Dire Distraction (A-Tac #7)
by Dee Davis
As the commander for A-Tac, a black-ops CIA unit masquerading as Ivy League faculty, Avery Solomon is the best of the best. He'll stop at nothing to ensure the safety of his team, but when a mystery from the past resurfaces, he puts himself directly in the line of fire.
PUSHED TOO FAR
After years of covert missions, Avery harbors regrets that continue to haunt him. He still blames himself for his wife's death fourteen years ago-until an A-Tac operative finds a photo that suggests Avery's wife may still be alive. Determined to discover the truth, Avery heads deep into the hostile territory of Southeast Asia, ready for danger and violence-only to find himself captured by desire . . .
Wilderness guide Sydney Price never backs down from a challenge. She has her own reasons for wanting revenge against the men being hunted by Avery. Though she tries to deny her attraction to the tough, handsome warrior, the spirited Sydney soon finds him impossible to resist. Now she and Avery must work together to uncover the truth-and stay alive. But as the enemy closes in and old secrets unravel, the line between partners and lovers vanishes like mist in the jungle . . .
The story that all A-Tac fans have long anticipated has finally arrived! Avery, our favorite CIA spook and the leader of the elite A-Tac team is finally going to get his chance at his very own HEA. I have been a follower of the A-Tac series since the very beginning of its release and have been dying for Avery’s book the entire time. The wait was worth every second though, because in the end, for the end, this book was too great for words and finally brought us the ending we needed to close this series. Davis offers us glimpses of Avery’s past, the moments that have shaped him into the man he is and provides us a chance to see the hope for his bright future. If you’ve missed the others in the series I recommend you start there because all the tension and buildup with the Consortium will be mostly lost on you, but if you need a sample first reading Avery’s book will leave you salivating for more.
Avery has received the shock of his life, a photo showing his wife and former partner, a photo dated for only months earlier when his wife was thought to be killed 14 years ago. Unable to ignore the possibilities, Avery saddles up and heads to Laos to try to find his former partner who has recently turned to the drug trade there. When he meets his CIA contact, Sydney Price, he’s more than surprised to find Sydney is a woman, young, sexy and full of the spirit that has slowly leaked from his life. They work together, traveling through the Laos jungles to try to reach the hidden encampment of the drug runners, but obstacles keep jumping up to prevent their arrival. Unexpectedly, more than just admiration for a fellow agent begins to stir in their hearts and minds. The passion is there for them both, but the ghost of the possibility of Avery’s wife keeps them both from crossing that line…until it doesn’t. Fire and love explodes then and they have very little time to stop a killer, dismantle an international terrorist ring, and come to terms with their love. Because if time runs out, neither of them might come out the other side of the war intact.
Avery is still as sexy as he’s been in all the glimpses of him in previous stories in the series. Strong, sexy, and full of heart, this hero is all that the word implies and more. Not only intelligent and clever in his work, he is a wealth of love, keeping his late wife with him for almost 15 years and never moving on, until he finally meets his match. Sydney is young, spirited, and willing to do everything necessary to help Avery get the answers he seeks, even if it might mean the first man she’s wanted in years might not be able to stay with her. The passion between them is evident in the undercurrents of their every move and we are treated to some seriously interesting combustion because of it. When they finally do come together we get to see not only the deeply passionate side of Avery that we see in all alpha type males, but an inherent sweetness and gentleness that is a core part of Avery. And seeing Sydney’s cynicism slowly defeated by the depth of Avery’s emotions and the growing depth of her own, like water slowly honing rock, is something that gives even me hope for an HEA for all.
Not to be forgotten is of course the final conclusion of the overall story line of this series: A-Tac’s battle with the Consortium. The Consortium is a shadowy group of arms dealers, terrorists, and other nefarious types, that have been attacking US assets and attempting to bring terror to citizens. Attempt after attempt that has been thwarted by A-Tac, mainly Avery, leaving the Consortium scrambling to recover from their failed attempts. We finally get to see the real depth of depravity of these monsters and get to see the personal reasons that Avery and his team have been targeted. And let me tell you it was a doozy. But finally getting to see things come to a head and reach an ending was awesome. I won’t spoil the surprises but needless to say there is a great ending on the way and you’ll love it.
I know it seems like I’m gushing a bit, and maybe the giddy girl crush I’ve had on Avery a while is a part of it, but honestly this was a great read, though certainly shorter than I would have liked. The adventure Avery and Sydney find themselves on is full of excitement, thrills, and close calls that would make any mystery reader fall in love. The relationship that builds between Sydney and Avery, transforming from an enforced trust between colleagues to the deep love of true soul mates is enough to make any woman’s heart flutter. And finally seeing A-Tac solve the great mystery that is the Consortium was a wonderful way to end a series that has grabbed me by the heart and mind since the beginning. If you’ve never read a Dee Davis or specifically an A-Tac novel now is the time. You’ll find yourself immersed in a subculture that is so often overlooked by average citizens, but you’ll be reminded that no matter how over-the-top heroic anyone is, at their base they are just people and need love in their lives as much as the rest of us. Cannot wait for whatever is next for Dee, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for her newest release.
Rating: 4.5 stars
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.