Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: Extreme Measures

Extreme Measures (Aegis Security #1)

By Elisabeth Naughton 


Being prepared for any scenario is the trademark of any good CIA operative, and Eve Wolfe is one of the best. But when her latest mission literally explodes in her face, she wakes up labeled a traitor and—even more surprising—in the custody of elite Aegis Security operative and ex-lover Zane Archer. Although she still secretly has feelings for Zane, he’s now demanding the one thing that she can’t give him: the truth.
When he caught her breaking the rules years ago, Zane let Eve walk away without an explanation. Now someone has not only sabotaged Aegis but also turned an American city into a war zone, and all signs point to Eve. Zane needs answers that can come only from Eve’s still-tempting lips, and he finally has the elusive operative right where he wants her—at his mercy.
Themes: contemporary, suspense
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
I have long been a fan of romantic suspense and have lots of favorite authors and series that fall into that category, but I am usually a bit leery when an author whose paranormal romances I have loves decides to expand into the suspense subgenre.  Often it does not turn out well, but I am happy to report that in this case Elisabeth manages to pull it off beautifully.  Her new series looks to be one that will hold my interest for a long while.  Full of intrigue, plot twists, and unexpected pairings it took me a little while to actually figure out who the bad guy really was, though I had my suspicions early on.  That being said I loved Extreme Measures and am looking forward to more in this series.  Hopefully it will be a quick publication schedule because I’m dying to know more about the Aegis team, especially their leader.
This story revolves around former lovers Eve and Zane, though their names fluctuate a bit depending on who is speaking to/about them.  Zane is pissed off and hurt when he sets out to find Eve, who has been slipping through his fingers as he tries to pin her down for the destruction she caused to his life.  Believing her to be a spy and a traitor he takes her as his captive, determined to make her answer for her crimes against him and her country.  But the truth is seldom ever so black and white in a story involving spies and government secrets and Eve is no stranger to the deadly game of spycraft.  She is not what she seems at all; not only is she innocent of the charges Zane lays at her feet, but she is also after the person responsible for these crimes and the man responsible for her sister's kidnapping.
When we first meet Zane, he comes off as a bastard and there is no denying he is angry beyond measure and will do anything to get his revenge.  But as he is faced with the woman he once loved and the feelings she stirs in him, he becomes more human and you can actually start to like him.  While he remains stubborn in his beliefs long into the book and it takes a lot to change his mind about Eve, when he finally does he is willing to do anything to protect her and make sure they both make it out of this drama alive.  He is a bit of a hard-ass, but he has his sweet moments, his deeply buried emotions peeking out here and there, as he falls back into love with Eve and comes to trust her wholly.  Overall I found him to be just what he was supposed to be—a flawed, hurt man, who had his heart broken and didn’t really know how to handle it.  Eve was certainly an enigma; we go into the story with an extreme prejudice against her because, like Zane, we believe she is a traitor and almost got the Aegis team killed.   Thankfully we get to know her much more quickly than Zane and see her for the good woman she is.  She is headstrong, unyielding in many ways, and just as strong as Zane in her beliefs and willingness to give her all for the safety of others.  It’s obvious she had to rip out her own heart when she gave up Zane, never having gotten over him, but accepted she’d done what was right for them.  As they come to know each other, fully this time, she sees that she lost something worth more than any job when she lost Zane, and maybe it’s time to readjust her priorities.
Extreme Measures lives up to the title, as the H/H go to any lengths to accomplish their missions up to and including giving up their lives if it comes to that.  There are no half measures for people like Zane and Eve and thankfully that carries over into their personal lives as well.   While the couple are faced with one battle after another, you can see when they work together they become unbeatable.  There is so much passion sparking between them from the very beginning, but I must say that I much preferred later moments where the trust and emotion tempered the raging lust into something deeper and more profound, even when they are arguing you can tell the difference in later parts of the story.  Eve is a woman that would probably scare me to death if I ever met her in person; she’s so strong willed, a badass spy, and a woman whose passions run hot, no matter the type of emotion, but she was a nicely rounded character who steals your heart in the end.  Zane is just my type of hero, even if he starts the story as an asshole.  He shines as an operator, is obviously a man that protects what he considers his from all threats, and challenges the world to get in the way of something he wants.  Together they are an unstoppable force, for good thankfully, and I so hope they someday have children because those kids will be serious badasses.  I am looking forward to seeing more of this group of individuals and learning more about the way they handle themselves, but I have a sinking suspicion my favorite character will be the head of Aegis, Jake.  Another great series by Elisabeth Naughton set off with a bang, and no ending in sight.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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