I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
This is the second in the Barefoot Bay/Guardian Angelinos crossover series. It focuses on Francesca "Chessie" Rossi, baby sister of master-spy Gabe and major tech-support for her cousin's agency in Boston. In this story, she flies down to Florida to help her brother with a mission in Cuba. When she's stuck in the Atlanta airport, she meets Mal, ex-con and total hottie. As a former CIA agent who is being tailed, he immediately suspects Chessie. They hook up and she tells him her last name. He freaks out because he's friends with Gabe.
Of course they are paired on Gabe's mission together and they are adorable and make a great team while doing so.
I totally loved it. I love both series and Chessie getting her own story is great. She's smart, funny, and super-brave, but she has zero field experience. That made for great scenes where she has to think on her feet and adjust to changing circumstances. Mal is a good guy with a messed up past. (Sorry for the vagueness. I'm trying to avoid spoilers.) I loved the "hopeless" theme between these two characters. It hit just the right amounts of angst and sweetness.
The subplot of Gabe searching for his lost love and their possible lost child broke my heart. I won't say anymore because I don't want to spoil it. I don't think you need to have read either previous series to appreciate his story. Gabe is the type of character who takes up a lot of space in the room. I thought St. Claire did a good job of keeping the focus on Chessie and Mal in their scenes with him. Gabe struggled emotionally during this one and I can't wait for his story.
I loved everything about this book. Setting much of it in Cuba was really nice too. It made my day seeing that it came out yesterday. That's kind of the effect an autobuy author has on me. Woo! and swoon. :)
*Trigger warning for some of the scenes set in Guantanamo Bay. Torture is both alluded to and experienced by one of the characters.