Covert Cover Cracked by Missy Marciassa

22009970Publisher: Marissa Marciassa
Date Published: April 28th 2014
Genre: New Adult Action Romance
Series: Covert #3
Source: Author / NetGalley
Rating: Crazy Good 4 out of 5 stars

When 23-year-old Elle can’t explain why her job as an Information Scientist at the Library of Congress keeps her so busy (because she’s actually a CIA operative who just became field rated), her boyfriend dumps her, so she decides to focus on her career and enjoy a fling.

Navy SEAL Reese Beckwith seems like the perfect fling material except the more he sees Elle, the more he wants to know about her, and she can’t resist him. Things get complicated when Reese spots her with her CIA partner, a known womanizer. His questions for Elle get more pointed: he sees the potential for more than a fling, and once he sets an objective, failure is not an option.

Yet Elle tries to keep Reese in the “fling” category as her first major assignment heats up, becoming more personal with each development. When her personal and professional lives collide, Elle is put to the test. Does she have what it takes to be a covert operative? Will she have to choose between love and her career?
Elle is an Information Scientist at the Library of Congress. At least, that's one of her jobs. The other one is a secret, one that very few people know about. She's really a CIA operative. And she just became field rated. Her first op is successful, and nothing will take her down from her high of doing well on her first op. Except her boyfriend of one year, Lyle, decides to dump her for not being around enough.

Elle has to decide if having a successful career is really worth having a crappy social life. Except she's come so far. From being a total geek to a geek that can kick ass. She doesn't want to let go of her new life. She's not allowed to tell family and friends what she does, and its wrecking her personal life. But Elle wants her job more than anything. But if she can never tell anyone what she does, what kind of personal relationships can she ever have?

Reese is shipping out soon. He's a Navy SEAL and he isn't looking for anything permanent. All he wants is a fling to tide him over. Being stuck on a sub for six months is going to suck. But when he meets Elle, he's blown away. What starts as a fling becomes someone more. Reese knows that there's something about Elle that's different. And how does a Liberian, excuse me, Information Scientist, know krav maga? Reese is falling for her hard, even though they were only supposed to be a fling. But what if he wants more?

Elle is my dream girl version of me. She loves books, she gets to work for the Library of Congress, and she gets a healthy dose of action on the side, working for the CIA. I gotta admit, if I could be any character in any book, she would be it. She does struggle a bit with the relationship side of things, at least in the beginning, but she has the coolest job(s) a girl could ever want. And she can kick ass.

"I wouldn't want to hurt your manly pride. Or get myself arrested for assault."

I love that she's a kick-ass heroine and that she does struggle. She doesn't have everything fall into her lap. And she struggles within herself, too. It's believable, and I connected the most her. She struggles with her want to keep going and the realities of the job she has. Her dreams versus reality, basically. And she pushes herself. It's great. And she grows. She's not a static character. At the end of the book she understands more about her choice to work for the CIA as a field rated agent compared to the beginning of the book when she thought she understood what she was getting into, but didn't really understand on a fundamental level.

Reese you don't meet right away. He comes in a bit later. He's a sweet guy, can kick ass just like Elle, and he gets the job thing. They work relationship wise together.

"I'm up for some sparring. I'll even lick your wounds afterwards."

He is rather sexy too.

I do think that Reese is a bit more of a bland character compared to Elle, and I wished we had more from his point of view so I could understand him better. Most everything we read was from Elle's point of view, so we understood her the best. Reese we only got glimpses of. It bothered me that for the first half-ish of the book he was pretty scarce. I would have liked to know more about him.

Preston. Wow, that name has really begun to mean womanizer in books. I don't know how many books I have read where Preston is the player. Preston is a bit annoying for me. He seems like a know it all, and he keeps asking if Elle really knows the score. She didn't at the beginning, but that's not the point. It bothered me that he kept bugging her about it, even if he had a point.

Mason. God, you are gonna hate this guy. He has no emotions, may as well be a robot. And he's a good guy. But he's patronizing, critical, and puts Elle down with every minor mistake she makes. He does have a point about her complaining sometimes and threatening to quit, but still. He could be a little more cordial.

The romance in this story is more of a subplot to the story than the main plot of the story, which is great, because I like the action first and the romance second. If it's all angst-y romance and just a side order of action, I get bored. The action is the story, for the most part. Romances tend to be the same throughout most books, so the action is what captures my interest. This story had a heap of interesting things going on. I think there were about three op's in this book, which counted most of the actual fighting. But there was plenty of other action too. Elle sparred with Reese several times and they did things that were exciting. We didn't have another 'They went to the movies...' kind of romance. Theirs was exciting and fun.

You are thrown into this world from the beginning. It takes the first few chapters to get acclimated to the story and get a feeling for the world your reading about. There weren't any questions though. You understood what was happening and you got right into it. I'd say it was plausible and detailed, and for the most part you were shown the world, rather than told.

I will say that I thought the romance between Elle and Reese was slow. I was at 42% on my Kindle when I realized that we had only met Reese twice so far. I guess it's good that the romance was secondary in the scheme of the plot. If this was simply a romance book it would have been disappointing. But since there was action to make up for the slow romance, I wasn't too bothered. I think the middle and end were the best bits though. Like I said, the beginning was a little slow.

I would recommend this book to all of the readers who like action and romance hand-in-hand, rather than one or the other, because action and romance are best served together. My honest assessment of this book was I really liked it. There may have been some minor things that could have been improved, but I will without a doubt read this book again. And since I have not read the other books in this series, I will read those too. And this book can be read as a standalone, for those that are interested.


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