Countdown to Zero Hour (Black Ops: Automatik #1)
by Nico Rosso
Coming February 22, 2016
Ex–Special Forces agent Artem "Art" Diaz is tatooed, muscular and undeniably dangerous. He's also deep undercover, posing as mob muscle for a deadly bratva boss. His mission: gain the Russians' trust. Then lead the strike team that will kill them all.
Chef Hayley Baskov knows better than to get involved with someone with such close mafia ties, but the handsome bodyguard who brought her to this cold, sprawling estate full of ruthless mobsters is inexplicably kind. A little flirtation may keep her safe amidst the growing menace.
As Art’s timetable for action escalates, so do his encounters with Hayley. Stealing what illicit pleasure they can keeps them both sane in the face of evil. But when things get dangerous, Art has to tell her about his assignment, bringing her deeper into the shadowy world of black ops...and putting her life on the line.
Now Art has a new objective: protect Hayley from the man they both call boss.
I gotta admit, the cover for Countdown to Zero Hour is what initially drew me to this book, and having never really connected with books written by male authors before I was a little wary, but Nico Rosso surpassed my expectations and then some. I mean this book... This is romantic suspense at it's finest! Danger, suspense, steamy romance... This book had it all!!
After her dreams of opening a restaurant crash and burn, Hayley resorts to selling food out of a food cart in front of a night club. It's there that she meets Art and things escalate pretty quickly when he steps in to protect her and his boss against a couple baddies.
Art has his reasons for being undercover in the Russian mob and the last thing he wants to do is add Hayley into the mix but when his boss offers her a job he knows that he'll do anything to keep her safe.
I gotta say that I absolutely loved the connection between Hayley and Art from the get-go. Even though she thinks he's a bad guy she feels safe with him. And the fact that he's always there to protect her endears him to her even more. The romance was a little slow going at first but quickly picked up steam with all the stolen moments in the kitchen and I couldn't wait for them to get their HEA.
The suspense wasn't exactly what I was expecting since there was a whole lot of sit and wait before the action started but the fights with the goons and constant danger of being caught definitely didn't allow my attention to wane. And once the action really amped up? I couldn't wait to see how everything worked out.
Needless to say I absolutely loved Countdown to Zero Hour and I am definitely looking forward to reading more Nico Rosso books in the future!
Disclosure: I was provided with an ARC of Countdown to Zero Hour through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.