Special Agent Francesca Featured
Book Review, Crime, Detective Fiction, Mystery, Opposites Attract, Police Procedural, Romance, Series, Suspense

Special Agent Francesca (Undercover FBI #1) by Mimi Barbour


An introvert, Special Agent Francesca moves to Las Vegas to escape her powerful, domineering mother. On arrival, multiple obstacles challenge her. She needs to approach a father she’s never met, a man who doesn’t even know she exists. Then she must play the role of a loving fiancée with a stranger. One who makes her question every unexpected emotion he provokes. Craving the chance for real undercover work, she grabs the opportunity to be involved in cleaning up gang corruption in a nasty neighborhood. When she poses as the new owner of a hotel, the deadly-dangerous situation ramps up and she’s forced to fight her way from one conflict to the next.

Sean Collins, Psychiatrist and LVPD Profiler, has never known anyone like Francesca Donovan. From first sight, he believes her to be a screwball but her beauty and maddening personality attracts him. Despite her prickly disposition, which gets them into a load of trouble, her rotten driving skills and her constant battles, he’s hooked. Once he’s roped into a mock engagement with her, his desire to make it real takes precedence over everything else in his world.


I picked this book up from a friend’s recommendation. It is fast-paced, fun, and filled with suspense.

FBI Special Agent Francesca “Frankie” Donovan is excited about starting her job in Vegas independent of her mother’s long reach. However, her mom springs a shocking surprise on her that her birth father is a detective in the city. A man who does not know she exists. If that isn’t enough, she has also pissed off her slimy new boss who has placed her in her first extremely dangerous undercover job to catch a crime boss. And the icing on the cake…her partner is a hot, distracting psychiatrist who gives her feelings she just doesn’t need right now.

Dr. Sean Collins works is a psychiatrist who works sometimes as a profiler for the Vegas police force. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he is asked by his best friend Eddie, head of the Gang Crime Unit, to partner with the beautiful and stubborn Special Agent Donovan to keep her out of trouble. Yeah…easier said than done.

Frankie is a total badass. Trouble certainly finds her as she brings down four bad guys in just a few days of arriving in Vegas. Her extreme martial arts skills are superb and her instincts are well-developed for a young agent. She is also thrilled to be out from under her mother’s interference as the top Special Agent to the Director of the FBI. She is used to working on her own so she often goes rogue to the dismay of her father, her boss, and Sean. It’s sad how Frankie grew up with an absentee mother who put her career first and then lied about Frankie’s father all her life. However, Frankie’s dad, Ham, and his family are just what Frankie needs to feel wanted and cared for. Sean is Frankie’s voice of reason as she gets deeper into the Vegas criminal underground. Their attraction is immediate, but they rub each other the wrong way at first. Their fun teasing is hilarious and the chemistry is strong as they finally admit their feelings, they catch the bad guys, and their future looks bright.

I love Frankie’s father with his immediate and unconditional love for his daughter. That applies to her very understanding and accepting stepmother Mattie, and her half-sisters as well. 

If you enjoy suspense that keeps you on your toes, slow-burn sizzling romances, and charming and sleazy characters, give this book a try. 

Thank you to Ms. Barbour for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Special Agent Francesca

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NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, Mimi Barbour, lives on the beautiful east coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue-in-cheek and a mad glint in her eye. Asked why she prefers paranormal or suspenseful romance, she answers, chuckling…

“Because it’s fun! Imagination can be a lot more interesting than what happens in real life to so-called normal people. I love my characters, and my goal is to make the readers love them also. To care about what happens to them while the tale unfolds. If I can steal my booklover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them in a fantasy world, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

“Thinking back, writing my first romantic suspense novel switched the hard work into fun, and I’ve not looked back. I love writing about men and women finding each other and falling in love. Along the way, it pleases me to fill their travels with gritty conflicts – spiced up with lots of humor and seasoned with a few tears, but always with endings that are happy.”

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