Crosshairs by Felicity Ribero

Publisher: Brushfinch Publishing

Date of publication: August 15th, 2022

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

They were from two different worlds.

Like two trains never crossing paths, they would have gone on without any shred of their lives coinciding. Until a late-night encounter brings them crashing into each other’s lives.

Cole, a small-time New York gun trafficker who has been unlucky for the better part of his life knows better than to dream of a better life. Jaded, exhausted and down on his luck, he struggles to deal with the reality of his choices.

Amidst dodging the keen attention of the authorities, and evading the sly notice of his crafty companions, he certainly has no patience to indulge a spoilt busy-body reporter with peas for brain and a hankering for danger. He thinks she’s crazy and wants nothing to do with her even if her smile takes his breath away and her presence soothes his wounds.

Samantha, on the other hand, is not letting go. She is a shark who has smelt blood and is honing in for the kill or the caresses.

But one thing is certain; Cole is a puzzle she is determined to unravel.
As the web of dark schemes and mysterious ploys thicken around them, passion flares to life, and so do other threats. These two are utterly defenseless against the attacks or the kisses.

Will they survive the imminent explosion that draws ever nearer or will these two finally get a chance to go after their fairytale romance?

First Line:

Oh no. Not today! I glance at my gold watch for the umpteenth time. 9:41 a.m.

Crosshairs by Felicity Ribero

When I read the blurb for Crosshairs, the blurb caught my interest. I was interested in how a romance between a small-time reporter and an arms dealer would turn out. I wasn’t disappointed. This book took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Crosshairs had an exciting plotline. Samantha is a reporter trying to get her big break. But her boss (and the other reporters) are holding her back and forcing her to do fashion articles. So, when she notices a black van being loaded by two shady individuals late at night, she starts investigating. Cole is an arms dealer who is tired of everything and wants a better life. But he knows that a person like him could never have a better life, so he keeps doing the one thing he knows, trafficking guns. A dirty ATF agent approaches Cole and pushes him between a rock and a hard place. Cole and Samantha’s paths cross when Samantha tracks Cole to his apartment and then to a bar. She convinces Cole to let her do an expose and expose the ATF agent. But what she (or Cole) was expecting was their instant attraction. Soon, it becomes a race against time when they discover the ATF agent’s true agenda. Can they stop him? Or will they become pawns in a much bigger game?

I am going to put up a trigger warning. I usually don’t do these, but I think there are some aspects of this book that warrants it. The triggers are parental death, drugs, prostitution, and child abuse (physical and emotional). So, if these trigger you, I suggest not reading this book.

Crosshairs had dual POVs. The chapters would flip between Samantha and Cole. The author did a great job of keeping the flow of the book constant throughout the POV changes. Another huge thing was that I didn’t get lost at any point in the book, even when the insane stuff started. Sometimes, I have difficulty following dual POVs, and I can get lost. So this was a huge thing for me.

I liked Samatha. She was stubborn as heck, and she was determined to get a story that would get her on the front page. She followed her instincts when she saw the black van and Cole loading boxes into it. She investigated and followed the clues to Cole’s apartment and then the bar. I loved how she automatically believed Cole and used her skills to dig up dirt on that agent. She was just amazing throughout the book.

I loved Cole. His backstory was sadder than Samantha’s, and the author didn’t hold anything back. His mother ran a brothel out of their house, and his father was a small-time crime lord. After his mother’s overdose, his father and his father’s clients abused him. Fast forward to the present day, he was dealing with the aftershocks of his childhood and his own decisions. From the minute he met Samantha, he was all about protecting her. But, at the same time, he realized that he couldn’t hold her back, and he let her do her investigating.

There is Instalove in Crosshairs. I am not a fan of Instalove, and when I encounter it in a book, I eye-rolled…hard. Usually, Instalove takes away from the book for me. But, in this book, there was so much going on that it didn’t. Did it annoy me? Yes, but it didn’t take away from the plotlines.

Cole and Samantha’s chemistry (sexual and otherwise) was off the charts. They had a spark from the first time they saw each other, and the author kept building it up until it exploded. That explosion led to one of the hottest sex scenes I have read to date!!

The main storyline in Crosshairs was the dirty ATF agent and how he targeted Cole and Samantha’s investigation. That agent gave me chills when reading his scenes. I didn’t understand why he had targeted Cole until the book’s end. That was when he let drop a couple of bombs that took my breath away.

Samantha’s reporting (and her use of spyware) was truly amazing. The dirt she was able to dig up on that agent was amazing. I liked that she did have a friend who was an ace hacker. That friend was able to fill in the blanks that Samantha’s investigating couldn’t uncover. It did put a huge target on her back, but that was something she was willing to do to help Cole.

I loved the ending of Crosshairs. The author threw in a couple of twists that hurt my heart because of what was implicated. After those twists, the author did wrap up Cole and Samantha’s storyline in a way that I loved. I loved that everyone nasty in the book got what was coming for them. But more importantly, I loved that Cole and Samantha got their HEA.

I would recommend Crosshairs to anyone over 21. There are graphic sex scenes, violence, and language. There are also scenes of remembering child abuse and a remembered drug overdose.

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