Red Heat by Nina Bruhns

Overview from author Nina Bruhns' site about Red Heat (2011), the first book in the Men in Uniform series:

CIA analyst Julie Severin hates anything to do with Russia—the country that killed her cold war spy father. She also has a phobia about large bodies of water. Needless to say, she is horrified when she is ordered at the last minute to join an international team of scientists going deep under the frigid waters of the Arctic on an ancient Russian rust bucket of a submarine. Her mission: to recover a tiny data card hidden somewhere on the sub by a murdered CIA mole…and while she’s at it, acquire the sub’s arrogant but annoyingly attractive commander as the asset’s replacement.

When Julie’s life is suddenly threatened by an enemy agent hunting the same hidden microcard, she must turn to her nemesis for help. But the killer handsome Russian captain is hiding his own shocking secrets…

There's a lot happening in this book, and I'd call this one more of suspense with a dash of romance instead of romantic suspense. Julie's actually undercover on a Russian submarine seeking a data card about Chinese military intelligence, Nikolai/the submarine captain has career issues and a mystery involving his mother, there's the search for the person trying to kill Julie (who could be pretty much any of the submarine crew and scientific team members), and then there's Nikolai insisting she share his stateroom.

The story keeps moving with so much happening, but it also felt scattered. I probably won't read the next book in the series.

My overall personal rating of Red Heat is a C+.


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