Review of Deep Cover


Deep Cover

Love Over Duty Series

Scarlett Cole

July 31, 2018

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Blurb: Ex-Navy SEAL Cabe Moss always comes when called to duty―at all costs. Even though the death of his fiancée nearly destroyed him, Cabe won’t let his past interfere with any work that has to get done. When his latest task pushes him to team up with FBI Agent Amy Murray, a fierce beauty with the undercover skills to match, Cabe must admit that, for the first time in years, he wants to do more than just complete their mission together…

Amy was born ready for this assignment, but working side-by-side with the strong, silent, and frustratingly professional Cabe seems to be the biggest challenge of all. But when the sparks begin to fly―and the stakes rise to dangerous heights―the only thing Amy is left worrying about is how she can resist him. Their lives may be in danger, but their hearts hold the biggest risk of all…


Scarlett Cole had me in the palm of her hand until I reached the 50% point, and then “fierce,” determined FBI Agent Amy Murray abandons her self-control, convictions, and previous indignation so she can have an ill-advised romp with colleague Cabe Moss, despite the fact that they had already accepted they would wait until after the assignment was over. You know, so they didn’t endanger the assignment. And then Scarlett Cole pretty much lost me.

If I had read what series Deep Cover was from, Love Over Duty, perhaps I could have anticipated this likelihood. Yep, because we all want to hear the motto: I’ll keep you safe unless I fall in lust then forgetaboutit.

Cole had written a very strong romantic suspense novel up to that point, from there it became sort of a typical romance. Cabe wouldn’t believe that Amy, a trained FBI agent, could handle herself. He needed to save her. She became victim-material then. She goes from being a character we admired to sulky and whiny.

As for the romance between Cabe and Amy, to me they didn’t have much chemistry. Cabe was still lost in thoughts of his fiancee who was killed in the Middle East. As a romance reader that’s a red flag right there. Wouldn’t it take something incredible, some divine interaction to make him move on from those memories so quickly? Because of that, the romance felt forced rather than organic, and the sex scenes seemed as if they were thrown in because they were suddenly needed, despite the fact that the novel would have been much better if they’d waited, built up some romantic tension, and then consummated. Anticipation is 25% of the fun (I’d say 50, but I’m not sure if that’s true, heh).

I must admit that I thought Scarlett Cole would join Laura Griffin on my list of favorite romantic suspense novelists, and maybe she still will. (I like to give an author the benefit of the doubt when a novel starts so well and read another of their books.) While Cole writes well and was informative providing interesting details, her characters lacked the backbone and professionalism, which I highly respect, of Griffin’s characters. Also, considering the suspense took a far backseat, think back of the bus backseat, Deep Cover falls more into the romance category for me.

The ex-Navy SEAL characters were pretty well-written. The camaraderie and dialogue was well-done, very realistic, and frequently humorous. I wish we had seen more of Amy’s father, the famous poker player (that’s a nice twist, no?) and her Uncle Clive, as they added a welcome touch of quirkiness.

Who will like this novel? If you are a firm resident of the Laura Griffin-style of romantic suspense camp, you may be disappointed by the wish-washiness of the characters and the lack of suspense of the suspense. However, if you enjoyed Katee Robert’s The Surviving Girls, this one could be a winner for you as it is less improbable and better written. Your enjoyment of this novel will most certainly depend on your expectations.

I was provided with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Deep Cover goes on sale July 31. You can pre-order here.

rating: 3-but

3 out of 5 butterflies


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