The mini-series A Year of Loving Dangerously is based around a top-secret government agency named SPEAR. SPEAR is headed by an anonymous leader named Jonah. The SPEAR operatives do not know who Jonah is and do not know when one Jonah retires and another takes over. The current Jonah has found out that the organization has been infiltrated by a person who has planted information that would set him up as a traitor.
Years ago, Jonah had a operative, Easton Kirby, who would be the perfect man to find out the identity of the infiltrator. East has retired though. He suffered from a combination of burnout and guilt over having accidently killed a college student in his last assignment and for the past several years has been running a luxery hotel (owned by SPEAR) and raising his adopted son Jeff, who is in medical school.
When East refuses to get back into the game to find the man responsible for framing Jonah, Jonah sends Alicia Corbin, a brilliant operative, to change his mind. While Alicia has an enviable IQ, she seemed an odd choice for this assignment. One would have expected Jonah to send someone skilled in dealing with people – Alicia is not a people person. Alicia graduated from high school at 10 and from the University at 17 with three PhD’s. Because Alicia was raised by distant parents and her IQ is so high, she is the consumate outsider. Alicia is book-smart but people-dumb.
Alicia and East strike a few damp sparks initially, but she is failing in her job to persuade him to help Jonah. Just as Alicia is about to give up, East gets word that Jeff has been kidnapped. The kidnappers agenda and Jonah’s dilemma seem to be intertwined and East and Alicia join forces.
When Alicia and East join to find Jeff, the story and the characters heat up considerably and Mission Irrestistible began to remind me of the old Mission Impossible television show.
I was enchanted with Alicia. Usually, I tend to focus more on the hero of a book but Alicia was someone special. She was so intelligent and so lonely because of her intelligence that I hurt for her. Her own family never had time for her, and others have treated her as only a brainy freak. When circumstances force her into close contact with East, she finds a man who loves her brains, loves her ability and loves her. Also, Alicia is one of the most take-charge heroines I have encountered in a long time. She can literally do anything from using her skills in card counting to win them money in Vegas to posing as a terrorist emissary in order to free East’s son Jeff. What a strong character.
Compared to the strong Alicia, East is only average. He’s a likable but rather stock charcter. A man who is a tortured yet brave when the chips are down kind of guy. His guilt and continual flagellation of himself over accidently killing a young man in an accident (and it was an accident) years ago seems a bit overdone for a man who was a hard nosed secret agent operative. Alicia quite overshadowed him in my opinion.
Mission Irrestistible is a good mix of action and romance and since I am an unabashed action junkie it certainly whetted my appetite for more. I’ll be following this series as it unfolds – stay tuned.