Monday, November 9, 2015

ARC Review: EDGE OF DANGER by Katie Reus

Edge of Danger
by Katie Reus
Book 4 in the Deadly Ops series

When an assassin tries to kill undercover DEA agent Tucker Pankov the same week his boss is taken out, Tucker has good reason to be paranoid. And when other members of his elite team are not only targeted, but stripped of top-secret security clearance, Tucker has one shot at discovering who wants them dead—and why. So he kidnaps the only woman he thinks can save them.

Brilliant NSA analyst Karen Stafford doesn’t like being forced into anything, especially by someone she doesn’t trust. Yet after a hijacked US-owned drone starts attacking government installations resulting in mass casualties, Karen has to take Tucker’s side.  Now, two unlikely allies must unite to prevent an escalating and unthinkable terrorist conspiracy. But as Tucker and Karen grow intimate, they realize the conspiracy runs deep, and their enemies are closer than anyone realized.

This is my favorite book in the Deadly Ops series. Edge of Danger is tightly written, a little gritty and oh, so sexually explosive.

Tucker is an undercover agent for the DEA.  We first meet him in Shattered Duty. He is the agent who lends aid to Selena and Levi while working deep undercover.  Unwittingly bound in a deadly conspiracy, Tucker and his teammates have to prove their innocence when they are accused of being terrorists. 

In order to get the kind of help he needs, Tucker must make contact with one man who can assist him, Wesley Burkhart, the Deputy Director of the NSA.  However, it is impossible to reach him by regular channels, so the team decides to get his attention via unconventional means – kidnap one of Burkhart’s favored agents, Karen Stafford.

This story is satisfyingly complicated, involving a lot of characters including players from other books to evil and dastardly conspirators out to start a war with the Middle East for profit.  With twist and turns, the suspense is elevated to a can’t-stop-reading-now frenzy. 

For me, the relationship between the two main characters makes this book a standout. Having worked undercover for many years, Tucker is used to holding back and denying his emotions.  It’s what makes him a great undercover operative, but a stoic human being. Additionally, both Karen and Tucker face the challenge of having to keep their “real” job from newly forming relationship partners. You can almost hear an audible sigh when they both realize that for the first time, they have the freedom to truly be themselves. Liberation fuels the frenzy and potency of their attraction.  As Tucker describes it: 

“Stamina had never been an issue for him, at least not since he was sixteen, but the raw intensity of this situation was making everything in his brain short-circuit.”

In the past, I’ve been critical of some of the endings of Katie Reus’ stories. They feel rushed.  This story’s conclusion is done so well with plenty of suspense and peril.  Yes!

This book has all the right ingredients for a great romantic suspense read. It is book-hangover worthy. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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