I know that I’ve put it off a bit late when it comes to trying this author’s books since I adore military heroes and romantic suspense, but hey, I got around to it now. This one was a bit different and right up my alley. I love romantic suspense blended with the paranormal and this book was no exception. I was into it from the start. Ghosts, murder, creepy inexplicable stuff, wounded ex-military hero, tough heroine starting over, small town atmosphere…joys to the world, right?
This was the start of a new series which I assume will tell the tale of each man in a band of brotherhood that was once an elite military spec ops team. Elite doesn’t even cover it because each of these guys doesn’t just possess skills; they each come full-loaded with a gift option- a psychic gift.
The first book begins with lost and world-weary Alex Brennan following a weird instinct he gets at times that makes him head north to a little town in Maine he has never heard of before during his forced leave of absence from the DEA. Alex will accept that he has a dead-on instinct, but he rejects all things psychic and inexplicable. So when he is confronted by ghost boats, haunted lighthouses, odd visions of the past, seances, disappearances, and dire predictions from his brother, he gets stubborn and mad. That being said, he knows something is hinky about the Three Churches community and the lighthouse where the attractive Pru Maddox lives. She is lovely and fragile from a past trauma and he just wants to protect her though she shies away from anything that smacks of deeper feelings and commitment.
Pru knows she’s damaged goods after what she has been through particularly when her ex left her. She is attracted to the stranger, Alex, and she enjoys that he accepts her as she is and she feels safe with him, but there is a small part of her that wonders what burdens he is carrying to put that expression in his eyes. A few of the locals want to pin the recent troubles on Alex and the timing fits, but she trusts him. If only he wouldn’t refuse to believe about the ghosts and his own abilities. When things escalate, Pru finds that Alex has some powerful, lethal friends to help him and her.
While in the shadows, lurking, there are more than one group watching Alex and Pru. One to cover up a crime and the other on a crusade to eradicate the gifted types like Alex who doesn’t even take the threat seriously because he doesn’t believe he is different.
Alrighty, this was one incredible ride. There was so much awesomeness going on that my head was spinning in a good way. At first, I couldn’t make heads or tails about what was really going on beneath the surface and I really felt like I was dropped right into the middle of a story the way things were left until later for the explanations. I still am a bit foggy about the D.I.E. Squad and the gifts stuff. I’m going to put a marker in that and assume it gets teased out as the series progresses since it is part of the series story arc.
I really have only praise for this book. The atmosphere was just spine-tingling goodness. I was definitely on the edge of my seat for what came next a lot of times in this book. With the ghosts and psychic stuff being really, but yet a bunch of human baddies roaming around too, I had a lot of people to keep an eye on. The twists near the end bringing things into full focus revealing who was behind what was just eye popping. I was so wrong with a few of my guesses and that’s not a bad thing.
Now the romance did do some stutter-stepping between all the nutso stuff going on around it. It was there and it was progressing at a reasonable rate for two people who had some serious issues. The passion was hot and I groaned a few times like I was the one left wanting when they would get interrupted for the next crisis. I got to where I would hold my breath when they’d get up to their sexy times because I just knew that was the signal for trouble.
The two main characters were very likable and I loved following along with their narrations of the story. They both tended to be really cautious about reaching out for more than the physical and it was a little tough to know they were that bruised up from their former situations. Alex’s pain goes all the way back to his childhood of abuse and then his soul-sucking work for the military and DEA. Pru had a strong case of PTSD and was deserted by her husband when she needed him the most.
Side characters were good too especially the brothers in Alex’s old unit. The situation with Alex’s brother, Theo was so sad because as a reader I was able to understand what Alex didn’t- Theo didn’t deserve to be locked away in an institution. I just really wanted Alex to arrive at the truth sooner rather than later. The story was left open enough to lead into the next story in the series that will probably feature one of Alex’s comrades. There was a mild cliffhanger that I can’t wait to see how its resolved.
All in all, this was a powerful first book in a new series and I recommend it to those who enjoy the blend of Romantic Suspense and Paranormal.
My thanks to Barclay Publicity for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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