Security Forces Lieutenant Maya Lopez is right at home in a war zone: she’s been fighting all her life. A hard-won commission in the air force has brought her to Afghanistan, and if she plays her cards right, she could end up with an FBI job. It won’t be easy, but that just makes her more determined.
Jackson Thatcher is a protector in all senses of the word. A pararescue jumper with Southern-boy charm, he easily captures Maya’s interest, but her trust is another story. He’s sexy, strong and caring, but she makes it clear she’s no damsel in distress. She’s never relied on any man, and she’s not about to start now.
When Maya and Jackson become pawns in a radical warlord’s deadly game, they find themselves on the run and must depend on each other if they want to make it out alive.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I have glommed onto Cross ever since Mandi introduced me to her a couple years ago. With the Bagram series, I wasn’t sure how I would like the fraternization, but so far I’ve enjoyed each story. However, with this book, I think Cross has surpassed everything else she’s written.
Maya likes her job as a Security Forces Lieutenant, despite the fact that she can’t act on her strong feelings toward Jackson. Part of what holds her back is her past, filled with dark and bitter memories that she can’t shake. Going into the military was her saving grace, and she wants to do the best possible job she can in order to have a chance at working for the FBI when she gets out.
Jackson wants Maya for himself, but his job as a PJ and their rank has him keeping somewhat of a distance until Maya changes all that one night. After their night together, Jackson can’t get her out of his head. When they are both taken hostage along with a senior US official, they will be held by a madman, and forced to endure things they never thought possible. But together, they will fight to survive.
I always say that the most suspenseful scene I’ve ever read in a book was in No Turning Back, she may have topped it with THIS WHOLE BOOK! While there was some downtime in the beginning and end, it felt like it was constant go-go-go, sit on the edge of your seat, white knuckle reading. From the moment the medical camp came under fire to the moment they were rushed to the evacuation chopper, Maya and Jackson went through hell.
I’m always amazed at how twisted Cross can be when it comes to her books. She is one of the few romantic suspense authors who can write entire scenes from the point of view of the villain, and be so realistic. I believe wholeheartedly that her bad guys believe they are fighting a just war, no matter how ridiculous it sounds to the rest of us. She does an incredible job getting in the heads of psychopaths, and bringing them to live. One moment during their captivity, wheh Maya and Jackson are forced to “play a game,” was so intense and twisted and creepy. It was incredible to read.
One of the aspects of the romance that I really liked in this was that because so much of the trust and foundation of Maya and Jackson’s relationship took place while they were held captive, they took the time at the end of the book to part ways and process. So many times in romantic suspense books we see the hero and heroine go through unimaginable things, and then start their HEA right away. I have a hard time believing that, and was so glad to see Cross have Maya and Jackson take a step back. They went to therapy, they talked through their experiences, and they did it on their own. Sure they talked on the phone, but they also stepped back from each other’s lives and took the time to unwind. It made me believe in their romance so much more.
We didn’t get the chance to really see a lot of supporting characters in this book, because most of the book took place during their captivity. However, we did get to meet the Secretary of State, a wonderful character who I would love to see more of. I did want to see more of the group of girlfriends though. I liked that these books focused a lot of the friendship between the heroines, and we didn’t get the chance to see that with this book.
All in all I thought this was Kaylea Cross’ best book to date. She really went above and beyond with the plot, taking on the horrific challenge of showing the right amount of torture and prisoner abuse, all while keeping the story readable and enjoyable. I loved the romance between Maya and Jackson, and how quick they were to rely and draw strength from one another. I can’t wait for Cross’ next release!
I give Lethal Pursuit an A