Covert Identity

Romance - Contemporary
138 Pages
Reviewed on 12/18/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Covert Identity is a romance novel written by Maria Hammarblad. Sharon Vaughan is far from impressed when an obnoxious, filthy biker overtakes her truck on his noisy Harley. As the two find themselves in parking spaces, side-by-side, she assumes he is stalking her, but when he invites her to join him for a hot coffee, carries her heavy shopping bags to the car and asks her out, she goes against all of her normal instincts and accepts. Surprisingly, the huge biker who’d introduced himself as Jimmy Shaw is not the monster she had figured him to be; up until that moment Sharon assumed all bikers were criminals who stole, raped and murdered for fun. Jimmy is unlike any man she has ever met and, before long, she falls in love. Things start to unravel, however, when Jimmy starts arriving home at odd hours, bloodied and beaten, refusing to divulge what has happened. He is also secretive about himself and his family. After rescuing some abused children and one potential bait-puppy from death, Jimmy leaves Sharon one morning with a dire warning, telling her that he loves her and if anything happens to him, she needs to know that. Then Jimmy vanishes. Sharon stakes out the motorcycle club alone, only to find another man riding Jimmy’s beloved Harley, and some stranger answering his phone when she calls, claiming he has never heard of Jimmy. Sharon hopes she is not too late and knows she must act fast and do the impossible if she is to bring the man she loves out of this nightmare alive.

Maria Hammarblad’s suspenseful thriller is one of the most gripping romance novels I have ever read. The stereotyping of a biker and a computer nerd are precise, with initial snobbery occurring, even after genuine acts of friendship have taken place. It was great to see somebody so rigid and anti-biker finally letting her hair down and getting to know somebody whom she’d already judged before they had even spoken their first words to one another. As somebody who prefers the freedom of a motorcycle over the boxed-in feel of a car, I couldn't help but smile at Sharon’s reaction during her first pillion ride on a motorcycle. Each detail is so intricately explained during her experience that I could almost feel the wind in my hair as I read. The characters in the book, regardless of how minor or insignificant they might seem at first, each play vital roles in the story. They also come with such depth that it was easy to relate to each and every one, even if their criminal behavior was stomach-churning. It takes a great writer to bring such characters to life, and Maria Hammarblad has done just that in Covert Identity. I enjoyed reading this story from beginning to end, and recommend it to readers over the age of 15 who like their animal-loving, motorcycle-riding drama, action, humor and suspense all packed into one incredible romantic thriller.