Title: Dangerous to Know
Series: Unbroken Heroes #1
Author: Dawn Ryder
Format: Paperback & eBook, 352 pgs
Published: Mar.1, 2016 by St. Martin’s
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
In this red-hot romance-the first in a Special Ops series-Dawn Ryder takes readers into a world of dangerous secrets and forbidden passion...
She's too good to be bad
A bad-boy member of an elite Special Ops team, Mercer has never been assigned an undercover mission he couldn't complete. But when his latest job requires him to gain the trust-and get into the bed-of his newest target, the sexy, fiery colonel's daughter, he has a whole new challenge ahead of him. All evidence points to her being a traitor to the country he's sworn to protect, but the crackling desire between them is too strong a feeling to ignore...
He's too bad to resist
Zoe has always kept her secrets close to the vest. The only woman in a decorated military family, she's been taught that to let someone close is to flirt with disaster. But when the dangerously handsome, alpha-strong Mercer comes blazing into her life full-speed, it's all Zoe can do to resist his wicked seduction. As danger circles closer, Zoe must decide if she can trust him to protect her-but there's no way he could be bad when he makes her feel this good...
Going undercover for Mercer is nothing new but being instantly attracted to his mark is. As a special ops warrior, Mercer is used to dangerous situations but trying to uncover a traitor selling military secrets is second to the danger his feelings for Zoe create. Zoe is from a strong military family, her father and brother are both career military and when her brother calls her with a cryptic message to be on guard, she listens. When Mercer bursts into her life, the attraction is immediate and hot but when he starts treating her like the enemy, the heat between them might just blow up.
Dangerous to Know is the first in a new series and with a suspense storyline that starts off right away, the beginning was a bit of a rough start. We are introduced to many military men and it was hard to know who was who and what was what. I didn't feel like I had a true grasp on things until a little half way through the story in regards to who the villains were and why they were doing what they were doing.
For the first half of the book, I felt like there wasn't much development of story, our hero and heroine kind of just run here to have sex and then run there to have sex. There is a lot of sex happening in this story, it's done well but there wasn't really prior emotional development between our leads to give credence to the sex. Mercer starts off trying to hook Zoe right away with sex, which with their mutual attraction, they have. Zoe likes Mercer's bad boy vibe but even after she finds out that he thinks her and/or family are traitors and he treats her fairly roughly (demanding, treating her as if she is guilty, overall kind of mean) Zoe still has the "hots" for him. Zoe mostly comes off as tough and together as her father raised and gave her the training to be competent but she falls into the trap of being hot for Mercer's body, even when he is treating her less than ideal, too often. Our couple does have chemistry and if you're looking for more sex than story, then they have that in spades. I just wish Mercer could have been less alpha-hole and Zoe less hot for his bod.
The suspense story plot had more substance to me than the romance parts but like I said, it takes quite a while for it to become clear enough to get into. Basically, Mercer works for a secret military group and his boss, Saxon, has a brother, Vitus, who lost his badge because when he rescued a senator's daughter, they slept together. The senator is introduced more towards the end and he seems to be psychotically obsessed with Vitus and how he defiled his precious daughter. The senator appears to have hired or be controlling Tyler, also a special ops military guy, who was Saxon's boss. Tyler along with a more minor villain set up Zoe's family but some top military guys know they have a rat in the ranks and kind of use Zoe as bait to catch them. It's a little confusing but essentially it all traces back to Vitus and the senator's daughter. We get the basics of that story but don't see it. This story ends pretty abruptly and while our hero and heroine get their happily ever after, the suspense plot with Vitus and the main villains is left unresolved. I think the continuing thread that will connect the series is going to be Vitus.
I thought the last 20% or so of the book with the suspense storyline was really good, but what a rough complicated murky journey it was to get there. I found myself way more interested in Vitus and the senator's daughter story and if their book is next, I will definitely check it out. This book was more sex than story and the beginning of what seems like an interesting storyplot.