Ready Or Dead by PM Kavanaugh

Ready Or Dead by PM Kavanaugh
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (59 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Fans of TV’s Quantico and Alias will love this sizzling prequel to the thrilling spy caper Die Run Hide.

New recruit Anika Washington has barely adjusted to the difficult training regimen at a global counterterrorism agency when she’s prematurely called up to complete her first mission. If she succeeds, she’ll become a field agent; if she fails, Anika’s out of the program. Abandoned at birth to a federal orphanage, Anika never wants to feel the pain of rejection again.

Complicating matters is the fact that she’ll be going undercover at a black-tie gala with Gianni Brambillo, the gorgeous and enigmatic Level 2 agent who seems to have taken a special interest in Anika. Armed with high-tech spy gadgets and quick thinking, the two of them will need to rely on each other to complete their plan successfully. It’s go time, and Anika must prove to everyone, including herself, that she’s mission-ready—or die trying.

Anika is a first-year recruit and at the end of her extensive training. With nowhere else to go, she’s determined to make the cut and become an operative. Can she pass the impossible odds?

I found this to be an interesting and fast-paced read. The shadowy “agency” training the special operatives puts Anika through her paces and makes for quite the adrenaline rush. I enjoyed watching Anika during her various, rigorous training and start her first mission. The author’s style of writing – along with the characters and situations – really made me think of an episode of the tv series “Alias”. There’s lots of action, a fair bit of cloak-and-dagger suspense/mystery and that whole “let’s save the world” spy/thriller action all through the book. While the plot wasn’t exactly fresh or new, I found the story itself compelling and interesting enough to retain my interest all the way through.

I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters – Anika and Gianni. I found both characters to be complex and interesting people with multiple layers. Curiosity about them both kept me happily turning the pages to discover what would happen next. I also liked how there were so many interesting secondary characters – other recruits both new ones at Anika’s level and Level One and Two’s with more experience and clearly more knowledge about the shadowy government organization that they were training and working for.

While there is a fair amount of chemistry between Anika and Gianni, there is no actual romance in this story (no kisses or any physical affection). I feel it’s important to note though that the story does end with a potential happy ending for these two characters. I’d be very interested to read any further stories set in this world and particularly about any further stories about Anika and Gianni.

Readers who like spy-type novels or action based stories should enjoy this short story as much as I did. I found the plot interesting and I greatly enjoyed the complexities of the characters and the agency they found themselves in. Recommended.

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