When Love Intrudes
Author: Christi Snow
What I’m Talking About:
After being forced to shoot her boyfriend, only to be tossed aside by the detective whose life she’d saved, Toni Vincent is beginning to think that giving up on dating entirely would be a pretty good idea. Chocolate helps, but all the exercise required in order to avoid the guilt from eating it doesn’t seem worth the frustration. Forgetting the man who broke her heart once and for all would definitely be the best plan, but when her young neighbor is injured in a violent attack, another chance with the handsome detective may be more than she can resist.
When he became involved in a stalking case five months before, Detective Brian Barnes never suspected he’d be the one who would need to be looked after. Having been shot and nearly killed by the police officer he’d thought was his friend, he found himself being cared for by the beautiful woman who’d ultimately turned the tables on their would-be murderer and saved all of their lives. For a man who takes his promise to “serve and protect” seriously, his failure to do so was a blow to his pride that he simply couldn’t face. Now, he’s determined to do the job he should have done before, but couldn’t—if only the attraction still simmering between them didn’t make him want so much more.
This series has been a favorite of mine for a long time now, and I was very happy to have the opportunity to read When Love Intrudes as well. Toni and Brian were both integral to the outcome of the previous novel, Operation Endurance, and certainly needed to have their own story. Toni is a kindhearted, resilient heroine, loyal and fiercely protective of those she cares for, refusing to back down, even when her own well-being is at stake. She’s clever and resourceful, but unable to hide what’s really in her heart for long. Like most of the female characters in this series, she’s independent—the desire to find love being more of a dream that grows in importance, rather than the main focus of her existence. She’s wary but not jaded, and the individual components of her personality combined to make her one of the strongest characters in the series so far.
Brian is also set on not being distracted from his main objective. He is more interested in not repeating the past than he is in pursuing a relationship. Tori’s friend, Nathan, calls him “Alpha,” and he definitely lives up to the title, at least in the first part of the story. His propensity to beat himself up over the things he’s not proud of affects both he and Tori throughout the narrative, but in the end, they find their way. Brian is at his best when he’s fighting an external threat, while protecting those he’s attached himself to, rather than his own internal struggles. Once he puts their mutual history in perspective, the path they’re all own becomes much more enjoyable.
It would be a disservice to the other characters, and Ms. Snow’s aptitude for writing them, not to give them the attention they deserve. Nathan, in particular, is a fantastic character and shares an almost equivalent portion of the narrative with Toni and Brian. He’s got more reasons to give up than the other characters, but refuses to do so. He’s inventive and snarky, and provides much of the humor and heart within the story. Many of the other characters also grabbed my attention immediately and held it throughout, including Jamie and Trevor, among others.
While it’s primarily a romance, When Love Intrudes also delivers an engaging suspense. Toni’s determination to help her friend, and Brian’s need to protect them both, leads them on a race to discover the person who wants them all dead before time runs out. The clues point in multiple directions on occasion, keeping me pleasantly off-balance, and the viciousness of their pursuer kept my eagerness to see him brought to justice steadily building throughout the story.
When Love Intrudes is a great addition to a solidly entertaining series. Toni and Brian have an undeniable chemistry and observing the ups and downs of their evolving relationship was a lot of fun. Romantic and fast-paced, there’s plenty to like about this latest adventure. Add in the well-written, vibrant secondary characters, and this story will join its predecessors in my “keeper” stash. At the end of When Love Intrudes Ms. Snow hints at separate books for several of these other characters, and with so much potential just waiting to be explored, I’ll be eagerly waiting for them all.
Rating: B+ Liked It A Lot
About the Book:
Toni Vincent’s last relationship ended with violence. Since then, she’s decided she’s better off without men. But when she finds her young seventeen year old neighbor, Nathan, unconscious and beaten, this is one man she can’t abandon. But helping Nathan means trusting Detective Brian Barnes, another man who hurt her in the past. It’s something she’s just not sure she can do.
Detective Brian Barnes has seen one too many criminals beat the system. He’s burned out and regretting a lot about his life. At the top of that list is how he dealt with Toni Vincent when he was wounded. At the time, he couldn’t stand to look at himself, much less have someone he failed care for him. Now she needs his help and he refuses to fail her again. But keeping her alive requires keeping his heart out of it. Something not easy to do when trapped in a romantic mountain retreat, even if it is the safest place for Toni and her unexpected charge.
With danger around every corner, it’s hard to know who can be trusted, especially for three people who have been burned before. But they may just find the best family is the one not tied together by blood.
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Series: When The Mission Ends #4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format(s): Paperback (264 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author
When Love Intrudes (When the Mission Ends #4)
Reviews in the Series:
Before the Mission Begins by Christi Snow (When the Mission Ends Prequel)
Operation: Endeavor by Christi Snow (When the Mission Ends #2)
Operation: Endurance by Christi Snow (When the Mission Ends #3)