Review – Tactical Strike by Kaylea Cross

Tactical Strike_Kaylea CrossPublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

Gunship pilot Captain Candace Bradford has worked long and hard to earn her rank and position within the male-dominated world of Air Force Special Operations. She’s not about to let anything or anyone jeopardize that, let alone one sinfully tempting man who seems determined to cause her nothing but trouble. Even if she’s starting to fall for him.

As an elite Combat Controller, Staff Sergeant Ryan Wentworth is used to overcoming adversity in order to complete a mission. Breaking through Candace’s prickly exterior and into her heart is a challenge he can’t let go. But just when he’s begun to gain her trust, they’re thrown together in the field facing an overwhelming enemy force.

Candace and Ryan find themselves on the run, searching the skies for an emergency extraction. But one dangerous enemy has an agenda in mind and he’ll use whatever means necessary to achieve it, including using American forces to do his dirty work….
*Blurb from Goodreads*

Ever since I read one of the most suspenseful and heart pounding moments in Kaylea Cross’ No Turning Back, I’ve been gobbling up everything she’s written! She is one of my all time favorite Romantic Suspense authors, and her military heroes are all drool worthy.

Candace, “Ace”, is a pilot currently serving in Afghanistan, and suffering from a little bit of PTSD.  She is a strict follower of the rules, and when Ryan begins pursuing her, Candace is worried that they will get in trouble for fraternization. Candace has had enough of a problem proving herself, that the last thing she needs to worry about is falling for the wrong guy.

Ryan has it bad for Candace, and as much as he respects her, he can’t seem to stay away from her. But their relationship takes an interesting swing when Candace’s plane is grounded in the middle of a gunfight. Ryan and his team will have to pull out all the stops to keep Candace and flight crew safe, from the enemy, themselves, and the unexpected mountain conditions.

One of the things I love to hate about this series is that these men and women are currently in the military, and therefore are subject to all the military laws and regulations. With Cross’ last series, they were all contacted guys, and could go a little off the reservation. While all the restrictions adds new and different obstacles for our heroes and heroines, I’m not a huge fan of the fraternization problem that continues to rear it’s ugly head in this series.

I have to say though, I absolutely loved and adored Ryan and Candace. Poor Candace has a pretty big chip on her shoulder, understandable once we find out more about her. She wants nothing more than to prove herself worthy of her position, and fears getting in trouble with any of the military rules. I loved that she was a little uptight and that Ryan had to work hard to get her to warm up to him. And Ryan with his relentless pursuit of Candace, it was both annoying and endearing wrapped up in one sexy package.

Cross also does an incredible job of creating amazing villains. I’m always amazed that she is able to write such creepy and zealous foes for her heroes and heroines, and that while they are all a little warped and twisted, they are also human. I have a very easy time hating the, but at the same time I can see their side of the argument at times, and that gives those characters another level of depth I don’t usually see in romantic suspense books.

I was glad to see that for how much Candace and Ryan struggled with their relationship, once they committed to each other, they were all in. Candace no longer worried about the consequences of their relationship and instead jumped in with both feet. Ryan was already all in, but he took the time to make sure that Candace was really doing what she wanted, that she was 100% comfortable with her decision. I adored that about them.

While this book was not as suspenseful as some of the other books  I’ve read by Cross, I enjoyed the action. With quite a bit of the book devoted to their time in the mountain, we got to see Ryan in action and Candace push herself to limits she never knew possible. I wanted to cry and scream with them as the unexpected kept coming up and ruining their best laid plans.

All in all this was another fabulous book from Cross. The romance was spot on, the suspense was hard hitting and the overall story was wonderful. I’m excited to see where Cross takes this series next, and I’m anxious to read more about the other characters as well.
I give Tactical Strike a B+

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