Shattered Duty by Katie Reus
Signet: June 2, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Free From Library
Shattered Duty kind of surprised me. I had been pretty desperate for an audiobook to listen to and I discovered this one on my library’s eAudiobook offerings. Well, I found myself finding excuses to do chores so that I could listen to this one, which is always a good sign in an audiobook.
Reus romantic suspense title is the third in the Deadly Ops series. I have not read the first two books in the series, and I didn’t feel that I missed out on anything.
Shattered Duty features NSA agent Selene Wolfe and former agent Levi Lazaro. Two years ago Levi left the NSA fold and went rogue after his wife was brutally murdered. Now, two years later he’s closing in on the man that ordered her death. Selene’s investigation into a known terrorist cell coincides with Levi’s mission; however, unlike Levi, Selene is not out for revenge and she must put the safety of the nation before Levi’s hunt for his wife’s killer. The premise for Shattered Duty is pretty standard fare for romantic suspense, but what stands out in Reus romance is the suspense. Reus incorporates many elements that I find more common in the thriller genre and balances out the suspense with a romance. The terrorist plot was not some ambiguous development that acted as a vehicle to develop the relationship between Levi and Selene; rather, the author invested time in fleshing out the bad guys, giving them layers and exploring what the ultimate plot entailed. If you like your romantic suspense with a plausible suspense plot, Shattered Duty does this really well.
As for the romance, yes it’s fast-paced. And that’s because there is an imminent terrorist plot and foiling that is kind of more important than the romance stuff. I wouldn’t have thought that a heavier focus on suspense would of worked, especially in the case of the two characters that readers are introduced to, but it does. Levi and Selene really worked as a couple. Levi had a lot of baggage going into the relationship, and sure that could have been fleshed out a bit more, but the fact that his wife was murdered did factor into the new relationship with Selene. And Selene served as an excellent counterpoint to Levi. Despite her young age Selene brought maturity to the relationship as well as idealism and innocence. I wouldn’t have thought that this combination would have meshed: jaded operative vs. the agent who still believes in her mission, cue the conflict. But, Selene brought Levi back from the brink before he could cross a line he can’t come back from. The give-and-take relationship between Selene and Levi provided a stronger foundation for the romance, which was needed considering the tight timeline of the book.
Romantic suspense fans, Katie Reus is an author you’re going to want to check out. If you like your romantic suspense with a heavier dose of suspense, Shattered Duty is a safe bet.
Laura Griffin’s Tracers series is an excellent romantic suspense series. Griffin always combines a strong mystery/thriller element with her romance. However, the romance is a bit more on the subdued (i.e. less steamy) side in comparison with Shattered Duty. It’s not necessary to read Griffin’s series in order, so I’m going to recommend one of my favourites: Beyond Limits.