Contracted Defense by Piper J. Drake

Contracted Defense

Contracted Defense by Piper J. Drake

Time is running out and the enemy is at the gate. 

Adam Hicks may be the rookie at Safeguard, but he’s no novice in the field. Retired from active duty after multiple tours and back fresh from a brief rest in New Zealand, he’s itching to return to action. But the challenge he hoped for arrives in an unexpected form: his sexy yet stern new partner.

The last thing Victoria Ash wants is to work with the new guy—especially one as gorgeous as Adam. His relaxed attitude about their first “easy” assignment together—setting up a private home defense network for a reclusive client—doesn’t impress her. Easy usually means trouble. She’s proved right when Adam discovers that the multiple incursions on the physical and cyber security systems aren’t just glitches. They’re under attack…and there’s a traitor in their midst.

As tension mounts, so does the attraction between Victoria and Adam. They must protect their client and the research he’s desperately trying to keep secret. Working together, they have to find the mole before their defense measures, in the fortress and online, are compromised and the deadly secrets they’ve sworn to protect are revealed.

Piper J. Drake has quickly become one of my “go-to” authors, and in her latest release, “Contracted Defense”, she continues to remind me why.

We first meet Victoria Ash in an upscale bar in Seattle. She’s just trying to enjoy a nice scotch and take a breather. But nothing ever goes easy for our crew working at Safeguard and tonight is no different. Even though the night ends wonderfully for Victoria, and Adam, the next day changes everything.

Some of the main factors I enjoyed in this book:

  1. I love how this author has so many different cultures in her stories. Not just one character or something. It’s many characters, the cuisine, the lifestyles. It’s always seamlessly integrated. One of my favorite components in every story she puts out.
  2. Victoria’s character is assertive, but never arrogant. One thing I loved about her was her confidence. At one point, she’s annoyed with Adam and she’s explaining her rational. Then we learn that she isn’t someone who will bring up a problem without a solution in mind. That aligns with my own personality a lot and so I naturally had a lot of respect for her on that particular point.
  3. Adam is probably as close to the perfect man as anyone will ever find. He’s handsome, intelligent, and just enough alpha male to be sexy, but not overbearing. He does respect Victoria and her preferences on things. He knows his role at Safeguard, and has no problem letting Victoria, and her tenure with the company, take the lead.
  4. This isn’t necessarily just the story, but more generalized to the author. Sometimes, I read a book in the “military” category and I end up a bit lost. This author manages to keep the story moving, while introducing new information, but yet never overwhelms the reader.  I never get lost in jargon or too many characters. I really appreciate this.

This book is definitely great for readers who enjoy books in the military or suspense categories. Adam and Victoria have an amazing chemistry, and you find yourself rooting for both characters throughout their story.

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Absolute Trust by Piper J. Drake

absolutetrust

Absolute Trust by Piper J. Drake

LOVE IS THE GREATEST RISK OF ALL

After multiple tours of duty, Brandon Forte returns to his hometown on a personal mission: to open a facility for military service dogs like Haydn, a German shepherd who’s seen his share of combat and loss. It also brings him back to Sophie Kim, a beacon of light in his life . . . and the one woman he can’t have. But Forte’s success means he’s made enemies in high places. Enemies who are now after Sophie . . .

When Forte enlisted and left without saying goodbye, Sophie did her best to move on. But with her first love back in town, looking sexier than ever, she’s constantly reminded of what they could have had. Then after he risks himself for her, Sophie realizes she’ll have to put her life in the hands of the man who broke her heart, knowing the danger -and the sparks between them- could consume them both.

I have a confession to make. I have multiple Piper J. Drake books and this is the first one I’ve read. And the fact that I enjoyed this book so much had me digging out all my other Piper J. Drake books so I can run back and read them ASAP.

As a new reader to this author, I was really impressed by this book. I thought that the author did a great job keeping the story moving along, all without getting too deep into one faction of the story vs another.

One great example of that is the past relationship between Sophie and Brandon. From the synopsis, we know Brandon left without saying goodbye. There is obviously a point in the story where our hero has to confront the choices he made, and our heroine has to confront what his choices mean in regards to her. I loved how this was done. Yes, it was mentioned a few times, but then the characters talk about it. It wasn’t done in a way that they kept putting off over and over, and then it led to unnecessary drama.

Because I am new to this author, I am not sure if she incorporates this into other stories or not. (I am assuming she does) But one thing I really appreciated in this story was that we see people of different races and nationalities. Its not like there is a random person thrown into the story either. Our heroine, Sophie, is Korean. I loved hearing about her family, their values, the foods she enjoyed. I really loved seeing that side of her shine through. As a person of color, I loved that this is in the story, but it never felt like it was trying to make some political or motivated point. These are just who the characters are.

If I had a criticism, it would be there was a bit much of different military verbiage and then the going back and forth using first names and last names. Only because I am not familiar with the entire cast of characters, it made it a bit confusing in a couple parts. This was minor though and not something that would deter me from this author.

I am really happy I finally got to have the time to read one of my Piper J. Drake books. I kept trying to put this book down (why do I need to live real life anyway?) but I couldn’t. I loved the characters, the romance scenes in this story were absolutely on point, and I loved the incorporation of a wide cast of characters: dogs, cats, and humans. Now I need to wrap this up so I can start reading “Extreme Honor” by this author.