August 1, 2011
With danger closing in, all they have is each other.

Haunted by a mission he barely survived, Delta Force operative Mace Stevens still carries a soldier’s burden. Running a small bar in upstate New York, he remains a stone cold warrior who guards dangerous secrets and stays ready for anything. Anything except beautiful, vulnerable Paige Grayson, who shows up at his door, demanding answers about her heroic stepbrother’s death under his command.

Paige bears burdens, too. She’s plagued by demons unleashed by an older brother who committed mass murder before her eyes. But here in this snowy haven with Mace, she almost feels safe from the menacing promises of her insane sibling. As a nurse whose hands can read the deepest thoughts of anyone she touches, Paige knows Mace needs her as desperately as she needs him. And when a faceless killer begins unleashing fresh terror, Mace proves just how far he will go to save the woman who means everything to him.

Author: Stephanie Tyler
Series: Shadow Force, book 3
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Military Suspense
Publisher: Dell Books
Year of release: 2011, August 2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Received a digital ARC from author for review

First line:
The gun pressed to the side of Paige's bare neck, the cold barrel barely registering against her skin.

Memorable Scenes:
- Mace and Paige in the backroom > hot!
- Vivi and Cael in the bathroom > they temporarily stole the thunder from Mace and Paige with this scene

Paige Grayson is ER nurse with a traumatic past. She has gift of psychometry and survived a high school shooting by her brother at 14. She’s on the run constantly from a past that always follows her. Paige is Gray’s stepsister, a loner and very stubborn.

Mace Stevens is Delta Force and a bar owner. He’s Gray's best friend and owns a bar, which he’s runs. Mace is cautious, longing to belong, to be worthy of loving and protective,

The romance in this installment of the series was a little complicated because of Paige's gift but nonetheless very hot and intense. A few interrupted and stopped action but when they finally went all the way it was explosive. In the beginning I wasn’t sure I was going to like that Paige had this psychic gift and when I got to the end I still wasn’t wild about it but it did give the story a unique vibe.

It also felt like there were fewer POVs in this installment. I know not many readers love the multiple POVs like I do so even if I missed them I think this will be an appealing factor to those readers. A secondary romance was continued from the previous book, PROMISES IN THE DARK and it was a storyline I was waiting for to get its conclusion ever since I turned the last page on that book.

There were things about the plot like Cael/Caleb's amnesia and remains of DMH (I thought that storyline was wrapped up in previous book) that surprised the crap outta me because after the last book I thought I knew the direction things were going, but of course Stephanie Tyler managed to surprise me with totally unexpected stuff. The killer plot was another storyline that intrigued me and I wondered where it was taking me. In the end there was stuff that I expected to happen but Stephanie Tyler also surprised me with some things right at the finish that made me hold my breath and wish it would be okay when I turned the last page. And that’s why I love reading her books.

Though I really enjoyed reading this book it didn't wow me like Stephanie’s other books have. I missed the abundance of multiple POVs, I wasn’t thrilled with Paige’s psychic ability and I missed the military action. However, on the other hand I understood why it had to play out like it did and I loved the conclusion to Vivi and Cael’s storyline. So even if I wasn’t blown away I really liked it and I see it as kind of a transitional book between Cam's and Kell's.

Even with the things I described above and though the first half wasn't packed with military suspense action as the other books were, it's still fast-paced and attention-grabbing as, like the characters, you want to figure out what exactly happened on that FUBAR mission and how everything is going to come together in the end. Once I started reading I couldn't stop and I raced through the book as fast as the other books in this series.

Favorite Quotes:
Most people thought he was a suspicious asshole, and they were right. Paige had picked up on it immediately—and he’d had such a strong attraction to her that he’d hidden behind the great wall of defenses he had built so well.

He tasted like brandy and man. She felt the danger lurking beneath the protective nature he’d shown her, and that only made her revel more in the feel of him. She never thought she could like danger, but Mace’s was deep and dark and so rich, and the way it beckoned her like a beacon in a storm, she knew there was no way she could ever resist it. Not for long anyway.
Nor did she want to..

She wanted to be naked under him, wanted him to fill her until all she could feel was pleasure, because she’d had enough of the pain. Her pulse hammered and my God, she could unravel easily for him, detonate in seconds if he was half as talented with his other body parts as he was with his tongue.

(Vivi & Cael) His kisses weren’t angry—far from it. His tongue’s penetration was a lazy, swirling, mesmerizing force. Her hands gripped the porcelain sink behind her, unable—unwilling—to move a muscle, and she responded
to the kiss as if it quenched every thirst she’d ever had.

(Cael & Reid) He turned to the sink to grab a rag to wipe down the back counter as Reid walked through the crowd and ducked under the bar. Cael didn’t have to ask where his teammate had been—the man had the remnants
of lipstick and a shit-eating grin on his face.
“Tell me you didn’t use my bed,” he groaned.
“No comment.” Reid wiped his face with a wet napkin. “Dude, and I thought the Amazon was out of control. Tonight’s like spring break in a trailer park explosion.”

He jerked slightly, tried to pull his hands away, but she held them fast. “I can’t imagine . . . you were so confused. Helpless. Angry. I hate that you felt this
“I hate that you have to feel it, don’t want to burden you,” he murmured.
“Burden me, Mace. I want all your burdens. Every single one of them.”

(Vivi & Cael) “I’m remembering . . . but I still feel like I’m going
to break apart.”
She moved to him, pulled his sweatshirt up and off,
stroked her hands down his bare back. And then she
let her hands roam along his chest and down to the
button on his jeans before she murmured, “Go ahead,
break apart. I’ll put you back together.”
[…]This orgasm would devastate him, he knew that . . . and he needed it. If he detonated, he could come back together


Twimom227 said...

Yep... I agree with your comments, and I think the little things that you missed, I liked. I remember when reading this I thought "seems like fewer POVs-there are still a lot, but it seems less chaotic b/c all the POVs are centrally focused." I liked that! I did miss the military action and would like to see more of DMH, but it was a great read! Thanks for the review!

Aurian said...

Nice review Pearl, does she use psychic abilites more often in her books, or is this a first?

Pearl said...

@Aurian > If I remember correctly there is a hint of psychic in a secondary character in HARD TO HOLD, the first book of her first trilogy. There it didn't bother me so much, probably because it was a secondary character. I understand though why Paige was the character she was...wouldn't have worked with the plot otherwise...

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2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.

On My TBR Shelf

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  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
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  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
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  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
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  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

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  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
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  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
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