HEART STRIKE by Tracy Cooper-Posey
Project Kobra Book 3.0
Romantic Espionage Thriller
She’s American, he’s Russian. No one wants them to be together.
As a victim of the Kobra’s bomb, and with unique access to classified information, Fabian Santiago isn’t content with justice being delivered someday. When the Seven Seas unit bogs down in trivia she heads to Ukraine to find the Kobra herself.
When she falls—literally—into the arms of Mischa Sokolov, a charming Russian living in Kiev, their affair is so heated she is distracted from her very personal mission…until she learns that Mischa is not quite what he seems, and that her coming to Ukraine is shaking apart decades old conspiracies…
This romantic thriller is part of the Project Kobra series.
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Just Awesome! Our story continues the search for Kobra. Fabian goes off the grid to get answers but there is still more intrigue. The ins and outs will have you frantically turning the pages. Nothing is what it seems and no-one is who they appear to be. Fast paced read, exciting story line, excellent characters and a fabulous adventure all in one book. Plan to read it straight through because once you start, you'll turn pages as fast as you can read. Don't even think you might be able to put it down and go to sleep. Wonderful!
Fabian Santiago is a beautiful woman in her early thirties, a volcanologist, who was badly injured in a hotel bombing and still trying to recover from her wounds with physical therapy. Unhappy with the progress of her CIA Director father's special team after a year of pursuing the Kobra she decides to take matters into her own hands. After accessing top secret files she departs Washington D.C. for Kiev, Ukraine to look for her "uncle" Aslan who she believes will lead her to the identity of the Kobra. On the train to Kiev she bumps into a rather handsome man who then takes gentlemanly care of her and whom introduces himself as Mischa Sokolov. He is returning from vacation, is a widower, and works for the Russian Embassy. Fabian has a limp from her injured knee which is braced and Mischa is very kind offering that she stay with him in Kiev. Thus begins a romance though much more of the story concerns the special team and the uprooting and discovery of their treacherous mole who has been hindering any progress. We travel to Istanbul and back to Kiev and also learn who is the Kobra but it remains for another book to track him down.
Tracy has given us in this 3rd installment of the Kobra series a thrilling and balanced story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and reading to the end.
For some reason this is the first time I’ve read this particular genre written by Tracey. It won’t be the last time. This is the 3rd book in the series & although it COULD be read as a stand alone it would be better to have read the other 2 first which I will be doing. There are people in this book from the other 2 & something has happened in the previous book which has had a direct impact on this book.
Spies, betrayal, danger, love, passion. Mischa thinks of himself as a true Russian, secretly fighting for the state until he learns something that turns his world upside down. Something that turns him into an enemy of Russia & a hunter of Kobra.
Only 4 stars because I needed to read the other 2 books beforehand. Thoroughly enjoyed this book & looking forward to the series.
It was too short! – it was all over just as it was gearing up! Can’t wait til the next installment.
Great to have all the characters back in action. A tense year of being suspicious of each other and the trust in the team while they seek out the mole.
The plot includes lots of intrigue, danger, revelations at the usual fast pace with a new romance, a high speed car chase, deception, kidnapping, rescues – you name it!
Fabian is a beautiful volcanologist seeking revenge from a bomb that left her permanently injured. Fabian quickly discovers that she is in over her head looking for the man known as the Kobra who is rumored to be hiding in Russia. However, Fabian has the fortune of meeting Mischa on the train. Mischa is both mysterious and pleasant. The couple talk on the train and seem to have a connection; hence Mischa offers his assistance with finding the Kobra. This is the beginning of a fast-pasted ride full of twists,turns and explosions until the end! This book is kept me on the edge of my seat and I can't wait for the final book to find out how it all wraps up.
Excitement, fear, danger and more charge the characters chasing the Kobra. The pace of the story is often at breakneck speed. Searching for a traitor and starting a new relationship blends in with it all. If you like mystery, car chases, twists and turns, then this story about Fabian and Mischa and their connection will fill every expectation. And then some!
Heart Strike is the third installment in the Project Kobra series. This time, a chance encounter on a train between Fabian and Misha leads to an emotionally-restorative interaction between the two, but also produces the identity of the Kobra. Fabian is on a mission to learn more about a distant “relative” that might lead her to the man that ordered the detonation of a bomb that seriously injured her. Misha, attached to the embassy, discovers his life was more of a lie than he ever could have imagined. When the Kobra strikes at the two of them, it’s a race for their lives. Cooper-Posey at her best.
LOVED IT!! This is a wonderful (and wonderfully) spontaneous romance between Fabian and Mischa with plenty of subterfuge, mild suspense and exciting road races to keep the reader turning pages.
This is a sit on the edge of your seat good! Fabian is on the hunt of the Kobra and totally unprepared for the ruthlessness that she encounters. Throw in a man that she unexpectedly bonds with who is more than he appears and you have a story that winds you up. I loved it. I received an advanced copy of this book and freely leave this honest review.
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EXCERPT FROM HEART STRIKE
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2020
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Misha was a good conversationalist. Fabian found him interesting to listen to and felt none of the awkwardness strangers generally stirred in her. He made the obvious questions, the get-to-know-you type of questions, seem interesting and noninvasive.
A wordless warning sat at the front of her mind, telling her to speak the truth as often as she could. Fabian wasn’t sure where she had learned it from. Possibly the movies, but more likely her father had passed it on. The truth was easier to remember than a pack of lies.
Mischa, though, did not start with the obvious “why are you here in Ukraine?” Instead, he sipped his tea and said, “You used a phrase a while ago. Something about tremors and…something else.”
So, her misdirection had not worked at all. Fabian nodded. “Harmonic tremors and flank eruptions.”
“Yes, that was it. Are you a geologist?”
“I am a volcanologist.”
His eyes widened. “Really? I don’t believe I’ve met a volcanologist before. Not one that would confess to it, at least. Are you a very good volcanologist?”
“If I was trying to impress you, I would tell you about graduating summa cum laude and how I had five job offers before I left university. Only, I got into the field because volcanoes fascinate me.”
“I remember when the volcano erupted in Iceland a few years ago and grounded planes all over Europe. They’re supposed to be the most powerful force on earth, when they really get going.”
“They are,” Fabian said. “But I think most people focus on the power of the eruptions, which is bad enough. What they miss is the long-term effects of volcanoes upon humanity. And not just the Pompeiis of the world.”
Mischa’s eyes, which she had decided were blue, were steady as he considered her. “Is Pompeii why you got into the field?”
“My father took me there when I was quite small,” she said. “He is good at influencing people and wrangled a private tour of the city. We got to see things the tourists don’t see. I remember one of the remains—it was a small child, only as big as I was at the time. I remember thinking ‘here are the remains of someone who lived thousands of years ago. Were they just like me? Why did they not run away when the volcano erupted?’” She rolled her eyes. “It was silly, but I still remember that child. I keep wondering about them, even today. Nobody is really sure who the girl was.”
“And so an obsession was born,” Mischa said. “Is that what you mean about the long-term effects?”
“The long term effects I learned later, once I got into the business. I was lucky enough to get a job with the teams working on the two biggest volcanoes in Iceland.”
Mischa nodded. “The ones with unpronounceable names.”
“Eyjafjallajökull and Katla,” Fabian said.
He laughed. “I am officially impressed.”
“Does that mean I am still to impress you unofficially?”
“Oh, you did that a while ago.” His tone warm.
Startled, Fabian slid her gaze toward the windows. She liked him thinking well of her, which was bizarre. She had only just met him.
“So, the long-term effects of volcanoes…?” he prompted her.
Fabian brought herself back to the point. “I’m working on Katla at the moment. In fact, I flew here directly from Iceland. Katla is fascinating. It erupted in the late eighteenth century and the eruption was so powerful, the gases and smoke it emitted shrouded the world for two years. Harvests across Europe were impacted for years and years. In fact, historians believe that the eruption of Katla is the reason why the French Revolution happened. The poor were unable to grow crops for a few years, which made them so desperate, they revolted.”
“The French Revolution changed the face of global politics,” Mischa concluded softly. His tone was admiring. “I don’t think I have heard that theory before.”
“But it does make sense,” she insisted.
“If you are a reasonable and rational person, it does,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are people who think the world is flat and global warming is a conspiracy of the Western world.”
“Do you believe the USA is gaslighting the rest of the world?”
They were using English, but Mischa still let his glance shift to the rest of the train, checking for listeners. “There are people in Ukraine who would willingly believe so, for it gives them a reason to be angry. Unemployment, inflation, corruption—there is a lot to be angry about in Ukraine. Even though it was thirty years ago, people still insist the Chernobyl disaster was a military action by the USA. Best not raise that topic while you are here.”
Fabian felt a little jolt of shock. She wondered why he was speaking of Chernobyl. It had to be coincidence, though. The Chernobyl disaster was unprecedented in Ukraine’s history. She tilted her head. “You speak as if you are not Ukrainian.”
“That is because I am Russian.” His smile was easy. He did not seem apologetic about it. “You should not hold that against me. I’m actually a very nice man.”
Fabian laughed. “Do you live here? Or are you just passing through?”
“I live in Kiev. I have been in Greece, on holiday.”
“By yourself? That’s appalling.”
“Says the lady who is travelling by herself.”
“Yes, you’ve got me there. Although this is a working vacation.”
He just raised his brow, instead of asking the obvious question.
As she had deliberately set herself up for this, Fabian answered easily. “When I was growing up, I had an uncle… He was a step-uncle, really. At least, that was how we all knew him and were told to think of him. Elijah was such a sweet man. He always talked to me as if I was a grown-up. The way I thought grown-ups would be spoken to. None of that crouching and speaking with fake seriousness, the way adults who are not used to children tend to do.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” Mischa said. “A hundred years ago, those were the people who pinched children’s cheeks and thought children would adore them for it.”
“Yes, exactly. My uncle never did that. He did not make fun of me and I never felt like he was laughing at me. We just talked like two people. He was the first person who ever talked to me in that way. He always looked out for me. Then he died. And…” She grimaced. And drank her tea. “Oh wow, way too much information. I’m sorry.”
It really was too much information. It had gushed from her.
“Your uncle came from here?”
“It took years for me to find that out. No one in my family would talk about Uncle Elijah. It was if he had never been there. When I asked my father and my uncles about him, they didn’t seem to know much about him. I didn’t understand it. He was our uncle—step-uncle. He was at every family function for years. Every Christmas, every Thanksgiving. Yet no one seemed to know a damn thing about him.”
“A mystery. That is why you are here? To find out more about him?”
“To find out more about him as a person,” Fabian amended. “It appalls me that no one in the family knew him well, when he was counted as a member of the family. It has only been in the last few years that I finally got my father to unbend enough to explain that the reason no one talks about him is because he was my uncle Ignatius’ lover. Thirty years ago, gay men didn’t openly flaunt their relationships. So Elijah was introduced as a step uncle. Then Elijah died and my uncle Ignatius moved to South America.”
“Did you talk to Ignatius about Elijah?”
“It took two years’ worth of letters and emails to get Ignatius to admit Elijah had been his lover. Elijah died of AIDS-related issues and my uncle is now HIV-positive, too. They didn’t know much about it back then and didn’t know how to avoid it.” Fabian shook her head. “Even Ignatius didn’t know terribly much about Elijah’s history before he moved to America. All he knew was that Elijah had come from Chernobyl, and moved to Kiev for a few years before he migrated to America. Elijah was an orphan, after Chernobyl.”
“So much for not bringing up Chernobyl,” Mischa murmured. He straightened up. “It seems you have resolved the mystery already.”
“About who he is, yes. About who he was as a person, no.” Fabian twisted her hair and threw it back over her shoulder, self-conscious. She was speaking the truth, more or less, yet some of what she said surprised even her. “I feel as though I have to find out more about him, to honor him. Does that make sense?”
“Because you took him for granted when you were a child?”
Fabian nodded. “Yes, I think so. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But yes, that is it. I mean, children are self-centered. Yet I feel that if I had been a nicer person, I would have taken a greater interest in him. I feel guilty because I did not. So now, if I find out something about him, it will make up for my lack.”
“I’m not sure why you think that makes you a bad person. As you say, children are self-centered. That’s part of being a child.”
Fabian shrugged self-consciously. “Anyway, I’ve been in Iceland for three months and winter has set in already, there. I thought, a week away, and Kiev is not that far, so…”
Mischa shook his empty teacup. He glanced at his watch. “The bar where I bought the tea is serving Deruny. Let me buy you lunch, Piá?”
Her stomach rumbled. She had eaten breakfast on the ferry from Istanbul, but that had been many hours ago. “You brought the tea. Let me buy lunch.”
“No one speaks American here, remember?” He slid to the end of the seat and smiled at her. “I will buy lunch. It is payment for an interesting conversation. Russians like their storytellers, you know.” He got to his feet. There were fewer people moving up and down the aisle now. Everyone had found seats and were settled. Mischa looked down at her. “What was the name of your uncle? I mean, his last name.”
“Aslan,” Fabian told him. “Eli Aslan.”