Friday, December 23, 2016

Enticed by the Operative - Lara Lacomb (HRS #1904 - July 2016)

Series: Doctors in Danger (Book 1)

The lives of a beautiful surgeon and her DEA agent protector are at stake in this thrilling tale!

On a medical mission to South America, Dr. Olivia Sandoval hardly expects to be threatened by a drug cartel. To save lives, Olivia agrees to transport drugs for them. When DEA agent Logan Murray appears as her partner-in-crime and rescuer, Olivia's relieved…and drawn to her knight in shining armor.

Logan jumps at the chance to guard a beautiful woman and bring down a drug ring. After all, neither he nor Olivia are looking for forever love -- just justice. But one kiss changes that as they go on the run. When taken hostage in the jungle, they must not only defeat the enemy -- but also escape with their lives!

Exciting start to the new series. Olivia is a plastic surgeon who spends a month every year in Columbia, providing medical services to those who need it. Her work has caught the attention of some unsavory people, who want her to transport money and drugs for them. She would like nothing better than to refuse, but they have threatened the lives of her two best friends if she doesn't cooperate.

Logan is her next door neighbor and while taking some misdelivered mail to her realizes that there is something very wrong. As a DEA agent, when he hears about what is happening he knows just what needs to be done. He doesn't expect it to become so personal, so quickly.

I really enjoyed the development of their relationship. As neighbors, they knew each other a little bit, though rarely coming in contact because of their busy career. That doesn't mean they haven't noticed each other in a deeper way, but both have been hurt in the past and are therefore wary. Logan had been betrayed by his fiancee with his best friend, so trust is something that is hard to come by. Olivia's ex had left her after her parents' deaths, unable to deal with and give her the support she needed. She's wary of getting involved with someone who would leave her too.

I liked how Logan was so impressed by Olivia's caring and intelligence, and Olivia by Logan's determination and protectiveness. Being together every day gave them each a chance to really get to know one another. Each day the attraction grew stronger, only adding to the feelings that were growing between them. But there are still challenges to overcome, not the least of which are the threats hanging over Olivia's head.

The entire scenario was actually very easy for me to get lost in. The idea of a drug cartel trying to use a reputable doctor who is known for her good works seemed perfectly plausible to me. Her contact, Carlos, was definitely a scary guy and I understood her fears when dealing with him. Having some sections from his point of view just added to the tension, as the reader becomes aware of things that Logan and Olivia don't know. The tension of everything from the exchange, to them being taken hostage, to their escape, kept me turning the pages until the very end.

I ached for both Olivia and Logan at the end. She had to face her fear of losing him when he was injured so badly. Logan had to face his fears of being betrayed again when one of his coworkers made him doubt Olivia and her motives. The final confrontation brought all of it to the surface. I have to say that I loved how Logan came clean about his doubts and Olivia's way of looking at what happened without going into dramatics. I especially liked that they both learned from it.

I'm really looking forward to Avery and Mallory's stories.

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