*** Pararescueman Jose “Cuervo” James is committed to his job and not much else. He thought nothing could change that, not even sexy, smart Interpol agent Stella Carson. Their affair burns hot and fast, but family is everything to Stella, and Jose just can’t go there.
The demands of their work make it easy to stay away from each other, until a fateful mission deep in the African jungle unexpectedly throws them together. With life on the line, uncovering the truth about Jose’s fears and Stella’s tragic past might destroy the spark between them, or gain them a second chance at passion and forever… ***
Jose is a recovering alcoholic, with a long time family history of the disease; because of this, he does not want to potentially pass this tendency on to any children of his and avoids the idea of marriage and kids. Stella had a mother who was away a lot due to her Peace Corps work when she was young – and died in a car accident in Africa when she was a teenager; because of this, Stella knew when she met Mr Right and was time to get married and have children (and she did want that), she would get out of field work and go for a desk job. Jose joined the Air Force to give his life some direction; Stella joined studied criminal justice and ended up with Interpol to work in Africa with the hopes of piecing together what happened to her mother.
They both meet during a short mission, their attraction was immediate – and since they were both staying in Africa, he would subsequently take her to various places he’s been to on dates. And over those following six months, they grew close, but as they reached the point where she thought maybe they could consider marriage and kids, he says no. He had already told her about his problem and the family history with it, but she needed more than he was willing to give; family was important to her, and she wanted the whole package.
Four weeks later, they are reunited, but as part of a rescue mission – she, under the guise of an exchange student with a group of (mostly) actual students, is kidnapped. Jose and his team rescue them, but soon enough find themselves embroiled in something much larger – it all seems to be related to a goodwill visit by the vice president’s wife – some sort of potential attack during the visit, with potential codes on objects that were taken from the location Stella and the students were held, suggesting that there is something larger going on… and just the basic idea how not everything around them is exactly what it seems… plus, during all this, can they possible figure out if they have a future together, or do they see things in totally different directions?
I love this series – I think with each new story, they are just so getting better and better. With this one specifically, just watching both separately and together work through their demons and pain, their sheer chemistry with each other, both in and out of bed, and the suspense around what might or might not be happening with the VP’s wife – it’s just all a great combination that makes this book, and all the others so far utterly super and ones I look forward to. Please keep them coming!