As a romantic thriller/suspense fan, I’m mystified that I’ve just discovered Claudia Shelton’s Mitch Granger. This is my kind of guy; all kick-ass, take no prisoners and tough as an old boot. Mitch is a former Navy SEAL, now an operative and team leader for the Opaque Security Team. In “Dangerous Lies” he’s tasked with keeping journalist Elizabeth “Liz” Walkert alive and safe from the rogue Coercion Ten organization which has ostensibly taken her father hostage and intends to use her as leverage to further their illegal activities. Liz is not just unreceptive to being protected and having her actions controlled by Mitch, she’s downright belligerent at times. and comes off as petulant and mercurial, some of which is understandable given her feelings that her life is spinning out of control. Mitch understands her ambivalence but won’t tolerate her pushback, thus forcing her to accept his authority. This ratchets up the tension between them which is further complicated by their mutual attraction to each other.
As the storyline unfolds, a tad too slowly sometimes, there’s plenty of action and adventure, lots of twists and turns that led me down a blind alley or two and kept me guessing as to who the bad guys really were. Through it all, Mitch’s attitude of “failure is not an option” is always evident and guides his strategic thinking and subsequent actions. Not quite a super-hero, but close enough to my way of thinking.
So, having established that I admire Mitch’s character, Liz sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. For a so-called journalist, her naïveté was astounding. True, she carried lots of emotional baggage from her childhood but don’t most of us? However, she has redeeming qualities that become more evident as the plot unfolds. This is Book Two of the Shades of Leverage series but each can be read as a stand-alone without getting lost. Will I go back and read Book One? Yeah, probably. Four stars.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.