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Countermeasure by Chris Almeida
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DNF - just not holding my attention
  kerbytejas | Mar 25, 2016 |
Two Reviews - Paper Book and Audio Book


Let me begin with a small notice that was given by the authors (and copied from the Amazon site) “The Countermeasure Series also has a tie-in series called Countermeasure: Bytes of Life. This new series of shorts gives the readers glimpses into the day-to-day life of the Countermeasure characters. Although the shorts are standalone stories, they are character-driven, NOT plot-driven. Please be advised that ALL short stories in the spin-off series contain EROTIC content. They are NOT recommended for younger audience. Some of the events that take place in the short stories might be referenced in the novels and vice-versa. It is strongly advised that you read the novels and shorts in chronological order.”

I received an electronic copy of this novel from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.

This was a fast paced novel, tasting the worlds of corporate espionage, national security concerns, action, internet technology and murder all wrapped up in a very character driven story of finding oneself and love in trying circumstances.

We meet Cassandra, ex-CIA agent, daughter of a widowed Navy SEAL and fraught with doubts about her inability to ‘be good enough’ all while denying and controlling the emotions that assail her. We meet Trevor, Irish born son of two parents lost at sea, a geek extraordinaire, working for the NSA in the super-secret division that listens in and flags conversations and contacts that contain specific keywords that could damage the security of the United States.

Each character is detailed and defined with painstaking precision. I actually felt Cassandra cringe under her father’s scrutiny and harsh words. Trevor is as beautifully detailed, with the inclusion of a touch of Gaelic that is so neatly incorporated you can hear the words sing in your ear.

When the authors state that this story is character and not plot driven, they are not joking. Delving deeper into the reveal of each character is like finding a new puzzle piece that was long missing: you may not know what isn’t revealed until it is in place: and then it all makes sense. As a romance it works, although there are times when you want to shake them both and make them listen to their hearts, without being so afraid of ‘what may come’.

The sex is hot: knee quivering, satisfyingly appealing to both a man’s and a woman’s point of view – and told in both voices. While the real erotic and sexy bits are more toward the end, the emotional foreplay and sense of electric connection between Cassandra and Trevor is palpable. This is one of those books that you read it for the characters, are entertained and learn bits about security and technology from the action, and are revelling in the sexual tension from the moment Cassandra and Trevor meet. This is one of those satisfying books with an ending that will satisfy every reader, and has an open view to more. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.


Audio Book Review:
I had previously reviewed the eBook copy of this book, and while I was excited to hear the book in audiobook format, I was also concerned about the narration. I should not have been, the care that Almeida and Aubrey put into crafting this book in the written form extended to their choice for narration. And I will gush a moment here and say that the choice of Tim Gerard Reynolds to narrate the story was genius! With a soft touch of Irish lilt in his speech, that deepens to brogue when required, his narration was the perfect counterpoint, enhancing the story while not detracting with an overly-exaggerated series of accents or tones.

This book brings forward a whole mix of genres: thriller, mystery, romance and even has some clever comedic romance – and there is erotic content, made even steamier by the palpable emotional foreplay and electrifying connection between Trevor and Cassie. While the main story centers around corporate espionage in a pharmaceuticals company and manages to incorporate IT geeks, security, the CIA and even international intrigue and black market trade deals for business gain. A little something for everyone, much feeling as if it is ripped from the headlines.

This is a character driven story, where each is revealed in little painstaking bits like a puzzle, then each piece fits and makes sense, bringing a 3D version of the character into your head. Each character is given the same deference and care, even those who feel superfluous to the main story – be warned: those who seem unimportant at first are often larger pieces of the puzzle – that piece that sits in the middle and provides the final picture. I can say that I have read all of the books in the series – finding a new thing to love about the stories with each one. This audiobook version rekindled the early excitement I had for this series, and cannot wait for the next release.

I received an audiobook copy of this book from the authors for purpose of honest review at the Heard Word on I am, Indeed. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
( )
  IamIndeed | Mar 29, 2013 |
* Thank you to authors, Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey, for allowing me to be an Early Reviewer of your book on the JeepDiva Blog http://www.thejeepdiva.com. *

AUTHOR: I do not know whether or not Chris and Cecilia have been in some type of secret service agency but they have me convinced. Their writing style leaves no chance for questions about who, what, when, where, why and how. As far as reader confusion, the authors can tangle you up in knots just as great as they can unravel. Great job.

GENRE: Mystery, Contemporary fiction, Romance fiction

SETTING:
Modern day. San Francisco: Bristol Pharmaceuticals; EXClinic, a clinical data management company; James Security Agency. NSA in Fort Meade Maryland. CIA in Virginia.

CENTRAL FEMALE CHARACTER: She is definitely tenacious. Militarily disciplined with no thanks to her father.

CENTRAL MALE CHARACTER: An Irishman living in the U.S. Computer geek extraordinaire. Sneaky and can crack any secure sytem.

SYNOPSIS: She has been assigned to secure a pharmaceutical formula by the best means possible. Someone has been into the computer files even with the extra layer of protection. She is chasing every lead possible just to prove herself. To add to all of her frustration, a good friend from the CIA just will not give up! And even more than that, someone is trying to put himself waaaayyyy under the radar. She cannot allow that to happen!

WHAT I LIKED: Trying to keep up with a woman on a mission “not” looking for love. One is persistent and will not take “no” for an answer. The other sees the need. The romance was nicely spicy.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE: Too much time spent on explaining the mission and how intelligence fed into the story. But if you love mystery you might appreciate so much story setup. Some profanity.

4 ) vrooms out of (5) Jeep Diva blog vrooms. Nearing the finish line! http://www.thejeepdiva.com/ ( )
  Chandra-of-Red | Aug 28, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Almeida, Chrisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aubrey, Ceciliamain authorall editionsconfirmed
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