Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of: fame, fortune, gold records and GRAMMY awards, lavish hotel suites, and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve American relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone—with one exception. Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait, assuming they make it out alive.
Wow, I’m not sure what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t this. There’s nothing to compare it to and isn’t that refreshing these days? This story is classic Fielding: solid characters brought together with some tricky challenges and entertaining twists that end on a happy note. I always enjoy her books and this was no exception. Jaxon has everything he’s ever dreamed of but his life is sorely lacking something…or someone. When he agrees to perform in Vasnytsia, his rock star hazy vision begins to clear and he discovers what he’s missing. Too bad he can’t have him. Reid has no time for distractions, he’s tasked with a crucial mission. To his great frustration, the real man behind the rock star illusion slips past his defenses and adds complications he can’t afford. He must keep his eye on the objective, which proves to be harder than he ever imagined.
Both Jaxon and Reid are captivating and charming in their own unique ways. Jaxon is a spoiled brat with a pure heart. Reid is a gruff government ‘bodyguard’ with a deep secret. They clash and sparks fly. The plan is to accept the request for Jaxon to perform for the Prime Minister, an acoustic olive branch of sorts. Get in, play, get out. Simple. It doesn’t take long for them to realize there is nothing simple about this trip. And making it out alive has become their new objective. I’ll be honest when I tell you politics inside my kindle is not something I crave. I read for enjoyment and an escape, two things I don’t equate with politics. However, Fielding did a fantastic job incorporating the powers-that-be without discouraging my choice to give this book a go. The corrupt regime in Vasnytsia is sobering at best. There are some ‘wait a minute‘ suspend reality moments near the end. But I was too caught up in their tale to give it much notice.
It’s interesting that the romantic aspects of this story are never in your face but I felt them just the same. One of the things I loved the most was the power of music. When Jax sang for his attentive audience of one, I melted into the background of those intimate moments. Their connection wasn’t immediate but the intensity of their situation forged them together like steel. Exploring Vasnytsia was interesting. As solemn as it was, it was also filled with hope and faith. There weren’t any castles in the sky but the brute determination and unparalleled strength of a society desperate for democracy gave me chills. My heart raced as they fought for their freedom. And the ending left me so happy I thought I might burst. Seriously good stuff.
Fast-paced, low steam, nail-biting adventures. Political mayhem. And two extremely different men on different tracks craving a merging bridge and a new destination.
Rock star groupies, Fielding fans, and anyone looking for something off the beaten path.