Title: Forever (Spy vs Spook #3)
Cover artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner press
Amazon: Buy Link Forever
Genre: contemporary romance/suspense lite
Length: 350 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: It was a lovely read, which mostly read as an extended epilogue to the series.
Sequel to Houseboat on the Nile Spy vs. Spook: Book Three
Lately, life is both sweet and sour for intelligence operatives Mark Vincent and Quinton Mann. The sweet is they’re settling into a relationship; Mark has found a condo in Alexandria with the help of Quinn’s mother, Portia; and Mark and Quinn are looking forward to spending the holidays in the Caribbean.
As for the sour, something shadier than usual is going on at Langley. Useless missions and sleepless nights are leaving Quinn exhausted, and then Portia’s life is threatened. When Quinn discovers the accident was no accident and the egomaniacal Senator Wexler is involved, he’s out for blood.
To this point, Mark has stayed out of Quinn’s CIA business. But hurting Quinn and those he loves isn’t on the table, so at Mark’s instigation, they set out together to deal with Wexler. The only catch: it’s the first time Quinn will see Mark at his deadly best, and Mark isn’t sure how his lover will react.
<>h2>Spy vs Spook Series
I reviewed the first book and the second book in the series here on the site, so despite issues I had with those books (mostly annoyingly the repetitive narration) I decided that I should review the next book too. Do not get me wrong, it was not a chore for me. The strange thing with me and books by this writer is that I always like a lot of things and dislike some things too, but I like them enough to keep hoping that one day one of her books will be a five star read for me.
I really liked that the repetitiveness in narration is cut to the absolute minimum there. Both Mark and Quinn narrate large chunks of text and the overlap is still there couple of times, but it is not nearly as significant and annoying for me as it was in book one or even in book two.
Unfortunately, with the repetitiveness cut to a minimum I also felt that there was not much happening in this book and yes, while the blurb may tell you otherwise, I would say that it is extremely exaggerated – even though what the blurb says happens definitely happens in the book. The problem is that it happens extremely fast and in my opinion does not lead to an increase of the tension between the guys at all.
For example, one would think that Senator Wexler would be creating problems for Quinn’s mother during at least half of the book, while all I noticed was him being a nuisance at functions and wanting to get her in bed. Not that anybody allowed him even talk to Portia Mann for a long time. Now, the accident was a serious threat of course, but it was just all over so fast (book page wise) and as I said I did not see any significant increase in the tension between Quinn and Mark because of that. More importantly, the revenge against the Senator which the blurb talks about was IMO such a bad red herring to make you think about this being a vehicle for conflict between the guys.
Oh there certainly was revenge do not get me wrong – but all of it, except the last punishment (by the way if real spies and spooks can do what they do so very easily to any person, that makes me so very scared, but I digress) was told to us very matter of factly and very briefly within few pages. That last punishment, which was supposed to show Quinn that Mark is such a big bad wolf (they both are in case the readers of the series do not know that yet 🙂 ), . actually happened in the mid 90s locations of the story . The conflict between them (which was essentially based on a misunderstanding, not on what the blurb would lead you to believe) – if you can call it a conflict – started on the last pages of the story and was resolved just as fast on those few pages of the story.
During most of the book though they have dinners with the family, play house and couple of times worry that one of them would leave each other. But contrary to the first and second books where I could buy their doubts, in this one it was just not believable to me. Heck, I did not feel that the guy who asked a question at any given moment usually believed it himself. I would have loved to see more of their work, more of their [do you mean them?] outside the country missions to be actually shown, but alas.
Even with not much happening in this book, though, I was not actually bored, which I suppose is the testament to this author’s talent. For example, at some point in this book Mark is house hunting and I was enjoying every second of it. But just do not go in this book expecting a lot of conflict and tension and you will probably like it.