Review – High Seduction (Adrenaline Search & Rescue #3) by Vivian Arend

High Seduction cover image
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

As the chopper pilot for the elite Lifeline search-and-rescue team, Erin Tate is used to handling power. Calling the shots in the air is one thing—in the bedroom it leaves her cold. What she wants is a man strong enough to strip away her control.

Paramedic Timothy Dextor has a wild card reputation, and the dark appetites to prove it. The only thing missing is a woman he can share them with. Landing a position on the Lifeline squad puts his old flame back within reach. He already knows what Erin needs, and this time he’s not letting her go.

But when an emergency throws Erin and Timothy together in unanticipated ways, the stakes are raised—on the job and off. Now they’ll both discover the real meaning of control…and the risks that come from falling in love.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

I am a huge Vivian Arend fan and I fell in love with the members of the Lifeline search-and-rescue when I read the first installment High Risk a year ago. I found each installment moving in a different way and when I finished this latest one I found myself at a loss for words. I walked around for a day or so and all I could think of was “GO! BUY! READ!” and while that might work for a few of you, unfortunately I don’t think my fellow reviewers will let me get away with that for longer than this paragraph. With that impulse out of the way, I started trying to figure out exactly what about this particular story created such an impact, and the word TRUST came to mind. This story was all about trust. You might think the entire series is about trust and you would be correct because the team cannot function without it, but there are different layers of trust. Professional trust is very different from personal trust, which is also different from intimate trust, especially when that trust has been lost in the past. Watching Erin and Tim grow and learn throughout this story was extremely moving.

After the troubling events of the last installment, the Lifeline team was trying to rebuild their sense of unity and replace injured teammates. They were having a hard time replacing their paramedic until a man from Erin’s past showed up intending to get her back. Erin was professional enough to recommend Tim as a member of the team, but she was extremely skittish about starting up any sort of personal relationship with him again. Tim had done some serious growing and thinking during their years apart, and was determined to regain Erin’s trust so they could rekindle their relationship. To him, this meant giving her time and space, paying attention to her cues, but also refusing to be shutout of her life.

Speaking of the different layers of trust, the distinction between professional and personal was very evident from Erin’s first introduction of Tim to the Lifeline team captain. When they were forced to unexpectedly work together, I thought it was good to see that regardless of their personal issues, they were able to work together extremely effectively. To me, that meant both Erin and Tim were adults who had a chance to work things out one way or another. As I continued to read, that ability became more and more important along with demonstrating a growth in maturity since their first relationship.

I loved how Tim gave Erin space and control and allowed her to discover something was missing from their relationship when she overtly controlled the pace. I also liked how Erin decided to take a chance and explore the possibilities. I thought the slow progression was very important to see because it demonstrated the slow growth of trust and allowed me to buy into their second chance. Arend included several key conversations which provided more emphasis on correcting what went wrong the first time, not just avoiding the underlying issues as if time had solved everything. For me, I thought the decision Tim made in his attempt to get over the final hurdle was an incredible gamble. Watching that scene progress and the realizations Erin made during it really sealed the deal for me.

High Seduction was an incredibly moving read. If you haven’t started the series yet, I urge you to do so and if you have, you really need to take some time to read this installment. Arend took two hurt, strong-willed individuals and gave them the maturity and opportunity to work through their past towards a wonderful future. Along the way, each learned valuable lessons about the different layers of trust, how you have to trust yourself, and your partner. Seeing their growth was a wonderful treat. In other words, “GO! BUY! READ!”

I give High Seduction an A+

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