Fatal Pursuit (Aegis #3) by Elisabeth Naughton

FatalPursuitFive years ago, Aegis Security op manager Marley Addison’s lover died in a South American raid gone horribly wrong…or so she thought. When she receives a phone call telling her that he is still very much alive and in danger, she vows to bring him home safely, even if Aegis CEO and former Navy SEAL Jake Ryder has kept her out of the field for the last few years. Then Jake shows up in Colombia to help her, leaving Marley annoyed…and more than a little distracted by her alarmingly handsome boss.
As things between Marley and Jake heat up in the wilderness, they discover their rescue mission is filled with treachery. Now the domineering Jake has to rely on Marley for survival. But can she depend on him when their mission takes a shocking and deadly turn?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I hate to admit it, but Fatal Pursuit started out being the least favorite of all the books I’ve read so far in the Aegis series. Notice I said ‘started out’ – that means that if you feel the same way as you begin this book, just wait. I’m pretty sure your opinion will change.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering what I didn’t like in the beginning… In a nutshell, it was pretty much the way that both Jake and Marley acted. Jake was a domineering jerk most of the time. At least that’s the way Marley saw it. He didn’t recognize her ability and strength. He purposely kept her out of the field and away from danger without taking into consideration her background. In her eyes, he was pretty much a pompous ass.

The way Marley just jumped to her former lover’s rescue… no questions asked, almost made me agree with Jake. It was pretty obvious that things weren’t exactly as they seemed and as capable as Marley obviously was, it was still pretty reckless to take on the mission by herself. Honestly, before I was halfway through Fatal Pursuit I was ready to shake them both.

By the end of the book I was more frustrated with Marley than Jake. That didn’t mean that I wasn’t quietly routing for them. It was obvious that these two were meant for each other. I understood both of them a lot better when some of their past was revealed and Jake finally opened up. I just wish that it didn’t take risking both their lives to get to that point. But then… what fun would that be?

DragonFlyRating4

Advertisements

Lethal Consequences (Aegis Security #2) by Elisabeth Naughton

LethalConsequencesThree months after rescuing Olivia Wolfe from danger, Aegis Security operative Landon Miller still can’t stop thinking about her, even though she’s off-limits in every way possible. Knowing he’s leaving Aegis and returning to the DIA soon, Landon decides it’s time for their flirty online relationship to end. But Olivia can’t stop thinking about Landon, either. On a whim, she takes a leave of absence from her teaching job to surprise him in Barcelona—and arrives to find a sexy redhead in his hotel room.

Things aren’t always what they seem, though. Landon’s would-be one-night stand is really a member of the Red Brotherhood, a terrorist group targeting Landon for information on a lethal bioweapon. And now Olivia is unwittingly ensnared in their deadly plot, too. Forget escaping emotionally unscathed; Olivia just wants to make it home alive. Yet to survive, she’ll have to put her trust in the very man who not only broke her heart, but whose lies now threaten both their lives.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Lethal Consequences was a great follow-up to Extreme Measures, especially since it involves Eve’s sister, Olivia. The relationship between Landon and Olivia was inevitable, and pretty much forbidden. Aren’t those the best kind? 😉

There was just as much danger, action and suspense in Lethal Consequences as there was in Extreme Measures. At first it may have seemed like overkill to put Olivia in mortal danger once again, but it kind of proved a point to Landon. He needed to stay as far away as possible from Olivia to keep her safe.

Olivia was sick and tired of everyone treating her like she was made of glass. She wanted to prove to both Landon and her sister that she could think, act and take care of herself. Of course, that caused her to put herself in more danger than necessary more than once, but it also kept Landon close.

I liked the interactions between the characters and the twists and turns. My opinion changed about more than one character before the end of the story. It also made me want to get to know a couple of characters even better.

The only complaint I have is that things seemed to wrap themselves up a little too quickly at the end, but since this is one book in a series I can handle that. I’m sure that this isn’t the last that we’ll see of Olivia and Landon. I have my own opinion about whose story should be featured in the third installment. Regardless, I can’t wait to see where the  Aegis Security series takes readers next.

DragonFlyGreen4-5

Enslaved (Eternal Guardians #5) by Elisabeth Naughton

EnslavedAfter being rescued from the Underworld, Gryphon is plauged by strange voices and an evil foreboding. He believes that his only hope for salvation is to track down the goddess who cursed him…until he meets Maelea.
A prisoner with no bars, Maelea encounters Gryphon on her quest to find Olympus. He’s about to test her loyalty to the gods, and she’s ready to find out if he still has a heart worth saving…

Please pay no attention to how long it took me to finish this book. It’s no indication of how much I liked it. (As should be obvious by my rating.) It’s just that I had the paperback version of Enslaved and at the time I started reading it, I had no time to find a nice cozy corner to finish it. Trust me, it had nothing to do with me not being interested in how things worked out between Gryphon and Maelea. I loved these two broken, beautiful characters. 😉

Gryphon and Maelea were both hiding things, which made it impossible for them to trust each other. For most of the book, they didn’t even trust themselves.  They both had their own agenda which didn’t include finding their mate.

Enslaved was kind of heartbreaking for a lot of reasons. Gryphon was basically shunned by all but two of the Guardians. He didn’t blame them though. Maelea had her own family issues. They both had people trying to track them down and most of them were out for blood. Basically, there was danger, deceit and mystery around every corner. There was still room for plenty of romance and even a little bit of humor. Everything readers have come to expect from the Guardians and then some.

There were other characters going through their own mini-crises during Enslaved. A couple more secrets revealed and pretty interesting set up for the next book in the Eternal Guardians series. Bound is up next.

DragonFlyRating5

SeriouslySeries2014

 

Extreme Measures (Aegis #1) by Elisabeth Naughton

ExtremeMeasuresBeing prepared for any scenario is the trademark of any good CIA operative, and Eve Wolfe is one of the best. But when her latest mission literally explodes in her face, she wakes up labeled a traitor and—even more surprising—in the custody of elite Aegis Security operative and ex-lover Zane Archer. Although she still secretly has feelings for Zane, he’s now demanding the one thing that she can’t give him: the truth.

When he caught her breaking the rules years ago, Zane let Eve walk away without an explanation. Now someone has not only sabotaged Aegis but also turned an American city into a war zone, and all signs point to Eve. Zane needs answers that can come only from Eve’s still-tempting lips, and he finally has the elusive operative right where he wants her—at his mercy.

Elisabeth Naughton has been on my ‘auto TBR’ list since I picked up Marked, the first book in her Eternal Guardians series. Her characters are smart, witty, brave and honest. Some are more than a little broken and whether she is writing PNR or Contemporary, she grabs my attention with action and suspense CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1from page one. Extreme Measures was obviously no exception.

I’m not sure which one of these characters pulled me in more. I’m not saying that they both didn’t drive me nuts at times. They just took turns. 😉 The author split time with the characters’ POV, which I really like. That time wasn’t limited to Eve and Zane. There were a lot of players involved, which definitely kept things interesting.

The action never stopped, the players kept shifting to the point that I almost needed a score card to keep track. The romance was both hot and sweet and intense. There were times that I wanted to shake both of these characters and just as many times that I wanted to hug them. The same goes for the supporting characters. This was pretty much the perfect set up for what promises to be an excellent series. As if I had any doubt. 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Hold on to Me (Against All Odds #2) by Elisabeth Naughton

HoldOnToMeHe thinks he’s finally found the one. 
Mitch Mathews never believed in love—at least not the happily ever after kind. Then he met Simone Conners. Just one night with the sexy lawyer made him reevaluate his priorities and look toward a future he never planned. The only hang up is making her see it too.

She’s almost ready for a second chance. 
What started out as a casual hookup with a rugged geologist has turned into something a whole lot more. Simone’s on the verge of handing over her heart, but fear over what Mitch will say and do when he learns who she used to be holds her back.

The past could destroy their future… 
Just when Simone is about to take a chance on forever with Mitch, the mistakes of her past catch up with her. Suddenly it’s not just her safety on the line anymore, it’s his too. Forced into hiding, Mitch demands answers, and Simone realizes the only way to protect everything she holds dear is to delve into a past she’s spent fourteen years trying to forget. As they search for the truth, they discover secrets, lies and a rekindled passion that burns hotter than before. But they also uncover a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of society. One that could cost them more than just their future…it could cost them their lives.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1There is a short list of authors who can make the jump between genres flawlessly. Whether they are writing PNR or Contemporary Romance their books find their way to my TBR list every time. Elisabeth Naughton is at the very top of my list. That and the fact that I was beyond excited when I found out that her Contemporary Romance, Wait for Me was just the first book in a series made Hold on to Me a must read. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I was not disappointed… at all.

Readers met Simone and Mitch in Wait for Me. Their relationship was fun to watch in the first book. They both fought the attraction, but some things just can’t be ignored. I didn’t expect their story to be an easy one, but even knowing that going in, I wasn’t prepared for the heartbreak that Elisabeth Naughton put these characters through. Simone and Mitch both provided support for Kate and Ryan in Wait for Me. The tables were turned in Hold on to Me and once again, I’m not sure which character I sympathized with more. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t get mad at both of them – it just means that there were no easy answers for either one of them.

I don’t want to give anything away, but there were so many twists and turns that if I keep going I might. Just know that nothing is exactly what it seems. You also need to be prepared for tears. When you’re less than 25% into a book and there are already tears, you know that you’re in for it. There were parts that broke my heart and just as many that made me want to scream. There were also some laughs and plenty of romance regardless of how torn the characters felt.

Basically all you need to know is, if it was written by Elisabeth Naughton, it needs to be read. You can thank me later 😉

DragonFlyGreen4-5

Enraptured (Eternal Guardians #4) by Elisabeth Naughton

EnrapturedOrpheus–To most he’s an enigma, a devil-may-care rogue who does whatever he pleases whenever he wants. Now this loose cannon is part of the Eternal Guardians–elite warriors assigned to protect the human realm–whether he likes it or not.

Orpheus has just one goal: to rescue his brother from the Underworld. He’s not expecting a woman to get in the way. Especially not a Siren as gorgeous as Skyla. He has no idea she’s an assassin sent by Zeus to seduce, entrap, and ultimately destroy him.

Yet Skyla herself might have the most to lose. There’s a reason Orpheus feels so familiar to her, a reason her body seems to crave him. Perhaps he’s not the man everyone thinks… The truth could reveal a deadly secret as old as the Eternal Guardians themselves. 

Orpheus… the totally misunderstood, reluctant hero. He’s been kind of a mystery since the beginning of this series. He liked it that way. The less people knew about him and the farther away he stayed from people the better. He only let a few people close… a very select few.

I really liked the way that the ‘real’ Orpheus has been slowly revealed in this series. He’s always played an important role, but it was always on the side lines… almost in the shadows. He was a snarky rebel who prided himself in not playing by the rules. He got under everyone’s skin (and something tells me that isn’t going to change) but he also proved his loyalty to the other Argonauts over and over again.

Skyla was the perfect match for Orpheus – in more ways than one. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just leave it at that. Just know that nothing is as it seems, even if the characters think they have everything figured out.

A lot happened in this book. New characters were introduced. Some mysteries were solved and the surface was just scratched with others. Atalanta was still at the center of the mayhem and the other Gods were throwing their collective weight around as well. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

As with the other books in the Eternal Guardians series, there were plenty of heat, lots of action and more than a couple of heart breaking moments. More than I expected from Orpheus’ book but it was so worth it. I can’t wait to start the next book in the series and lucky for my I have Enslaved ready and waiting on my shelf.

DragonFlyRating4

SeriouslySeries2013Plug

Stolen Chances (Stolen #4) by Elisabeth Naughton

StolenChancesNine years ago, Archaeologist Maren Hudson lost everything when a member of her team was killed during a routine dive. Now she’s been drawn back to Mexico and the career she walked away from in order to protect the most precious thing in the world: her daughter.

One desperate phone call brings salvage expert Thad Leighton back to Mexico. For his murdered brother, he’s ready to settle the score, but one look at Maren and everything changes. Years may have passed, but she’s still as mesmerizing as she once was, and a few days on site together have him questioning his priorities and why the hell he walked away from her so long ago.

Sparks between them reignite, but Thad knows Maren is holding something back. Thrust together in the middle of the sweltering Yucatan, Thad is more than willing to strip away her layers. But while the truth might offer the second chance he’s been searching for, forgiveness may be as elusive as the relic they’re both hunting. Because when Thad unearths Maren’s biggest secret and discovers who she’s really working for, suddenly it’s not just about a life that was stolen from both of them, it’s about staying alive and outwitting a madman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1It is almost guaranteed that if I pick up a book by Elisabeth Naughton I am going to love it and I will not be able to put it down. The first book I picked up by her was Marked, the first book in her Eternal Guardians series. I’ve been hooked ever since. Contemporary or PNR, it doesn’t matter. Her characters and her writing style are fantastic regardless of the genre. As expected, Stolen Chances was no exception.

This is the 4th book in the Stolen series (which actually started out as being the Stolen Trilogy.) Even though I’ve only read the first book in this series (Stolen Fury) I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by skipping books 2 & 3. It was actually kind of okay because the featured couple from Stolen Fury was in this book as well.  Just that connection gave me a frame of reference I may not have had otherwise, but I think that this book would have worked just as well as a stand alone.

As for the book itself? I loved it. I liked Maren from the beginning. I liked how the secrets about her past were slowly revealed. I liked her devotion to her daughter and her passion about her work. Her situation was heartbreaking and as much as I loved Thad I totally understood her reluctance to let him in.

And then there was Thad… I wasn’t sure about him at first but I ended up really liking him and hoping that he could get through Maren’s wall. Turns out they both had secrets that proved to be major turning points.

The supporting characters were also great. Her friends were fun and fiercely loyal. Her parents were interesting, in many ways and her daughter was perfect. I loved her personality. I like it when kids are portrayed as strong a character as their adult counterparts. She wasn’t around much, but when she was her presence wasn’t just a plot device, it was a great addition.

The bad guys were ruthless, there were moments when you weren’t exactly sure who you should trust and the sizzling heat between Maren and Thad kept things more than interesting. Even though this is a contemporary romance there was still an element of ‘magic’ and mystery that was an addition I loved. Basically, this book had everything I love in a good romance – which, as you may have already guessed, came as no surprise at all. 😉

DragonFlyGreen4-5

Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton

WaitForMeA woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

This book sat on my Kindle for a long time… not sure why it took me so long to pick it up, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. Seriously. I started reading it at 11:30 pm (big mistake BTW) and the next thing I knew it was 3:30 am. *sigh*

I really should have known better. My love of contemporary romance is hit or miss. Yet, when it comes to Elisabeth Naughton, there’s no question about whether I’m going to get sucked in or not. Stolen Fury, the first book in her Stolen Trilogy should have confirmed that. Besides that, I have a huge addiction to the Argonauts in her Eternal Guardians series. Basically, whatever Naughton writes, I need to set aside a good chunk of time because there will be no stopping until I’m done. Period. Ok, now that we’ve gotten past my lack of late night reading judgement, let’s get down to Kate and Ryan.

Usually when I read a romance there is one character in the couple that I sympathize with more than the other. That was impossible in Wait for Me. Both Kate and Ryan’s lives had been torn apart in so many ways that it was impossible to get upset with either one of them for the reactions that they had. Ryan was still in love with a ghost and Kate’s entire existence, as she remembered it, was a lie. This had to be one of the more heart wrenching romances that I’ve read in a long time. Their reactions to the situations were human and totally believable. The supporting characters weren’t just filler, they were important pieces to the overall story. I fell in love with them all.

This story also had it all. There was romance, suspense, humor, mystery and a surprising twist that totally caught me off guard. Honestly, I didn’t pick up on who the real bad guy was until I was supposed to. That doesn’t happen very often and I loved it.

One of the other things I liked about this book was the portrayal of the kids. No, Julia did not come off as a normal 9-year-old. What exactly is normal anyway? I loved that she was snarky and smart. She was witty and above everything else she was determined to protect her dad. Given the way she had been raised and the adults she was surrounded by, it stands to reason that she would have the personality that she had. Reed was also written well. I know it seems minor in the scheme of things but I really like it when kids aren’t ‘written down.’ Julia had her typical 9-year-old moments and they were as believable as her ‘adult’ ones. They all made her as important a character as the adults and given the subject, that was important.

So, yeah. I really enjoyed this story. It came to a satisfying conclusion with hope. Nothing was easy. Their lives weren’t all wrapped up in a pretty bow with all their problems solved at the end but it was believable and stayed true to who the characters had become by the end of the story.

DragonFlyGreen4-5

 

I received Wait for Me as a free download from Amazon on January 13, 2013.

WhyBuyTheCow2013Plug

Tempted (Eternal Guardians #3) by Elisabeth Naughton

TemptedDEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length. 

Isadora is missing. The words pounded through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius had done all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she was gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned. As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought. And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

Oh Demetrius. He was not a nice guy, he worked hard at making sure people knew it. He wanted people to keep their distance and so far it had worked well for him. Even his fellow Guardians watched themselves around him. As far as Isadora went, she was terrified of him – just like he wanted her to be. That never bothered me too much though because she wasn’t exactly a fun loving character herself. I always felt sorry for her because of the impossible situation she was in but I never really liked her. So how did Elisabeth Naughton take two characters that up until now weren’t my favorites at all and turn them into a couple that I could even remotely care about? Brilliantly!

Okay, so it still wasn’t instant love. Demetrius had a lot to make up for. It only took a couple of pages of being in his head to start to understand. The transformation of Isadora was almost as surprising as Demetrius’. They were both strong, witty and my heart ached for both of them. I loved Isadora’s new found strength and Demetrius’ vulnerability that he usually kept hidden from everyone. He was broken and determined to protect Isadora from his dark side. I never expected this couple to become one of my favorites, but now I can’t wait to see what happens with them next. Trust me, their story is far from over.

Even though this story centered around Demetrius and Isadora, there was a lot going on around them. There were losses, surprises and secretes revealed. I love the glimpses readers were given of past characters. With each new book we get to know them all just a little bit more.

Tempted was beyond intense, but it was still laced with the wit and humor of the previous books. Even so, by the end the fate of more than one character was still left unknown. It’s a good thing that I have the next book ready and waiting. Enraptured is next and since Orpheus is one of my favorite characters I can’t wait to where his book leads. Knowing Orpheus, it’s bound to be an interesting ride.

DragonFlyRating4

SeriouslySeries2013Plug

Marked (Eternal Guardians #1) by Elisabeth Naughton

THERON—Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Okay, I just found a new series to follow. Here I was, just trolling around seeing what other people were reading on GoodReads and this one caught me eye. PR, Alpha Male, Greek Mythology…. what’s not to love? Throw in the fact that it was a freebie and I couldn’t resist. Now I’m hooked and there’s no turning back. *sigh*

Theron was everything an Alpha male should be. Dark, dangerous, stubborn and not able to resist the power Casey had over him. Casey was a lost soul who never felt like she belonged anywhere. The connection between these two was strong and inevitable but the odds were totally against them. The basic premise is that each of the Argonauts has one true soul mate. The kicker is that it is their least likely choice, almost their true opposite. Given the fact that Theron has no respect for humans or half breeds it only stands to reason that his soul mate would be a human he was destined to destroy. A true gift from the Gods which sets up the perfect scenario, wouldn’t you say?

The supporting characters were developed just enough to make you want to get to know them a lot better. So much so I can’t wait to get to the rest of their stories. These Argonauts, their women and the Gods their lives are ruled by made this book a hard one to put down.

The world building was detailed and the characters didn’t get lost in the descriptions. Sometimes it seems like the main characters in the first book in a series get lost in all the set up for the series. I didn’t feel that way in Marked. There was a lot of ground covered but Theron and Casey were right there in the middle of all of it.

The next book in the Eternal Guardians’ series is Entwined and it’s Zander’s book. I can’t say too much without slipping any spoilers in, but let’s just say his book should be extremely interesting and I’m already trying to track it down. 😉

I received Marked as a free download from Amazon on October 18, 2012.