Title: Kept in the Dark
Series: Locke & Keyes Agency 1
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: self published
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Genre(s): romance, adventure, mystery
Page Count: 321
Reviewed by: Larissa
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Former Army Ranger turned government assassin Álvaro Montero and CIA Officer Caiden Cardosa crossed paths two years ago in Vienna, where their encounter ended less than amicably—despite the explosive sexual chemistry between them.
Now Caiden is riding a desk at Langley after his cover is blown. And Álvaro—who was “killed”—has a new identity and purpose as Delta/D, an operative for the Locke and Keyes Agency, under the leadership of the mysterious Alpha Orion.
When D and Caiden team up in a deadly black ops mission, the urge to kill each other will have to take a back seat to the desire for revenge against the man who betrayed them both. Surviving the mission won’t be easy. Resisting the passion between them—that might be impossible.
If there is one way to describe Kept in the Dark, it’s that it’s over the top. Charlie Cochet is known for writing books that are fun, sexy and humorous and generally are feel-good stories. The first book in the new series called Locke & Keyes Agency, is certainly all that, but at the same time it’s all a little “too” everything.
At the first book in this new series, Kept in the Dark not only introduces the readers to a host of new characters alongside the main characters; Former Army Ranger turned government assassin Álvaro Montero – now called D and burned CIA spy Caiden Cardosa, but also to their world. It’s like Charlie’s Angels but only with a whole team, complete with their boss only being a digitized voice. They fight corruption and stand up for the underdog.
In that respect, I really liked the story. It’s a good set-up an in typical “Charlie Cochet” style, it gives the story heart and fun to read. My main problem was with the two main characters for Kept in the Dark. Both Alvaro/D and Caiden are supposedly professionals. One a former assassin with a range of skills and the latter an extremely well-trained spy. And yet, for the most part of the story they act like incompetent (jealous) schoolboys, often compromising their mission in which they both have a stake. It didn’t feel in keeping with the larger picture of the story.
With the Four Kings series you got a balance between the story, the character’s profession and the romance. Yes, it sometimes was over the top too, but balanced. Kept in the Dark was not. It was trying too hard to be funny, too hard to be romantic, too hard to be mysterious/adventurous and too over the top sexy. For me it was too hard to take the sexy-times between D and Caiden seriously. They way they talked during sex and the phrases they uttered were just… uhuh, nope.
So, I’m sitting on the fence with this story. Yes I liked it, it has a lot of potential and the writing was solid Charlie Cochet. The pacing was good, nothing was rushed and the story is well edited with a gorgeous cover. At the same time it was all a little too over the top for me to really like the story as I did the previous books by the author, though I have good hope for the rest of the series.