Devyn Hewitt Sterling is living with a string of insecurities. Having grown up in an adoptive family and now being a widow of her worthless, cheating husband, Devyn questions her personal character and direction in life. After hiring an investigator, she receives confirmation of who her birth parents are: Dr. Sharron Greenberg (microbiologist) and Finn MacCauley (mobster and FBI fugitive). Uncertain if her late husband revealed her parents’ identities to his cohorts before his death, Devyn concludes it is only right to face Sharron and warn her of potential danger. But what Devyn desires more is to see if there is any emotional connection with her mother or if she is truly what she has always believed herself to be – a product of bad bloodline. As Devyn begins her search for her birth mother, she is immediately thrown into a perilous situation with a man threatening Sharron’s life. What started as an impulse to meet her birth mother has now become a mission which takes her to Ireland and into a world of danger she never bargained for.
Marc Rossi, former FBI agent and current small-business owner is looking forward to leaping back into a life he once enjoyed. Marc recently became a consultant for his cousins (Vivi and Zach Angelino) new security agency, The Guardian Angelinos. Their first client is the FBI and the task is for Marc to travel to Ireland and bring Devyn Sterling back to the States with no questions and no complications. What he believes will be a fairly simple task, turns out to be anything but. Devyn is convinced her birth mother was kidnapped and is determined to help Sharron escape no matter her own personal risk. While Marc’s job is to simply bring Devyn home quietly, he cannot leave and let her face the dangers ahead alone.
There were elements of the story which I continue to enjoy with the Guardian Angelino series, especially the level of suspense and the connection of a spicy Italian family. What I believe fell short in a big way with Shiver of Fear was the romance. The book opened with a bang and the action, mystery and suspense were dominant roles throughout the story. Marc and Devyn, were strong and fearless individuals but lacked the passion and chemistry to have me routing for their HEA. Both had trust issues, however, as each proved to the other that they were dependable, the overall tone still felt like they were partners on a job and not developing into a romantic relationship. I also had problems with Devyn’s mindset of “I’m not good enough for you” or “I’m from bad blood” that she held through most of the story. Switching from complete self-deprecation to enlightened freedom at the end does not settle well with me or make me believe in the authenticity of the couple. Although Marc and Devyn lacked sizzle and a strong connection, we did revisit Sam and Zach from Edge of Sight as well as Vivi, Uncle Nino and the rest of the clan. There is also a nice set up of the pairing of Vivi and FBI Agent Colton Lang for the third installment of the series of which I am looking forward to. If you enjoy your romantic suspense heavy on the action and light on the romance, then Shiver of Fear is a sure pick.
“He didn’t look too young, mid-to-late thirties, with a sexy kind of fierceness under that charm, like he could slam you up against a wall and pin you there – right before he kissed the living hell out of you.”