Monday, March 25, 2013

Tactical Strike (Bagram Special Ops) by Kaylea Cross

 The mission of a Combat Controller is to deploy by the most feasible means available into combat and non-permissive environments. Combat Controllers are Special Tactics Operators who establish assault zones while simultaneously providing air traffic control, fire support and command and control communications in the joint arena. Additionally, Combat Controllers expertly employ all terrain vehicles, amphibious vehicles, weapons and demolitions. First There.
—Combat Controller mission statement
Tactical Strike is, without a doubt, the best military romantic suspense story I’ve ever read, and Bagram Special Ops, the best military romantic suspense series out there. The first book in the series, Deadly Descent, was intense, exciting, emotional, romantic, steamy… I really didn't think anything could top it. Well, I was wrong, because Tactical Strike is all that, on ‘roids!

Straight up? Kaylea Cross is an amazing writer. Somehow she's able to take something I've never experienced and make it real. Make me feel it. Dread it, want it, hate it, love it, crave it... whatever "it" is, I feel it. And this isn't just jogged memories... maybe I can explain it this way...

If you’ve spent any amount of time at the beach, in the water, you know what the push and pull of the tide feels like against your legs. You know exactly what it's like to have the sand washing away beneath your feet, the slight imbalance as the waves roll in and back out… So, if an author describes that in a story, it’s more clear to your imagination because you've lived that. It's a memory that you draw on and it's your experience filling in the gaps in the author's words. Now, stay with me, I'm getting there...

I’ve never known the terror of being chased through the mountains while terrorists are shooting at me. I’ve never had friends die while I watch, helpless to do anything. I’ve never suffered the biting pain of having no shelter in a snow storm, no idea what that level of cold feels like... I've never experienced any of the kinds of things these people have and yet, swear to all that's holy, I felt like I was right there living it. My heart was racing, my hands sweating, my mouth dry... I felt it. And the passion? Burn up the pages and again... heart racing, fanning myself... yep, I felt it. The romance, the uncertainty of it all, I haven’t been as engrossed in a military romance – hell, any romance – in a long time. I started reading and couldn't stop.. just. Couldn't. Stop!

Ryan Wentworth and Candace "Ace" Bradford are incredible together. Ryan's easy going flirtation and subtle seduction, his attempts to get "Ace" to drop her guard a bit - and her resolve to not get involved - to keep her distance... watching Ryan work his magic and make that resolve crumble... so, so good. Their chemistry and their intensity and how it combusted in their first time making love together is one of the most sensual, amazing scenes I've read.

The bottom line: I'm just rambling. Three days I've been writing this review and there's so much to say that I can't find the right words to say it all, so I'll stop. Except to say, read this series. You won't be disappointed.

For anyone wondering; No, you don’t have to read Deadly Descent first to appreciate this story. Now, that doesn’t mean I think you should skip Deadly Descent, quite the opposite. It’s one hell of a story and we meet Ryan and Candace there, getting a small glimpse into their attraction, their dynamic. That carries over to Tactical Strike, and had I not known “Ace “and where she’s coming from going in to this story, I might not have warmed to her as quickly as I did.

My thanks, truly, to Carina Press and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this amazing story in return for an honest review. Start to finish, incredible.

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