Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Exchange of Fire by P.A. DePaul

Exchange of Fire (SBG #1) by P.A. DePaul
Publisher: Penguin InterMix
Publication date: August 19th 2014
My rating:  3 stars 
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Faking her death was easy, living with her past is harder, but nothing is more dangerous than falling in love…

Sandra Walsh was a deadly sniper for the Sweet Briar Group, a covert agency with assassins for hire, until her last mission went horribly wrong, accidentally killing an innocent girl. Knowing she’s a danger to her team, Sandra goes off the grid, becoming a Shade—an agent declared dead but secretly hiding among the living. She intends to honor her vow never to pull another trigger or have contact with the spy world again. Until she meets Casper Grady…

Grady is a former Marine with a troubled past and a debt to pay. His life mission has gone from protecting the nation to helping local children and their families. The moment he meets Sandra, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye, but he can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious femme fatale. And when Sandra’s past suddenly catches up to her, Grady is determined to protect her at all costs, no matter how dark and dangerous her secrets are.

As the danger increases, so does their intense attraction. But when they’re forced to choose between each other and the people they’ve sworn to protect, their growing love might not be enough to keep them together—or alive…

My Thoughts:
I do enjoy romantic suspense so I was looking forward to Exchange of Fire, and while it did deliver in some ways, it disappointed as well.

Sandra left her position as a sniper for the clandestine black ops group, Sweet Briar Group, after she accidently shoots and kills a fourteen year old girl who gets in the line of fire. In order to protect her team she faked her death, and is now hiding out in the small town of Ridge Creek, North Carolina; working at the Gradwick Adventure Center for an ex-marine hottie, Casper Grady, and she’s been slowly falling for him. Sandra knows she can never act on the simmering attraction because she doesn’t even know how long she’s staying in Ridge Creek and right now all her senses are screaming to get out and run while her heart is protesting.

Grady was attracted to Sandra the minute she walked in for her interview.  Now it’s a matter of when not if he makes a move on her.  When danger sets Sandra off to run, Grady chases after her in an attempt to get her to let him in and help, but when he finds out the full extent of the threats against her, he’s angry she lied and brought this shitstorm to his door.

I had high hopes for Exchange of Fire and the thrill and action did not disappoint. There was danger at every turn making a good portion of this book an exciting read. Unfortunately, the romance was a huge disappointment filling me with frustration.  I adored Sandra. She was a great character and I could totally get behind her actions and motivations.  Grady was another story entirely. 

From the synopsis, supposedly Grady won’t leave Sandra’s side once he finds out she’s in danger, but that’s not the way it happens at all. Yes, he does chase her down to help her, but once he finds out her secrets, Grady’s ticked off and leaves!  He also tells Sandra she’s no longer welcome or employed at Gradwick. I get that he was frustrated by Sandra keeping dangerous secrets, but what did he expect? They knew each other for a total of four months and they weren’t even involved romantically yet.  Was she supposed to divulge her past when the knowledge could put him in danger or worse, marked for death?  I was annoyed Grady wasn’t more sympathetic and the fact that he was downright mean when Sandra came to apologize.  I was sort of hoping she’d forget him and move on with Talon, a teammate clearly in love with her! This played out for so long without Grady pulling his head out until the very end of the book! By then I really didn’t care if they worked things out, like I said I would’ve totally been on board for Sandra waking up to feelings for Talon, someone who was a whole lot more understanding and went to bat for her several times.

I’m hoping the next book in the series continues on with the thrill ride and delivers more in the romance department.


  1. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds really interesting. I love how action packed it sounds. That's what I love, but honestly I don't thin I'd enjoy it with that romance either. Grady sounds like a real ass. Great review, Rachel :)

  2. I saw that you were reading this on GR, and I was waiting to see what you think of it. While the plot itself sounds exciting with all the action, I think I would be very very annoyed with the romance and Grady. He seems like he's a douche-nozzle for not understanding Sandra and her motivations. I would be frustrated too so I don't think I would enjoy this as much.
    Thanks for the great review, Rachel.

    P.S About Burying Water, anytime you want to read it sounds good to me. If you let me know 2-3 days before you want to read it, that would be awesome! :)

  3. Grady sounds like an ass, I will definitely not be picking this one up, I prefer a more pleasant male romance interest in my romance novels who is a little more understanding. I hope the next instalment picks up for you, Rachel!

  4. Good to hear the thrill and action didn't disappoint, but sorry other parts weren't as enjoyable.

  5. Yeah, Grady sounds very disappointing. I dont blame you at all for being disappointed with the romance. My problem with RS is often insta love, but I think his attitude doesn't sound good either. I guess you liked this overall, so I'm happy for that!

  6. The romance, suspense and danger really intrigue me. But It seems the synopsis is misleading which I totally hate. Grady seems like a great romance interest if his head was screwed on right. Its like he had a bad temper tantrum. But I won't let this book slide from my attention. Great review, Rachel. :)

  7. AT least this one delivered in the thrill department even if the romance was not so great. I agree I would want her to pick the other guy too.

  8. Grady!! How dare you run off on someone who's in danger just because you found out some things you didn't like. Life sucks, man. Suck it up!! Sandra sounds like an interesting character with a tragic incident in her background.

    1. Seriously, Mary! Man up and suck it up is what I wanted to tell Grady!

  9. I'm going to wait for one of these books to deliver on the romance as well as the thrill because these types of love stories always have me more irritated than engaged. I'm all aboard for the danger and action, though, so I'm hoping you'll have better luck with the sequels. Maybe Talon will feature in one! ;)

    1. I'm hoping Talon will! He was a much better choice, IMO, Keertana.

  10. I hate douchebags and Grady is most definitely one. I bet I wouldn't have minded in the least either if she suddenly decided she loved Talon. That would show Grady. Ugh *rolls eyes*

    I love my romantic suspense but romantic suspense consists of both romance and suspense and if I don't like one or the other, I am not going to have that great of a time *sigh*

    Lovely review, Rachel and I am sorry you didn't enjoy this more! :(

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  11. Yeah. I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of Grady after reading your review Rachel! What an a-hole. If I was Sandra I absolutely would not have gone blabbing all my secrets to someone I just met 4 months ago, and I can't imagine he would have either if their roles had been reversed. What did he expect? Grrrr. Glad Sandra was a highlight for you though!

  12. Even though this was a little disappointing, it sure has a hot cover!


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