REVIEW: How to Win Over Your Arch-Nemesis (In Three Easy Steps) by Jenniffer Wardell
Meet one super-spy’s greatest weakness – a woman who thinks he’s full of it.
It should have just been a routine mission, the kind of thing spies normally take care of on their lunch break – find who turned the payment app into a terrorist funding plan, and shut them down. But the meek little programmer he’d targeted turns out to not be so meek, and none of his usual spy tricks are enough to get him the information he needs. Will a little honesty, and a woman who knows her coding, be enough to save the mission?
Dear Ms Wardell,
I’ve been wanting to try one of your slightly cynical fairy tale books but frankly, I’m cheap and have been waiting for them to go on sale. When I saw this spy novella-ette on offer, I decided to jump on it. Yep, it’s also expensive and short but WORTH IT. And I used all caps there and I meant to do it. The whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think a little bit about the movie “Grosse Point Blank.”
Oh, “Dom” starts out as a schmuck with his “this should be an easy mission” and implied attitude that Thea will be grateful for his attention in her otherwise boring life as he either nails her traitorous ass or saves it. The brilliance and cold eyed calm with which Thea verbally shoots him down in flames are worthy of a standing ovation.
Shifting his grip on his briefcase, he sauntered over to her table. “Pardon me for being rude, but I saw you sitting over here and I—“
He blinked. “Excuse me?”
“Whatever you’re about to try to sell me, I’m not interested.” She didn’t bother looking up. “Though if you need the empty chair, feel free to take it.”
He’d been shot down by an actual princess, once, though he’d won her over not more than 15 minutes later. Putting on his most flirtatiously charming look, he slid into the seat opposite hers. “Thank you.” He smiled. “I was hoping to eat my lunch in such beautiful company.”
Her head shot up at that, but instead of pleased surprise she sent him a look that seriously questioned his intelligence. “Really?” She shifted her tablet onto her lap, leaning forward slightly. “That’s the approach you’re going to go with, here?”
He gave her his best smile. “I’m always willing to take instruction from such a magnificent woman.”
She just stared at him, and for a moment he thought he was actually getting somewhere. Then her brow lowered, and she glared at him as if he’d just dented her Porsche or misidentified the designer she was wearing. “I don’t know if you’re an idiot, or so arrogant it basically amounts to the same thing.”
He certainly gets an earful from the fellow agent listening in on the conversation. It was definitely not his A game and he’s never going to live this one down. Obviously a change in tactics is called for.
He is impressed with how quickly and easily she pegs him as the lawyer he was trying to impersonate and eliminates the other options of people who might approach her. He’s also almost sure she isn’t the source of the code that has been siphoning money away from cell phone accounts and into the hands of terrorists. When she doesn’t yield to his rush job and counters with some fast and smart thinking, “Dom” realizes this might turn out to be a more interesting assignment than he’d hoped for or expected.
I was laughing at the attempt to get Thea to believe in a little spy agency outside of regular channels that can do whatever it wants. This sounds like so many Black Ops/covert super secret groups that I see in book blurbs and I always roll my eyes too. “Dom” finds himself engaged and on point while flirt talking with Thea. She’s worthy of his best efforts and he enjoys this repartee enough that he (momentarily) loses sight of the ball in this mission. Her choice of what to call him when he won’t reveal his real name amuses me if not him. When the bullets start flying – and BTW I love and was snickering over the title of that chapter – Thea quickly figures out the reason for witty spy type quips. Which also impresses the hell out of “Dom.”
Okay so – I adored the novella-ette, I want more of Thea and “Whatever name he’s going by today” and I am writing a glowing review to hopefully encourage more adventures for them. After all, he still needs to impress her with his ninja moves. A-