Review: Intrusion by Cynthia Justlin – Cate’s Take

Genre: Romantic thriller

Rating: YAY!

So…I *might* have read the entire book in a day.

Not just read, really. Devoured. Forsook eating (okay, put off eating, but read while I ate–same thing, right?). Took my Nook to the bathroom (sorry, TMI). Forgot to take the dogs out.

Yes. Intrusion is that good.

The book begins with Cameron Scott breaking into Nanodyne, a company that specializes in nanotechnology. We learn quickly that, while charming and full of bravado, Cam has a dark secret behind a nagging knee injury that flares at the worst possible times. His quick in-and-out testing of Nanodyne’s security system quickly goes south when he breaks into Dr. Audra McCain’s office. He catches a security guard downloading info from Audra’s computer and taking finger prints from her coffee mug and strands of hair from her hairbrush. Not long after the guard leaves, insomniac Audra enters, ready to put the finishing touches on an armor prototype that could save thousands of soldiers’ lives. When she and Cam meet for the first time, there’s an undeniable chemistry that sizzles between the two and hounds them for the rest of the book.

But when the prototype ends up missing, Audra is arrested. A quick diversion and abduction later, and she’s back with Cam, where she eventually realizes she belongs.

I. Love. This. Book. It quickly put me in the mind of movies like Mission Impossible and GoldenEye (of course, that could be due to the various mentions of Serbia), which is completely the opposite of a bad thing, as those are two of my all-time favorite movies. Both Cam and Audra are terrifically flawed–he being a perfectionist brought up by a hard-ass father, and she being abandoned at a young age. The two are wonderfully believable  and so is their romance. It’s not forced. Instead, it’s a tug-of-war between a man who wants nothing more than to be loved and a woman who would rather be eaten up by acid from the inside out than ever trust, let alone love, another human being. Their romance is organic and not cliched. Yes, there’s the undeniable lust and attraction in the beginning, but Cam wants more than Audra’s body; he wants a heart she’s unwilling to give.

The other reason I love this book is that there are explosions and danger and espionage and betrayal and unexpected double crossings and all the things I enjoy in my action-packed movies and books. Cam is two parts Bruce Willis with one part puppy dog and a sprinkle of Johnny Storm (from the Fantastic Four movies) thrown in for good measure. Audra reminds me a LOT of Natalya Simonova from GoldenEye. She’s not at all cut out for this kind of work, but dammit, she’s spunky and she gives it her best. And best of all, the villain isn’t A) clear-cut or B) cardboard. He has a POV as well, and the reader gets insight into his motives. In all honesty, if the book were rewritten from Ivan’s POV, he’d be a hell of an anti-hero.

The formatting in my edition was a little wonky, though, which made dialogue a challenge to read.  Other than that, though,  I’m hard-pressed to find a criticism for this book. What can I say? I’m a sucker for broken men.

If you’re looking for a well-written, thoughtful book filled with Hollywood-style thrill, fabulous tension, and rounded characters, this is for you. Even if you’re not, you should still check this one out.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. landragraf
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 14:53:25

    Awesome review! This makes me want to stop everything for a read. Way to go Cynthia, for breaking her concentration. 🙂


  2. lexcade
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 17:01:58

    It seriously did. I ignored the dogs the entire time I was reading it. And even though nuking food should be the easiest thing ever, doing it while clutching your Nook so tightly your knuckles are white and trying to change the pages….no. Not easy at all.


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