Fatal Pursuit (Aegis #3)
Five years ago, Aegis Security op manager Marley Addison’s lover died in a South American raid gone horribly wrong…or so she thought. When she receives a phone call telling her that he is still very much alive and in danger, she vows to bring him home safely, even if Aegis CEO and former Navy SEAL Jake Ryder has kept her out of the field for the last few years. Then Jake shows up in Colombia to help her, leaving Marley annoyed…and more than a little distracted by her alarmingly handsome boss.
As things between Marley and Jake heat up in the wilderness, they discover their rescue mission is filled with treachery. Now the domineering Jake has to rely on Marley for survival. But can she depend on him when their mission takes a shocking and deadly turn?
Themes: contemporary, paramilitary
Rating: 4.75 stars
We finally got the story we were all clamoring for! Jake and Marley burst off the page, taking over our minds and hearts and showing that even the most closed off of individuals sometimes just need a push in the right direction to realize how much they need love and laughter in their lives. For new readers to this series, you might not appreciate the subtle and sweet teasing and the witty sarcasm of Marley and Jake’s relationship, but loyal Naughton fans have been waiting for this since the beginning of the series when we first watched Marley handling Jake. Marley is determined to set right a wrong when she goes to Colombia determined to rescue her ex, who has apparently been missing over 5 years and was presumed dead, but she never thought that Jake would follow her and become her lifeline in a situation destined to tear her life apart. I am looking forward to seeing whose story will be next and getting to know more of the Aegis team even better. And of course getting to see more of Jake and Marley as they continue to navigate the new waters of their relationship.
Marley is tired of the way the men in her life are always underestimating her skills and abilities in dangerous situations, so when she decides to go to South America on an urgent call from her ex, whom she believed dead, she never thought to ask for help from Jake. He’s been her boss for several years, but more and more her feelings are getting jumbled where he is concerned and his obvious disregard for her has hit the breaking point. Jake is pissed when he discovers Marley has run off on some ridiculous solo mission that will get her killed and immediately follows her, just to keep her safe, so she can come back to work of course. But the true depth of their feelings becomes obvious when they are forced into dangerous and unexpected situations and when a night of passion brings their connection out into the open they are no longer able to deny their feelings for one another. But of course Jake is an idiot man who knows what’s best for everyone and he ultimately screws up their chance at a happy future together. Can Jake accept the truth of his need for Marley in time to keep her for himself? Or to even keep her alive?
I enjoyed this story very much, with its fast pace, witty characters and Naughton’s skill with a villain is nothing short of magic. You just know that the bad guy is a bad guy, but when the full extent of his treachery comes to life you’re jaw will drop and make you wonder how a human being could be so dark inside and everyone around him not see it. Jake was a very flawed hero, with his troubled past, idiotic ideas about relationships, and determination to always do what he thinks is right—regardless of what others say—makes him the type of man to always be in charge of his life, even when someone else could definitely do a better job of running it. His reluctance to admit his feelings for Marley, right up until the end, made me CRAZY, and his unwillingness to admit defeat and embrace the changes in his life were a bit disappointing, but when he finally pulls his head from his butt I loved him. Marley is a kickass heroine and I can honestly say I loved seeing her butting heads with Jake, though she had her moments of defeat when he breaks her heart again and again (note my above irritation with the man), her inner strength carries her through. Marley is obviously made for Jake and will be the only one able to pull him out of the dark spiral that has become his life. I enjoyed getting to see the previous couples interacting with their friends and coworkers and it is obvious those matches worked out well. Can’t wait for whoever is up next, but whichever sexy man it is will be getting my full attention, because really no one does dark, twisted, flawed, and ultimately AWESOME heroes better than Elisabeth!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.