Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tour-Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: Easy Target by Kay Thomas (Elite Ops book 3)

Easy Target
Elite Ops # 3
By: Kay Thomas
Releasing June 9, 2015
Avon Impulse


AEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men who will do anything for their country…and their women.

Fighting to clear her brother of murder, freelance reporter Sassy Smith is suddenly kidnapped and thrown into a truck with other women who are about to be sold…or worse. When she sees an opportunity for escape Sassy takes it, but she may have just jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

Former Marine Bryan Fisher (aka Hollywood) is no stranger to dangerous situations, or to his best friend’s little sister. When he rescues Sassy, Bryan is determined to keep her safe…if he can keep his hands off of her. Because Sassy is all grown up and not at all like the girl he used to know. But he’s got bigger problems. And with enemies coming at them from every corner, Bryan and Sassy will need to work together if they’re going to survive.

Bryan’s stomach tightened when he ripped the shower curtain aside to find Sassy asleep on the tub’s porcelain floor with her head leaning back against the tile. Her position didn’t look very comfortable, but as exhausted as she was, it wouldn’t have taken much. Steam floated around her, and the shower spray was hitting the wall two feet above her head.

“Sassy?” He kept his voice low, not wanting to startle her.

She never stirred, but she’d been crying earlier. That much was obvious from the red splotches around her eyes. And if the sight of her wet body in the shower hadn’t brought him to his knees, her tear-splotched face did.

God, please. Let him face another man with a gun and a grenade any day. He had no idea what to do with this woman’s tears.

“Sassy?” He spoke a little louder this time.

Was this just the shock of everything catching up to her?

Praying she’d just sat down for a moment and dozed off and that this wasn’t some residual effect of the concussion, he reached to turn off the still warm water. Otis must have a monster hot water heater in this place.

Ignoring the torque in his back, he grabbed the threadbare towel and borrowed robe from the countertop and reached to pull her up and out of the tub.

When he leaned down over her, her blue eyes flew open. Only then did she react. But not like he would have expected. She went wild.

“No, dammit. No. Don’t touch me … don’t ever touch me. Just stop! Stop!”

“Sassy? Sassy, it’s me.” He dropped the robe on her shoulder and leaned back in a squat beside the tub.

Her eyes were glassy and unfocused. She jumped to her feet and covered her breasts with one hand protectively across her chest. He sat on his haunches, taking in the sight of a naked, wet Sassy standing over him. Momentarily stunned, he never saw it coming.

When her other fist connected with his jaw, the cracking sound reverberated around the bathroom. Still in a squat, he tipped backward. His shoulder bounced off the countertop and he landed on his ass directly on the wet linoleum. He felt the jolt all the way up his back again.

Jesus. He’d forgotten she definitely didn’t hit like a girl. Damn.

The slap of his butt hitting the wet floor seemed to pull her from wherever she’d been. Her eyes widened and her mouth opened in a wide O.

“Bryan. Ohmigod. I’m so sorry. I … sat down to shave my legs and … I must have dozed off.”

The shock on her face no doubt mirrored his own as he rubbed his jaw. “Just glad you weren’t holding the razor,” he mumbled.

She started to reach for him, then stopped. He saw the moment she remembered she was stark naked.

My Review

Easy Target, the third book in the Elite Ops series, is a constant action and suspense read with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.  Though it may be categorized as romantic suspense, the story was more heavily weighted toward the action and suspense side than romance.

Many books that are part of a series can usually be read on their own without compromising the enjoyment of the book.  While the same could be said for Easy Target, I would strongly recommend reading the first two books in the series before starting this one as there is a tremendous amount of backstory that comes from those books and helps tie the series together.  The elements of the backstory are revealed during the course of this book, but I know I personally would have benefitted by reading the other ones first.  The story is extremely detailed, almost to the point where the intricate details were bogging me down just a bit while reading.

You've got Mexican cartels, human trafficking, convoluted plans to try and capture and/or kill our main characters, explosions and traitors in the midst--and it's all non-stop and in your face through the entire read.  The romance between the main characters?  While it does have a place in the story, to me it felt like a minor plot point compared to the action and suspense.  

I did have a bit of a hard time feeling the connection between Bryan and Sassy, mostly due to their individual difficulties with both thinking they should not be feeling they way they do toward each other.  Even though they are insanely attracted to each other and have been for as long as they can remember (though neither telling the other), they won't allow themselves to indulge in their feelings and bounce back and forth between hot and steamy and pushing each other away.

Easy Target is an action-packed story and will appeal to fans of the genre who prefer the action part to an overwhelming romance.  Recommended for 18+ for adult topics and situations.

Author Info
Kay Thomas didn't grow up burning to be a writer. She wasn't even much of a reader until fourth grade. That's when her sister read The Black Stallion aloud to her. For hours Kay was enthralled—shipwrecked and riding an untamed horse across desert sand. Then tragedy struck. Her sister lost her voice. But Kay couldn't wait to hear what happened in the story—so she picked up that book, finished reading it herself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library.
Today Kay lives in Dallas with her husband, two children, and a shockingly spoiled Boston terrier. Her award-winning novels have been published internationally.

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