Countdown to Zero Hour

Nico Rosso
Countdown to Zero Hour
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Carina Press
Release Date
February 2016
Book 1 of Black Ops: Automatik
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Hayley Bascov is a chef without a kitchen. Her plans to open a restaurant left with the ex-boyfriend who doubled as her business partner; now she hawks Russian dumplings from a cart outside a shady San Diego nightclub.

When the owner, a notorious Russian mob boss, tastes her dumplings and recruits her to cater an event, it's made clear she can't say no. But the money is good, and with her main point of contact being the boss's sexy right-hand man, the perks aren't bad either.

Art Diaz is tattooed, muscular, and undeniably dangerous. Hayley knows better than to get involved with someone with such close afia ties, but a little flirtation might help keep her safe, if she could just manage to keep her hands off of him. Unfortunately, he's not doing anything to make that easy. Or even possible.

What Hayley doesn't know is that Art is more than handsome mob muscle. He's an undercover agent for black ops organization Automatik, tasked with bringing down the very man they both call any cost.

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Dec 31, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
100 people found the following review helpful
THIS is how romantic suspense should be done! Tight storyline, likable characters and constant suspense make COUNTDOWN TO ZERO HOUR one of my favorite books of 2015!

Saving to open her own restaurant would've been so much easier if Hayley Baskov's stupid ex hadn't run off with her money. Now slinging Russian pelmeni from a food cart outside of nightclubs to raise some income, Hayley meets the club's dangerously handsome security detail Art Diaz. She cuts a deal with the club owner to allow her to stay there, but now it seems she's in bed with the Russian mob's Orel Group (when she really only wanted in bed with Art).

The second Art spotted Hayley, he wanted her and her dumplings. But working undercover as part of Automatik to infiltrate the Orel Group, he can't let her know his true identity. When his boss taps Hayley to be the chef at a top secret meeting of five Russian mob bosses at a secluded house in the middle of the desert, Art is petrified. He didn't want Hayley getting her hands dirty like him, but denying the man wasn't an option if he was going to keep his cover.

Hayley is about to crawl out of her skin in fear from the hulking and cruel guards at the mob boss's house. The only thing keeping her sane is her bizarre connection to Art. How can she want someone so much who is a bad as he is?! As tensions rise between them, they're also rising within the house, making their world into a ticking time bomb. The only question is, who will make it out alive.

COUNTDOWN TO ZERO HOUR is the seriously excellent first book in the forthcoming Black Ops: Automatik series by Mr. Rosso. No time was wasted getting right into the suspense of the story, instead taking the action from zero to 60 in just a few pages, and I liked it! I was surprised both by the fantastic writing in this book, as well as the impeccable editing efforts. It's extremely rare for me to not spot at least one thing out of place, but COUNTDOWN TO ZERO HOUR was impeccable, so kudos to both Mr. Rossi and editor Rhonda Helms.

The fast paced storyline flowed smoothly and with terrific sexual tension between Hayley and Art. Their characters just hummed with barely restrained passion, and when they finally came together, the charge was explosive. I think that the tension between them was mirrored by the tension in the house where they both were working. Everyone was on a knife's edge and ready to strike in the blink of an eye. I was constantly waiting for the shoe to drop, keeping me strung tight while reading this most fantastic book. I will definitely be anxiously awaiting future offerings in this surprisingly suspenseful and sensually erotic series.

Bottom Line: Fans of romantic suspense will go wild over COUNTDOWN TO ZERO HOUR! It's absolutely flawless!
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