Informant by Ava Archer Payne

Posted January 8, 2016 in Book Review / 3 Comments


I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
Informant by Ava Archer PayneInformant by Ava Archer Payne
Published by AAP Publishing on July 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Suspense, Romance
Pages: 265
Format: eARC
Source: ARC from publisher
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A sexy undercover DEA agent lures a young college student into helping him infiltrate the Cuban mob. INFORMANT is a complete standalone novel. No cliffhangers!
MONEY I’m Kylie Porter, a nineteen-year-old biology major at San Francisco State. I’m a part-time waitress and a straight A student. I’m also an informant the DEA hired to infiltrate the Cuban mob.
DRUGS Specifically, I’m being paid to seduce Ricco Diaz, the sexy son of a sociopathic drug lord.
SEX And Beckett—the smoldering hot undercover DEA agent who lured me into helping him trap Diaz? I never meant to fall in love with him.
BETRAYAL And I definitely didn't mean to hurt him... I just didn't have a choice.

Main points

I LOVED this book! It was fantastic. A new favorite. I wasn’t sure I’d be up for another contemporary romance, but this one had enough crime drama to keep me interested and excited. It was very easy to become invested.

I have to say, the characterization was fantastic. This is not so common in books with great plots. The main character, Kylie, was awesome. She was smart, hilarious, and knew how to get things done. Though she wasn’t able to hide her emotions well, she knew how to play the part. She was protective, caring, and didn’t take anyone’s bullsh*t. Honestly she was perfect for the part. Her humor was a great addition to such an otherwise serious book. She wasn’t too snarky; she was reasonable and knew how to keep her mouth shut. Her narration was entertaining for sure.

As for the other characters, they weren’t easy to pin down, despite seeming to be clichés. One of the main things about this book was that I was never really sure who to trust, to what extent and about which things. It kept me on my toes. Every character had at least two sides, and both showed at different times.

The plot was great—complex and the perfect mix between romance and action. The fact that the book was written as a letter of testimony to a judge was pretty cool because that meant that there were some really neat twists, secrets that Kylie kept from the readers until the end. Everyone had secrets. It was a dangerous game. I couldn’t at all predict where the plot was going, but every minute was intense.

And the romance. It was probably everything I would want to read about in a steamy relationship. Sometimes he was emotional, sometimes he was seemingly indifferent and focused on his job. The sex was fantastic, but it always seemed to go beyond just that. It felt like there was substance there. Both of them seemed to be just right for each other. And he was super hot too. The dark hair/blue eyes combination is always gorgeous. Not to mention the muscles.

The ending wouldn’t have felt like happily-ever-after to me, but I guess it wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened. Things get tied up one way or another. I’m pretty sure they’re happy and safe, and that’s what matters. It was one of those surprise endings where you didn’t know what was going on before, but the characters had their plans and you find out afterward. Honestly it was probably one of the best ways it could have ended, even if I wouldn’t have liked it.

So…yeah! I was very emotionally invested in the story. I loved the characters, the writing, the plot, the ending…heck, even the setting was done very well. The pacing was great—no info-dumps. No moments of boredom. No losing track of names, events, places, etc. No easy fixes or deus ex machina. Perhaps the only thing I might say is that towards the second half, a lot less focus is on school and normal life and a lot more emphasis is put on the crime drama. It would have been nice to have some semi-normal moments in between the action, just to remind us that Kylie really is still just a young girl in college and a life she is trying to live, even if things will never be the same again. But all in all, I loved this story. It was long but I loved every minute of it, so it felt like the perfect amount.


So typical. If a girl every got up the nerve to ask out some guy and he said no, she would automatically assume it was because of her. She wasn’t thin enough, wasn’t smart enough, wasn’t pretty enough, whatever. Not guys. If a girl says no to a date, it must be because she’s seeing someone else. Otherwise she’d be all over him.

This is so true! I hadn’t stopped to think about it before, but it’s rampant in literature, and probably real life, too.

Compromised? Sounds like cop talk to me. Exactly how does a phone get compromised? Will it dance around a pole and peel off its protective plastic case? Will my phone sleep with Ricco’s phone? The whole thing’s ridiculous, so I let it go.

This had me cracking up for several minutes. I wasn’t expecting humor, but of course Kylie comes through.

 reaction upon finishing

Well, I guess that worked out!

this book in one word



About Ava Archer Payne

All of my novels are now available on Kindle. I love to hear from readers! Please feel free to message me on Facebook. Happy reading to all, and thanks for visiting my page!

Also writes Historical Romance as Victoria Lynne.

Overall: five-stars


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3 Comments on "Informant by Ava Archer Payne"

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Ava Archer Payne

Hi Alicia,

Thank you so much for such a well written and thoughtful review. I’m thrilled you enjoyed INFORMANT– it was a blast to write. In fact, this one got a bit away from me. It truly felt as though I was just sitting back, watching, and writing down everything Kylie got herself into. Too fun. If it’s all right, I’ll let you know when my next release is coming out.


Wow. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. It sounds like a good read :)