Received via NetGalley and Booktrope Editions in exchange for an completely unbiased review.
Also posted on Silk & Serif
TAG is the story of two people who find love in the most obscure circumstances. Its a little different from your average New Adult Romance and that’s why this one stands out so resolutely.
Tango, an ex-marine superman, has accepted a job to babysit a kid with a bad attitude in an equally bad situation. He has just as many secrets as the man who hired him to keep watch over his daughter and just as many reasons to keep them to himself. The girl is nothing like Tango expected and slowly he breaks down her walls protecting her from the world. He realizes too late that while he’s been bringing down her walls she’s been doing the same to him. He’s in over his head on this one.
Know everyone. Trust no one.
Cali has seen enough death, bloodshed and fear to last her a lifetime. Its not her fault her life continues to be not her own and her CIA father has such powerful enemies. Shes unable to stay in one place for long and her sole purpose for continuing on is revenge on all those who hurt her sister. Cali’s life is turned upside down when sexy, smart mouthed Tango becomes her body guard. He’s frustrating because he makes her want something she hasn’t wanted since before when she made a mistake in trusting the wrong person.
Her dark cobalt eyes are large and appear silver from the reflecting street lights, which illuminates her fear even more. Her chest heaves in and out. In and out, faster and faster, fighting with the last breaths she will take. Time has stopped around us. The world is out-of-focus, and it’s just her and me—the little girl kneeling next to me at our dollhouse, the little girl sitting at the other side of our tea party table, the young woman whose shoulder has gathered so many of my fallen tears. The loss of her will make my life meaningless once gone. I will always protect you, I want to say. But it’s too late.
TAG is a story about more than love and survival. The struggle to trust when it’s been broken by all those who should have been trustworthy is at the core of this novel. Cali has been betrayed by her parents and watched her sister be betrayed by others. Tango has been betrayed in other ways and has betrayed his family. The two imperfect characters are perfect for one another.
Why did I love this book? Tango and Cali are different people who find one another amidst a soap opera situation. The characters are unaware of the broader picture, but together they uncover the secrets that have destroyed Cali’s life. We learn about a Marine who gave up everything including his own identity to protect his country, but instead of feeling righteous he struggles with the question: was it worth it? Was Tango only a pawn in a larger game? Did he murder insurgents or protect his country? This was so very refreshing and inspiring for someone who has very complicated feelings about the military. A man who went into the military to protect his country, but returns someone who feels too much was asked of him.
TAG is a standalone novel about a daughter of a man who’s life work has been the CIA. He has powerful enemies and his family becomes the target, but who is really after Cali? Is it the CIA’s enemies or something even darker than Cali can imagine? TAG is not your run of the mill novel. Cali isn’t a super agent and TAG isn’t an “alpha male” character. They are average people with average problems thrown into a larger than life situation.
My only complaint? The ending was rushed and tied up far too quickly. It felt like perhaps the author’s deadline was approaching and she had to push the final few chapters into half the time. Even so, TAG is still a must read for the Summer of 2015!
This story will interest those who enjoy coverups, black bagged operations, romance, soap operas and stories about characters as flawed as the bad guys.