Review copy was received from Publicity team. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Toxic Vengeance by Kaylea Cross
Series: Vengeance #4
Published by Self-Published on January 21, 2020
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publicity team
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A past poisoned by lies.
Toxins expert Eden Foster was trained never to get close to anyone. She’s only broken that rule twice, and each time it ended in heartbreak. Her mentor was murdered in front of her, and now the man she was forced to deceive and leave behind has suddenly become a threat. She wants justice, but the only way she’ll get it is by joining forces with the only man to pose a threat to her guarded heart—the CIA contractor tasked with capturing and turning her in.
Risking a second chance could cost them everything.
Zack Maguire has spent his entire adult life serving his country, but this time, he’s torn between duty and his heart. Eden might not be the woman he thought she was, but he refuses to accept that everything between them was a lie. If she’s being hunted, he’s all in. He won’t sit back and do nothing when her life is on the line. As the danger mounts, he’ll do anything to protect her. And when their enemies close in, the only way they’ll live long enough to have a second chance is to let go of the past and learn to trust each other.
This series, Vengeance has an overall story of finding all the Valkyries who have been burned and keeping them from being killed, bringing them into the team. There is also the goal of finding out who is hunting them to extinction, a mole in the covert ops family. Each book has a new couple as each new Valkyrie is found and brought into the new group.
The setup in each book is similar as the woman is used to being alone, an orphan trained as an assassin without family or friends, working on her own. The guy, usually military, is from a more normal family so he is often the one to promote a relationship. The guy is a bit insta-love, admiring the highly skilled Valkyrie, and seeing her in danger makes him protective.
Wow, those last two paragraphs are from my previous review in the series, and they are the truth. In Toxic Vengeance, Eden is on her own and goes after a target she always wanted but was told to leave alone. Eden hasn’t heard from her handler in weeks. Previously, she was having an affair with a CIA contractor, Zack. She had gathered information on him and knew who he was but left to protect him. Of course, she runs into Zack as she is trying to escape.
It seems a bit fast and weird how he connects with Eden again and how easily he joins her cause. I didn’t get much of a sense of him, but at least he was willing to protect her. I can’t say why the team was interested in having him, as they didn’t seem to know at first about their past connection. And initially, why would they trust him so quickly? Eden spent most of her time trying not to be attracted to Zack rather than working on the mission.
The team makes a plan to gather information and try to gather another lone Valkyrie, so we see all the familiar Valkyries and their guys again. They didn’t seem as skilled and well planned as in previous books and things ended a bit abruptly, more focused on the romances than the mystery and action plots.
A key difference here is when they go out onto the mission this time, they are doing more fighting with guns rather than their specialized areas. This approach slightly favors the guys and their skill sets as the Valkyries are more specialized, although they can do this fighting, too. Eden works with poisons and she doesn’t use it after taking down the original bad guy.
I would read this series in order as the overall story arc and couples progression are easier that way. I am looking forward to the next adventure which has to be Kiyomi and the conclusion of the mystery arc of who is assassinating Valkyries.
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