Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Touch More by Mandy Baxter

Title: One Touch More
Author: Mandy Baxter
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: U.S. Marshals #3
Main Characters: Damian and Tabitha
Release Date: October 2015
Publisher: Zebra
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Strong, relentless, and lethal, he plays every angle to trap the worst criminals. But for the one woman he can't resist, he'll break all the rules…

For hotel manager Tabitha Martin, bad boys usually spell disaster. And her new guest promises just that, with his formidable build, tattooed biceps, and quiet take-no-mess attitude. Tabitha is already putting everything on the line to escape her vicious drug-dealing ex's control for good—but a single sizzling moment in “Damien Evans'” arms has her wanting all the trouble he can give…

He's been undercover too long and likes living dangerously too much. U.S. Marshal Parker Evans figures maybe that's why he doesn't immediately put Tabitha in custody. Sure, she's his one chance to finally take down a major drug ring. But every minute he protects this mostly innocent blonde leaves his heart all too vulnerable. And the cost of desire could be a deadly endgame…

My Review:
This book had a different feel than the other books in this series. Damian is deep undercover and has spent years doing that. At this point, he connects with his Damian (criminal) persona much more than his Parker (Marshal) persona. He's honestly been doing it too long and is *kind of* aware of that. But it's not until he meets Tabitha that it really becomes apparent. He needs to get out of this business. 

The problem is...Tabitha is up to her neck in criminal activities and could be on her way to jail soon. BUT she's stuck because her ex is blackmailing her with her brother's life. If she doesn't cooperate and provide Joey with a place to deal (the hotel where she's an assistant mgr) then her brother will be set up to go back to jail for his dealing history. 

Because of the criminal setting of this book, it had a much grittier feel than normal. Both Tabitha and Damian are up to their necks with drug-dealing thugs and illegal activities. It's a balancing act and neither realizes how the other one plays into it all, so neither can be completely upfront about anything besides their criminal activity...which they both know about. 

It was an interesting book, definitely written to Mandy Baxter's former high standard that she's set for this series. Personally, I rated it just slightly lower than the other books simply because I didn't care for the deep criminal aspect of it. Even though this is a Marshal's book, I like a little light with my dark and there wasn't much light in this book. Even though there were incredibly sexy times between Tabitha and Damian (and I mean really steam the page up sexy), all those events took place in the middle of high stress where they more often than not got interrupted. But like I said, that was simply a personal preference for what I like to read. 

It was a well-written, smart book. I liked the setup with Tabitha as a hotel manager. It was interesting getting a glimpse into her world. I also thought that Mandy Baxter did an incredible job showing the stress of undercover officers are under on a daily basis and how hard that is to do long-term. 

Overall, it was another great installment to the Marshal's series.

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

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