Friday, January 17, 2014

Tennessee Takedown - Lena Diaz (HI #1476 - Feb 2014)

A SWAT officer in small-town Tennessee will do anything to protect the innocent beauty whose life has been put on the line.

It can't be a coincidence that in the past twenty-four hours, three different thugs have tried to kill or abduct Ashley Parrish. Sexy SWAT team leader Dillon Gray saved her, but now he wonders why someone would want to murder the beautiful accountant...and why he finds her so infuriatingly attractive.

Then the FBI comes after Ashley for embezzlement, and Dillon knows he must protect her from a killer and prove she's being framed. Taking her on a hair-raising run through dangerous terrain barely fazes him. But wanting her for more than just one night scares the hell out of him.

Excellent book with enough action to keep me riveted until I'd finished it in one sitting.  Ashley is in Destiny performing a company audit when she gets caught in the middle of an office shooting.  She's rescued by SWAT team leader Dillon just in time to be kidnapped and rescued again.  Dillon is determined to protect her and find out who's behind all this trouble. 

I really liked both Ashley and Dillon.  Ashley has built her CPA business and is very good at what she does.  One of the things I liked best about her is that she she isn't a wimpy damsel in distress.  She really keeps her head during the office shooting and later during the other attempts to kidnap her.  She notices Dillon right away and can't deny her attraction to him.  I loved the scene in the cave where he promises to behave and she tells him "Don't expect me to make the same promise."  

Dillon is a small town detective who is also the leader of their SWAT team.  He is fascinated by Ashley from the beginning, but he resists getting involved with her.  He had suffered a tragic loss years earlier and avoids getting close to anyone so he doesn't experience that kind of pain again.  He can't stay away and his protective instincts kick in when she's also accused of embezzlement.  

I loved the connection that they both felt from the very beginning.  Their attraction was strong but both had reasons they didn't want to make a commitment.  Dillon was protecting himself from more hurt.  Ashley had grown up in a small town and hated it and wasn't looking to repeat the experience.  By the end, Ashley had realized that it didn't really matter where she lived as long as there was love.  Dillon had a harder time letting down his walls.  I loved the scene at the end when his friend Chris tells him what an idiot he is.

The action and suspense in the book is excellent.  From the opening pages there is always something going on.  I loved seeing Ashley and Dillon work together to escape.  The mystery of who was behind it was well done.  Part of it was not too hard to figure out, but there was an interesting twist at the end.  It wasn't a complete surprise to me, but I had almost ruled out my suspicions by that time.  There was also some wonderful humor.  The banter between Ashley and Dillon was fun.  The teamwork among the cops was great and the whole bit with the FBI agent at the station was hilarious.  There was also a nice little shout-out to Paula Graves' Bitterwood P.D. series at one point.

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