Can’t Hide From Me – Cordelia Kingsbridge
Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.
For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.
As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.
But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.
The thing with mysteries is that whenever a non-spoiler spoiler says, “I guessed the unsub the moment the character was introduced”, I immediately zero in on the suspect. This does not necessarily ruin the reading experience, especially if the writing is engaging but well, I already know what to expect.
This is the case for Can’t Hide From Me, a standalone novel from the author of Seven Of Spades, Cordelia Kingsbridge. The stalker’s identity became obvious when I got the hint but this book is as gripping as her famous series. She writes suspense with a deft hand and she was able to keep those edge-of-my-seat feels going until the last page.
Emotions ran high as tension of every kind filled the scenes from page one. ATF undercover agent, Angel Medina barely escaped the clutches of the cartel when his extraction nearly went haywire at the start of the story, then immediately right after, found himself the target of a dangerous stalker. As if he did not have enough problems, he and Charles Hunter, also ATF, had a bitter breakup two years prior and ugly feelings resurfaced after they met again and worked in the same team. At the same time, their attraction remained as strong as ever and both were powerless to resist.
Charles glanced sideways, watching Ángel curled up comfortably on his couch, barefoot and wearing Charles’s T-shirt. How could he haver ever talked himself into believing this was going to work? He’d never been able to spend any length of time in Ángel’s company without fucking him, fighting with him, or doing both simultaneously. Ángel had set Charles on fire the moment they’d met, and while those flames had banked and flared over the years, they’d never been extinguished.
There were some unwise decisions from both parties that complicated the already volatile situation. One particularly stupid move was Angel hitting the clubs just hours after his extraction, fully aware he had a target on his back because that’s how badly he needed to get laid. Charles claiming he had self-control when they know he had zero when it comes to Angel. So he just had to invite Angel to stay in his apartment with the intent of keeping him safe (that’s what he told everybody and himself). Both threw professionalism to the wind because they simply can’t keep their hands off each other. So now they’re both targets of the stalker. Fan-fucking-tastic.
I liked how the author developed Charles and Angel individually and as a couple. Charles is more level-headed, serious and a closeted bi while Angel is more spontaneous, hot-tempered and openly gay. The latter also has a degree on psychology(?) and was not afraid to use psychological tactics when it suits him. For the most part, it seemed that their connection was only sexual but a closer look revealed deeper feelings running underneath.
I also liked how the issue of Charles coming out as bi was incorporated into the story, not just making it the usual coming out woes, but that it’s something that actually affected the course of events and had serious consequences for the MCs. This revelation came as a bigger surprise to me and made me see Charles and Angel in a different light.
The chemistry between the two men was undeniable although I’m not sure they’re healthy for each other. One manipulated the other, the other was also a prick and there was too much history between them. It wasn’t until the end when they let it all out that the two of them together finally felt right.
In keeping with her other books, CK created a diverse and interesting cast with emphasis on giving many important and relatively atypical (for MM) roles for her female characters. And if you have read her other books, you know what that usually means to the story. (^_−)☆
Narrator Nick J. Russo did a great job as usual. Each character stood out and his female voices were convincing and varied. His Mexican accent for Angel was beautiful! I think that was the best rendition of the accent I’ve heard so far. I’m kind of not sure about the pronunciation of the name though. He pronounced it as ‘an-hel’, I thought it should be ‘ang-hel’. Maybe Mexicans say it differently from us despite similar Spanish influences. Anyhoo…
I might not love it as much as SOS but overall, Can’t Hide From Me is a well-written and highly entertaining action/mystery story with a tumultuous romantic side plot. Recommended if you’re looking for steamy, suspenseful stories about feds fucking and fighting (crass, I know but that’s what they did)
Cordelia Kingsbridge books here
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love