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Overall another great, tear jerking read for the I-Team fans!! But to be completely honest, this was not my favorite in the series. While there was much to enjoy in this story and the ending will tug heavily on your heart, I did have some issues with the slower paced storyline.
Unlike past books in this series, STRIKING DISTANCE takes more time developing the romance between its protagonists, and tones down the amount of adrenalin pumping, over-the-top suspense we are used to seeing in every chapter. A lot of fans will love this change, but for me I felt it needed more action to keep me fully engaged in the story. Many chapters ended without that 'hook' that keeps a reader clamoring for more and willing to stay up all night as they simply can't put the book down.
Don't get me wrong, STRIKING DISTANCE does have some great action moments and it started with one of the most intense prologues I have ever read, leaving me biting my nails for more. But then the story fast forwards a few years and it slows considerably.
The good news is we get a far more believable romance as it is not rushed over a short period of mere days while they constantly dodge bullets and thwart bad guys. Javier & Laura get to know each other on a deeper level, and they don't mistake having sex with falling in love. There are a lot of tender, sweet moments between Javier & Laura that will have you sighing heavily!
The bad news is the slower paced storyline got a bit tedious. The story spends a lot of time with the H/h relaxing, chatting, lounging, dining, watching TV and otherwise just hanging out. The bad guys are more speculative and the suspense is not as intertwined as we saw in past books. The times where the suspense does pick up and danger is imminent, the resolution comes quick. Discovering who the 'bad guy' was not as climatic as other stories either.
Javier & Laura were great characters. They both suffer from PTSD issues. We learn early on about Laura's time in captivity when the world thought she was dead, and how utterly tragic Javier had it fighting on the war front as a SEAL member. Their stories will break your heart, and make you so glad they found each other. Together they are medicine for each others soul, and we get quite a few laughs and smiles watching them fall in love.
The heat is also turned down a bit compared to past stories, but I didn't mind at all. Sex scenes are meant to advance the romance, and in this book they are PERFECTLY done. Laura's past trauma makes her unsure if she will ever enjoy sex again, so the exploration between these two to rediscover sexual passion was just as hot as any sex scene.
So overall this was a great story, I just wished it had more suspense intertwined and less time with the Javier & Laura calmly relaxing so much. I guess I like a bit more suspense in my romance suspense reads.