Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pushing the Limit by Emmy Curtis

Title: Pushing the Limit
Author: Emmy Curtis
My Rating: B

Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Series: Alpha Ops #2
Main Characters: Harry and Matt
Release Date: November 2014
Publisher: Forever Yours
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
They’re tough. They’re brave. And they’ll do anything for the women they love. They’re the Alpha Ops. In the tradition of Suzanne Brockmann and Julie Ann Walker comes a sizzling new high-octane romantic suspense novel from rising star Emmy Curtis.

After their one-night fling at a wedding, archaeologist Henrietta “Harry” Markowitz thought she’d never see war hero Matt Stanning again. So when they’re paired up to investigate a military plane crash in Iraq, she’s not sure if the three-month reunion is serendipitous or cursed. What she does know is this gorgeous man lights her body on fire—and incredible sex is always a welcome distraction.

Air Force Sergeant Matt Stanning has been called a hero, but he feels nothing like one when he realizes the sexy blonde in his bed is the widow of his fallen brother-in-arms. Even worse, he actually has to work with her, and she’s unearthed evidence that points to a military conspiracy. If they dig deeper, they’ll put their lives in danger. If they don’t, they’ll never know the truth—not only about the mysterious plane crash, but about each other.

Previous books: 

Dangerous Territory (novella) 
Over the Line

My Review:
Wow...how about Indiana Jones meets Military Romantic Suspense? This book was fun just in that it was such a different side to both Iraq and some different aspects of the military that you usually don't get to see in romantic fiction.

Harry is an archeologist. She's been hired to check out a site in Iraq for a well-reputed, well-funded company with her two students. It's a surprise when she arrives and realizes that they aren't the only team that's been hired by this company...and that's just the first of a long string of oddities, coincidences, and curiosities that occur to Harry and her team in this book. When Harry finds a piece of charred metal with some distinctive numbers on it in the sand, then the military and Matt get involved. 

Matt works in the branch of the government who finds and claims military service members remains. Seven years ago, he was EOD and watched his best friend get blown up. To say that he's suffering from PTSD is putting it very mildly. Matt needs to get some mental care because he still has issues with crowds and various other things. Coming back to Iraq and finding Harry, his best friend's widow there, are certainly not helping esp. since he slept with her before he realized who she was. 

This is an action-packed read. There are a lot of different characters in it and trying to figure out how they all fit into what is happening here is a HUGE puzzle. Emmy Curtis did a great job at creating the layers of suspense. I never knew who the bad guy was and guessed wrong many, many times before it was all revealed. And then when it all came out, I was gasping, because 'duh, I should have seen that'...but I didn't and that makes the suspense story line fabulous. 

I also really loved Harry and Matt together. Their combined tie to Danny was horribly tragic and it makes their relationship seemingly impossible as they are both still grieving for Danny, but wow, I loved them together. They really work and the chemistry is amazing.

It's also really nice to see a more real-side to everyday life in Iraq. So much of our western viewpoint is through the TV lens of the war. Harry is in a small village where everyone is welcoming and friendly. It was nice to see that and to see her relationship with Ain and Mueen and eventually even the Sheik and how he influences his area of control. 

I've said it before and I'll definitely say it again. Emmy Curtis is definitely a rising star in the romantic/military suspense genre. This book had a totally different feel from the first two, but I still enjoyed it. It will be interesting to see where she takes the series from here. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

About Emmy Curtis
Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She's lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference...well, she already considers you kin. 

Social Links
Twitter: @EmmyCurtis19

Buy Links
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/10bneXR 

Matt heard her sharp intake of breath and wondered if he’d misjudged his attempt at lightening her mood.

There was a second in which he opened his mouth to explain, when there was a shifting in the air around him, and just as his lightning instinct had him reaching for his weapon, a soft projectile thwomped into his face, knocking him backward and off the bed.

“No one makes fun of my pain without incurring the wrath of the pillow ninja,” she hissed.

Relief and outrage vied for pole position as he immediately planned his revenge. He let out an agonized groan.

“Oh my God.” He heard her scrambling over the bed to the foot where he’d fallen from. “I’m so sorry, did you hurt—”

He reared up, wrapping his arms around her legs, and launched her back onto the bed. She bounced like a rag doll as he grabbed the cushion he’d taken from the lobby and swiped at her as she tried to right herself.

“Ooff,” was the only thing she managed to say.

Victory is mine. “Truce?” he asked from a safe distance.

“My hand is caught in the headboard.” She giggled. “I swear it’s not a trap. I’m an honorable foe, unlike you. Look, or feel.”

Still keeping his distance, he put out his hand where he thought her shoulder should be. It was soft. Heat rose in his body.

“Okay, airman, it’s not my breast that’s trapped, it’s my hand,” she said with a totally audible grin.

“Sorry.” He thought he would run his hand up to her shoulder, then her arm to find her trapped hand, but it seemed all his appendages had minds of their own. He hesitated on her breast, feeling it swell beneath his palm. Shit. He stretched his hand out so just the center of it was touching her, and he circled it around her nipple. Its hardness tickled his palm. He meant to move it to her shoulder, but he swore he heard her groan. The sound sealed the deal.

His other hand found her flat stomach. He ran his fingers over her skin, making her shiver. “Does your hand hurt?”

“No,” she whispered. It was a tacit yes to everything else.

He lowered his lips to her stomach and kissed her, feeling it undulate beneath his lips. Kneeling on the bed now, he ran his hands up and down from her waist to her legs, legs to waist, and then with the same motion, he hooked her shorts around his
fingers and yanked them down. She gasped. He grinned in the dark.
“You’re kind of at my mercy now, aren’t you?” he said.

In an instant she wrapped her legs around his waist and tipped him over onto his side. Before he could recover, she rolled him over and sat astride him.

“I’m sorry? What did you say?” In the shadowy darkness she whipped off her tank. He could barely see her in the dark. No way. Nakedness or death? He grabbed her waist and held her as he sat up and pushed her down toward the foot of the bed. He
used the few seconds he was upright to flick open one side of the curtain covering the small window. A faint blue light lit the room. Just enough to see her in.

“I guess you weren’t really that trapped, then?”

“Not that trapped.” She smiled up at him, and he was gone.

He ripped his shirt off over his head and was about to undo his jeans when Harry beat him to it.

Her delicate fingers played with his fly, flickering touches on his hard dick through the denim. Grazing her nails along his length until he was desperate to feel her friction. As if she read his mind, she flattened her hand and pressed hard against him, making him groan and push himself against her. 

She undid his fly, and when the heat of her fingers touched his flesh he closed his eyes and allowed his whole body to feel her.

Enough. He wanted her, right now. Stripping off his jeans, and managing to extract a condom from his wallet without fumbling, he retook the bed. He slid his whole body across hers touching every part of her with every part of him. She fit him perfectly. In every way.

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