A VERY solid start to a new series! I always seek out Stoker’s books when I’m in the mood for some suspense, but this one brings the romance to the forefront and made me love the couple – before any action kicked in. The focus is definitely on our couple and the guilt our hero feels about not only lying about his job, but also not being a good enough man for this kind, somewhat naive heroine. While there are touches of suspense, it stays in the background for much of the story. So I was able to truly connect to this couple’s relationship before things escalated, and that made for a much more satisfying read.
The story follows Carson “Bull,” a former military operative whose team was sidelined after they took out an unapproved target. Though this group of four friends truly believe they were in the right by taking out a terrorist, the government doesn’t see it that way. Fast forward five years later, and this group of friends has started up their own team, running a successful towing business as a front while taking out targets in secret with the assistance, if not approval, of the government. When Carson meets kindergarten teacher Skylar, he’s immediately smitten and taken aback by her genuine kindness and positive outlook. It’s something he craves in his own life, but no longer feels worthy of – he does kill people for a living, after all. As the two get closer, Carson has to figure out the right time to tell the woman he’s falling for that there’s more to the man she’s given her heart to.
I love the concept behind this series – it’s romance first, suspense second. There’s definite potential with future storylines, and each of these men seems to truly want love in their lives, whether they feel like they can keep it or not. While there’s one pretty dark storyline (involving children) that ramps up the action, the focus is on the complexities of falling for someone when you’re keeping a secret. I loved Carson – he’s caring and protective, a true gentleman in a lot of ways while also being an alpha. Skylar felt too sheltered at times, but that’s also part of the story. She’s no damsel in distress, but she’s certainly too trusting. I liked a lot of the concepts here, and the actual relationship is a great slow burn with plenty of sweetness. I do have to mention that a few of the references to race sat wrong for me, but it’s also clear that the author is making a concerted effort to include a more diverse group of characters in her stories, which I appreciate. I’m definitely intrigued by the other guys we met, and am looking forward to more from the series. I received an early copy via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this suspenseful romance.
From bestselling author Susan Stoker comes a sizzling new series about four former military operatives who rid the world of the worst of humanity while fighting to protect the best part of their lives: the women they love.
Former military operative Carson “Bull” Rhodes hasn’t dated seriously since he and his teammates left the army. Since then he’s opened Silverstone Towing—which is a front for his other job: hired killer. When kindergarten teacher Skylar Reid calls for help while stranded on the side of the interstate, the attraction is instant. The problem is Bull’s career has jaded him. Skylar’s innocent, and he wants to keep her that way.
Cautious by nature, Skylar never expected to fall in love with her tow truck driver. Even so, once Bull reveals what he really does for a living, she’s not sure she can handle it. When Skylar faces threats that have nothing to do with Bull’s job but are just as deadly, the stakes are higher than ever.
With the help of the Silverstone team, Bull will use everything he’s learned over the years to bring the woman he loves home—because the alternative is unthinkable.
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