Good story, TSTL heroine

Intimate Enemies - Joan  Swan

Originally posted on The Book Nympho


Quick summary
Cassie Christo, a San Diego doctor, returns to her mother's home in Mexico to try to get to the bottom of the explosion that killed her and her stepbrother. She also wants to oust her stepfather from the estate and find the man that provided her comfort during the funeral six-months before. Rio Santana is the man she's looking for but she's unaware that he's an ICE undercover agent working for stepdaddy.


The suspense
There's quite a lot going on even though most roads lead back to Saul Flores, Cassie's stepfather. In addition to being a moocher, he lacks a conscience and she's in quite a bit of danger. Rio's trying to balance keeping her safe while maintaining his cover and Cassie creates many extreme complications. He's close to bringing this monster down but her investigation threatens not only her life but his sting and cover.


The romance
The chemistry between Rio and Cassie is pretty undeniable and Swan has written some of the most erotic passages I've read in awhile. She creates a vivid picture that leaves a steamy imprint. The foundation for their feelings for each other is just as strong as their passion. If there's any downside it's the romance that gets in the way as Cassie behaves so rashly, so often her intelligence is called into question. Rio's reactions make it difficult to believe he's been undercover for ten years.


The bottom line
The suspense and tension lurked behind every page and I was kept off balance throughout the story. I liked the relationship between Cassie and Rio and her conflicts about him were authentically presented, even when it got irritating at was realistic. Where I struggled was with the many TSTL (Too Stupid to Live) moments Cassie presented. Her behavior was beyond naive and she just ended up being irritating. Alternatively, you could applaud her for being strong willed and independent, even if I perceived her differently. It was a good story despite my issues and kept me hooked.