After narrowly surviving a childhood fire that killed two of his friends, ATF Special Agent Brett Tanner knows what it’s like to get too close to the flame. The trauma only spurs him and his K-9 partner to track down the arsonists targeting a Colorado town. This latest warehouse blaze looks suspicious as hell…and there’s a body. Now it’s murder.
Fiercely independent insurance investigator Gemma Scott has been burned enough times to know she doesn’t need anyone—especially a handsome agent with an agenda. Teaming up with the hardened and determined ATF agent means not just trusting her instincts…it also means trusting him.
Now they’re racing against an arsonist with a lethal agenda—one who’s willing to burn and kill to hide the evidence. But the killer is only part of a larger mystery. And the searing attraction between Gemma and Brett adds fuel to an already dangerously lethal fire. One that will smoke out a killer…along with Brett’s darkest secret.
Tee O’Fallon’s K-9 Special Ops series is just ticking off all of my boxes. Hunky heroes committed to finding justice? Check. Kickbutt heroines who don’t let those heroes get away with *anything*? You got it. The very bestest working doggos? Check, check, check! I really enjoyed the first book ( Tough Justice ) and couldn’t wait to read book 2!
It was 100% worth the wait–I *loved* Gemma as a heroine! And Blaze is the best doggo ever. But Brett…oh, Brett, he needed some serious help…
(Which he *eventually* starts to work on, which is the only reason he was able to get to his HEA–but up until that point? It was rough going, because OMG did the poor guy have some major trauma in his past that he wasn’t adequately dealing with, and it was spilling over into everything…)
The mystery of how the fires (and other miscellaneous crimes…) was supremely twisty and turny–not going to lie, when Gemma finds out a major piece of information and doesn’t tell the reader yet my brain went into total overdrive trying to figure out who it was going to be. The person it ended up being was on my short list, which made the plotting here feel just about perfect between giving us clues but not giving it all away.
But Brett–I was so worried that I wasn’t going to be able to be on board with their HEA with the direction that he was going with his life. Fortunately, he managed to turn things around (mostly off the page, but that’s OK) enough that it satisfied this reader (and Gemma!) even if the ending wrapped things up a little abruptly.
If you haven’t read the first book yet, it’s not a major problem–this works fine as a standalone–though the characters from it will play smallish roles here, as will Evan (book 3’s hero). But if you like romantic suspense with a side of good doggos, you really can’t go wrong starting with book 1!
Now don’t mind me, I’ll just be sitting here patiently waiting for Evan’s story…
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.