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I am an avid reader, educated and certified Pastry Chef, Proud USN submariner's wife, and mother to two of the greatest kids. Born in the south but living the good life in New England!

Review & Giveaway: Close Pursuit by Cindy Dees

Title: Close Pursuit
Author:
 Cindy Dees

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: 
 Harlequin (February 25, 2014)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

Synopsis:

Providing medical relief in a war-torn region helps Alex Peters forget his past and focus on the job—delivering babies. Less easy to overlook is his blonde comrade-at-arms, who knows nothing of the trouble he’s running from. Katie McCloud makes the assignment bearable, although her perky innocence proves to be an arousing distraction. Then, as combat explodes around them, their only option is flight.

A kindergarten teacher seeking adventure, Katie hoped this humanitarian mission—and the mysterious, sexy doctor sharing it—would push her out of her comfort zone. With Alex, she starts taking tantalizing risks and becoming the survivor she knew she could be.

But back on U.S. soil, Alex and Katie face a new threat, and this time they’re the target. Forced into close confines, neither can believe the other isn’t the intended mark. With only each other to depend on—and suspect—Alex and Katie can’t avoid the simmering attraction between them. But to stay alive, they’ll have to trust more deeply than ever before…


 

 

Review:

Do you like intrigue?

Can you handle danger around every corner?

What about suspense that has you holding your breath?

 

Then Close Pursuit may be the book for you.

 

Here we meet Katie McCloud.  A kindergarten teacher sent on a humanitarian aid mission to the remote lands of Zaghastan to work as a translator for a group called Doctors Unlimited.  She is paired with a handsome but quiet doctor named Alex Peters and they are sent to give medical aid to the expecting women of the local tribes.  The locals fear the rebels and if they are caught seeking medical help it will no doubt cost them their lives and the lives of the innocent doctors who are there only to help.

Or are they?

Then one night, what starts out as an attempt to aid in a birth, turns into something much more difficult that neither Katie nor Alex was prepared for and the outcome is something they are now both forced to face, accept, and then run from.   Their lives, as well as the life of an innocent baby, hangs in the balance but just who’s behind the assaults, no one knows or why.  Katie and Alex embark on an explosive ride filled with bullets flying and a constant fear that the one person each was sent to help may be the one who’s behind it all.

Alex Peters is not the person he’s masked himself to be.  Granted, his attempts to cover his background are justified when it is revealed that his father is none other than the #1 Russian spy, Peter Koronov.  His upbringing was not conventional to say the least and growing up with father who’s a spy lends to some serious relationship and trust issues.  Alex has tried hard to separate himself from his father and the legacy that goes with the family name but no matter how far he reaches in the opposite direction, his father’s influence and presence is right there to remind him of where he’s from.  He’s got spy capabilities written in his DNA and the internal war raging within him is enough to break anyone who comes within a yard’s length near him.

This story has plenty of suspense, conspiracy, and mind manipulations but there are elements that did not sit well with me either.  I found myself drawn in with all the spy action but when Katie and Alex had moments of sexual interaction, it was as if I was reading a completely different book altogether.  They had decent chemistry leading up to their sexual interludes but the acts themselves just felt very far-fetched and not indicative of the characters I just spent all that time getting to know.   I mean, I’m literally running through the streets alongside of them and the next it’s like I’ve stepped into this odd adult film and all that sexual buildup went up in a puff of smoke.  This happened to me with each of their times together and I found myself just wanting to skip all of that and get back into the plot lane where I should’ve stayed.  Most of my highlights and notes are me questioning why they are doing this or that or saying these absurd things to each other while having sex.  Sometimes less is more and in this story a fade-to-black scene would have been much better than some of the sexcapades that these two were written to do.  I think my biggest “Ew” moment was the first time they found refuge in the bunker.  After that visceral and barbaric birth -then the running for your life with a newborn in tow- it doesn’t exactly scream “I think now is a good time to get in your pants.” and it bothered me immensely to know that Katie didn’t hesitate or speak of it once.   Even a small river bath or hand washing piece should’ve been added because I could not see past all the birthing blood and goo that had to be present.  Also, when I’m reading an intimate scene I have a general sense of where the characters are in reference to each other because of the scene that it set leading up to it.  When an author writes that the female lead is sucking the toe of the male lead, I expect the body placements to match but when it is written he was face down on the bed, I tend to hit a decent mental speed bump that throws it all off.

Aside from a few spelling and grammatical errors the pace of the story did not lag much.  There was not much foreshadowing so it fits nicely in the Suspense category.  The baby is definitely a key player here and when the reason behind all the action and escaping is revealed, it was not what I thought it would turn out to be that’s for sure!  A plot line such as this does require a bit of imagination and the ability to accept facts as they are handed to you for their face value but if you have no issues with that, then I would give this book the green light for you. It also appears the author did some homework when it comes to the nuclear science of it but thankfully, it wasn’t too detailed either.  Some of the scientific facts may have been skewed to make the plot work but looking at the bigger picture, it doesn’t matter.  *I should also disclose that I am married to a Nuclear Engineer so having him to discuss aspects with is both an asset and a burden.  😉

I personally feel that Katie’s background in Kindergarten teaching is not fitting for this particular story and she would have been better developed had that stayed in the background and given her a bit more mystery.  Her family’s patriotic connections were fleshed out enough to lead a reader to questions which, had the teacher element not been introduced, would have aided in the plot development more.   I also struggled slightly with her uncle and brother and their ease of divulging top secret intel to her.  As I have lived in the realm of the military and had family and friends with this type of security level, I can honestly say that Katie’s ease in obtaining entrance to the CIA as well as her ability to simply ask and receive this information is nowhere near the reality of what actually happens but then again, this is fiction (of which I had to remind myself of a few times).  As I said before, her background in teaching made this even more difficult to stomach and her ability to gain this information would have been easier to swallow had her background been left alone or hinted that she belonged there and deserved to have that access.

In the end, if you are looking for a fast paced, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing, then this may be the book for you.  Although there are parts that didn’t work for me, I can still put my name behind this story as one I would recommend to the right person.  It requires an open mind but is written well enough to take just about any reader on a journey.

To read my my status updates, visit my Goodreads review HERE

 

 

**This book was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was offered or received and all opinions expressed here are my own.**

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                                                                            amazonBarnes and noble

 

About the Author:

Cindy Dees started flying airplanes while sitting in her dad’s lap at the age of three and got a pilot’s license before she got a driver’s license. At age fifteen, she dropped out of high school and left the horse farm in Michigan where she grew up to attend the University of Michigan.

After earning a degree in Russian and East European studies, she joined the U.S. Air Force and became the youngest female pilot in the history of the Air Force. She flew supersonic jets, VIP airlift and the “C-5” Galaxy, the world’s largest airplane. She also worked part-time gathering intelligence. During her military career, she traveled to forty countries on five continents, was detained by the KGB and East German secret police, she got shot at, flew in the first Gulf War, met her husband and amassed a lifetime’s worth of war stories.

Her hobbies include professional Middle Eastern dancing, Japanese gardening and medieval reenacting. She started writing on a one-dollar bet with her mother and was thrilled to win that bet with the publication of her first book in 2001.

Connect with Cindy Dees:
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To Enter the Giveaway to win a Paperback copy of Close Pursuit, Click the picture below! 🙂

CLICK HERE!

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