A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Undercover With the Enemy by Sharron McClellan - Author Interview + Review

When opposites ignite...
High-risk securities operative Holly Milano usually prefers to work alone. Having a partner is, well, annoying. Case in point-her current assignment with Kane MacMillan. They're working undercover in high society to retrieve a priceless diamond necklace.

And Mr. Plan Everything is seriously cramping Holly's fly-by-the-seat-of-her-sexy-pants style.
Kane takes his job seriously, and he knows from experience that working with Holly usually ends in disaster. Their conflicting approaches could destroy their cover-or worse, get them killed. But when they're forced to pose as an engaged couple, neither Holly nor Kane are prepared for the possibility of an unexpected attraction...or that they're now putting their lives and their hearts on the line.

Undercover With the EnemyUndercover With the Enemy by Sharron McClellan

Undercover with the Enemy by Sharron McClellan is a 2015 Entangled Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It was such a delight to meet Holly and Kane, an unusual pairing of people, who turn into an offbeat dynamic duo of sorts when they are commissioned by the High Risk Securities firm they work for to retrieve a necklace, which was part of a divorce settlement, from a couple who have ties to the mob.

A terrible gaffe puts Kane in a situation he is ill equipped to handle and things go from bad to worse, as the couple suffers one set back after another in the heist plan. On a more personal note, they seem unable to avoid acting upon the mutual attraction that has been simmering under the surface between them. But, each are carrying around a little baggage and having two operatives involved with one another may not be the best idea in the world...

I enjoyed this couple who epitomized the old adage about opposites attracting. Holly can't stand working with Kane because he is one of those uptight, 'by the book' types, with a major cob up his butt, and is what most of us would think of as an old stick in the mud.

Kane isn't all that crazy about working with Holly either, because she never does what he tells her to, she flies by the seat of her pants and improvises which could cost her her life one day if she isn't more careful, an attitude that drives Kane crazy and he makes sure she knows how he feels about it.

But, they are two professionals and they agree to put their differences aside and work as a team to get the job done, promising not to blow it. However, that proves to be easier said than done on a professional and personal level.

The chemistry between the couple is not immediate, and it took me awhile to warm up to Kane who ran cold one minute and hot the next.

But, I did love his moral code and the way he respected women and relationships even though he has been terribly hurt in the past. He could have racked up a slew of casual conquest, but it wasn't his style.

Holly liked to keep men at arm's length because of her background, which could be a little hard for some people to accept or cope with. Holly loathed the idea of introducing a guy to her family, so usually she didn't stay involved with anyone long enough for that to come up.

The action is non-stop from start to finish with one twist after another, keeping Kane and Holly on their toes. Occasionally, the situation they find themselves in are hilarious, sometimes very awkward, and sometimes very tense. Dealing with their developing feelings for each other is a huge complication on top of everything else. At times the pair were really great together at as team and at other times I wanted to cover my eyes because they were totally out of sync, especially Kane who is way out of his element.

But, at the end of the day, it all boils down to their different backgrounds and points of view and just as Holly predicted, Kane has a hard time with things, and will have to pull out all the stops to prove to Holly what he is made of. The ending is beyond charming. I love it when a guy steps out of his comfort zone to win his lady's heart and Kane really, really does that with a cherry on top.

This story is imaginative, and I loved the set up for a romantic suspense novel, that has lighter in tone, but isn't silly or way over the top. This is a caper/heist style novel with a few steamy moments, very fast paced, and was a fun, exciting read. 4 stars

Undercover With the Enemy (Entangled Select Suspense)




Undercover with the Enemy is a romantic suspense novel- were you influenced by any romantic suspense authors in particular? If so who?

Initially, I was influenced more by tv and movies that featured strong women. In many cases, this type of heroine is seen more in action/adventure or suspense types plots. i.e. Buffy, Romancing the Stone, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, etc. so it made sense that when I took up the pen, that’s what I wrote. Once I began writing and seeking out romance novels, I fell in love with Cherry Adair. She’s amazing!

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Plotter all the way—I love excel! If I try to “wing it”, I tend to paint myself into a corner, and I hate starting over.

Who plays Holly and Kane on the big screen?
Emma Stone as a blonde. I loved her in Easy A. She has a smart mouth and can hold her own.
Chris Pratt—YUM! He is hot but not too pretty. Plus, he does sarcasm well, and I do love sarcasm.

What was your favorite book as child?

A Wrinkle in Time. It’s an adventure novel with a smart, but vulnerable, heroine, Meg. She’s wonderful. I have a first edition.

What are you working on now?

The third book in the Heroes for Hire series and a screen play with my sister. All are slow going—the daytime job really cuts into my time.

Dogs or cats?  Favorite movie?  Favorite song?  Favorite dessert?  Coffee or tea?

Cat (we have three). Dogs are awesome though. Remember—adopt. Don’t shop!

The Princess Bride. Small fact—when I was single, I’d judge a date by his love (or not) of TPB. If he hated it or felt apathetic towards it, he didn’t last long.

My favorite song changes all the time, but The Flower Duet (a duet for sopranos) always gets me.It soars!

Pie. Pie. Pie. Oh, and pie.

Coffee! But NOT over fancy. Just cream and sugar. 

To you have a favorite quote you would like to share?

It’s from Buffy The Vampire Slayer : Spike talking to Buffy and Angel when they say their “just friends”:

You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight and you'll shag and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.”


I always planned to be a writer of some sort. However, when I went to college, I took journalism and creative writing and sadly, had the love of writing sucked out of me. So I turned to my next love--science. At first, I wanted to be a marine biologist, but there was the whole shark issue. Frankly, they freak me out.

Instead, I discovered the joys of playing in the dirt-a profession more commonly known as archaeology. For years, I focused on excavating ancient sites that included projectile points, burn pits and the occasional burial.

My focus returned to writing when I took a position during the archaeological off-season and ended up answering phones for Princess cruise line AKA The Love Boat. Which, when you consider I write romance, is somewhat ironic. It was during that time that I took to reading romance. It wasn't long before I fell in love with the genre and returned to my first love-writing.

Five years later, I sold to Silhouette.

Today, I live in San Diego, also known as the City of Perfect Weather. I write every morning (okay, most mornings), butcher the Spanish language whenever I can, and blog about my travels. I believe in hard work, having fun whenever posible, learning a new skill every year (this year, it's surfing) that Thrill of Brazil is the best pedicure color in the entire world, and I swear that my Muse spends most of her time in the bar down the street drinking gin and tonic with extra lime.

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