Syler Perrin’s the best in the world at what he does, but beyond that he’s sort of a mess. Case in point: the engineer and cyber security specialist landed his job as Deputy Director of the covert affairs division by hacking into it while drunk off his ass on cheap tequila after getting dumped.
Turns out the CIA was in desperate need of his particular brand of help.
Special Agent Arthur Dufault is also the best in the world at what he does, which as far as Syler can tell is destroying every piece of equipment he makes and flirting with everything that moves.
It wouldn’t be so bad, really, if the giant blond menace hadn’t taken a shine to him, demanding Syler act as his handler for every mission.
Oh, and also if there wasn’t a hacker-turned-cyber-terrorist who kept eluding them.
Being forced to partner up with Dufault to put a stop to it was bad enough. Discovering that Arthur wanted him was a whole other headache.
Or: how the most notorious field operative in the CIA wooed his reluctant handler – a tale of patience, persistence, and sass, with a dash of international espionage for variety.
Delightfully domestic happy ending guaranteed, some explosions may apply.
This is a debut book from author Valerie Vaughn and, while the premise of the story sounded intriguing, it was a difficult book to read. The story opens with Syler drunk, talking to himself, and hacking into the CIA. Soon, there were other characters on page and that was when the head hopping began. For almost each character that appeared, the POV shifted to them for a few lines and then back again. With the POV shifting within the same scene, it did not make for enjoyable reading. There were also times where it appeared there was an omniscient narrator speaking over the story.
The story then shifts to Syler working for the CIA in operations and meeting Arthur, who is a spy. As for the dialogue, it was stiff and formal. Most people write differently than they speak and this came across as a writing voice and not how people have real conversations. Every interaction had the same tone. We are told that Arthur is flirting with Syler, and even Syler had to be told, as is wasn’t at all clear.
Syler works creating the tech and gadgets that Arthur will use on his missions, which should be a highlight for me in any spy story. But these gadgets here were basic and there was nothing interesting to draw attention to them. Different characters would also appear on page by name and would interject a line or two into conversation, but they were never introduced and would then leave again.
I often like to try new authors and I will continue to read debut books. However, getting a quarter of the way through this book, it was muddled with an uninteresting plot, shifting POVs, stiff dialogue, and characters with no chemistry.