Álvaro Montero is legally dead, having been killed two years ago during his job as a government assassin. He was saved by Alpha Orion, leader of the Locke and Keyes Agency, a black ops organization that works to expose criminals and see them brought to justice. He is now known as Delta (or D for short) and works for Alpha and his organization as one of their elite team members.
The same night D was betrayed and shot, he had a night of passion with CIA agent Caiden Cardosa. It was also the night Caiden’s life fell apart, as well. He was turned in to the Austrian police, then accused of being a terrorist. While he managed to escape custody, Caiden’s cover was blown and he hasn’t been able to do his job since.
When Caiden gets a mysterious call promising him answers to who betrayed him, he never expects to see D again. The two men are at odds after D walked out on Caiden that night two years ago. But Alpha has a lead on someone who may have information on who betrayed both men and so they are forced to work together if they have a chance of finding the culprit. Along the way, Caiden and D begin to realize the feelings they had for one another are not gone. But even as they act on their attraction, D is wary, worried that eventually Caiden will tire of someone with D’s past. However, before the men have a chance to even find out if things can work between them, the case heats up and their lives are on the line. Now D and Caiden are realizing they are truly meant for one another, but they must fight to make it out alive.
Kept in the Dark is the first book in Charlie Cochet’s new Locke and Keyes Agency series, and things are off to a wonderful start. I was drawn in right away by the interesting set up and two really engaging characters in D and Caiden. We get a great enemies to lovers vibe right from the start as the men are at odds, but forced to work together if they have any hope of finding out who betrayed them. It is clear that the chemistry between the men is strong, even as they bicker with one another. And when they finally give in to their attraction, it is intense and super sexy. Cochet gives us a great backstory for the guys and I enjoyed seeing how the story unfolded as we slowly learn the truth about what happened to each of them that fateful night. The relationship does move very quickly when it does get rolling given the short time they are together, so that felt kind of rushed to me. But I did really enjoy the men together and think they make a fun couple.
The story has a nice mix of suspense and playfulness, something that is a hallmark of many of Cochet’s books. The guys have some fun snarky banter and D is a bit of a smart ass and so there is a nice light tone that is mixed in with the more exciting, thrilling moments. There is nice depth to the investigation with some fun twists and turns. We get a solid resolution here to the main case and to D and Caiden’s individual stories, but the ending does open up some interesting directions for the series as a whole. I’ll note that you really just have to go with the setup as their mysterious boss Alpha is basically omnipotent, possessing of limitless resources, and capable of accomplishing virtually anything. It is over the top and pretty unrealistic, but I found myself being able to go with it as it makes the story fun.
So I am super excited about this new series from Charlie Cochet. The story is great and there is so much potential for future books in the series. I really loved D and Caiden and I am very much looking forward to more.