Sedona Ramos is a dedicated public servant. Fluent in three languages, with looks that allow her to pass for Hispanic, Native American, or Middle Eastern, she is a valuable asset to the super-secret National Security Agency. When she accidentally stumbles upon a mysterious series of satellite images revealing activity at a shuttered nuclear facility in war-torn Iraq, somebody wants her dead.
With danger lurking at every turn and not knowing who among her colleagues might be involved, Sedona risks her life to get the information to the one person she can trust--the president.
The implications of Sedona's discovery are clear and quite possibly catastrophic. Potential suspects include foreign terrorists, high-ranking Cabinet members, and assorted others. Whomever the president picks for this mission must be above reproach.
Vaughn Elliott is enjoying her self-imposed isolation on a remote island, content to live in quiet anonymity. But when old friend Katherine Kyle brings an urgent SOS from the president of the United States, duty trumps comfort.
Time is of the essence. Vaughn, Sedona, and a hand-picked team of ex-operatives and specialists must figure out what's really going on outside Baghdad, stop it, and unmask the forces behind the plot. If they fail at any point along the way, it could mean the loss of millions of lives.
Will Vaughn and company unravel the mysteries in time? The trail of clues stretches from the Middle East to Washington. The list of people who want to kill them is long. And the stakes have never been higher...
Lynn Ames Reading
audio excerpt for - ABOVE REPROACH
FROM THE LESBIAN REVIEW
Above Reproach by Lynn Ames is the second book in the Mission: Classified series and continues with the action/thriller theme from the first book. So, take a deep breath before setting out and reading it! This is also a crossover story with the Kate and Jay series.
Sedona Ramos works at the National Security Agency HQ in Maryland, USA. She is trawling through pages of intercepted Arabic language communications from Iraq when she comes across a picture of a known deserted nuclear facility in Iraq with people and vehicles around it and movement evident. She knows it should be deserted as she was part of the team that closed it down. She is immediately aware that she has triggered an alert, and within minutes a black ops team plunges her office into darkness. She is ahead of them and manages to find a way out.
Sedona manages to get the information to the President as she does not know who else to trust. The President decides to create a team outside the normal chain of command and asks them to perform off grid to investigate the incident. He brings in Kate, Peter and Lorraine from the Kate and Jay series to be part of the team with Vaughn, Justine and Sabastian from Beyond Instinct.
Sedona Ramos has ‘sleek long, black hair, deep dark eyes and an olive complexion’ and yes, I am hooked! She is both an NSA operative and a psychic/clairvoyant. She is very resourceful and independent. Sedona is on an inner journey, trying to deal with emotional events from three years ago, and is really closed off. However, she realizes that she has a strong attraction to Vaughn.
Vaughn Elliott has been living in seclusion since the events in Beyond Instinct, in retirement. She has still not moved forward emotionally and her character arc has been unchanged. In addition, she believes that her role as team leader also means that she needs to stay remote. She is particularly mean to her friend Justine who is trying to ensure that she starts to re-enter the world emotionally.
The interesting romantic angle to the story is the attraction between Sedona and Vaughn, both not ready emotionally but certainly enjoying sexual attraction—and the burn does not last for long, more a fast burn! They both then spend time working out what this means.
The Writing Style
This is a quieter book compared to the first volume in the series, and there is less action. This does not mean that the story is weak, and there is still a fast-paced chase going on across countries against the clock. The romance is also different in that neither of the women are emotionally ready for what is happening to them and the writing has to reflect this.
I particularly like the way Lynn Ames has characterized Sedona, who is so completely different from how we would expect an agent to be. She has been written as a voice of calm in the madness of what is happening and it has been really well done.
It was good to have the crossover with Kate and Jay, and to have used those characters so well was a master stroke. The story was classic Lynn Ames, smoothly written and full of happenings.
I have no issue with it, but I could see some readers not understanding the psychic side of the story and feeling that it reduced the excitement.
Another brilliant book! Now, we have to wait for the next in the series to come out…