Love is the most difficult and dangerous form of courage. – Delmore Schwartz
So, I found this lovely little short story called The Argentine Seduction that I glommed onto when Loose ID was offering it for free as promo for their Spring Fling collection, which is also when I snatched up Anna Zabo’s Slow Waltz. At the time, I had no idea that these tasty little morsels were snippets set within the worlds of their full length novels, something I learned very quickly after I read “Waltz”, so—and here’s what a quick learner yours truly is—unlike I did with Slow Waltz, I picked up The Chimera Affair and read it before I read The Argentine Seduction. Pretty smart, right?
And I also finished “Chimera”, all three-hundred and four pages of it, in roughly…hours. Think I maybe liked it just a little bit? Well, really, what’s not to love about an action packed story filled with danger, espionage, international intrigue, and seduction?
Kyle Grant is the spy in this passion play; Sebastian Brambani is the mark whose father is not only the criminal element in Kyle’s latest mission, but Sebastian’s also the young man who’s about to turn the coolly detached operative’s world upside down. The elder Brambani has something Kyle needs to get his hands on, something that, in the wrong hands, could prove fatal for a lot of innocent people. The something Kyle ends up getting his hands on, though, is Sebastian, and Arrigo Brambani would rather see his son dead than in the arms of a man.
It’s a shoot-to-thrill, play-to-kill game of outwit the bad guys, and Sebastian is the pawn that Kyle’s willing to manipulate to get what he wants, which means keeping him alive at all costs. But what begins as a cold and calculated maneuver to get hold of the Chimera becomes a genuine game of hearts in which the two men gamble on love, an ante that may be too rich a promise to keep in this line of work.
Keira Andrews pulls this one off in a big way, with cover-to-cover action, exciting locales, and two characters I can’t wait to read about again and again. Kyle was the perfect blend of sophisticated agent for whom the mission is everything, and the lonely man for whom life is a lot less empty now that he’s found The One.
Sebastian is a little bit innocent, a little bit hopeful, a whole lot intelligent and is no one’s shrinking violet, doing what needs to be done when it needs doing, whether he believes in all his strengths or not, and whether he believes he can trust Kyle or not.
The next mission has been assigned and danger is guaranteed to await these two men. I have no doubt that whatever is waiting for them on their next mission, I’ll be there to be sure they make it through.