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Rebecca Zanetti. Kensington, $7.99 mass market (374p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4585-4

In the fiery, action-packed third romantic suspense novel of the Deep Ops series (after Fallen), Zanetti gleefully revisits the rough and ready (and sometimes ridiculous) Homeland Defense Department’s band of merry misfits. This time the spotlight falls on Clarence Wolfe, the team’s ex-military muscle. A man of action and few words, Wolfe takes a shine to investigative reporter Dana Mulberry, but worries she’s too good for him. Dana returns Wolfe’s feelings, but believes she has been “friend zoned.” But when Dana’s investigation into what happened to a fellow reporter who disappeared on the trail of a story collides with Wolfe’s latest Deep Ops assignment while they’re both undercover at an exclusive BDSM club, Wolfe brings Dana into the Deep Ops fold. Though there’s no shortage of humor (including comic relief provided by Wolfe’s alcoholic German shepherd), the plot takes some truly dark turns that may disturb squeamish readers as Dana and Wolfe work together to track at least one serial killer. Their chemistry inevitably ignites into all the blistering sex scenes fans expect, and Zanetti introduces some exciting new faces along the way. Series readers will be chomping at the bit for what comes next. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Assoc. (June)