Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Rules of Engagement by Selena Montgomery
Narrator: January LaVoy
Published by Berkley, Penguin Audio on September 6, 2022
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Length: 10 hours, 26 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Dr. Raleigh Foster, an operative for a top-secret intelligence organization, knows that her undercover work has its risks. So she doesn't hesitate when asked to infiltrate Scimitar, the terrorist group that has stolen lethal environmental technology. But when she's assigned a partner—brooding, sexy Adam Grayson—to pose as her lover, Raleigh discovers that the most dangerous risk of all...is falling in love.
Adam blames himself for the botched mission that got his best friend killed by Scimitar, and he believes that Raleigh may have contributed to the man's death. But the closer he works with his alluring partner, the more his suspicions turn to trust—and intense desire. Now, as he and Raleigh untangle a twisted web of secrets and lies, the tension mounts between them...until their masquerade as a couple proves too tempting to resist.
I really wanted to try this one because of who the author is. The narrator being a favorite tipped me into trying the audio. Rules of Engagement looked to be just the kind of romantic suspense I enjoy.
There is a complex set of layers in this world and in these characters. The main setting is in a foreign country but also sites in the US like Atlanta. I love all the tech, both in computer software but also chemistry and weapons. The characters are also multi-faceted as they are CIA. They met 3 years ago in Jafir. Raleigh and Adam flirted at love. Each of them has a close friend who has died there. It’s much more complicated but I won’t spoil you.
There is a trope here for everyone. Is a second chance romance possible now, with the secrets they have, the guilt over their friends deaths? Adam blames Raleigh so they blaze more like enemies to lovers. But for the new mission, as the original mission goes active again, they need to be fake dating.
We get both Raleigh and Adam’s point of views which helps to feel their passions. They are both strong, fiery and angry. We get some flashbacks to the original mission and its setup. They work together, bickering and lusting all the while. I thought some things were a bit unrealistic in the way they acted but they were under some serious constraints and beliefs.
I liked Raleigh and felt badly for things she had suffered and how tightly she held herself. Adam was just too entitled for me much of the time; he always seemed to make her do the compromising, although he wasn’t shy about saying he loved her.
The mission and mysteries and actions were dangerous and intriguing. They had plenty of close chances at death. Each was a skilled operative and smart with their work. Every phase of the operation was a thrill ride. I enjoyed this heart-pounding thriller romance.
January LaVoy is a narrator I have enjoyed many times. It was the fact she was narrating which made me try the audio. Her performance captured the diverse voices and emotional tones to make it so enjoyable. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I didn’t know she was an author too! How cool. And it sounds like she’s pretty good at fiction😁
I’ve been wanting to read some of her work for awhile. I would say it’s pretty good. It’s complex and plenty of action for the genre. But the passion is not quite backed up by the emotions. I guess because the relationship was developed in the past and we didn’t see that too much but the love didn’t feel supported, more like just lust.
This one caught my eye earlier. I’m glad to catch your thoughts on it.
Thanks Sophia. I think it’s not typical and I like that.
I’ve been wondering about this book. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I’m going to add to my tbr! Thanks!
I hope you really enjoy it Wendy. It’s not like other books which I like.
She is a new author to me. I’ve heard great things about Stacey Abrams though. Thanks for the giveaway!
Thanks Elizabeth. It’s a good story with more layers than a regular romance I think, even a romantic suspense.
I don’t think I’ve read anything by this author yet.
I hadn’t read anything so I found it very interesting and she has a unique style.
I hadn’t heard of this author before I don’t think. I’m not the biggest suspense reader, probably why. Glad you enjoyed this so much! I know a specific audiobook narrator can sway me too! Great review!
Thank you Lisa. It’s an unusually detailed adventure.
Haven’t heard about this, but I like the title and the premise.
It’s a different story than usual and I enjoyed it.
I’ve not read this author, but the mission and mystery have me wanting to grab the audio!
I liked the audio. January Lavoy is a top notch favorite narrator.