The Spy Who Saved Christmas
I’ve read Dana Marton’s books before, and she often tells a good story. Her writing style tends to be fairly solid and indeed, The Spy Who Saved Christmas stylistically flowed well. However, the characters weren’t well-formed enough to satisfy and the story relied on far too many cliches for it to hold the reader’s interest.
At the age of 22, Lara Jordan lost her virginity to the hot baker in the store next door to her butcher shop. Shortly thereafter, Reid Graham disappeared from her life and she believed him dead. When the two meet up coincidentally at a restaurant a couple of years later, she is shocked. Lara has a surprise in store for Reid – the twin sons she conceived as a result of their night together.
Unbeknownst to Lara, Reid is an agent on loan to the FBI trying to infiltrate and take down a domestic terror ring. Given the circumstances under which Reid runs into Lara, she is now in danger and so she and her twins must depend on Reid for safety. Given that the hero and heroine spend most of the book either on the run from terrorists or trying to hunt down terrorists, the story contains lots of action.
That action starts off strong and it does catch the reader’s attention. However, it also hampers the developement of the romance. This is a comparatively short novel and, while Lara and Reid rekindle their romance, they have lots of conflict to work through and much ground to cover in terms of relationship building. Since this is primarily an action-driven story, their lust for each other feels real, but the deeper romance just didn’t stick with me. In addition, Reid seemed to move from not knowing he had children to not believing the children were his to suddenly wanting to move heaven and earth for these babies in a very short span of time. This shift in emotions went a little too smoothly for me to believe it.
With a strong action plot and weaker romance, I would have described this book as merely ordinary. However, midway through the novel, the action plot also loses steam. Readers know that Reid has been on the hunt for a domestic terror ring and the terrorists do make appearances throughout the book. However, the villains always seemed somewhat indistinct and by the middle chapters of the book, I found it very easy to put it down and forget all about what these bad guys were all about. For a romantic thriller, this is not a positive quality.
While not dreadful, The Spy Who Saved Christmas never really caught fire for me and was just too dull for me to recommend. Unless you really like secret baby plots, I’d suggest giving this one a pass.