Cold Wicked Lies

Toni Anderson
Cold Wicked Lies
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Toni Anderson Inc.
Release Date
June 2020
Book 2 of Cold Justice: Crossfire
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

In an effort to halt an armed standoff, FBI negotiator Charlotte Blood tries to unravel the mystery of a young woman's death on a remote mountainside. Pity she has to fight her stubborn, sexy, Hostage Rescue Team counterpart every step of the way.

As a highly skilled operative, HRT leader Payne Novak doesn't have time to play detective or make nice with killers who flout the law. His focus is getting inside the compound and ending the siege as quickly as possible.

Forced to work together, the battle-hardened HRT team leader and the quietly determined negotiator figure out they might have more in common than they anticipated. As the clock ticks, Charlotte discovers there are some dangers she can't talk her way out of, and the race to unearth long-buried lies becomes a matter of survival for everyone on the mountain.

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Aug 30, 2020   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
39 people found the following review helpful
I actually do think there's little that Toni Anderson can't do, especially as she continues to churn out high-quality reads with her FBI Cold Justice juggernaut of a series that doesn't seem to run out of steam.

With COLD WICKED LIES, SSA Payne Novak and Charlotte Blood (cue the bad puns here) run out of road early on--the HRT operator and the negotiator walk opposing paths to conflict resolution. Tough action versus peaceful negotiation forms the basis of their conflict, so much so that their superior forces them to do everything together for 3 days like sullen schoolchildren forced to play nice with each other. I had a little snigger with that, but after this, the case itself takes off as Ms. Anderson goes into a believable web of nitty-gritties that makes the police procedural flawlessly absorbing.

The romance between Novak and Charlotte sort of has an instalove feel, considering it's simply all compressed into a whole 72 hours, forced as they are from the start to be stuck at the hip in an 'enemies-to-lovers' trope. But time is drawn out here with so much happening within this short period of time that you'd think days or weeks have gone by instead; their connection is stronger instead because of the intense action, their emotions magnified and their mutual-infatuation fast-burning but inevitable.

I loved Charlotte's ability to tread the line between doing her job and standing up for what she wanted; that Ms. Anderson makes Novak the emotionally but somewhat evolved cowardly one (it's something he readily acknowledges) is just icing on the cake, given that there's already a believable yet likeable female lead that has got to be the book's highlight.
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October 16, 2021 08:44 PM ( EST )