Blood Heat by Josh Lanyon

Blood Heat (Dangerous Ground #3)Blood Heat by Josh Lanyon

Blurb:
Special Agents for the Department of Diplomatic Security, Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt have been partners forever and lovers for four months, but their new relationship is threatened when Will is offered a plum two-year assignment in Paris.

Will believes the posting only means postponing what they both want. Taylor fears that kind of separation will mean the end of their new and still-fragile relationship.

It’s a bad time to find themselves in the middle of the New Mexico wilderness responsible for the health and welfare of a suspected terrorist. Especially when everyone else they run into seems determined to see their prisoner — and them — dead.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review:

Blood Heat is the third book of the series and it does little to advance the characters, the relationship, or any general story arc. This offering is an amusing and entertaining romp as a chance to revisit favorite and familiar characters. That’s not a bad thing per se as the writing is very typical of Lanyon and the characters quite enjoyable to read. However, I’m left wishing the story had contributed something to the characters or even their relationship since if anything these two are headed in the opposite direction with a two year separation coming up. Fans of the series will definitely want to read this for a visit with two entertaining and great characters but I’d be surprised if the non-ending is a hit.

The story follows Will and Taylor as they attempt to apprehend a fugitive. Of course these two have decided to do it all alone without back up and without telling anyone what they’re doing. They end up in the middle of nowhere (again of course) and have some trouble. The fugitive is pregnant and Taylor kind of buys into her claims of innocence. Add in a bounty hunter, some Russian operatives, and a dangerous flash flood and the whole thing is just a mess. Not to mention Will and Taylor seem to be having some relationship problems as Will is poised to head to Paris for two years.

The plot is very action driven and moves quite fast. On the one hand this makes for a very quick novella and I finished it before I even realized I was close to the end. Yet, there are several coincidences and some pretty outrageous leaps to make the logic of the plot make sense. The characters and their great chemistry definitely help smooth this over with some very good dialogue and banter. After all it’s still entertaining if you can suspend enough disbelief to buy into the story.

The action also serves as an excuse to ignore some pretty big relationship issues cropping up. Will and Taylor have been together for five months now and Will is about to leave for Paris for two years due to a promotion. The fact that Will got the promotion over the more senior Taylor is only mentioned once and without offering any reasoning. Additionally the clear strain this puts on their relationship isn’t really handled and actually the story offers very little advancement to either character or their relationship. They once again affirm their commitment to each other but the issues aren’t handled. They’re brought up and ignored in favor of action or sex.

I doubt many fans will mind since the action makes for an entertaining story on several levels. The writing is very typical for the author and contains all the strengths that create stories you don’t put down. This is a quick novella with good banter and the men have a really enjoyable chemistry -both as partners and lovers. The non-ending is a hitch though and the fact that the couple is headed for separation is a double edged sword. It guarantees more books (yay!) but also leaves the story unfinished and hanging (ugh). Fans of the series will enjoy this, just don’t expect a happy ending.

Get it HERE!

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