Monday, April 29, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Against the Dark (The Associates #1) by Carolyn Crane

Release Date: April 19, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Provided by author
Author Links: Blog | Twitter | GoodReads


Angel Ramirez left the safecracking game five years ago, and she’s worked hard to make amends and build an honest life. But when a beloved aunt is kidnapped, she must reunite with her girl gang to acquire the unique ransom: Walter Borgola’s prized diamonds. It’s a simple job that turns into a nightmare, thanks to a surprisingly clever—and searingly sexy—security guard named Cole Hawkins.


Cole is one of the Association’s most brilliant agents, under deep cover investigating a ruthless killer. He’s also running out of time: hundreds will die if he doesn’t stop the plan Borgola’s set into motion. Catching Angel is the break he needed--he promises not to turn her in if she poses as his lover and uses her unique talents to unlock the sociopath’s dungeon vaults.

But as pretend passions turn real, Cole regrets drawing Angel into his deadly game…and danger is closer than either of them could ever imagine.


The debut in Crane's new Associates series is a smokin' hot romance that had me hooked from the very first page. I was intrigued by the characters and the slow development of their relationship and I easily devoured this novel in less than two days.

Angel Ramirez and her former gang of thieves infiltrate the home of a very dangerous man named Walter Borgola. Although she had left her life as a safecracker behind many years ago, she's convinced to rejoin the team for one more heist.

This is how she crosses paths with Cole Hawkins, a member of a crime fighting organization known as the Association. As part of his recent assignment, he is posing as an employee on Borgola's security team. He's a clever man with a commanding presence and a troubled past that he has managed to use to his advantage. 

What I loved about Cole's character was that he is described as a nerd with shaggy hair, a scruffy beard and thick-rimmed glasses. But along with his nerdy disposition he is also very assertive and strong-willed. All of this combined made Cole Hawkins a very sexy and easy to like character. 

I also enjoyed Angel and her role in the gang. Her job is to crack Borgola's rare Fenton Furst safe where his diamonds are located. I must admit that if I ever decided to join the criminal underworld with a group of thieving women, I would want to take on the role of expert safecracker. It's such a cool specialty to have on your criminal resume'.

Upon discovering who Angel really is and the skills that she possesses, Cole has her assist him in his mission to bring down one of Borgola's operations. This includes having her pose as his new girlfriend. 

As the danger increases, the sexual tension also begins to rise and what results is an incredibly hot scene where Cole's dominate side takes control. 

If you're looking for a hot contemporary romance with a love interest to swoon over, then I would highly suggest Crane's Against the Dark. It's another series by one of my all-time favorite authors that I will definitely continue to follow.

About the Author
I'm a writer living in Minneapolis with my husband and two cats. I work a day job as a freelance advertising writer, and have for years. I've waited tables at a shocking number of Minneapolis restaurants and bars, and I've also been a shop clerk and a plastics factory worker, too, which I was dismal at (think I Love Lucy). During rare moments when I'm not at my computer, I can be found reading in bed, running, helping animals, or eating Mexican food.

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