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Reviews For INCOGNITO SERIES Book 9: DANCE IN SHADOWS by Karen Wiesner
“The ninth Incognito romantic suspense thriller is a great entry in a super saga. Angelo and Celine are a fabulous pairing as each is attracted to one another, but hide it for differing reasons (besides what is described above). Besides the enemy neither wants to face the wrath of their boss Shannon. Filled with action and sexual tension, fans will enjoy the lead couple as they DANCE IN SHADOWS rather than with the stars." ~Harriet Klausner for Genre Go Round Reviews
5 Stars! “This is book nine of the Incognito Series. I recommend reading the previous books to truly grasp the story line. Besides the books, are all good, and you will enjoy them. The Network seems cold and brutal. However, Wiesner brings out the human quality of each of her agents. Wiesner has a talent for taking readers on a thrill ride into, danger, intrigue, and romance.” Reviewyourbook.com
4 1/2 Stars and TOP PICK! "Wiesner writes with passion, and book nine of her Incognito series is one of her most passionate to date. It's a story about the power of love and how it can destroy--and heal. It shows how two individuals can overcome any obstacles and be stronger together. There's also plenty of intrigue to keep you turning the pages." ~Barb Anderson for RT Book Reviews http://www.rtbookreviews.com
5 Hearts and 5 Sweetheart Award Nominee! “Karen Wiesner continues this excellent series about the heroes and heroines of the Network. Celine and Angelo's story is unusual because of their thirty year age difference. I think Ms. Wiesner manages to convey well that love doesn't seem to care what age people are. They've both tried to cope with their difference and the rules. But for every rigid rule made for the sense of security it gives those who make them there seems to be someone or, in this case, many people whose lives are too complicated for rigid rules. Again the leaders of the Network have to step up and face challenges within while facing enemies that want to destroy the organization from outside. The issue of depression is handled well, I think. The author digs down deep into the personalities involved and finds the answer that works for the majority of people. Celine has to find a way to believe in herself before she can want life. A child is one thing, but she also has to believe that she's as capable and as important to others as they know she is. Angelo has to deal with his own fears before he can be more than an automaton constantly in charge of everything around him. This is another superb job done by Ms. Wiesner. The characters and their lives come alive in ways most of us can relate to on some level.” ~reviewed by Dee Dailey for The Romance Studio http://theromancestudio.com/reviews/reviews/danceshadowswiesner.htm
5 Delightful Divas! "My first thought when I read the blurb for DANCE IN SHADOWS was, “Finally!” Finally I get to know Angelo better! Angelo has been an important part of each and every book of the Incognito Series. He has been such a strong secondary character. Not only that, but he was the one person in the upper level management of the Network who realized that the operatives needed to have a human life, complete with emotions and relationships. Well, maybe not the only one who realized it but at least the only one who was willing to wage a silent war to get it. In each book, I only got a small piece of how great Angelo truly is. He does his job well and he's completely loyal to the Network, but he also had compassion for the operatives, and that compassion would peek through in the other books. DANCE IN SHADOWS gave me even more than I had hoped for. I got to meet Angelo, up close and in person, and he was a more satisfying character than I could have imagined. Plus, an operative was finally one step ahead of the Network. I have been somewhat irked in the other books by the fact that the Network is always one step ahead of the operatives, which is to be expected, but they didn’t let their operatives in on what was really going on. Master Chess players are what they are. However, Celine finally gets the one-up on them. It was perfect! The relationship between Angelo and Celine was more emotional and drawn out than some of the others in this series, which was fitting for both of these characters. I loved getting an inside look at Angelo and Celine and their relationship. The ending only leaves me with more anticipation for the next book in the series. I see changes and a bright future for the Network operatives, and can’t wait to read about it. This is, by far, the best book of the Incognito Series yet!" ~Melissa for Dark Diva Reviews http://ddrreviews.blogspot.com/2009/08/incognito-series-book-9-dance-in.html
5 Books! “DANCE IN SHADOWS explores the depths of what happens to a man when everything he cares for is ripped from his life and the kind of woman who eventually heals his soul–with him kicking and bucking the entire way. How can a man live by two sets of beliefs? He can’t and neither can [the hero] Angelo, which this story explores in heartrending detail. He, more than anyone, needs the saving grace that only love provides. One of the previous books, about #1, Shannon McKee, was intense and I thought her story was the height of which pain can go. Not so. Angelo knew love, knew the joy and knew to his very bones how precious love was…and was determined to never be vulnerable to that pain ever again. Too bad he’s so stubborn. This is the story of love reborn. Nothing in the previous books prepared me for [the heroine] Dr. Celine Savage. I’ve heard of the phrase, ‘doctor, heal thyself’. The irony is, they usually can’t, and neither can Celine. Ms. Wiesner has the knack for taking what you think you know and leading you on a bit until you are complacent, then she rips the rug right out from under you. I realized that Celine is a victim and, although pushed to excel in education and medical talent, was kept in a protected corner, pre-ordained by the people who claimed to care for her the most. How does a character grow and thrive in that kind of environment? Unless he/she finds the will to fight, they don’t. DANCE IN SHADOWS then becomes a book about personal growth, redemption and validation. These are very challenging concepts in a world that usually crushes the weak in favor of the strong. This book’s strength is the personalities of Celine and Angelo, their dialogue and interaction and the emotions that grip a reader from chapter to chapter. I had serious doubts at times that this romance was going to survive. Not because of The Network’s dictates and mandates which dogged the previous books, but from these characters’ own internal demons. This story is compelling and engrossing... Yet nothing good comes easy, ecstasy doesn’t fulfill without trust and a happily ever after is only guaranteed when it’s yearned for and worked for by both parties. Throw in a few enemies determined to destroy them both and you have effective tension and suspense to keep your eyes glued to the page while you ask yourself, ‘what can possibly happen next?’ Only Ms. Wiesner knows, and I eagerly look forward to the next gripping tale from her talented mind.” ~reviewed by Xeranthemum for The Long and Short of It http://www.longandshortreviews.com
5 Stars! "Karen Wiesner returns us to the Network and the agents that keep citizens safe. The life of the agents is duty. Duty first, last and always. Angelo Pluzetti could be the poster boy for the Network. He is always professional. He buries his feelings. His loyalty lies with the Network. Celine was in love with Pluzetti. He could not open himself up to her. The memories of watching his family die in a car bombing still haunted him. He was afraid to give his heart to anyone for it might place her in danger. When Pluzetti is kidnapped, a pregnant Celine will stopped at nothing to rescue him. This is book nine of the Incognito Series. I recommend reading the previous books—which are all good and you will enjoy them. The Network seems cold and brutal. However, Wiesner brings out the human quality of each of her agents. Wiesner has a talent for taking readers on a thrill ride into, danger, intrigue, and romance." ~reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com http://reviewyourbook.com/component/simple_review/?review=1700-Dancing-In-The-Shadows
4 Cups! “Celine and her brother, Hunter, were raised in the Network after the death of their parents. Neither one had a choice. Celine is a brilliant doctor and researcher, but feels like she is living in a cage with no chance at happiness, especially since Angelo has rejected her. Angelo is one of the most senior members of the Network and is known as The Immortal, due to his youthful looks. Thirty years ago he watched as his wife and two children were blown up in the family van. This ended his career as a CIA agent and is the reason, or one of the reasons, he uses for rejecting Celine's love. A serious suicide attempt by Celine shakes Angelo's resolve to hold himself aloof from the beautiful young doctor. All she ever wanted was his love, and he was unable to give it to her. She acts out in self destructive ways leading to the suicide attempt. Despite an enemy's threats upon his life, he goes with her on a vacation that both of them need. The vacation turns out to be way more exciting than either expects. The two main characters in this story are vividly written with their fair share of human flaws and more. Celine is trapped in a life she never chose and in love with a man who tortures her with mixed signals. The gifts he gives her over the years are a prime example, and I cannot fault her for believing he is interested. The suicide attempt and its aftermath are described very well and with accurate details. The rest of the story is full of romance, hope and a great deal of excitement and suspense. This is an excellent addition to a very good series.” ~reviewed by Maura for Coffee Time Romance & More http://www.coffeetimeromance.com
“This book was absolutely fantastic. It delves deep into the themes of letting the past control your future, embedded by Angelo, and not believing in yourself, embodied by Celine Savage. Although the relationship between the two sounds a bit strange, especially after learning that Angelo is like a father figure to Celine's brother, the reader gets used to it quickly and, by the end, feels like it could be no other way. The story itself is exceptional like the rest of Ms. Wiesner’s work, with an added bonus of surprise. We do find out some surprising insider information about Giles Jameson and R.E.D. (the terrorist group). I personally love Angelo’s history and how Ms. Wiesner tells his story and why he’s so oxymoronic. It was a great read, once again, and although I will forever love Roan Emory’s story (DEAD DROP, Book 4) more than anyone else’s, this definitely comes in a close second.” ~reviewed by Aisha S for TCM Reviews http://www.tcm-ca.com/reviews/3028.html
"Having read the eight books in the series that led up to this one, it never ceases to amaze me the creative ideas that Karen Wiesner comes up with. After the fourth and fifth book in the series I started to become skeptical that she was beating a dead horse with this series, but one again she has proved me wrong! I am very happy for that fact! This series has been full of excitement and never-ending drama. I love the passionate romance that goes on between the main characters of each book as much as I enjoy reading about their unique situations and places among the Network chain of command. Karen Wiesner once again holds nothing back with her skilled knack for hitting her readers right in their hearts with love so fierce it loves your breathless. Her character descriptions are amazing. You cannot help but admire each and every one of them. This book could be read solely without reading the other eight in the series, although you will have a better appreciation for all the characters if you read the series from the beginning." Read the full review here: http://www.frontstreetreviews.com/
4 Cups! "The two main characters in this story are vividly written with their fair share of human flaws and more. Celine is trapped in a life she never chose and in love with a man who tortures her with mixed signals. The gifts he gives her over the years are a prime example, and I cannot fault her for believing he is interested. The suicide attempt and its aftermath are described very well and with accurate details. The rest of the story is full of romance, hope and a great deal of excitement and suspense. This is an excellent addition to a very good series." ~Maura for Coffee Time Romance & More
Sample Chapter For INCOGNITO SERIES Book 9: DANCE IN SHADOWS by Karen Wiesner
Angelo Pluzetti paced the floor of his office. Occasionally, he stopped and looked out the floor-to-ceiling glass walls, down to the Communications Department, where a mission was in progress. Hunter Savage, Master Strategist, and the Head Mission Coordinator, Kirsten Ulrick, ran the operation from the compound with the Comm leader, Justine Fielding. Just moments ago, the teams on site had intercepted the bomb they’d been alerted to only hours ago—set to go off at the winter home of the President of the United States. The country’s leader was currently enjoying the holiday there with his family.
“Anything?” Angelo questioned, using the comm unit on the long, black credenza built against the overlooking window.
“Ash’s team is disabling the bomb now,” Kirsten repeated calmly.
Angelo didn’t wonder how the two terrorist groups had placed the device and gotten it past the President’s heavy security. Revolutionary Echelon Defenders—R.E.D.—and their smaller ally, New Horizon, had plagued the country for long years with their malicious attacks. The Network was a white hat, covert organization devoted to disabling criminals in a way few others could. In the last few years, realizing the Network could frustrate their individual objectives indefinitely, the two terrorist groups had been working together to target highest-level operatives. Fortunately, neither faction had been able to locate or penetrate Network headquarters, located in a secret underground bunker beneath a legitimate technology corporation known as ETI. The corporation was situated in Chicago and was a front that designed innovative equipment for both public and internal use.
Terrorists had been concentrating on defeating the Network and its personnel for so long, Angelo wondered if his top minds had neglected the possibility that the criminals possessed another directive. The notorious leader of R.E.D., aptly nicknamed the Black Pope, had relegated all of his resources to destroying the Network and Hunter Savage. As long as the groups stayed focused on that, Angelo had been assured they could protect the country while thwarting those seeking to rob the population of justice for all.
For the first time in countless years, his past served up the painful reminder of his high school sweetheart and young wife, murmuring sweetly, “Have patience, darling. You’ve taken care of everything. Now trust those in your service to carry it out.”
The gentle tone of Carly’s voice in his head, and the reassurance that he’d overlooked nothing, made him close his eyes now as he perched on the credenza. Her lovely face filled his mind, shocking him with the level of agony that gripped him. Thirty years...thirty years ago, Carly got the babies secured in their car seats. I leaned into the back seat of the van and kissed their angelic faces. Only a year old, Anya already looked sleepy. Two-year-old Jacob giggled when I tickled him under his chin. When I drew back and kissed my beloved wife, the center of my world, she wrapped her arms around me. Dear Lord, every kiss was a celebration. Then I stood back to watch Carly drive out for a day at the zoo. At the end of the block, the left turn signal blinking, the vehicle had exploded as soon as she eased into the turn. Even from the distance, I was knocked back. Enemies of the CIA, my enemies, had destroyed my family with that car bomb.
“It’s done,” Kirsten said on a pent-up sigh of release. “We have two of the terrorists in custody.”
Angelo opened his eyes, swallowed when he saw his office, not the asphalt he’d crawled forward on until he got the strength to get to his feet and run...run toward his family, knowing he couldn’t save them and it was all over. Thirty years ago, I lost everything and so I gave up my life to the Network, to Tom McKee’s relentless urging to join the fledging organization he and the then-President were forming with the mission of taking over where regular law enforcement left off. I wouldn’t join before that. Not when it meant leaving my family behind. But when they were taken from me so violently, there was nothing else for me.
“There’s an...anomaly,” Kirsten added, sounding uncertain.
“What is it?” Angelo demanded.
“There’s something on the bomb casing... Hold on. I’m getting confirmation now.”
Angelo stood, looking down at his lead operatives below.
Kirsten glanced at him from Comm. “It’s a fuzzy picture. Of you. One of your former identities.”
No doubt when he’d been Master Strategist and primary recruiter for the Network instead of second in command. During a time in his life when he’d actually left these dark halls and emerged into the sunlight often instead of seeing it only from the tower of the ETI skyscraper far above the bunker. The protective insulation was part of the package in ascending to the top of the chain of power. He’d been working up the chain for three decades. Angelo fought an urge to laugh at the ridiculousness of the terrorists targeting him with the bomb.
“Withdraw your teams,” Hunter ordered the primary team leader. “Bring the device back to the compound. I’ll see that Jocelyn is ready to interrogate the prisoners.”
“Wounded?” Angelo asked.
There was a pause, then Kirsten nodded up to him in the roost. “Secondary teams had some injuries during infiltration.”
“What’s the ETA?”
“Under forty-five minutes.”
“I’ll have Celine’s medical team standing by at Airlock 2,” Angelo said. “Justine, have Head of Operations establish a sat link with Shannon and Chase at Oversight in the briefing room. Hunter and Kirsten, meet us there with Jocelyn and Ron when you wrap up the mission.”
Angelo called down to Medical, hoping to talk to Dr. Celine Savage about the injuries. He was told she was in her fourth-floor suite in the skyscraper. Disappointed at the thought she might be avoiding him again, he put in the order to have the med teams on standby.
Hunter, Kirsten, and Captain Ron Blair, Head of Operations, were already waiting for him in the briefing room on the lower level.
“Jocelyn will be here as soon as she finishes with the prisoners,” Kirsten told them.
From the monitors at the end of the circular table, the top two members of the Oversight Committee in Washington, D.C., Captain Shannon McKee and Chase Giovanni, greeted them.
“What did the team find?” Shannon asked, her face showing concern. Angelo had the feeling she’d gotten an earful from the President’s security team leader. Only the highest officials in the White House, including the President and a couple of members of the CIA, knew about the existence of the Network. They trusted the organization to administer absolute justice where other law enforcement agencies couldn’t. And that usually meant no one got near the President. This time, R.E.D. and their little buddies had gotten too damn close for anyone’s comfort.
“Ash’s team found an anomaly—a poor quality photograph of Angelo in his Samuel Crawford identity,” Hunter said, calling up the digital shot the Alpha Team leader, Ashton Barnett, had sent.
“It was another trap,” Angelo said simply. “This one with a purpose. They wanted to show us how easy it is to get to our country’s top man.”
“And how easily they’ll get to our top man,” Shannon finished, adding, “They’re targeting ‘The Immortal.’”
Angelo bristled at the nickname he’d gotten after thirty years of Network service. The operatives here had also started calling him “The Immortal” because he hadn’t seemed to age at all during his time here. He looked the same now as he had when he came on board. But how did their enemies know about his annoying sobriquet?
Shannon’s tone was harsh. “They intended us to intercept the bomb and prevent the assassination in order to get their message across. I guess they figure they can’t get to you, Hunter, so they’ve changed their target.”
And damn them for it. Angelo knew for a fact that the new threat would have his operatives and Oversight on alert concerning his safety. As if he wasn’t already a prisoner inside this goddamn facility. Be careful what you wish for.
Jocelyn Dominica, Network psychiatrist, entered the room and took a seat at the table. “I’d like to spend more time with our guests when I’m done here,” she started, “but both of our prisoners are members of New Horizon. Apparently, R.E.D. betrayed them with this operation. They didn’t bother telling them to pull out once the bomb was planted, and so these two were captured. The rest of the New Horizon team were killed by our operatives. The alliance between R.E.D. and New Horizon has been fractured. And New Horizon will want revenge at any price.”