Reviewed by Mandi
I’m really excited to have found this author – I love romantic suspense but I find it hard to find a lot of books that I like in this genre. Annika Martin, aka Carolyn Crane sends out a weekly newsletter with one dirty quote from the book she is reading. That is how I discovered this book. This is a new to me author, and I will definitely be checking out her backlist.
Isabel is an archeologist who looks for signs of prehistoric occupation before the timber harvest comes into this Alaskan forest. Isabel likes her job – hiking through the wilderness of Alaska, she is extremely isolated but feels comfortable with her gun and bear spray handy. That is until she comes across an unconscious man in her path.
Alec is a very wealthy man who is running for a senate seat in Maryland. So why is he unconscious in an Alaskan forest? Even he isn’t quite sure. Alec is the CEO of a defense contracting company called Raptor. Years ago he took his money and bought 30,000 acres of land and the compound where now many elite military and some non-miltary people train. After some encouraging, Alec decided to change paths a bit, and run for the empty senate seat and if he wins he is going to step back from his CEO position at Raptor. But until then, he was going to his Raptor headquarter for some training. But now he is laying in the forest, with a severe headache and bleeding head, and he comes to discover, his nemesis patching him up and dragging him to a nearby abandoned cabin.
Isabel’s brother Vincent was one of those men training at Raptor, when he died. Ruled an accident by some, a suicide by others, Isabel is convinced he was murdered. Alec followed up somewhat with his death, but nowhere near to the extent that Isabel thought appropriate. She has made it her life’s mission to shut down the Raptor compound, and did for two months. But now they are up and running again, and Isabel has a restraining order against her to not go onto their land. She doesn’t realize the hurt man she is patching up and dragging to the cabin is Alec. But she will soon find out.
This book really has a fun and engaging premise. I love black-ops/special-ops/military action and throw it into the woods of Alaska with a great heroine and some really bad guys – and I’m all set. Isabel and Alec, once they recognize each other – become instant enemies. Isabel does not trust Alec at all, thinking he had something to do with covering up her brother’s murder. Alec sees Isabel as the world’s largest nuisance, and wants nothing to do with her. But Alec was attacked – left dying in the woods. And Isabel did help him out – so maybe she wasn’t the one who initially attacked him. But then who? They both start grudgingly working together, as more bad things happen! Secret weapons and some good twists make this suspense fun.
These two may initially hate each other – but the romance eventually starts to build. Isabel admits she is in lust with the sexy former Ranger, but she feels guilty for this because she hasn’t 100% convinced herself that he is completely trustworthy. But Alec really is a good guy and she eventually starts to trust him. I really liked both of them – they are tough and they don’t let the other get away with anything. They have really good chemistry.
I also feel like the detail with the military training and weapons and the Alaskan landscape in general are really presented well. A lot of detail that makes everything very realistic – something you don’t always get in romantic suspense books.
This is very much a standalone book, but I will be checking out the previous books in the series.