Never Say Spy

I totally screwed up last week. I know I am supposed to blog every Saturday, but for whatever reason I completely forgot and I was so busy that by the time I realized I had forgotten it was too late to rectify it. Suffice it to say I felt VERY bad about missing a day, so today I will make up for my oversight and review an entire series of books I discovered completely by happenstance.

I know I have mentioned before that one of the features I enjoy the most about owning a NOOK is that I can get free books. All the time. Whenever I want. For someone who reads as voraciously as I do this is ALWAYS a good thing! And now that my daughter is also the proud owner of a 7″ NOOK (her gift from her dad and I for her 22nd birthday) we can share our love for reading AND all my free books!

I came across a book awhile ago called NEVER SAY SPY by Diane Henders. The story line intrigued me and since it was free I downloaded it. I read it and enjoyed it but didn’t go any further than that until my daughter also read it. She loved it, which surprised me because it really wasn’t something I thought she would read, let alone enjoy. She informed me that it was the first book of a series and bemoaned the fact that she couldn’t afford to buy the next book. I looked on Barnes and Noble and realized that the books were only about $4 a piece so I purchased them for her and thought nothing more of it. Until I was needing something to read and remembered how much she liked them…

Can you say I was totally hooked?! At this time there are six books in the NEVER SAY SPY series, and my daughter and I are salivating after the seventh book, due out this winter. She even tried to pre-order it but so far hasn’t been able to.

NEVER SAY SPY is the story of Aydan Kelly, a forty-six year old bookkeeper from a little town called Silverside in Alberta, Canada. She has never done anything extraordinary in her entire life until the day she stumbles though a portal into a top-secret network that can only be accessed with highly specialized equipment. Which she doesn’t own. Yet for some reason she can not only get into this network, which is all about virtual simulations and accessing data, she can do things in there that no one else can. The only drawback is that every time she leaves the network the pain in her head is so excruciating she spends several minutes cursing and banging her head on a wall to relieve the pain.

Enter the Canadian version of the Secret Service, Black Ops, or whatever you want to call them in the person of John Kane, the extremely hot Special Forces guy who is called in to “control” the situation and figure out if she is a spy from a shadowy organization called code name Fuzzy Bunny or if she really is who she says she is–just a book keeper. Spider is the tech guy, the typical geeky young computer whiz who helps her figure out what she is doing and follows her though the network virtually as they try and figure out how she is able to access their network without all the technical wizardry needed by everyone else. “Oh, and while you are in there do you think you might help us catch the criminal master mind behind the fuzzy Bunny organization? Just to prove to us you really aren’t a spy…”

As the series unfolds we are introduced to Hellhound, the formidable biker with the scarred face but incredible skills in bed, who served with Kane during the war and is now a private investigator. Because of things in Aydan’s past she is unable and mostly unwilling to get herself into any kind of real relationship, but she finds herself torn between these two men who she comes to love very much but in totally different ways. Each book follows up where the last one left off, and Aydan discovers that everything that has ever happened in her life–her parents’ deaths, her relationships, even her marriage, were all being controlled by some unseen and unknown force until she ended up exactly where they wanted her. Her extreme claustrophobia and fear of being out of control makes her a difficult person to control at best, and as she bumbles her way through mission after mission, all the time swearing that she is only a book keeper, her resilience and commitment to justice and what’s right help her overcome some of these issues while bringing up more. Because Kane is her handler they can not have a physical relationship though both long for it, and Hellhound is just as commitment phobic as she is. It makes for some very messy romantic situations and the reader is left not sure who they want Aydan to end up with!

I love the fact that Ms. Henders chose an older woman to base her stories on. She modeled her after herself when she first started writing but when the stories actually became popular she thought about changing the character and all her readers told her absolutely not! Aydan is a tall red head with a little bit of a muffin top and she had better just keep her! Diane has a great voice–smart, sassy, and not particularly politically correct. Aydan, as a result, is gutsy, she can kick ass, and she defends those that she cares about with her entire being. She puts herself on the line time and time again with little thought to her own safety. The men in her life admire her determination if not her stubborn refusal to let them take care of her, and do their best to mitigate the repercussions from her actions the best they can. Add in a cynical head of a secret department who has basically told her when her usefulness to the program ends so does she, and you have the makings for some wonderfully tense moments, great action, and lots of suspense!

I can’t wait to see what happens in the seventh book, because in the sixth book Aydan finds out some pretty disturbing things about her childhood and what may have really happened to her family. I want to see if she finally gets to take down Fuzzy Bunny or if they will escape again. I highly recommend these books if you enjoy a little sci-fi, suspense, excellent action, hot romance, and even hotter guys! They are only available as ebooks through Barnes and Noble and Amazon and were originally published through PEBKAC Publishing and Smashwords. If they wait too much longer to bring out the seventh book I may have to just go read the series all over again so I am ready for the next installment!! Go–read these books!!