Title: When Love Intrudes
Series: When the Mission Ends, Book 4
Author: Christi Snow
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy provided by author
Published: October 16, 2013 (self-published)
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.
Full Disclaimer: I “met” Christi as a book blogger/reader first. J9 and I have similar reading tastes as Christi and we often look to one another for book recommendations (J9 and Christi swap juicy m/m romance recommendations and I look to Christi’s book blog for romantic suspense recommendations). When Christi first approached me to read Operation: Endgame, I was excited to see what she had written. But know that this review, as well as my other reviews for her books, is completely and utterly honest. I point out the good and the bad.
Why I Read this Book: After reading Operation: Endurance, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the book that would give Toni the HEA she most certainly deserved. After what that woman went through in the previous book, and trust me when I say that she was put through hell and back, she needed to find some happiness in her life. And I knew Brian would be the perfect candidate. Even he went through some tough times during this series.
What I Liked: Since When Love Intrudes takes place a few months after Operation: Endurance ended, I was grateful for the prologue. Not only did I get a bit of a recap of the events that took place in the last book, I also got it from Brian’s POV.
The suspense story arc went in a different direction than what I was expecting, and I liked that. I like being kept on my toes. I prefer the suspense aspect to be unpredictable, something I don’t find often enough in romantic suspense. Just when I thought I knew where the author was going with the story, it flipped. What I had thought was going on was in actuality only just the tip of the iceberg. It was a clever plot, one I didn’t see coming.
This story wasn’t just Toni and Brian’s; Nathan (and even Toni’s dog, Sam, for that matter) played an intricate part in this book. It was this trio of characters that I enjoyed reading about.
There were some new characters introduced in When Love Intrudes, and potential for new material, which was a bit surprising as this book is the last in this series (as far as I know). I want to follow these new characters and read their stories. But this was addressed at the end of the book in the author’s note. You see, there’s going to be a spinoff series, the Snowcroft series, which will be a m/m romantic suspense series. The first book will feature Jamie and Trevor, Brian’s friends from high school. I could sense a sort of tension between Jamie and Trevor and there’s definitely a story to be told there. I would also like to see that Nathan gets his own HEA. (This author loves to put her characters through hell!)
Christi Snow has grown as a writer and it shows in this series. There were some things that didn’t mesh well in the earlier books but with When Love Intrudes, I didn’t stumble on anything. She’s honing in on her craft. She also got her feet wet in the m/m romance genre in When Love Intrudes.
What I Didn’t Like: I’m still not sure how I feel about Toni trusting Brian so soon after what transpired in the the previous book. Granted, it has been a good 5 months since what went down in the previous book but I feel conflicted. Part of me wonders if she should have had some trust issues to sort through.
The cover. If only the guy’s arm wasn’t squishing her boob.
Overall Impression: When Love Intrudes was my favorite book in this series. I’ve said this before but I’ll mention it again – you can tell how much I enjoy a book based on how long it takes me to read. I read this book within 24 hours. I didn’t want to put it down and when I did, I was anxious to pick it up again.