This is the third in Scarlett Cole’s Love Over Duty series of romantic suspense novels, and right off the bat I should probably say I haven’t read the first two, but I don’t think it really mattered. Yes, there were references to the romances which obviously formed the core of the previous two books as well as an ongoing criminal case, but I had no trouble keeping up what was going on as the main female protagonist, Amy, appeared to be an entirely new character to the series and we learned about the characters and events through her perspective. It was cleverly done and meant the reader could catch up easily, something I see all too rarely in ongoing series.
An FBI agent with a unique background - her father is a top poker professional and she practically grew up in the backrooms of Vegas casinos - Amy’s mother’s disappearance was the catalyst for a fierce desire to make a difference in missing persons cases. When several women go missing from a San Diego casino, Amy is eager to use her skills to go undercover and find the victims.
Former Navy SEAL Cabe Moss is on the case working a different angle, tracking money laundering activity. Both Cabe and Amy try hard to keep their relationship professional, but the attraction between them is just too strong to be denied. Cabe lost his fiancée to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan a couple of years before this story takes place and he has a significant amount of emotional guilt and trauma to work through as well as professional issues.
I really liked Amy’s steady, common-sense approach to… well, everything. From her work to refusing to let Cabe’s protective instincts smother her, she called him on his issues and did what she thought was right every time. Cabe was fairly cookie-cutter as Navy SEAL-type romance heroes go, with the exception of his emotional trauma, which made him much more interesting than he otherwise might have been. His visit to Jess’s grave at Arlington on the anniversary of her death was poignant and painful, and really showcased him as a character of depth.
Probably my favourite part of the story was the casino stuff - I feel like Ms. Cole either knows a lot about casinos or has done some very in-depth research, because it read very realistically. My favourite side character was definitely Amy’s Uncle Clive, the ultimate Vegas insider, and I’d love to see him appear in future books with a bigger part!
Five stars for an enjoyable and suspenseful read with a nice side of emotional growth for the main characters.
Deep Cover is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.