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Growing up, Lance Kemp always felt lost, having no purpose in life, until he joined the marines and served his country. Now working as a bounty hunter for the Tactical Enforcers Agency, he has never allowed anyone to get under his skin, until he has a run-in one night with his friend’s sister, Rachel. As a natural instinct, he can’t allow her to return to her abusive husband and only wants to protect her. The only problem is that her husband won’t allow her to get away from him without a fight. No woman has ever messed with Lance’s head as much as Rachel has. Too bad he likes a challenge and he isn’t about to let her get away so easily.
After years of taking her husband’s mental and physical abuse, Rachel Klark decided the time has come to leave him and pay her brother a long overdue visit. The only place she ever felt safe was with her brother, and with his experience she is confident he will know exactly how to help her get out of her bad marriage. What she never expected was to fall for her brother’s roommate. Lance is dark and mysterious, a man who risks his life for a living. But can she chance her heart and jump into the bed of another dominant man so easily?
Tactical Enforcers Agency, Book #1, by Erika Reed
Tactical Enforcers Agency, Book 1. Erika Reed's first thriller/romance is an exciting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat to the last page!
Rachel Klark's life's unbearable. She's terrified and with good reason. Her husband, Mark, is a chronic abuser in every sense of the word. All she knows is she has to escape. But how? Her brother, Grant, seems her only option. Is this truly a viable option? She has to figure out her next move. This may not be the best idea she's ever had, but it's the only thing she can think of. But Grant's out of town. Being alone isn't exactly what she had in mind. It won't take much for Mark to figure out where she is. And she soon realizes she's not alone. Someone's in Grant's guest house. What? Who? Why? Grant never said a word about this. As Rachel creeps out to investigate, she gets an eyeful! Lance Kemp, Grant's friend and co-worker, isn't just staying there. He's in the middle of...well, let's just he's far from alone. As she watches from the shadows, Rachel's inexplicably fascinated and turned on. When she realizes just how bad her spying looks, she backs away, unwittingly destroying her anonymity. The former Marine tears into Grant's house, gun drawn, demanding answers. Beyond embarrassed, Rachel finds herself incredibly drawn to Lance. This is impossible! Another complication? As a chronically abused woman, this is the last thing Rachel needs. And Lance? He may feel an unexplainable pull to Rachel, but that too is impossible. A lone wolf, he certainly wants no connection to any woman. Being a bounty hunter is his sole purpose in life. But fate steps in and changes everything. The very worst scenario plays out. Mark shows up out of nowhere, violent and hell bent on forcing Rachel to return. Can Rachel stand up to him? Is she truly considering a return to what nearly killed her? Mark's dominance and control seem inevitable. Can anything keep her safe? Despite Grant, Lance, and her uncle Mac's intervention, nothing seems able to keep Rachel safe. As a chronically abused woman, Rachel feels that inexorable pull to cave to Mark's demands. When Mark turns violent, can Rachel find the strength to break free? Or will she end up back where she started? As Mark's demands to assert his control over Rachel take a toll on her, they also affect Lance, Grant, Mac, and all those protecting her. When outside forces add to the uncertainty surrounding all, one thing is certain. Rachel has to reach deeper than she ever has before to find a strength she may not have to escape Mark. Can she trust anyone? If not, her life may be over forever!
Erika Reed is an entirely new author for me. I liked this story. It held my interest from the beginning. But I had issues with the plot. I want to emphasize that my reasons for these issues are totally MY own. The story's compelling. The world Ms. Reed creates is fascinating. I know next to nothing about bounty hunters and what they experience on a day-to-day basis. This part of the book isn't just interesting. It's riveting. Lance, Grant, Mac, and their co-workers are totally captivating. And Ms. Reed's description of Rachel as an abused wife, the absolute terror she experiences, the domination of her abuser over every aspect of her life, the real fear over leaving her abuser, the certainty of life-threatening retribution, are absolutely spot on. I've experienced it. And that's the difficulty I had with the story. I've lived Rachel's life to a certain point. The ease with which Rachel was able to create new relationships, both romantic and close friendships, so quickly doesn't ring true. For me, this wasn't realistic. In MY personal experience, this simply doesn't happen. That being said, this is fiction. All fiction requires a degree of suspension of disbelief. But, as a survivor of this type of abuse, I simply couldn't suspend my disbelief to this level. Again, this is MY problem based MY personal experiences. I'm very sure this plot wouldn't appear at all unreasonable to any other reader. I do recommend Caught to anyone who enjoys romance and thrillers. Again, I want to emphasize that the difficulties I had with the plot are MINE ALONE. Ms. Reed's an excellent author, and I want to read more of her books.
A final note. Be an informed reader! This is an ADULT book. It contains explicit language and sexual scenes. If you don't enjoy this genre, this may not be the book for you. There are book synopses and reviews available on Goodreads and Amazon. Use these resources. DON'T LEAVE A NEGATIVE REVIEW WHEN YOU KNOW YOU WON'T ENJOY THE BOOK. It's not fair to the author. She works hard to provide a quality work product. If you know you'll object to a book's subject matter before you buy it, you're doing yourself and the author an extreme disservice.
Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!