Hot Pursuit (A Hostile Operations Team Novel)(#1)

Hot Pursuit (A Hostile Operations Team Novel)(#1) - Lynn Raye Harris 3,5 stars

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 action 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 and 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.

Fave Scene:
- the dance at the party by the lake > the scene was a perfect combo of emotion, humor and sexual tension

Fave Quotes:
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.