For His Eyes Only
Lieutenant Jade Parker, Damage Control Officer on the U.S.S. Baddager, has been assigned to babysit actor Mack Reese when he comes aboard her ship to research a part. Jade doesn’t want the duty at all, but the minute they meet, the attraction between them sparks.
Jade is a tough-as-nails woman who doesn’t put up with anything. She is good at her job and dedicated to it. She has to be – a woman in a man’s world can’t give anyone anything to criticize. Her job is interesting and difficult, from leading the firemen to cleaning up toxic waste. She was definitely my favorite character.
Reese is not what he seems. His profile as an actor is a cover for his true job as an undercover operative. Reese turned me off for about the first quarter of the book because his thoughts ran along the lines of using Jade as a means to an end and how he could manipulate her into helping him find out what he needed to know, using any means necessary including getting her to sleep with him. Yes, he was fighting an attraction to her, but he was also thinking about how to use it to his advantage. The only thing that keeps him from being completely unlikable at first is that he really never suspects Jade as being involved in what he is investigating, and part of his manipulation is to get her to trust him so that he can confide in her and get his job done. Also, I imagine that true operatives have to do things they don’t like, and he did feel bad about his deceit. Once he decides to tell Jade the truth, or most of it, and they work together, he was much more likable.
There are several steamy scenes in this book. Irvin’s prose gets a little purple during them, but the prose does get the attraction between Jade and Reese across to the reader. And an original touch – I’ve never come across a hero before who acknowledges a fetish – about the heroine’s hair, no less. Interesting. I did feel that when Jade and Reese realized they loved each other, they were still in the stages of lust. But by the end of the novel, it was a more solid relationship and worked a little better. Jade and Reese both have emotional baggage that is not really necessary to the book. Reese’s issues with the Navy and his father especially seemed superfluous, because the undercover operation and his growing trust with Jade took up most of the time.
Jade’s good friends Karin and Greg and her nemesis Mike Dillon round out the cast and make interesting supporting characters.
Irvin put a lot of her real-life experience in the Navy as a damage control officer into this story, and it made Jade’s job even more interesting reading. This is a solid debut for a new author, and I look forward to reading the next.