Title: Rare Vigilance
Series: Whitethorn Agency: Book One
Author: M.A. Grant
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 267 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: Excellent suspense, both the mysterious and romantic kind, combined with fantastic characterizations, a richly imagined world, and this author’s gift for captivating me as I lose myself in her stories all apply in Rare Vigilance.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Everything has a price. Especially the truth.
Former Marine Atlas Kinkaid knows not to ask questions about the clients he protects at the behest of the elite Whitethorn security agency. Just like he doesn’t like anyone asking about his scars—scars left by a mysterious attack that haunts his every waking moment.
Consumed by the need to find out what happened to him, Atlas takes a job providing security to Cristian Slava, the indolent—and gorgeous—son of a notorious businessman. Cristian seems to be just another entitled client, but when nights at the club turn into secret meetings and people start going missing, Atlas realizes there’s more to Cristian—and to protecting him—than meets the eye.
But the same people who are after Cristian have something Atlas desperately craves: they know exactly what happened the fateful night he was attacked—and are willing to tell him everything…
For a price.
Review: Sometimes the word that best describes how you feel about a book is just a big WOW. M.A. Grant’s Rare Vigilance, book one in the Whitethorn Agency series, is some gorgeous, suspenseful, slow-burn dark fantasy, and while the series might never go on to eclipse my love of her Darkest Court trilogy, I can say with some confidence it’s prepared to step up to the challenge. This book is more than a mere contender to make my Best Of list this year.
Atlas Kinkaid is a sympathetic hero, clever, up to the challenge of the job ahead of him, and yet vulnerable to the panic attacks, migraines, and sensory sensitivity he suffers following a horrific battle he and his platoon fought, and ultimately lost, against an enemy so terrifying Atlas still carries their scars—both the physical and psychological ones. The latest assignment he has accepted from his sister, Bea, who owns the Whitethorn Agency and is Atlas’s only real source of emotional support, sounds like a dream job—excellent pay and he gets to work nights. It should be a quiet assignment suited to his needs, but neither Decebal Vladislavic nor his son, Cristian Slava, are anything like typical clients.
The forced proximity trope is given great mileage here, in the form of Atlas serving as Cristian’s bodyguard, but this is not a case of lust at first sight. It’s not even a case of like at first sight thanks to Cristian’s determination to drive Atlas off just as he’s done all his previous guards. So what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Friction. Lots of friction. It’s not until Atlas discovers what Cristian (and his father, and everyone else in his father’s household) is that everything blows up and causes Atlas to panic into a betrayal he will soon come to regret.
First impressions, and many more after, are proved wrong as Atlas begins to see the man behind the façade Cristian presents. Cristian is composed of nuances and layers that Atlas can’t help but be attracted to, but Atlas has also set something in motion he isn’t sure how to stop, or even if he can stop it now. There are secrets and lies of omission that are in play, things that, once revealed, could spell disaster for his slowly morphing relationship with Cristian. A war between families is brewing, and one side has a weapon that may prove to guarantee the end of Decebal Vladislavic’s empire.
Excellent suspense, both the mysterious and romantic kind, combined with fantastic characterizations, a richly imagined world, and this author’s gift for captivating me as I lose myself in her stories all apply in Rare Vigilance, from the moment Atlas is introduced all the way to leaving me on the hook for Crooked Shadows, thanks to this book’s ominous tease of an ending.
You can buy Rare Vigilance here:
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