I picked up the first two books in Amy Jarecki's ICE series of romantic suspense novels and this is a joint review for both books.
Book 1 is Hunt For Evil, and begins with Navy SEAL Commander Logan Rodgers having to get MI6 spy Olivia Hamilton off a yacht owned by an ISIS terrorist before it gets blown sky high. This gets him off to a pretty poor start with Olivia, since she was right on the verge of a major breakthrough in her undercover operation. When they are both sent to work for ICE, the International Clandestine Enterprise, sparks fly between the two competent operatives.
This is an excellent, page-turning story with lots of action and suspense. Olivia has a pretty serious case of PTSD from spending too long undercover, and she really shouldn't be in the field. She's covering it up because she's desperate to take down the terrorist who caused her parents' deaths.
While I enjoyed this one, there were a couple of things that soured it for me. There were a couple of fairly gigantic plot holes - it does NOT take four days to scramble helicopters to Syria, for example - that the author had clearly shoved in hoping the audience would overlook, because she needed it for the timeframe of the story. That sort of thing makes me wince.
Logan had a couple of moments of being a complete ass, and the big one for me was near the end of the book. Without being too spoilery, after they finished their mission, Logan totally disregards Olivia's wishes and does what HE thinks is best for her. This is a major nope-out moment for me, and to be honest if I hadn't been so close to the end of the book I'd probably have put it aside and not finished it. That moment took the book from a five-star read down to a three.
Hunt For Evil is available now.
Book 2 in the series, Body Shot, features Mike Ross, a Scottish former SAS operative who we met briefly in Book 1, and Henri Soaring-Eagle Anderson, a former Delta Force sniper. Framed for a crime she didn't commit and imprisoned for two years, Henri is leery of joining back up, especially with an organization that won't reveal anything about itself until she's accepted their offer. Mike is the one sent to recruit her, but it's Henri's need to earn a living that eventually has her accepting ICE's offer.
I absolutely loved Henri. She was totally badass, a Paiute warrior who knows she's the absolute best at what she does and has no hesitation in kicking ass and taking names. The fact that Mike never denigrates her skills, indeed shows nothing but genuine respect and admiration for her, makes him a hero worth the name in my book. They were a terrific couple and I really enjoyed their story. This one was much more tightly written and well-plotted than the first, and though I noticed a couple of minor proofing errors like missing full stops, they didn't reduce my enjoyment of the book. I'm giving Body Shot five stars.
Body Shot is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.