When I recently discovered Hayley B. James was releasing not just another book, but also another in her Secret Sin series, I was beyond thrilled. I first came to know this author in 2011 when she released her first novel, Undercover Sins. That story immediately became one of my most favorites and still is today.
Undercover Addiction can be read as a stand-alone and even though the characters from the first story play a really important role here, the author gives enough back story to fill any gaps. So, it’s not mandatory, but you really are missing out on a great story.
Connor Bishop, an undercover agent, has just wrapped up a 3 month sting operation when he is asked to go back in. Needing more information to bring down the rest of the scum behind the human trafficking ring Connor quickly agrees to go back. He already fears he likes this particular lifestyle that Caleb lives, his undercover alter ego, a little too much. He likes the danger and he likes being up close to humans who may have a little more monster in their DNA.
Riley Drapeau is the criminal informant Connor will work with. He’s also the same man he had in his bed just a few days earlier. Hooking up at the local bar for a one-night tryst suddenly has a lot more meaning behind it. He fears Riley targeted him on purpose and he may not be wrong with that assumption. Aside from that fear, they definitely have chemistry and he’s pretty sure the spark is not one-sided. He really wants to trust Riley but he needs to remember he is also a very dangerous man. A man who has no compassion for humans and finds nothing wrong with killing them if they are in the way.
One of many problems Connor is left to unravel is the two personalities he picks up with Riley. When faced with his associates, Riley is controlling and intimidating. When it’s just the two of them, Riley is compassionate and caring. He’s pretty sure they both are feeling the same desires. Also, his words behind closed doors go against the persona he portrays in public.
“You’re beautiful like this,” Riley whispered, pressing a slicked finger into him.
Connor was compliant but moved his hips in response to Riley’s touch. Riley
reached around, grasped Connor’s heavy cock in his free hand, and
When it is no longer just the two of them, Mason, Riley’s assistant, makes his feelings known that he does not like Connor. He feels threatened by his presence and jealousy runs rampant through his mind. As far as Connor is concerned, in regards to his safety, Mason is a much bigger threat than Riley.
Connor tries to keep himself grounded and keep his real identity in the forefront as much as possible. He relies heavily on his friend Lucas who he trusts more than anyone. When Lucas tells some of his own secrets he’s been carrying, Connor is taken my complete surprise. He doesn’t know how to process this new revelation and right now is not a good time with his life on the line.
Riley is playing a game, not only with himself, but everyone involved in this case. There are many times throughout the story I could not tell if he was telling the truth or just a really good liar. As danger surrounds all of them, fear and worry will take over your thoughts. More than once, I caught myself holding my breath.
Underneath Riley’s exterior, he wants to be a good man. He has never had love but he wants to find it. I believe Connor changed him and made him want to be a better man. As the showdown comes to a full explosion people will be hurt and betrayal will be more evident than ever. When the smoke clears, there will be agonizing moments of despair. Truths are lingering to be told but may not see the light of day. Who will take the fall and who will walk away? Regardless to either outcome, all of them will lose something that had once been valuable.
This story has many twists and turns with edge of your seat excitement. The author does an outstanding job of keeping your interest with action packed drama. The dialogue is serious most of the time, but humour finds its place when needed. The MC’s and even the side characters have a camaraderie between them, which makes the story flow seamlessly. It’s obvious the author took great pains in relaying a plot filled with danger, mystery, suspense, and love. While Connor and Riley did have sex, and their moments in the bedroom were very passionate, it was not the focus. I think they really bonded during these moments and slowly started to trust each other.
Hayley B James has written a perfect story IMO. She has given us two sexy characters who at their core want love but before that is fully accomplished they must work for it and develop trust and honesty between them. She also has a major development late in the story that will having you going, OH MY GOSH! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? And… if that isn’t enough to keep you invested, their banter is contagious and sure to have you smiling.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves the good guys especially when they get mixed up with a bad boy along the way.