilitation. The destroyed receptors would be replaced by artificial receptors incapable of purging drugs, thus ensuring a captive market for drug smugglers!
Rhys had created Genoreach shortly after graduating from MIT. He had considered the small group of employees as his family and felt bitter betrayal and anger that one or more of them had not only turned against the goals of the company, but had worked to create something so monstrous and deadly. Once he was convinced his company was involved, he agreed to help bring these traitors to justice. That placed him in immediate danger from those who had first contacted his company representatives.
While Skye was a long-term, experienced agent, she had learned through that experience that oftentimes men did not accept a woman as a bodyguard. Instead, it was instinctual for them to try to protect the female in times of trouble. Skye surmised that Rhys Wielde would follow that role. So, while she had agreed to become his bodyguard, it was to be done without Rhys ever meeting her. However, as she and other agents surrounded Rhys in a hideaway cabin, and a car drove slowly by without his knowledge, Skye realized that she would have to be closer if she were actually going to be able to protect him. Skye's plan was to meet him in disguise, as Sierra, and have him become interested in her, so that he would invite her to spend time in his company. The plan worked-very well. Unfortunately, the plan worked on Skye as well... Their attraction was instant...and real. But Skye is able to maintain control of her passion and, within Rhys' arms as he kisses her, she plunges a syringe deep into his neck. As arranged, she pulls him into a hiding place; then crawls in, guns in both hands now, to protect him if necessary. She nervously listens, sweat pouring down her face, as those wanting to kill Rhys attack the cabin, and as her team fights against the assassins.
When Rhys regains consciousness, the battle is over; Sierra is gone! But the first phase of the Omega operation is a success and they arrest the chief biologist and two information system programmers of Genoreach, along with a number of South American mercenaries. Now they must turn their efforts to those who initiated the research. Just as the mercenaries gave up the Genoreach contacts, Rhys is permitted to shake information out of his former colleagues. He discovers that they were to make contact at an industrial conference in Peru. Since Rhys had already been scheduled for attendance, he readily agrees to act as the promised systems analyst who would release the data and receive payment from the drug lords.
Although fearful of her own feelings, Skye is again asked to act as his bodyguard and Gabe, her boss and friend, has arranged for her to be disguised as a haggard domestic worker in the capitol mansion. With various disguises, Skye is able to handle many of the activities necessary to the mission. However, as the Haggard is called upon to guide him from danger and they must abandon their disguises to escape, Rhys unhappily discovers how the various characters Skye has played have fooled him. Is the woman for whom he has such attraction, Sierra, Skye, or the domestic worker-or some other woman he has not yet met? Rhys finally accepts and applauds that Skye is able to guard him. But, by the time they are nearing the end of their mission, and they are under attack, Rhys does exactly what Skye was afraid of-he takes the bullet that she should have taken and is badly injured.
Deception's Guard has constant action and twists, setting a pace that keeps the reader interested and involved. Jacqueline Randolph has used knowledge gathered through extensive traveling as well as her excellent writing skills to introduce wonderful characters whom you will quickly come to know and love. Then she takes us through a wonderful and exciting adventure in faraway lands of intrigue.
You might plan on buying the second in her series, Deception's Fury, at the same time due to come out soon. I read both books in two days, reading almost around the clock-plan to meet Skye and Rhys on Friday night and have a wonderful, exciting weekend! Trust me! This author is on the move! Watch her! She is a challenge to J. D. Robb and many other well-established writers. This is definitely a MUST-READ!