Group Review: Can't Hide from Me by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.

For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.

As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.

But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.

Adam - 4 Hearts

Charles Hunter is less than happy when the undercover agent his team extracts turns out to be Ángel Medina, the ex he’s never been able to forget. Both Ángel and Charles have a lot of anger towards each other, but they’re also still undeniably attracted to one another. Neither Charles nor Ángel have ever been good at keeping their hands off each other.

Things go from complicated to outright dangerous when someone linked to Ángel’s undercover mission decides to torment him. As the stalker’s obsession escalates, innocent people get caught in the crossfire. Ángel and Charles race to find the stalker, while trying to avoid being sucked back into the unhealthy relationship that made them miserable the first time.

I’ve been eagerly anticipating Cordelia Kingsbridge’s first published book. Having read a number of her slashfics, I can say without a doubt that this author knows how to tell a story, and how to tell it well.

‘Can’t Hide from Me’ definitely lived up to the expectations!

I was hooked early on. Within the first couple of chapters, we’ve got danger, high emotions, and sexual tension you could cut through with a knife.


It would be easy to dislike Ángel, given what he did to Charles and his very cocky attitude. But I thought the author did a good job of hinting at a more complex character, so I was happy to sit back and find out how the story unfolded before making any snap judgements. Plus, I loved how unapologetic Ángel was about his sexuality.

Charles was a lot easier to understand and connect to. He’s a simple man who likes a simple orderly life, and tries to avoid drama. He might not have been as exciting or intriguing as Ángel, but I got where he was coming from.

Charles and Ángel don’t hash out their issues until much later in the book. Instead, they speak through sex, because that’s the only time when they’re not at each other's’ throats. And I have to say - this was some hot sex. It’s rough, raw, and just a bit dirty. I approve!


The mystery/thriller kept me very entertained. I had an inkling about what was going on around the halfway point, however the twists and turns still kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending was a bit of a clusterfuck, but I still enjoyed the ride.

It isn’t until right at the end that Ángel and Charles finally talk and figure out what they want from each other so that they can build a future together. It was emotionally draining, and I might even have sniffled once or twice. I was really happy with the outcome!

Charles and Ángel certainly get a happy ending, though it might not be a conventional HEA. But that’s okay, because neither of the two are conventional MM romance heroes.

This book has everything I enjoy - a crime mystery that kept me guessing, a complicated romance with two multi-layered MCs, and some scorching hot sex. If you’re looking for an action-packed and sexy read, ‘Can’t Hide from Me’ might fit the bill!

Sheziss - 3 Hearts

This was fun.

I expected no less from Cordelia.

The Spanish was awesome. I was close to tears with the proper use of the opening exclamation and interrogation signs (“¡” and “¿”), the syntax with the verb and noun conjugations, the use of accents, and the loving nicknames. That “cielito” made me laugh and swoon in equal parts. It’s not that I’m fond of nicknames themselves but I loved how the author made her homework and wasn’t content with online translators.

And yes, there are lots of Spanish sentences, dialogues and isolated words now and then. Not only because of the Mexican cartel, but also because of some of the “good” characters themselves speaking this language. So maybe it can be a little challenging for non-Spanish speakers but I suppose the general idea is understood.

Also, Ángel with accent! I can’t tell how delighted I’m with this.

Ángel is not an angel at all.

There were a few minor mistakes, though. A few forgotten accents. Just the sort that are easy to overlook if you are not paying attention. Nothing really important. Still, I hope they are corrected once this book is released:

Ángel shrugged. “He also had a wife an several girlfriends It was no threat to his machísmo to fuck a man the same way he would a woman.”

Correct word: machismo. But I’m not sure if machismo is the proper word in this specific context. I’d say “masculinidad” fits there, too, maybe even better. Above all after this:

Raúl didn’t respect me - his particular concept of masculinity meant he couldn’t treat me as an equal if he was going to fuck me.

Later we have:

¿Como estás?”

“Pues más o menos.”

Correct version: ¿Cómo estás?

Sometimes names have accents, sometimes they don’t. I’m not delighted with this constant changes but in USA accents tend to disappear. Anyway, there was a character (Mexican) who was called “Manuel Juarez”, no accent, but then the author mentions “Ciudad Juárez” (Mexican), with accent.

This made me laugh. Hard:

“Fucking Spanish! Says he doesn’t like not knowing what they’re saying around him. I told him, ‘Johnny, those fuckers are gonna come to America, they gotta speak American.’ You know?”

Jesus Christ.

My sentiments exactly.

Ángel was undercover in a Mexican cartel. As the toy boy of an important mafioso. Once this mafioso is killed, he’s at risk, to he asks for a way out. The team in charge of this mission is Charles’s one.

And it’s not a nice reencounter.

Charles is black. Ángel is Hispanic. I loved how naturally Cordelia describes the characters. No “coffee skin” or other ambiguous terms, just straight to the point. In my head, Ángel was white, as no further description was provided, with a mischievous glance that makes Charles nervous more often than not. I don’t know if I’m wrong but that’s how I imagine him. Charles is more serious and tries to keep the distances and the anger awake (he also has the biggest cock Ángel has ever seen, which I think is a cliché, but whatever).

I love how shamelessly Cordelia writes sex scenes. They are porny. Every time I read a book of hers, I know what I will get, and I rub my hands in advance. Dirty talk is mandatory with her. And dirty sex. In fact, I was disappointed there weren’t more hot scenes. There should have been more and longer!

Even more, I think this book should have been longer. The love department needed a deeper development. Things are doomed since the very beginning because of a past that none of them can forget nor forgive. So they don’t talk, they don’t form a bond. They fuck instead. Multiple times. Then the relationship seems finished for good after a Big Revelation, and then all hell breaks loose with the stalker taking the reins of the situation.

At this stage of the story, the MCs find out that nothing really matters, only them together. Because of the danger and the oh-my-god-you-almost-died vibes, everything is “solved”. I feel the book should have dedicated a few chapters to the “after”, to the “re-bonding”, the “getting to know each other for real”. But that didn’t happen. Or happened off-stage.

The mystery part was weak. I suck in mysteries but I figured who the baddie was once this character’s good façade makes an appearance. A pity.

So, it was an entertaining read. Not the best by Cordelia, but good enough to hold my attention until the very end.

Cupcake - 4.25 Hearts

Long ago when I was but a mini Cupcake and we still bought our Christmas trees *gasp* my parents let me (within reason) pick them out. I loved this part of the holidays. One year I picked the most amazing tree; it was fluffy without gaps and it smelled heavenly. Were I the dendrophiliac kind of Cupcake I would’ve given this tree my number; it was a good looking tree, I tell ya. After we put the lights, garland, ornaments and tree topper on it was dazzling though. I still remember that tree. And that is the best way I can describe Can’t Hide From Me. The original version was really good but the editing made it shine.

I read the original when CK was writing it and I had… issues that made me… animated at times. Mostly the so called professional behavior of the two protagonists, but I still gave that version 3.5 stars with the caveat that I’d reread it in one go and see if that changed my experience any. Then Riptide optioned it before I got a chance to download it.

I have to say whomever CK worked with they make a good team. All the things that I took issue with in the original were either omitted or expounded upon in logical and believable ways. In my experience, feds are meticulous planners and are partner/team oriented not reckless or impulsive. Not only were those things addressed but the dynamics and page time with the team were enhanced. I enjoyed the time spent with them and having those characters fleshed out more added positively to the narrative. I can always count on CK to write strong female characters and have a wide diversity of characters that aren't carbon copies or recycled.

There is a lot of water under the Charles and Ángel bridge. I feel like their back story was infused with more emotion in this version. Each of them have depth and getting inside both of their psyche's showed me just how deep the hurt they've caused one another runs as well as how deep the love between them is. The connection was plain to see in the original, but it’s stronger in this version, grander in scope somehow. Both Charles and Ángel are clearer to me as people and what motivates them. Also, I appreciated the attention given to the lasting impact of trauma. The thriller aspect was just as absorbing the second time around and I knew who the culprit was!

One thing that needed no improvement was the off the charts chemistry between them. Jimmy Crack Corn! Can CK write the sex! It’s dirty and filthy and perfect. Tongue slap your brains out hot. Every time! I don’t know how she does it. Adam and I were talking recently about how CK, HC and Hassell should have a sex off. I’d happily volunteer to be front row center for them to reduce us all to quivering, drooling, monosyllabic puddles.

I’m about to make a bold statement so brace yourselves. I think CK could rival the top MM authors in relationship development and that’s BEFORE she was published. The evolution of her character’s relationships always strikes a chord with me; they’re always realistic, lack melodramatic antics and make me invest in the couple. Worldbuilding is certainly in her wheelhouse as is gripping dialogue. *stepping off my fangirl soapbox* But more people should take notice of this author is all I’m trying to say.

I do wish there had been an epilogue but I think I am greedy just wasn't ready to say goodbye to Charles and Ángel yet.

Recommended for mystery/thriller as well as MM romance fans.

ARCs were provided by NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.

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