Intimate Enemies

Intimate Enemies - Joan  Swan Intimate Enemies is my first read from author Joan Swan, though I own her current Phoenix Rising books which are sitting on my TBR shelf right now. And I have to say, I was impressed.

Cassie Christo returns to her childhood home in Baja, Mexico in search of answers for her mother and step-brothers death as well as a way to get her corrupt step-father out. She has bitten off more than she can chew though when she finds a human smuggling ring, gang wars, a sexy and oh so tempting head of security and a web of lies. But she is not going to let all that stop her from finding out the truth, especially the sexy and tempting part...that she plans on taking a hands on approach to.
Rio is deep undercover for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and just weeks away from wrapping up his case when the beautiful and spirited Cassie returns home. Forbidden to get too close because of his job but unable to resist her presence, Rio is in a tug-of-war with his feelings for her. When his boss tells him to seduce Cassie to get her out of his hair, Rio is both terrified and aroused. He must find a way to complete his mission while keeping her safe and hope that he doesn't damage her trust so badly in the process that she wants nothing to do with him when this is all over with.

Intimate Enemies is a sexy, gritty, adrenaline rush. Packed full of action, angst and romance the story easily swept me away into the heat of Mexico, cringing at the dangers that surround these characters and smelling the scent of the sea in the air. The characters were enticing and the word building authentic. Rio is a hero to love. Sweet but full of secrets, protective yet dangerous, and deliciously naughty. He tried his hardest to resist Cassie but when he finally gave in, I was so glad, the wait was well worth it! It was heartbreaking, the turmoil Rio went through though, having to deceive Cassie or act differently in public with her because of his cover or when he couldn't tell her the truth even when she was begging. Cassie was a great heroine as well; strong, determined, caring and intelligent but she frustrated me a bit because she suspected Rio of being a cop and instead of understanding some of the undercover aspects and the very real danger he was in, which she should have since one of her best friends is a cop, she put him on a guilt trip over his dishonesty and almost blew his cover numerous times. I suppose I just expected more from her in this area. The plot moved at a consistent pace without a lull and I was surprised at the end by the number of side and secondary characters involved in this one operation. An exciting and enjoyable read, I would recommend Intimate Enemies to any romantic suspense fan.