The Bottom Line: An exhilarating revenge thriller that will hold readers breathless from start to finish.
Risky Assets, the second book in Rachael Eckles’ stylish Trading Secrets series, continues the journey of financier and illuminati Celeste Donovan. In book one, we witnessed how Celeste’s uncommon intellect, illuminati ties and seemingly limitless resources were scant protection from sadistic ex-lover Omar.
As book two begins, Celeste is on a roll. She’s running one of the world’s top hedge funds, has just created a bustling new office in Paris, and is running a five-minute mile. She’s also engaged to sexy Theodore, who showers her with affection and refers to himself as “the luckiest man alive.”
But Celeste has also secretly broken ranks with the illuminati and travels in disguise under various aliases. Adding to her woes, the FBI and CIA purportedly believe that the U.S. financial markets have become vulnerable to cyberattacks, and they want her help in preventing a doomsday scenario. Cooperating could mean compromising her ethics as well as well-kept secrets. To make matters worse, the feds have also cut a deal with Omar – despite his past involvement in murder, sex trafficking, arms dealing and cyberterrorism.
Readers will love how fully Eckles has empowered Celeste to eliminate threats that stand in her way (“She would get it right this time. No matter what it took.”). Still haunted by trauma, her continuing odyssey from victim to predator is nothing short of exhilarating. That’s true in part because of how cleverly Eckles sets up Celeste’s personal life. While Celeste’s philanthropic impact is already significant, and Theordore thinks of himself as a modern day Robin Hood, both still keep secrets they’re ashamed to admit to each other. And as Celeste navigates the new threat before her, it’s increasingly evident that theirs is truly a love she’s willing to kill for. Filled with jaw-dropping moments and complex relationships from start to finish (and some dazzling, cinematically drawn locations), Risky Assets will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series’ third installment.