When her father is murdered by a Taliban cell in the tribal regions of Pakistan, Khalia Patterson reluctantly steps into his shoes to carry on the legacy of Fair Start Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to furthering the education of girls. There she meets Hunter Phillips, the former SEAL and head of her Titanium security team, and quickly learns that coming to Pakistan might prove to be a deadly decision.
Battling demons of his own, Hunter grudgingly leads Khalia’s protective detail as a favor to his boss. From their first meeting it’s clear she’s going to be trouble, and that the cell that killed her father is hell bent on taking her out as well. Keeping her alive is one of the toughest assignments he’s ever faced, yet through one harrowing situation after another she continually impresses him with her strength and inner courage. Even though he fights his feelings for her, it’s a losing battle. And when the job is over, he doesn’t know how he’ll let her go.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Scenes set in Afghanistan delivered heart-pounding action. Mature characters delivered the romance.
Hunter (31) never got over the death of his best friend Scottie on their last mission—the mission that opened this story. Though he doesn’t want to revisit the place of that fateful day, he agrees to a new detail mission. Only the client is the daughter of the man who caused the riots that cost Scottie his life.
Khalia (28), high school math teacher and daughter of a philanthropist recently killed by the Taliban for his efforts to bring education to women, knew the risks of taking up her father’s cause. Though she didn’t want to be in the volatile region, she felt a responsibility to finish what he’d started and to let his death have been in vain.
I absolutely loved and didn’t put it down until I’d cleared the last page. This was my first Kayla Cross book, and I was blown away by the writing, the level of action and suspense and the fantastic, mature characters. Khalia and Hunter had chemistry in spades, but the mutual attraction wasn’t just physical. Hunter was smart, brave, loyal and honorable. Khalia was smart, courageous, and she had a big heart. I remember making a note around 66% into the story that were was no unnecessary conflict—the hero was not an overbearing jerk, and the heroine didn’t stubbornly try to claim she was capable of taking care of herself. When Hunter told her to do something for her safety, she did it without hesitation. Hallelujah!
OMG, they actually communicated like adults *swoon*. When the subject that haunted him most inadvertently came up, he knew his knee jerk reaction was a douche move, but he opened up and told her about it. Also, he was honest with her about their future, namely that he didn't foresee them having one at the time the subject came up. I really like it when characters throw their baggage out there for the sake of being open and upfront about things, whether the other person wants to hear it or not. The sex was scorching hot! Their first time together in the shower was amazing. It was rough, passionate, carnal. But right after, he was so tender with her. She was content and comfortable and trusting.
The vividly described action scenes played out in my mind like a movie scene. It's saying a lot when an author can make an escape from a burning hotel, and a gunfight in a stairwell feel like almost claustrophobic for a captive reader. One trained ex SEAL, a high school math teacher, two pistols and armed insurgents, fire and smoke…not a problem for those two. The main villain wasn't caught, so it seems he will be a part of the bigger picture throughout the series.
The HEA ending for these two was perfect. I loved his surprise, but I especially loved the thoughtfulness of her project that she wanted Hunter involved in. That was just one more thing that conveyed how well these two fit.
I love this book. It was non-stop action from page one. This happens to be my favorite genre of books to read and it was well written. Most important, it was an amazing read while paying tribute to how much our military service member sacrifice for the love of country.
This book had me hooked from the beginning! Full of page-turning suspense and hot, sexy romance, it had me glued to my phone till the very last page.