Saturday, March 8, 2014

Book Review: What the Bride Didn't Know by Kelly Hunter

Summary:

Shh…it's a secret!

Special ops expert Trig Sinclair is a man's man, and that means he knows the cardinal rule of the bro code—no matter how dynamite Lena West is, as his best friend's younger sister, she's strictly off-limits!

But when a secret mission to Istanbul sees Lena and Trig pretending to be married (and sharing a bed!), he finds himself in a whole new world of sweet torture…. But if Trig thinks playing the honor-bound hero is tough, it's got nothing on how Lena feels when she discovers what her "groom" is really hiding….


NOTE: I received the eARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

When I read the summary of What the Bride Didn't Know, I was sure I'd like it. I mean, spies, romance, come on! It's bound to be good. Then I read it in what could be described as one breath and I thought "Yup. You were right to request it." The story turned out to be cute, realistic, full of passion and not too much, but enough, danger.

Writing style:
It was impeccable, fluent and captivating. It didn't take me long to finish it both because it was short and really entertaining.

Story line:
Lena and Adrian are friends from kids. Then they become colleagues, working for the government as spies. Along with Lena's brother whose name I don't remember. When a mission goes wrong and Lena suffers the consequences, she's separated from her brother. Months later, when Lena's finally ready to go look for answers, she takes Adrian with her to the Middle East. Or actually, he goes with her, no questions.
Partially covert affairs and lots of romance, this story made me laugh, had me frustrated and, at times, too flustered to even think.

Themes:
-Loving your brother's best friend could be tricky;
-Self-doubt and mental insecurity can make you weaker than any physical trauma;
-Self-control, or the lack thereof depends on the situation. Mostly, whether the girl you've been in love with for ages, is or isn't trying to seduce you.

Characters:
Not many of those. Mainly Lena and Adrian.

Lena was insecure, feeling inferior, having always thought of herself as the average among a family of geniuses. Then she got her career and at least she enjoyed it a bit. Until the accident that had her even more traumatized, she'd been lively and capable to cope. Afterwards... not so much. But she kept pushing, because she had to at least appear to be strong.
Then the head trauma both complicates the things and simplifies them at the same time. With jumbled up memories, there are no insecurities, only the feeling that the embrace of the big man, who appears to be her husband, is the only place where she feels safe.

Adrian (Trig) was the most chivalrous man I have stumbled upon in my recent reads. Strong and committed to one woman only, even if she plain refuses to see it. I admired his self-control even though I wondered why he had to restrain himself with Lena. Then of course, I'd remember that Lena had a temporary amnesia, and that made me admire him even more.

My rating is