Hot Package (Hostile Operations Team #3)
When public relations expert Olivia Reese stumbles onto evidence of a dangerous conspiracy right before Christmas, there’s only one man she can call for help. Billy “The Kid” Blake is a member of an elite military unit—the Hostile Operations Team—and he’s Olivia’s former lover.
Billy never forgot the sexy woman who rocked his world—and his bed—before she walked out on him. Now that she needs his help, he’ll do anything he can to keep her safe. But as time runs out and the snow piles up, can Billy and Olivia work together to thwart a lethal plot against the Pentagon without getting involved again?
Themes: military, contemporary, holiday
Rating: 3.5 stars
Hot Package is a novella set in the interesting, testosterone fueled world of the HOT team, a group of exceptional men that lead extraordinary lives, and often find themselves falling in love in the strangest of circumstances. Billy’s story has a fun holiday twist, along with sad truths being faced by both the H/h and the return of love thought lost. I have enjoyed this series from the beginning and am looking forward to more, but I can honestly say, though I enjoy these novellas, the full length novels are much my preference. While Harris uses every word she writes to pull you into her world, the longer novels give you more time to develop deeper feelings for the characters and more time for the plot to unravel and of course more time for the love to develop between the couples. I am very much looking forward to the next full length novel.
Billy and Olivia’s story starts with Olivia getting pulled into a plot by her company to endanger lives all in the name of capitalism. Determined to keep her company from ruining of those they are bound to protect she takes the evidence she has to the only man she knows who might be able to help: her former lover and member of the HOT team, Billy “the Kid” Blake. When she walked out of his life a year earlier she had her reasons, and though she never stopped loving him, she never planned to go back either. Her past has shaped how she interacts with men and she is unable to trust in her heart or any chance of true love or happiness, even though Billy means the world to her. When Billy finds her walking through his woods late one evening through a snowstorm he's more than surprised, he is staggered by the emotion she still pulls from him and terrified that the danger she has stumbled into will put her life in jeopardy, but he is not willing to forgive her for walking away from them. Working with his team, Billy and Olivia find their investigation taking them even deeper than expected into the conspiracy her company is wrapped up in and it places them both into mortal danger. Will the love and trust they had, but both gave up on, be rediscovered in time to keep them both alive?
Olivia and Billy were both characters that were heavily influenced by their pasts, most notably their parental examples of love and relationships. Billy has never been able to forgive his mother and when Olivia repeats his mother’s mistakes, Billy is unable to forgive her either, but he sure as hell can’t forget her. Billy was a sweet guy under all his alpha bad-ass-ness, but he was definitely broken in a lot of ways. Never having faced his past he can’t seem to find a way to let go and have a future. Watching him interact with the guys of HOT was fabulous though because he is seriously a smart guy. When he finally accepts that sometimes you have to just let the past go in order to have a chance for a happy future, I find myself wishing I had a Billy of my own. Olivia has her own hang-ups though. Her mother’s love life was really a revolving door of men and she was obviously too concerned about herself to worry about the impact she was having on her daughter. Consequently, Olivia just can’t seem to accept love when it comes her way. Thought she knows she loved him, she can’t seem to give in and accept that she and Billy might just get their HEA if they are willing to stick it out and work for it. Seeing her finally come to the same conclusion was awesome and I found myself truly liking her once she decided to stop letting her mom’s dysfunction rule her life.
I enjoyed the novella very much, disregarding the fact it was too short for my liking. The overall plot was interesting, with a bit of action, conspiracy, espionage, and betrayal. Seeing the HOT team and getting to read more about past couples was a big plus, and of course I am even more intrigued to read future books about other HOT members. Olivia was a decent character and it was intriguing to see her working through her issues so she could be with Billy. Billy was the best kind of guy, one that has his issues but is willing to work past them. The love between them was obvious even as they both fought the passion that still flared a year after their breakup. There was a bit of pain, a lot of passion, plenty of sweet love, and the overall sense that these two will be a couple for a long time to come. Even if you haven’t read other books in this series I can honestly say this is a great stand-alone read, though of course the other books are just as good so reading them would not be a bad idea. I am dying to read Dangerously Hot, Lucky and Kevin’s book, and seeing what mischief they find themselves wrapped up in.
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.