Format: ebook, 409 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Year of release: 2013, July 17
Source: Requested an e-ARC through NetGalley for review
My rating: 3,5 of 5 stars – Good Read
The last man she ever wanted to see…
Might be the only one who can save her…
Things are about to get HOT in the bayou!
Evie Baker’s luck just ran out. Thanks to an ex-partner with organized crime ties, she’s lost her restaurant, her money, and nearly all her self-respect. Forced to return to her hometown and work as a shampoo girl in her mother’s salon, she doesn’t think her luck can get any worse.
But then someone starts shooting at her, her sullen baby sister is suddenly missing, and the high school heartthrob who stole her heart—and her virginity—is the only man big enough and bad enough to help.
Captain Matt “Richie Rich” Girard can’t afford to get involved. He’s already on the verge of a court-martial after a Top Secret op gone wrong, and he’s been ordered to stay out of trouble while he’s home for his sister’s wedding.
But when Evie’s ex-partner turns up dead, staying out of trouble is the last thing on Matt’s mind. He failed Evie once before; he can’t fail her again. If he’s going to protect her from a killer, and find her sister before time runs out, he’ll have to risk his entire future—and both their lives—to do it.
Evie Baker is a chef turned shampoo girl after trusting her business partner and lover who couldn’t be trusted. After her restaurant is closed she’s forced to go back to her hometown. I immediately took a liking to Evie who grew up as an outsider (tomboy and poor amidst rich girly girls)! She gave her virginity to Matt Girard, her best friend since they were little kids, and he took it, stomped on it and her feelings and then left for the military, leaving her to deal with the aftermath. Now they are both back in the town they grew up in and danger that threatens Evie throws them together.
Evie was a mix of vulnerability and strength that worked very well for me. Despite his actions when he was a teenager, Matt was great too. He had this intense, strong silent type vibe going with pain and guilt simmering just beneath the surface. He was sincere in admitting to his past mistakes, which redeemed him early in the book.
What I loved in both of them was how straightforward and direct they were. Matt and Evie as characters is what made the book for me.
I must say HOT PURSUIT is one of those books that I find to review because there was something missing for me but I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is. I liked it well enough to want to read the next book in the series but I can’t say I loved it or that it blew me away (no pun intended). The romance wasn’t all consuming and I missed some of the sense of urgency in the suspense that propels the romance to the next level, something I loved in other romantic suspense novels that evoked my mad love for the genre.
This book is a mix between contemporary romance and suspense romance and maybe that was the issue for me. Maybe there was too much suspense to make it a great small-town contemporary romance and not enough depth in the suspense to make it a thrilling suspense/military romance. A few decisions made by Matt and the development of the romance at times felt rushed and against character for both Matt and Evie.
This being said the characters were great and I loved them and I also really liked a few unexpected twists in the suspense. What I also loved was the subtle humor and the great way Lynn Raye Harris described growing up and living in the South. The look into the workings and the feel of the small Southern town came across very well through the writing and the characters. It felt genuine and non-intrusive to the rest of the story.
HOT PURSUIT is a very nice blend of Southern small-town contemporary romance and military romantic suspense. I loved the characters and the writing style. I enjoyed reading it enough to want to read the next story in the series.
– the dance at the party by the lake > the scene was a perfect combo of emotion, humor and sexual tension
Just one dance and we go our separate ways, got it?” Because she didn’t want to feel this tangle of emotions again. This tiny blossoming in her heart that said she was going to be in so much trouble if she didn’t shut it down quickly.
He was comforting her, giving her his strength, telling her it was okay. And he was doing it all with his lips and tongue. She moaned into his mouth and sank into the deliciousness of a kiss with this man she could love.