As The Adair Legacy continues, a beautiful P.I. and a damaged warrior race to prevent an assassination. He can’t remember what they did to him while he’d been held captive. But the blackouts and memory loss Sam Winston suffers since returning home scare the decorated soldier more than combat. Most of all, he fears placing those he cares about in danger…especially Olivia Owens. Despite the risks, the gorgeous investigator is determined to help Sam remember the terrible secrets locked inside his head. Olivia is convinced he’s the key to a terrifying conspiracy. Working closely together, Olivia hopes that Sam makes progress with uncovering the past, and that the walls around his long-guarded heart fall down….
I will be the first to admit that Harlequin hasn’t always been on my list of favorite publishers. Mind you, I am forty years old and can still remember the totally cheesy covers and lame titles from waaaay back in the day. Add to that, hearing my grandmother and the rest of the blue hair crew taking about the naughty bits and plots that revolved around the naughty bits and well, you get the idea. There hasn’t always been a lot to recommend Harlequin to me as an adult reader. Karen Anders (aka the incomparable Zoe Dawson) and her delectable male lead, Sam Winston has sold me on the imprint and I shall never again shy away from a Harlequin romance.
Sam Winston is one of my favorite types of heroes, the wounded, damaged and broken man who is also strong and willing to fight for the things and the people he believes in. After an extended tour in Afghanistan and a stint as a POW, Sam’s head is still firmly attached to his shoulders but his mind is constantly playing tricks on him. For Sam, the blackouts and not knowing what he has done while he has checked out is perhaps the most disconcerting element. This is no more so than the morning he walks in to find his shrink dead from a single bullet wound to the head – something Sam is more than capable of accomplishing as an Army Ranger.
As a P.I., Olivia Owens has made her living going either completely unnoticed or blending in to her surroundings so successfully that no one questions her presence. Following Sam Winston has not been easy – he is a highly trained soldier, after all – but if she wants to solve her brother’s murder, she is going to have to solve the mystery of Sam Winston as well. At the time of his death, Olivia’s brother was treating Sam Winston and told his sister should anything happen to him, Sam is to be protected. Wishing to honor her brother’s request and solve his murder, Olivia inserts herself into Sam’s life.
Instantly, the two are strongly attracted to one another and that attraction is heightened when Olivia’s life is threatened and Sam saves her. Accepting that there is safety in numbers and understanding that the two have the same ultimate goal, Sam has Olivia move in with him so he can keep an eye on her and the two can work together at all times. Sam warns Olivia that he is not quite right and though he has no intention of hurting her, he isn’t always himself. Accepting both Sam and the situation for what they are, Olivia agrees to the temporary living arrangements and immediately the two begin planning their attack. Both are stubborn as hell which causes some really spectacular arguments and some totally hot sexual tension. Seriously, the sexual heat between those two can put a sultry Texas summer to shame!! I should know, I live in the Lone Star state J
As the sexual tension between Sam and Olivia reaches a fever pitch so does the action. At nearly every turn, Sam and Olivia figure out that the plot to kill her brother was just a teeny tiny piece of a much larger, much more sinister plan. Sam’s family – a few of whom have political aspirations – are being targeted and the players involved in the plan reach to the highest levels of several government entities. Though Sam is highly skilled and Olivia is well trained in her field, the two are outgunned and have to rely on their common sense and connections to help them bring down the big bads. If the balls to the wall action isn’t enough to keep you entertained then the naughty bits certainly will. WOW, Sam is just . . . .WOW!! Mother smurfer that is one singularly hot man and when he decides to throw down with Olivia, everything heats up. The sexy time in this read is just as good and just as fast and just as awesome as the action and the plot. Harlequin has really stepped up their game and I shall never think badly of them again J
The Bottom Line: Special Ops Rendezvous a very fast-paced, sexy read that had me turning virtual pages at the speed of light. So, why the four and not five star rating? One simple reason: Special Ops Rendezvous is the third installment of The Adair Legacy series BUT, the first two books weren’t written by the same author. I knew from the beginning that I was missing a lot of backstory but I couldn’t find a preceding title with Karen Anders’ name on it. I am big fan of backstory and think I would have enjoyed this read even more than I did had I read the first two books in the series. With that being said, this is still a very enjoyable read and can be read as a standalone though I highly recommend you read the first book in the series before diving into Sam and Olivia’s story.