Title: Fatal Pursuit
Series: Aegis #3
Author: Elisabeth Naughton
Format: Paperback & eBook, 338 pages
Published: July 28, 2015 by Montlake Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Five years ago, Aegis Security op manager Marley Addison’s lover died in a South American raid gone horribly wrong…or so she thought. When she receives a phone call telling her that he is still very much alive and in danger, she vows to bring him home safely, even if Aegis CEO and former Navy SEAL Jake Ryder has kept her out of the field for the last few years. Then Jake shows up in Colombia to help her, leaving Marley annoyed…and more than a little distracted by her alarmingly handsome boss.
As things between Marley and Jake heat up in the wilderness, they discover their rescue mission is filled with treachery. Now the domineering Jake has to rely on Marley for survival. But can she depend on him when their mission takes a shocking and deadly turn?
Fatal Pursuit is the pulse-pounding third book in Elisabeth Naughton’s scorching Aegis series.
Marley has been the glue that keeps the Aegis group together for the last three and half years but with Jake still not letting her go out into the field and changing up missions without including her, she is done feeling under appreciated. When an ex-boyfriend from the past is resurrected, Marley decides that now is the time to prove to Jake and her father that she has what it takes to get the job done. Jake is not familiar with this lost feeling and anxiousness that has dominated his feelings ever since Marley took a little vacation. When he finds out she went to Columbia, he just knows he has to get there. At his arrival, finding Marley with another man, witnessing her capabilities, and not able to keep his usual professional distance, has his Pandora's Box of feelings cracking wide open. Their jungle adventure is about to become more dangerous than they ever imagined.
After getting a hint of Jake and Marley's boiling pot relationship in the last book, Lethal Consequences, I was highly anticipating their story and I was not disappointed. Marley had somewhat of an unconventional childhood with following her father all around the world as he built up his security company. She grew up with the knowledge of how to run operations and is good at her job but while her father let her travel with the team, he never let her go directly into the field. Wanting to branch out and grow, Marley quits and joins Aegis, Jake Ryder's new and upcoming security company. Unfortunately, Jake turns out to be even more of a brick wall and even after three and half years of proving herself, refuses to not only let her go out into the field but doesn't even let her travel with the team. Their story starts here when Marley finally pushes back at the domineering men in her life and Jake gets a taste of his own medicine when Marley leaves.
I found Marley and Jake to be (mostly) believable, likeable, and frustrating. Marley may have taken Jake's dominating attitude for too long but he was still her boss and she was building a reputation at a new company. Jake may have come off as an alpha-hole one too many times but he is a former Navy SEAL, head of a growing company, and man with years of training to take charge of situations, be a leader, and get things done. Jake respects Marley but as his buried feelings for her start to come to the surface, he also fears for her safety, in the way that people who have seen far too much do. Marley was a mixture of capability and a touch of naivety; she has the skills for the field but not the emotional experience. I thought the author did a great job of showing how all these factors swirled together to show why our couple is attracted to one another and how the tension between them is created.
The snarky dialogue between these two was fun and helped to create what I like to call a thunderstorm couple. When Jake arrived in Columbia, we could hear the rumblings of an approaching storm, then as they trek through the jungle and he sees how capable Marley is and he begins to become aware and address why he can't relax or settle down unless he is around Marley, the storm hits. Lightning cracks the sky when they meet a group of indigenous people and drinking their jungle juice had them having one heck of a night. The eye of the storm comes when Jake does his patent push away move and they rescue Marley's ex-boyfriend. Then things really come to ahead as lightning crashing, thunder booming, and swirling winds catch Jake and Marley up as anger, jealousy, hurt, impromptu and poorly timed sex against a wall, and love make up the storm's tail end.
I focused a lot on Marley and Jake's relationship for this review and that is because it is the main part of the story and worked the best. The story arc of Marley's ex-boyfriend needing rescuing works to start off our adventure and keep our leads together but was fairly weak with an obvious villain and the how and why of the ex being mad at Marley's father and all the manipulated story that came as a result of this; it was a bit of a stretch.
If you like some adventure in your books and a fair amount of hot and heavy scenes, you'll want to pick this one up. Marley may have started off naïve but after getting a taste of the field, she intellectually realizes it may actually not be for her and while Jake's capabilities may keep him headstrong, we do get to see him respect Marley's more and bend a little on letting her be in charge; great growth by characters. The leaders of the Aegis group didn't disappoint and I'm looking forward to future characters getting their story, particularly Marley's lone wolf brother.