Format Read: Book
Number of Pages: 273 pages
Publisher: L&L Dreamspell
Release date: December 2009
Formats Available:Paperback, eBook
Source: Review Copy provided by the author.
Purchase information: Goodreads, L&L Dreamspell, Amazon, Kindle Store, All Romance/OmniLit, Fictionwise, Author Website
CIA Human Intelligence Operator, Charley Duston gets the shock of her life when she opens her freezer to find the picture of her murdered ex-lover. Worse is the implied message: She is next. Not one to give into intimidation tactics, Charley is determined to uncover the truth behind her ex’s death and bring the culprits to justice. Not knowing whom she can trust, she moves to an undisclosed location where she can covertly investigate the death threats. Here she meets her new neighbor Jake Frisbie at gunpoint when she mistakes him for a carjacker. Attracted to the handsome, easy-going hunk, Charley knows her relationship with Jake would only put him in danger. She tries to fight off her feelings but finally gives in just before her world crashes and she is kidnapped.
The beautiful, new neighbor entrances Jake but he can make no sense of her secretive nocturnal disappearances. As a Special Agent, he investigates her and is shocked to learn she is at the center of an international crisis. Despite common sense, he becomes involved with the young woman and when she disappears, he vows to find her. Risking his life, Jake ventures into the world of black sites and international intrigue to save the woman he loves and expose the responsible criminals. No matter how high up in the government they sit.
Connect the Dots was the first book I read by Denise Robbins, and by now I would guess that most of you know me well enough to know that I don’t expect too much going into any book by an author I have never read before. I am beginning to think that maybe I should have the same expectations for any new book I read, regardless of author the author or how I obtained the book. That way there would probably be fewer reviews from me that begin like this….
When I first got my copy of Connect the Dots, I wasn’t expecting too much from it beyond quick reading entertainment. That I cried while reading the dedication in the front of the book should have been a sign to this hard-headed blogger that I should be expecting sooo much more! Unfortunately for me I blew right past that sign and drove headlong into a powerfully emotional and well written Techno-Romance/Thriller.
I was completely sucked in by the end of the first chapter. By completely sucked in I mean, at the end of the first chapter I set the book aside and told my husband we’d be having pizza for dinner that night because I planned to sit on the back porch and read straight through to the end of the last chapter. And that is exactly what I did! I could not put this book down, I walked around the house reading whenever I did have to get up and do something. It is very rare for me to be completely hooked by the first chapter of any book, but Connect the Dots starts out with such a powerful, life altering experience for the main character Charley, that I never had a chance. From there forward it is emotional, wild, exhilarating ride, that I couldn’t put down or look away from even when the emotional aspects made me want to.
Which brings me to my next point about this book…before I read Connect the Dots, I never cried while reading a book. Not even at the end of a sad story that everyone else needed tissues to get through, I just never cried while reading books. It’s just a strange thing about me, I enjoy books, I feel the emotions in them, I escape with them, but I almost never cry…I cried so much at one point while reading this book that I couldn’t read through the tears and had to put the book down to compose myself. Then I sat there wondering how Denise had done that to me?! Like I said it is a powerfully emotional book and my hats off to Denise Robbins for being able to create characters and situations that people can relate to so strongly. It is not an easy thing to do. I read 20 books a month and while I enjoy most of them, it is unusual for characters to really get under my skin like they did in Connect the Dots.
Now that I have gone on & on about how much I cried. It is not a sad story per say
The story alternates between the two main character’s points of view, Charley Duston, CIA Human Intelligence Operator and Jake Frisbie, Special Agent. Both Charley and Jake are keenly intelligent, incredibly down to earth, human characters.They are both crazy sexy, and outwardly perfect seeming, but throughout the story you discover they are actually flawed in the small ways we all are. They felt like ‘real people’ and if they were I would want to hang out with them as often as possible.
Charley’s job title of CIA Human Intelligence Operator is just another way to say interrogator. However, she’s not what you’d expect from a CIA interrogator. She has real compassion for human life and doesn’t believe in torture tactics in interrogation. She subscribes to the school of thought that the key to gathering good intel is to be patient and gain the prisoners trust. To say that her philosophy on proper interrogation techniques is not popular is a huge understatement. Because she is like a human lie detector due to her training in the art of reading subtle body language, she is untouchable and the best they’ve got. I learned a lot about how each small gesture or raised eyebrow can speak volumes to someone who knows what they are looking at. Once she gets the information she wants from a prisoner she uses it along side information from other informants to connect the dots and show the bigger picture of what is really going on.
At the point when she meets her gorgeous and sexy new neighbor, Jake a lot of bad things have just happened in her life, to her and people she cares about. Because of the recent events she is determined to keep her distance from him for his own good, as well as hers. She doesn’t feel like she could deal with having someone else’s life endangered because of her problems. One of the ways she chooses to keep her distance is by not revealing to him who she really is and what she does for a living. Of course that plan in and of itself creates her first problem for keeping her distance because all that does is create a mysterious, beautiful woman that is irresitable to Jake. The second problem with her plan is that Jake is absolutely the sweetest, hottest and most infuriating man she has ever met and every time she turns around he’s right there. Even when he’s not there, he is all she can think about.
Jake has his own secrets and doesn’t want anything to do with mysterious woman next door, no matter how beautiful she is. He just wants to relax, enjoy his vacation and keep his secrets to himself. However, as these things often go he can’t stop thinking about her and the mystery of who and what she really is becomes too alluring. He knows there’s something going on with Charley and he can’t stand not knowing exactly what it is. Being a Special Agent he can’t just leave well enough alone. He has to figure it out, no matter what the cost.
Bringing these two personalities together is like dropping a match into a powder-keg. When the explosion comes it is hot, steamy, loud and changes everything for both of them. The love scenes in this book were fantastic! One particular scene in the basement has become my favorite sex scene ever!!! The romance and sex in this book are done so well that it adds to the story, while taking nothing away from the overall intensity and seriousness of the subject matter. It happens naturally and flows with the story.
I really loved this book. It deals with some heavy subject matter, has intrigue, romance and even some humor to lighten the mood. I highly recommend this book, but I warn you – clear your calendar find a comfy spot to sit, grab a cooler and fill it with drinks, and surround yourself with food within easy reach, because you will not want to stop reading once you start.
Connect the Dots is fast paced and beautifully done. It will leave you thinking about it for days, weeks, even months after you’ve read it. I promise you’ll look at things just a little different after you finish this book and you’ll be glad you do.
I give Connect the Dots five Bookies.
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