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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inside by Brenda Novak

Inside by Brenda Novak
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (440 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He's finally been exonerated, but he can't escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They'll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can't get to Virgil they'll go after his sister and her kids.

The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, one that's taking control of the state's most notorious supermax. Virgil agrees to do it under an alias—in exchange for his sister's protection.

Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams is opposed to having Virgil in her prison. How will she protect him if things go bad? Besides, she's far too attracted to him; she might even be falling in love with him. That makes her all the more desperate to keep him safe—and it gives him someone else to lose.

The stakes are high. To protect his family, Virgil makes a deal with the cops to help bring down a dangerous gang. He has everything to lose, and nothing to gain. He knows very well the dangers of this operation, and that he could very well not come out of this alive. He's got one shot to get this right.

Enter Peyton Adams, a stubborn, strong willed woman -- and the chief deputy Warden. Her first reaction to Virgil wasn't a good one, though she can't figure out her attraction to the ex-con, either. Though innocent, the man spent the adult part of his life behind bars and in a gang. It wasn't right to want to be with him. And he knew exactly how to push her buttons, but at the same time, she managed to push his buttons as well. Now Peyton has to keep this man safe and come out of this alive. He has a sister and two kids who need him, and in time, Peyton realizes she needs Virgil, too. The sexual tension sizzles between the two and I couldn't wait to see how Peyton and Virgil were going to react to the feelings they had for one another. How would they make this work, if they choose to accept what their heart felt?

Virgil doesn't want to have feelings for Peyton. He's got a job to do. He has Laurel and the kids to think about. Trying to get out of a gang isn't going to be easy, especially when he has information that the dangerous men don't want the police knowing. Turning his back on people that he's been around for years, despite the fact that they aren't all good people, will put many lives in jeopardy. Who can he trust? Who's on the inside?

Full of intense emotion, suspense and action, Brenda Novak delivers another suspense novel that shines. The characters in her stories are always full of surprises and you can't help but love the good guys and hate the bad guys. With plenty of twists in the plot, I was fully engaged in this book. There are even a few surprises that I never expected.

If you like a romance with plenty of suspense, heroes that would do anything to protect those they love, a strong-minded heroine that can fend for herself, and a happily ever after despite the odds stacked agaist them, then get on the inside with this story.