Against The Dark by Carolyn Crane (The Associates #1)

Against The Dark by Carolyn CraneAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense 

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki


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.


Forced back into a game she’s been trying to leave behind for several years Angel is the only one able to crack a killer’s safe. When she gets caught red handed and blackmailed into busting into yet another safe she feels cornered and maneuvered. Yet the man moving the puppet strings is also pulling at her heartstrings. He’s secretive and sexy and wants Angel even though she feels completely unworthy. But her sexy undercover operative isn’t playing for keeps. He may not even be playing for temporary.

Cole will use the pretty safecracker and he’ll even throw her under the bus if he needs to. The end game is more important than a single player. At least that’s what he tells himself as he’s stealing kisses as sure as his safecracker is stealing his heart. As the danger closes in on them both will Cole break his cardinal rule and put this woman in front of his mission?

Why did I not read this book sooner?! Why?! Against The Dark is uniquely original and fresh in a sea of romantic suspense! I loved it from beginning to end! Carolyn Crane is giving readers something you don’t see very often in the romance world. Nerdy men. Sure, sure, Cole is smoking hot…but he’s also a math whiz who relies on his ability to form equations to get into people’s heads and figure out the master plans of some very vicious killers. I loved how big his…..brain was. 🙂 In addition to his big, er, brain his brawniness was sexually appealing in a way that you don’t find that often because Cole seriously was the best of both worlds.

Can’t get better than a nerdy sexy hero right? Wrong. Angel. She’s practical, smart and a safecracker in a group of thieving women. I mean, how cool is that?! Cole is immediately drawn to her even while she’s in character for the job her friends have drug her into. Her inner beauty and confidence shine through even while she tries to stifle it.  Cole recognizes her skill and her beauty and before long he’s wishing he hadn’t brought the fiery woman back into the house of horrors he’s been trying to crack. While her safecracking skills are unrivaled she hates that part of herself and has tried to make amends since quitting the business several years prior. She sees herself as ugly and craves acceptance for her true self, something she lets Cole see against her better judgement.

Against The Dark is breathtakingly erotic as Cole seduces the one woman he should want nothing to do with. He becomes protective even though it’s obvious Angel is capable of slipping in and out of the shadows like a pro and watching him break his own stringently set rules was simply good reading. Full of action from beginning to end, this one will keep you on your toes. I loved everything about it and can’t wait to pick up book two, Off The Edge featuring the mysterious English linguist, Macmillan.

I give Against The Dark by Carolyn Crane 4 stars! 

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