Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on August 7, 2012
“You guys are like… what?” she sniffed and refused to give in to the need for a good ol’ fashioned bawl-a-thon. “The Expendables?”
Ozzie barked with laughter, concluding his verbal sparring with Dan and rejoining the conversation. “I’m in love with you, woman. I swear I’ll make you the best husband ever. And yeah, we’re the Expendables. Just younger, better looking, with cooler bikes and real bullets.”
I want to chastise myself for waiting so long to find this series! Wow! Julie Ann Walker has one of those writing styles I just don’t want to put the book down. I call them popcorn books, meaning they are pure enjoyment! I just want to make popcorn, curl up and read to my hearts content.
This story opens up with the heartbreaking news of Ali’s brother’s death. Ali Morgan is a funny, kindergarten teacher, who has a very close relationship with her brother, Grigg. She knows Nate “Ghost” Weller, Grigg’s best friend and co-worker, isn’t telling her the truth about his death. For months afterwards she feels like someone is watching her. When someone attempts to mug her, she knows she has to go to Ghost to figure out what is going on.
Nate is still reeling from the torture and pain he endured along with his best friend. Telling Ali about her brother’s death and the lie surrounding it was the hardest thing he ever has done. Resisting the lure of the one woman he could love is even harder. Now that she is in danger from activities her brother was involved in, he still tries to honor his promise not to hit on his friends little sister. As danger increases and the secrets start to unveil themselves, the passion between the two cannot be denied.
There is nothing overly complicated in the story that left me guessing except there were a few jumps in the timeline. We know something happens when Nate tells Ali about Grigg’s death, but it doesn’t come out to until later in the story. The intrigue was fun. Sorry, but it was just a hoot to travel with the author on her weaving of details. There is more than one death in the mix that left me reeling. Seriously, I wanted to bawl my heart out over the needless deaths.
Besides the two main characters, we learn about The Knights, Inc., a covert operation that reports directly to the president and a CoS. Frank “Boss” Knight runs the operation with the help of men and women he personally recruits. They operate under the cover as a custom motorcycle shop, that was originally started by Rebecca “Rebel” Reichert. Rebel in the in house mechanic, looking to grab the attention of Boss for more than just her mechanic skills. Their story is book 2, In Rides Trouble.
Ali is cute. That is the easiest way to put it. She wipes noses and tushes all day, but wants to feel desirable so has sexy underwear. Grigg made sure she could shoot a gun, but she gets nauseous very easily. At one point I thought I would get sick with all the burping she was doing to contain her stomach. Oh, and she doesn’t really swear:
“Goddamnit!” Nate swore. “Can y’puke while in motion, or do we need t’pull over?”
She couldn’t answer him. Not when she was busy leaning over the side of the speeding bike, lifting her visor, and projectile vomiting.
One side character had me in stitches a lot: Ozzie or Ethan Skkes. I can only hope he meets his match in a woman in a future book! He loves the 80s and won’t be giving them up soon.
The guy was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Mr. Spock’s favorite hand gesture and the slogan 100% TREKKIE, which was slightly incongruous when compared to the shoulder holster and the mean-looking, matte-black gun secured to his side. He looked like some strange combination of geek and warrior. The man you’d call if you needed to invade a small country or translate a message written in Klingon.
Nate on the other hand was hiding a secret from Ali, and even from us as readers. We suspect what it is, but it still tears up my heart. He is alpha, big, strong and very protective. He rejects Ali over and over, not because he doesn’t want her, but because she is Grigg’s little sister and also because he is hiding a secret. But let it be known…Ghost can eat cracker’s in my fictional bed anytime!
We meet the bad guy, who is a senator and some of his flunkies. The race is on to find what Ali’s brother was doing as well as what he knew before his death. We meet an ex-CIA agent that felt like was looking for redemption, but got messed up with the wrong senator.
Lots of motorcycle riding, danger, gun shooting, racing away from scenes and hot sex. Yeah, hot sex! Not as gratuitous sex as we are used to, but just the right amount.
For an awesomely groovy time racing across the eastern side of the US, you can’t go wrong. One liner’s that left me laughing and intriguing characters that I want to delve more into when their books come out. I totally recommend reading this series!