Series Review: The Associates by Carolyn Crane @CarolynCrane @Limabean74

Posted December 2, 2018 by Anne in Book Review / 13 Comments

 

The Associates series is romantic suspense. I purchased all of these and somehow haven’t fit them in, so I decided to read them for the Read A Series in a Month Challenge.  The first book is currently free on Amazon. The first three books are available on audio and in the Audible Romance package.

The Association is a group of operatives working to stop criminal organizations. They may not follow the rules but it’s for a good cause.

 

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series Review:  The Associates by Carolyn Crane @CarolynCrane @Limabean74 Against the Dark by Carolyn Crane
Series: The Associates #1
Published by Indie on April 21, 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 294
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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three-flames
One StarOne StarOne Star

SHE’S AN EX-SAFECRACKER FORCED INTO ONE LAST HEIST

Angel Ramirez left the safecracking game five years ago, and she’s worked hard to make amends and build an honest life. But when a beloved aunt is kidnapped, she must reunite with her girl gang to acquire the unique ransom: Walter Borgola’s prized diamonds. It’s a simple job that turns into a nightmare, thanks to a surprisingly clever—and searingly sexy—security guard named Cole Hawkins.

HE’S AN UNDERCOVER AGENT WITH BIG PLANS FOR HIS GORGEOUS THIEF

Cole is one of the Association’s most brilliant agents, under deep cover investigating a ruthless killer. He’s also running out of time: hundreds will die if he doesn’t stop the plan Borgola’s set into motion. Catching Angel is the break he needed--he promises not to turn her in if she poses as his lover and uses her unique talents to unlock the sociopath’s dungeon vaults.

But as pretend passions turn real, Cole regrets drawing Angel into his deadly game…and danger is closer than either of them could ever imagine.

In Against the Dark, we have a group of women who have known each other since a young age.  They worked together as thieves but Angel has been out of the business for 5 years. They need her for a special job since she has serious safe-cracking skills.  Cole has his own need to catch this group of thieves and her help to crack another safe.

I liked the thrill of the heist, the sexual tension and how Cole and Angel worked together. The couple got sexual too fast though for me, especially since I disliked Cole’s initial Plan B. The situation was very tense, life and death.  I liked the characters and was happy to go on and read more.

 


This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series Review:  The Associates by Carolyn Crane @CarolynCrane @Limabean74 Off the Edge by Carolyn Crane
Series: The Associates #2
Published by Indie on December 30, 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 383
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
AmazonAudibleAudiobookBarnes & Noble
three-half-flames
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

She may be his worse enemy...

For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon-one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in a Bangkok hotel should be easy...except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool facade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.

He may be her only hope...

He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel's dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it's like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend. They may be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives-and their hearts.

I loved the importance of linguistics to this story.  Peter is a marvel. I’m not sure if Laney is brave or TSTL.  I hate how trapped Laney was in her situation.  Their connection felt authentic. Both of them kept working to save the other.  I did think sometimes their being distracted with the other person would cause their death, but this is a romance.  Off the Edge was full of heart-pounding action and sexy!

 


This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series Review:  The Associates by Carolyn Crane @CarolynCrane @Limabean74 Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane
Series: The Associates #3
Published by Indie on July 26, 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 450
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
AmazonAudibleAudiobookBarnes & Noble
three-flames
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

HE’S WORKING FOR THE GOOD GUYS. THAT DOESN’T MEAN HE’S ONE OF THEM.

HE’S A KILLER.
Thorne McKelvey knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her was the hardest thing he ever did, but his undercover mission could blow up at any second. No way will he drag Nadia down with him.

SHE CAN’T RISK HER HEART.
Maybe it was foolish to fall in love with her late father’s deadliest henchman, but Nadia Volkov’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful little boy. There’s nothing she won’t do to protect Benny, which means she must hide his identity—especially from his father.

Now Thorne has burst back into her home, searching for clues to a gangland mystery…and stirring a hunger Nadia hasn’t felt in two years. But Benny’s identity isn’t the only secret she’s keeping, and things are turning deadly. Can Thorne and Nadia trust each other long enough to stay alive and have a chance at happiness?

Into the Shadows feels like the most strategy driven story with more emotional character definition.  Both Thorne and Nadia have been working hard and for some time on their projects. Now they get tangled up together and as things blow up, they need to figure out a plan to reach both their goals.  The costs are brutal and their lives are on the line. It’s an emotional roller-coaster. It was easy to like them and root for them!


This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series Review:  The Associates by Carolyn Crane @CarolynCrane @Limabean74 Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane
Series: The Associates #4
Published by Indie on May 18, 2015
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 444
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
AmazonBarnes & Noble
three-half-flames
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

TO SAVE HER TWIN SISTER SHE MUST SWITCH PLACES WITH HER...

When her long lost sister - a prostitute - is won in a card game by a brutal drug cartel, Zelda knows what she has to do: take her place. Save her. Focus on infiltrating the shadowy group on behalf of the Associates, and try not to think about why she left the spying game years ago. She’s slept with dangerous criminals before; she can do it again.

Hugo Martinez is one of South America’s most lethal and wanted men, a legendary mercenary living on a windswept mountain. Even at the height of the war he wasn’t in the habit of taking women captive, but the American whore has seen his face. And he and the orphan boy need a cook. He shouldn’t want this woman, but there’s something so unusual about her…

Little by little, Zelda finds herself falling for her captor…but is he the killer she’s been hunting all these years?

Right away, I thought Zelda, you have lost your mind.  She has been out of agent work for 6 years and she jumps into a nasty situation? She reacts well to the problems but unfortunately, she isn’t an agent on alert, looking ahead for problems. And big problems find her and Hugo.  For being smart, Dax is so stupid. Behind the Mask is an emotional journey for Zelda and Hugo to let them trust and live.

About Carolyn Crane

After spending her youth thoroughly obsessed with Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy and convinced that her suburban neighborhood was awash in dangerous secrets, Carolyn Crane grew up to become a RITA-nominated author of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of adventure and love; she also writes erotic romance about bank robbers as Annika Martin.

Her books have been published by Random House and Samhain; these days, this perfectionistic control-freak of an author likes to indie publish. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two cats and works a straight job as a freelance marketing writer. During rare moments when she’s not at her computer, she can be found reading in bed, running, or helping animals.

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Anne

I can't really remember any time when I wasn't reading.I LOVE books and what they give me.It's an opportunity to learn new things, see new places,live different emotions in a "safe" way.It lets me live in a new world.

I read all types of books but my favorites are urban fantasy and romantic suspense.I like some romance and some action / adventure / mystery in everything.I like sex in my books but please, only between TWO people.Intimate conversation is equally important to the sex in a book.It lets me see the characters.The other thing I enjoy is humor.

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Posted December 2, 2018 by Anne in Book Review / 13 Comments


13 responses to “Series Review: The Associates by Carolyn Crane

  1. I remember starting this series and reading just the first book in it. Cole wasn’t my favorite alpha male type and so I didn’t continue but maybe I should have. It looks like the book get progressively better.

    Robin recently posted: Audio: Vengeful by VE Schwab
    • I think they do get better as the series goes along. Plus the first book of the series is always tough with building the base of the world. These books may not be real-world realistic but the emotional aspects / characters are well done.

      Anne recently posted: Audio: Vengeful by VE Schwab
  2. Melanie

    I listened to the first three books in this series, but read them out of order. I started with book three and I agree that it is my favorite too. I still need to try the fourth book, but isn’t available on audio.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

    • Yes I noted that in my reviews. The first 3 are in the Audible Romance but the 4th one doesn’t have audio. I don’t think it matters too much reading them out of order because the focus is on the primary couple. Other characters may show up but there isn’t a big overall story arc except a bit with Thorne book 2 to 3.

    • I like the series review. This was a good way to report my Read A Series in a Month Challenge.

      It even allows me to post separate reviews for each to Goodreads. It works well if the books don’t fit a challenge because if they were all new releases and I did a series review, it would only count New Release one time instead of 4. That’s why I did individual reviews for some of my Thrifty Thursdays as they were New Release or other challenge.

      Anne recently posted: Fatal Invasion by Marie Force
    • They are all pretty good. It’s romantic suspense so the characters get together quickly and the tension is high. Also there it’s necessary to suspend disbelief at times. But I really enjoyed them. I’m happy to finally have read them since I have had them for awhile.

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