Title: Heated Pursuit
Series: Alpha Security #1
Author: April Hunt
Format: Paperback & eBook, 304pgs
Published: Oct. 25, 2016 by Forever
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The first in an all-new romantic suspense series from debut author April Hunt, perfect for fans of Julie Ann Walker, Lora Leigh, and Rebecca Zanetti!
Penny Kline didn't come to Honduras on a pleasure trip. She's here to rescue her kidnapped niece, the only family she's got left. What she didn't plan on was walking into a covert ops mission---or being wrapped up in the hard-muscled arms of Rafe Ortega. The cool-as-ice operative's touch may get her all hot and bothered, but no man can have a hold on her heart until her niece is home where she belongs.
Even in the tropics, Alpha Security operative Rafe can take down the bad guys without breaking a sweat. Hostage extractions. Clandestine missions. Those are the things he's been trained to handle. Relationships? Not so much. But one look at this strong, sexy redhead and he's seized by a fierce urge to protect her at all costs. Now Penny and Rafe will have to up their game because they're about to go into a master criminal's lair without backup, and the danger---and passion---is about to explode . . .
Penny hasn't had a lot of close people in her life, so when her niece is kidnapped, she's booking passage on the first flight to Honduras.
Former Delta operative and now with the private Alpha Security group, Rafe has spent the majority of his life as a soldier. While on mission to shut down a drug lord, his path crosses with Penny and their worlds collide.
Its tropics, heat, attraction, and danger as Rafe and Penny battle for survival and their chemistry.
"You dirty up pretty good, Red."
April Hunt has debuted and I am here for it. Heated Pursuit, the first in the Alpha Security series, is romantic suspense that recycles a lot of sub-genre favorites: group of hot sexy military men, tough but vulnerable heroine, dangerous situations, sex in unrealistic side-eye moments, and villainy villains. There's nothing really new here but what it does well is give you what you paid for with the added bonus of fun, heart, and charm; tangibles that have been sadly absent in a lot of recent releases.
"Is this your way of telling me you're going to be touching my ass, Rafael Ortega? If it is, I should warn you that that perk better go both ways."
Penny is our tough but vulnerable heroine, she's a fairly new bail enforcement agent, so she has some moves but also winds up in over head and gives us some too stubborn for her own good annoyance. Her back story of cold uncaring father with absent mother was sketched out enough to make her trepidation towards Rafe believable if not deeply felt. She spoke her mind well and you'll like her spirited contributions to her conversations with Rafe.
He was bravery, loyalty, and a kick-ass attitude wrapped up in a six-and-a-half-foot mass of hard muscle.
Our hero Rafe is where this story is going to win you over. That heart and charm I was talking about, Rafe is its main source. He's the risk his life but never his heart alpha male that over saturates this sub-genre but crushes and kicks to the curb any cardboard cut-out notions. Rafe had personality, wit, and magnetism; he felt real to me and I found myself lusting right alongside Penny.
She was a complication in its truest form---and he didn't give a hundred fucks.
I loved these two together, whether they were engaging in back and forth dialogue, running for their lives, or having trouble keeping their hands off each other, their chemistry was always front and center. I do wish it could have taken them a little bit longer to hit the sheets and Rafe must have Viagra running through his veins instead of blood (seriously, let's tone it down with these Boneroes). I also really enjoyed how the secondary characters, mostly Rafe's Alpha Security team members with a couple friends of Penny thrown in, actually fit into the story and didn't feel like series baiting. They supported without cluttering or trying to steal the spotlight, we get introduced to all the men with enough personality given to each to make me want to read their own stories but didn't overwhelm. I would have liked Penny and Trey's (member of Alpha Security) past surrogate brother/sister relationship explained and explored more along with the appearance of Penny's Navy SEAL friend Vince, which ended up feeling very tagged on. The villain was a bit weak and the ratio of sex and story leans more towards sex but the action and story starts off right off the bat and I was with it every step of the way.
Like I said, there's not a lot new here, former military men looking to stop a madman from distributing a super drug while the heroine finds herself caught up in the crossfire, danger ensues, and lust and love with one of the men develops. However, even with its done before recipe, Heated Pursuit manages to break from the crowd and stand out with its humor and charm; this will reenergize and remind you why you love this sub-genre. I found it to be along the same lines as Tara Janzen’s Steele Street series, fast paced, fun, and hot.
The characters have character and the hero's charm is why we love reading about these good bad boys. As a debut, this has me super excited for future books in the series. The author's talent with chemistry between her characters is definitely evident and I look forward to her gaining confidence and experience to step outside the usual romantic suspense elements. There's a line in the book that I felt encapsulates it very well:
It was intimacy and total abandon disguised as a marathon of hot touches and hotter kisses.
I can't wait for the next in the series.
Suggested Reading Order:
Heated Pursuit (Alpha Security #1)
Holding Fire (Alpha Security #2) - March 28, 2017