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I Belong


Review: A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster

Title: A Perfect Storm

Author: Lori Foster

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor (Book 4)

Publication Date: March 27, 2012

Format: Paperback, 448 Pages

ISBN-10: 037377656X (Harlequin)

ISBN-13: 978-0373776566 (Harlequin)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

He never saw her coming…

Spencer Lark already knows too many secrets about Arizona Storm, including the nightmare she survived and her resulting trust issues. But in order to expose a smuggling ring—and continue avenging his own tragic past—the bounty hunter reluctantly agrees to make Arizona a decoy. Yet nothing has equipped him for her hypnotic blend of fragility and bravery, or for the protective instincts she stirs in him.

Arizona wants to reclaim her life, which means acting as bait to lure the enemy into a trap. Sure it’s dangerous, especially with a partner as distractingly appealing as Spencer. But as their plan—and their chemistry—shifts into high gear, Arizona may discover there’s an even greater risk in surrendering her heart to a hero….

Quick & Dirty: A character-driven plot that is not action packed but the romance is hot.

Opening Sentence: Arizona Storm sat quietly on the overstuffed chair, her chin resting on her drawn-up knees, her fingers laced together around her shins.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Arizona Storm has been dealt a raw hand at life. She was given over to human traffickers while she was still a teenager as a sex slave. She escaped from her captors but then was caught. They decided they needed to teach a lesson for the others in captivity and left her for dead but then she was rescued by Jackson. Arizona is now twenty-one and she is determined to stop the kind of people that once held her captive. The revenge she wanted for her own captors was taken away by Spencer and she does hold it against him but not for long.

Spencer Lark is a bounty hunter. His wife was killed three years ago in a robbery gone bad. He has been strangely drawn to Arizona ever since he first saw her but he is hung up on the fact that there is a twelve year age difference between them. Spencer also knows about Arizona’s past so he knows that she will have problems getting close to someone.

Arizona breaks into Spencer’s home while he is sleeping. Something Spencer finds a little hard to deal with at first but then it doesn’t bother him. She has come to him with a job opportunity. She has scoped out a business that she believes is a front for human traffickers and she wants Spencer’s help in infiltrating the place.

Arizona is a strong woman but she does have her hang-ups, their names are Trace, Dare, Jackson and Spencer. They just want to protect her but she doesn’t want to be protected. She wants to catch the bad guys and help fight. She has a weakness towards the underdogs and wants to help them. Arizona has no problem speaking her mind and asking uncomfortable questions. I found Spencer’s neighbor Marla a little annoying but at the same time I felt sorry for her because of the questions Arizona kept asking her. She wants to know how real relationships work but since she has only been used she doesn’t understand the workings of a loving relationship.

Human trafficking is a heavy subject to talk about and this story really isn’t an exception. It weighs heavily on the tone of the story. A Perfect Storm is a character driven story. It focuses on the relationship between Arizona and Spencer in depth. It is almost 200 pages in by the time they go to the business to check it out when the action starts to kick in. The tension starts to run pretty high and the one thing that I thought would happen didn’t happen, thankfully. This is not an action driven story.

When Arizona and Spencer inevitably hook up it is hot. Spencer has no problem helping Arizona through her problems. He tells himself and Arizona that it is just to help her with developing a healthy relationship with someone else. Arizona knows that she can only get through her problems with Spencer and Spencer alone. She just hopes that he realizes that before it’s too late.

Overall, A Perfect Storm is a pleasant read even though the subject material is heavy. Arizona and Spencer have a special relationship that helps make each other a better person. I can’t wait to see if there is more in store for them.

Notable Scene:

Arizona’s thoughts were on seducing Spencer instead of where they should have been, so when she saw the dark, indistinct form growing into a long shadow across the walkway, it took a few seconds for the import to sink in.

Too late to take the offensive against him, Arizona realized it was Carl lurking in the night.

Well, damn. Had he taken the back exit from the bar and circled around to get her? That meant he had to have seen her leave.

And it also meant he’d been watching her . . . maybe Spencer, too.

If he’d hurt Spencer, so help her, she would demolish him.

As Carl made a grab for her, she played the helpless victim and let him. He snatched her into the alley with hard hands and careless strength, dragging her down to an open door.

He shoved her into a small dilapidated room.

Maybe before all the whiskey shots, she’d have been sharp enough to think of a better plan. Shoot, even two drinks ago she would have been more on game.

But even over the limit, she wasn’t totally lost to skill. She wanted to get close to him.

How else could she hurt him?

Once they were out of sight from spectators, she reacted instinctively to the arm clamped tight across her throat. She went limp, dropping her weight to throw Carl off balance. When he tried to readjust, she grabbed for his fingers and, in a practiced twist, broke two with a satisfying crackle of joints.

That got her turned loose real fast.

With grim satisfaction, she ducked away while Carl let loose a string of rank curses. She knew Spencer wouldn’t want her to fight, but since Carl blocked her way out of the room, she couldn’t exactly tuck her tail and run, now could she?

He left her no choice but to engage in full-go contact.

Awe-some.

Taking a stance, ready, even anxious, Arizona smiled at him.

The Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Series:

0.5 The Guy Next Door “Ready, Set, Jett”

1. When You Dare

2. Trace of Fever

3. Savor the Danger

4. A Perfect Storm

FTC Advisory: Harlequin provided me with a copy of A Perfect Storm. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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