Criminals want her mind… Her protector wants her love.
Special agent Vincent Fitzgerald’s mission is to find missing naval scientist Dr. Skylar Baang. The brilliant Filipino American beauty has been kidnapped for her knowledge and research on top secret projects. But even after Vin rescues her from a dangerous group, he knows they’ll be back.
A long-ago promise has kept Skylar committed to her work—love is a distraction she’s never allowed herself. Now in the protective custody of a complicated NCIS agent who surprises her at every turn, Skylar wants to stop thinking and start feeling. But as the thugs come after her, she’ll need everything she is—and smart, sexy Vin—to stay alive.
Dr. Sky Baang has been, since age of six a tool anyone and everyone wants get their hands on. Both her mother and her father gave their lives to protect Sky and keep her out of reach of those who would abuse Sky and take advantage of her vast intelligence. As such, Sky has devoted her life to her work and honoring the sacrifice made by her parents. Her name and abilities are well-known around the world and so Sky has always isolated herself from others, taken steps to insure her personal safety and, devoted herself completely to the work she does. Despite Sky’s best efforts, she is still a target.
The night Dr. Sky Baang is targeted for kidnapping, Agent Vin Fitzgerald responds to the call and not only helps save Sky’s life but takes a bullet for her. Vin has spent his life in the service of his country and protecting Sky and all that she knows is a further extension of his service. Vin is committed to his career and now, he is committed to protecting Sky until the threat to her safety and life are neutralized. Within the first 24 hours of knowing Sky, Vin discovers that the threat to her is not only real but far, far more serious than anyone initially suspected. In fact, Vin decides the best and most effective way to protect Sky is to get her out of town and into a safe house.
The safe house Vin chooses for he and Sky is remote, isolated and, the perfect place for the two to lie low until the threat to Sky is eliminated. It is also the perfect place for the two to further explore the very confusing feelings they have for one another. The physical attraction is certainly there – they did meet under extreme adrenaline pumping circumstances – but there is also a connection on deeper level. Sky has rarely ever encountered anyone who can keep up with her intellectually and Vin has rarely ever met anyone who can totally understand his decision to work as an agent and not as a part of his family’s business. The time in the safe house is hot, heavy, erotic, tension-filled, flirtatious, and sometimes a bit scary. Both Vin and Sky fully appreciate the nature of their circumstances are unique and likely heightening their responses to one another. Both are along for the ride but both are also wondering if there is a future for them beyond the confines of the safe house.
The Bottom Line: I devoured this read!! Designated Target is fast-paced, well-written and has two main characters that I enjoyed thoroughly. In fact, both Vin and Sky are such full, well-rounded characters that I found it difficult to like one more than the other. Where Sky is nerdy (YAY!) and a bit awkward in social settings, Vin is intelligent and comfortable around nearly anyone. Sky’s intelligence has always been her shield and her protection but Vin is able to keep up with her intellectually and breaks down some of her walls. The sexual chemistry between the two is red hot and with Vin’s patience and willingness to be “used” by Sky, Sky is able to overcome some of her awkwardness and thoroughly explore Vin. Seriously, these two have some seriously sensual moments!! Don’t mistake my meaning here: sure, the sex is a good chunk of the read but it never overwhelms the characters or the plot. The naughty bits are tied to the plot and the drama, always appropriate and, a total enhancement to the overall read. The action is just right for this read and keeps the read moving at a quick though not too fast pace. In all, Karen Anders has once again delivered a solid and entertaining read for Harlequin!