Against the Dark (Associates, #1)

Against the Dark (Associates, #1) - Carolyn Crane He couldn’t believe it, just the miracle of her, inexplicably, unknowably perfect.Against the Dark is the first book in the new series, The Associates by Carolyn Crane. We meet Angel Ramirez and safe cracker gone straight who's being pulled back into the game to save someone she cares about. Angel has spent the last 5 years putting an honest life together for herself, this job could put that all in jeopardy. Tall, dangerous, smart and handsome, Cole Hawkins is not what Angel needs when she sees him across the room at Walter Borgola mansion. He's got bad boy written all over his nerd glasses but she cannot help herself. Cole works for the Associates and he's deep undercover trying to take down some of Borgala's business. The Story...The idea for a female safe cracker is not something new to the book world. I personally haven't read a book about one so for me this was a different change of pace from the male dominated career choice. What I found fun to read was Angel out of the game, trying to make an honest living and keep her family safe but being pulled back into this lifestyle to help someone she cares deeply about. Once we got over the introductions and you understood who all the players were in the story, then the pace picked up and I found myself flipping ebook page after another. I wanted to see what happens to Cole and Angel. The plot was simple but detailed enough to keep me reading. I was personally drawn into the story by the characters. The plot was not so intricate that I didn't know what was coming and at time some was very predictable. Against the Dark is suspense but there was so much action and even Angel surprised me a few times with her skills.He wanted to know because he wanted to know everything about her: he wanted to know the gum she chewed, the shows she watched, her candy bar preferences, what her grade school art projects looked like. He wanted her secrets and her soul, and she wouldn’t give up any of it. She was worse than a goddamn Fenton Furst.The characters...“I told him I let the johns pick the songs. And then he asks me what songs they like to make me listen to while they do me.” White Jenny snorted. “What did you say?” This was good. Angel could feel the tension lightening. “I didn’t know what to say. In my mind, all I could think of was like, We are the Champions?“ White Jenny snickered. “We are the Champions?” Macy said, “You didn’t tell him that.” “No. I just said, not Dancing Queen by ABBA” They all burst out laughing. Nervous, crazy laughter.Like many first books in a series, Against the Dark took me a little bit to get into the world of Angel, Macy and White Jenny. A lot of the first quarter of the book was spent laying the groundwork for these deeply layered relationships. Ms. Crane revealed their lengthy relationship not all at once but we were gifted with it over time and that made the reader feel like they were getting the real deal. You understand Macy, Angel and Jenny. You feel empathy for their lifestyle and also it's just fun to read about these kick ass women. They have a code, they follow the code but they have a lot of fun in the process and these are dangerous missions. But they're always having fun and these women are funny. Plus they wore cat suits... I mean how cool is that?They knocked on the ceiling and Jenny dropped down with the packs. The three of them changed into black cat suits, complete with black facemasks and boots and belts with a shit ton of hardware.When Angel first sees Cole she doesn't know who he is but she knows he's bad news. Because she's always drawn to those men who are not good for her. As the reader we're privy to the information that Cole is the good guy, he's just playing the bad guy. Throughout Against the Dark the Cole you know with Angel and the Cole that puts on a show for Borgola is different but that's what makes him so fun to read because Angel likes the hair pulling Cole but she needs the sensitive, go slow and be gentle Cole. That's where Ms. Crane captured what women want perfectly. He loved women with secrets. He loved to break them open. A foolish indulgence.What surprised me in Against the Dark was the hotness factor. I mean, this is romantic-suspense but I didn't expect this much from Cole. The man was a dirty talker, a hair puller and knew just what Angel wanted and needed. The sparks flew when those two were in a room and this was so fun to read. The sex is hot, smoking hot, wait no smoldering hot. Well you get the idea. He had sandy brown hair and a scruff of a beard, and his tux fit just a little tight across his muscular shoulders, but what she mostly noticed was his gaze—it burned intense and gem-like behind his thick-rimmed glasses. Brainy and brawny, like a fair-haired Clark Kent.In conclusion Against the Dark is a fun and light read. Ms. Crane takes you into this fast paced world of the Associates and believe me there is never a dull moment. Characters that you cannot help but feel empathy for and also kind of want to be. Plus i'm a sucker for a brainy man with glasses.It looks like the second book in The Associates Series, Lethal Liaisons is scheduled for release in the summer 2013. It's MacMillian's story and I can't wait! Received this Advanced Reader Copy courtesy of Carolyn Crane through an ARC giveaway in exchange for an honest review