Title: Cover Fire
Author: Jess Anastasi
Series: Valiant Knox #3
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Available: 19th June
He’ll protect her with his life…but who will protect his heart?
If the assignment is crazy, dangerous, or a little of both, Sub-Lieutenant Sebastian Rayne can’t help but take on the challenge. So when Command Intelligence tags him to fly one of their agents behind enemy lines, it seems like just another routine death-defying mission. Crash landing on the planet was a piece of cake, but the gorgeous agent he delivered safely to her meeting is now believed dead and he must return to retrieve her body.
After Agent Jenna Maxwell realizes her own people attempted to have her killed, she enlists the hot stick jockey’s help. His new mission? Sneak her back onto his ship to ferret out who wanted to get rid of her and why. But she fears her growing feelings for Seb have blinded her to his reckless insistence on helping her stay alive, and his rash behavior will cause them both to lose their lives.
Source: ARC provided by Entangled: Select Otherworld via NetGalley
Given my lukewarm feelings towards the previous book in this series (Damage Control), I was a little hesitant about reading this book. No need! This is my favourite of the series by far – possibly of everything I’ve read by Jess Anastasi. Seb is such a light-hearted charmer, perfectly balanced by the secretive Jenna. Their chaotic adventure is fast-paced, intriguing, fun and sexy, and I really enjoyed it.
Mostly because of Seb. He’s a charming daredevil with a heart of gold, a beautiful face and emotionally bruised by previous betrayals. There is a lot more to him than the carefree face he tends to show the world, but his courage and loyalty when it came to protecting Jenna just proves what a strong man he is underneath all the hurt and humour. I loved him.
I liked Jenna too. She’s a woman who has been alone and isolated for a long time, constantly undercover, working to expose the secrets of the tyrannical CSS and help win the war. Yet, like Seb, there’s so much more to her than her spy skills. She’s also full of doubts about the work she does and the people she works for. Plus, she’s a far better person than she ever believes herself to be. She and Seb make an excellent team.
There’s rarely a dull moment in this tale as the pair of them lurch from mission to disaster to mystery to chaos. Their romance is equally explosive, pushing forward at some unsuitable moments and filled with plenty of heat. It moves pretty fast at times, but it fits the speed of the book, so I didn’t mind too much.
The speed with which people healed, however, I did have a problem with. There are some serious injuries incurred throughout, but it seems that within hours they’re all back up and bouncing straight into the action again. I would say those are some good drugs they’re using, but there isn’t a chance for any after one beating, yet the injuries are still shaken off and they’re all sprinting about the next day. There’s also a scene which implies some pretty heavy psychological damage, yet again, within a few pages it’s as if it never happened. Except it did happen and, by effectively forgetting about it all, my enjoyment of the whole book was sadly undermined.
Which is a huge shame, because I thought the rest of it was great. The characters are fun, the plot is packed with action, the romance is hot and it was nice catching up with the crew of the Knox again. If you can stop yourself from getting too distracted by stuff I probably take too seriously, and can read this as the high-octane space romp it is, then you’ll probably enjoy it too.
Cover Fire is out June 19th.
Visit Jess Anastasi for more details.