Two years ago, Gunner Ortez lost his brother, Slade, during a rescue mission gone wrong. Trapped in a fire fight, and having sustained multiple injuries herself, Sydney, Slade's fiance, attempts to drag him to safety. When they realize that he is no longer breathing, they are forced to flee and leave Slade's body behind.
Gunner has always harbored deeper feelings for Sydney, and 2 years has done nothing to diminish that. He doesn't feel like he can have her, since he still harbors guilt over pursuing a woman that loved his brother.
Sydney was an extremely strong heroine. She works as the computer and investigations specialist for Elite Ops Division, an off the grid special operations group where Gunner works as a sharpshooter. It’s very refreshing to read about a female character that kicks butt. She wasn’t a damsel in distress that needed rescuing, and she didn't run away and hide from difficult situations.
Gunner had a very quiet intensity about him. He still harbors guilt about the way he lost his brother. But the fact that he cannot stop thinking about his brother’s fiancé is certainly not helping matters either.
While both of them are still dealing with the shared loss of someone they cared for, they begin to realize that they can only fight the attraction that has been brewing between them for so long. Sydney has always had feelings for Gunner, but when she begins to believe that he will only look at her as his dead brother's fiance, she decides to move on. She goes to a bar to try to find another man, but doesn't count on a jealous Gunner showing up. When Gunner realizes that another man might be taking what he wants, he stops fighting and gives into the passion between them.
The relationship between them is still a fragile one, since neither knows where they stand with the other. Unfortunately they don't get the opportunity to talk things out as they get a call from their team leader, Logan, about a hostage rescue mission in Peru. There is also something suspiciously familiar about one of the hostages that Logan needs to confirm.
When the identity of the hostage is finally revealed, everything Gunner and Sydney thought they knew comes to a screeching halt.
What follows is the type of suspense, action, and steam that I have come to expect from Cynthia Eden. The woman can write the hell out of a Romantic Suspense, and this book was no exception.
While the identity of the bad guy is hinted at heavily throughout the first part, and is more or less revealed during the second, it did nothing to diminish from the suspense. The story kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.
What I particularly enjoy about her writing, is that we get the killer POV as well, which helps add to the experience and the story.
I have not read the other books in this series, but I intend to rectify that immediately. If they are anything like this one, I already know I'm going to enjoy them. The ending brings a set up for Cale's story, which I cannot wait for. He really intrigued me in this book. Judging from my own experience, this book easily reads as a standalone, though I'm thinking it would have helped to read the first 2 to get a little more background on the other characters that appeared in this book, that were introduced in the earlier ones.
4.5 Suspenseful and Sexy Stars
**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
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