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Monday, November 26, 2007

Review: On the Loose

On the Loose
by Tara Janzen

He's a special agent who never loses his cool.

She's the heat-seeking missle headed straight for his heart.

Keeping cool under pressure is the credo C. Smith Rydell lives by. That’s why he was handpicked by the Special Defense Forces for a mission few men survive. So why has the ex-DEA superstar been reassigned to Panama City, playing bodyguard to a blond in a black string bikini? Except Honey York isn’t your average pampered socialite. She’s the woman Rydell caught smuggling cash into El Salvador four months ago. And now she wants him to take her back.

All Honey has to do is find the guerrilla camp, deliver the goods, and get the hell out of the jungle—all in forty-eight hours. Only one man is up for the job. But sharing an unforgettable one-night stand was nothing next to being stranded with Rydell on some third world mountaintop. And with bullets flying and all hell breaking loose, now is not the time for passion. As if these two could possibly resist it….

Tara Janzen has another winner on her hands and I can’t wait to share it with you!

C. Smith Rydell is a military warrior. Honey York is a socialite warrior. How in the world can these two make it when they’re thrust together into the underbelly of a South American drug war? They’re fighting each other before they ever get to meet the really bad guys. I believe I ‘met’ the two main characters and one of the, no wait, two of the sub characters in Tara’s last book, Crazy Sweet. Have you read any of her ‘Crazy’ series? Major treat.

Anyway, if you have then you can expect this to be a quasi-continuation but no direct link to Steele Street until an intriguing moment at the end. Rydell is quite the hunk. He was in the last book when he saved Honey’s cute little butt, however, I got to know him much much better in On The Loose. What fun. He’s not perfect, which I adore; he’s fighting his attraction to Honey, which is funny; he’s being pursued by someone he never expected, which was grating on my nerves (in a suspenseful kind of way); and his first name gets revealed. Once I heard Honey say it, I started singing. That’s not going to make much sense unless you’re an 80’s fan and remember the first Farm Aid. I wonder if you’ll make the connection.

Sorry, I digress. Let’s just say I liked Smith’s first name. And it tugged my heartstrings when he explained to Honey why ‘C’ stands for what it does.

Honey has a secret and I’m not telling you what it is. Smith found out and you want to know why? That’s right, why, not how. Because he’s in love. Oh, he doesn’t call it that; he runs from ever admitting the “L” word but I think you’ll find it adorable at how he figured it out.

Honey is a driven woman. She’s got quite a few irons in the fire, one of which is caring for her sister; the nun. Honey is being blackmailed by the CIA to do their dirty work because she unknowingly left herself wide open in the last book for them to use her as a tool in this story. There is a great scene, fun for me – scary for Honey, which greatly reminded me of the third Indiana Jones movie, but better. It was action packed and Rydell was oh, so alpha that the girly-girl in me was wowed. Then again, I’d be just like Honey when she was going down those stairs -- check please!

I simply have to share an observation on my favorite steamy scene between Rydell and Honey. It took place inside their vehicle during a torrential rain storm. I hope this isn’t a spoiler but I absolutely got turned on by how Tara described Rydell nibbling on Honey. It was quite touching, romantic, playful and his actions are totally opposite from those he exhibits due to his chosen profession. They were almost alien to him. Such is the power of love.

On The Loose has all my favorite elements for a thrilling romantic suspenseful read; alpha male with a lady under his skin, a alpha female wrapped in chartreuse *gg*, a bad guy who I want redeemed, a really bad guy who I know shouldn’t be redeemed and female stalker who totally threw me and I still can’t figure out why. Best of all is the romance budding between the two main characters and how Rydell proposes. By the way, WHAT is pavĂ©?

And for the record, I really wish somehow, someway, Tara would or could surprise the tar out of us readers by somehow logically or illogically resurrecting J. T. Chronopolous because from all that has been written about him, I want and crave an HEA for a dead guy. How weird is that?

Take it from me, if you are considering any book this month, pick On the Loose. I guarantee a wild ride.

Review by Xeranthemum