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Thursday, February 11, 2010

No Surrender by Shannon Stacey

No Surrender by Shannon Stacey
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (137 pgs)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 5 Books
Review by Viscaria

Don’t hold back. Never give up. If only it was that easy…

The Devlin Group, Book 3

When sabotage downs their helicopter in the mountains, Gallagher finally gets the up-close and personal time he’s been craving with fellow agent Carmen Olivera. After their rescue, the saboteur’s trail sends the Devlin Group to Africa, where Carmen tries to revert back to her cold, professional self. Except Gallagher isn’t ready to let her go. Not by a long shot.

As the Group gears up to rescue a young woman held hostage in the well-guarded compound of a guerilla warlord, Carmen tries to shove her long-time attraction for Gallagher—now jacked up by one mind-blowing night—back into its mental corner. No matter what her heart says, there’s no future with him. They’re from different worlds. Not to mention the effect a failed relationship could have on the job.

But as the mission gets blown all to hell, they find the African jungle has its own, brutal way of deciding who has a future at all…

Warning: This book contains men and women who kick ass, make love, and have a propensity for language you won’t hear on network television.

Sometimes you read a book and you turn the last page and even though you know it’s done, you’re disappointed. And yet, you have a goofy smile on your face. That’s exactly what happened when I read the last word of this book. Ms. Stacey delivers a fast-paced, adrenaline-drenched story that doesn’t let go even after the last page.

Carmen is a kick-@$$ heroine. Now, you can say that about lots of heroines, but in this case… she could literally kick your … well you get the picture. She’s strong and she’s independent and you can’t help but admire her as her smarts shine through. I really liked that she was honest with herself, if not always with others. It’s hard to open up when you’re used to protecting yourself in every way possible. She may not have been able to tell the man she had the hots for that she did indeed have the hots for him, but she admitted it to herself and lamented the fact that it wasn’t a good idea. When circumstances put her in a position to reach for a moment of passion with Gallagher, she takes the opportunity but tries to hold the most vulnerable part of herself back from him; her heart. As you can imagine… it doesn’t work the way she thought it should.

Gallagher was a great hero. Tough, Alpha almost to the extreme, he was also self-aware enough to realize that Carmen was his weakness. I love watching an Alpha male fall hard, and this one fell years before the woman ever realized it. Gallagher was a capable, determined modern-day warrior who knew his lady-love was a warrior in her own right and did everything he could to protect her and still let her be the independent woman he loved. Add in his sexy determination to control the pace of their love life and he was almost perfect. But, since no one can tolerate a perfect man, Ms. Stacey gave Gallagher enough flaws, like stubbornness and arrogance, to make this reader fall head over heels for him right along with Carmen.

The action in this fast-paced adventure started on the first page and didn’t really let up until the last chapter. From one minute to the next I was never sure what would happen or how it would all end. Without having read this author before, I couldn’t even guarantee a happy ending and that made for some rather tense moments as well as exciting reading. When the happy ending comes, the tension is so worth it and I couldn’t help but smile. The love scenes between these two were hot and sensual with plenty of spice added to the mix of humor and intensity to make this reader reach for a cool drink. Throw in witty, sometimes even acerbic banter, not only between the two protagonists but between the secondary characters as well and you have an amazing story that has me looking to get my hands on the first two books in this series.

This is a beautifully written story with enough adventure to hold an adrenaline junkie’s attention. The vivid descriptions and obviously well-researched tactics made me feel as if I were right there in the thick of things. I felt each moment as if I were there, and read this book in a two hour sitting because I couldn’t bear to put it down and had to see what happened next. With this book, Shannon Stacey has placed herself on my auto-buy list, and has me excited to see what else comes from the Devlin Group… like Jack… hint hint… A well done story, all around, that I would recommend to anyone who likes their romance with a touch of adrenaline, a dash of laughter and a whole lot of heat.