by Melissa Fox
Infiltrating an international drug cartel is the dangerous chance of a lifetime for Asher Beaulieu of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Falling in love while running the op isn’t part of the plan, but he never had much use for plans anyway. Shrouded in deception and surrounded by temptation, his charmed life explodes in betrayal and tragedy.
Ash rises from the flames a guarded, wary shadow of his former self. His past comes to revisit him, along with an annoying American DEA agent, who forces Ash to reclaim his courage and character before facing another chance at love—and an even deadlier threat.
DEA Special Agent Emmaline Justice is determined to be recognized for her work, not her sex. She doesn’t have time for an intriguing, wounded RCMP inspector. When the contacts she cultivated over long months of an international undercover investigation keep showing up dead, Emma must use her instincts as both an agent and a woman to determine Beaulieu’s role in the case and in her life.
One woman tore him apart. Another is brave enough to put him back together—if his past doesn’t kill him first.
“Working undercover, I could get sent anywhere, but my home office would be Buffalo. I’ve enjoyed working with everyone in the RCMP, despite the lack of progress on this.” Her sweeping gesture encompassed the mess on the table. A deep breath eased the sudden pressure in her chest, and she placed her hand over his fingers where they stroked over the back of her neck. “I’ve liked being here with you.”
He stopped to pull her chair out, turning and crouching at her knees. Emma met his serious blue eyes when the heat of his palms settled on her thighs.
“I like you being here. Like being with you. Buffalo isn’t that far. We can make it work, if that’s what you want. Unless you want to go back to the States and just…well, chalk this up to an amazing couple of months you’ll remember fondly.”
“I want more than just memories. I want to keep making them. I want you, this, the whole thing. I’m not ready to walk away. I’m not.”
He stood, pulling her up with him and framing her face in his hands. “Not ready to let you. We’re adults and fairly intelligent, reasonable people. We can figure it out, right?”
She exhaled, a smile trembling on her mouth. “Yes. Yes.”
Throwing her arms around his neck, she squeezed tight, and he pulled her up off her feet.
“Good. I’d chase you down no matter where you went, but good to know I won’t have to.”
Oh, the things he said. “Well, I’m reasonable and intelligent. You provide the brute strength, stubbornness, and really great sex in this relationship.”
“I’ll take the brute strength part but argue the stubbornness and really great sex. You can hold your own in those departments.” He lifted her over his shoulder and carried her down the hall to the bedroom. “Let’s put it to the test, eh?”
Holy moly and all that’s holy! I honestly can’t believe what I just read. Seriously? Ms. Fox…*thud* That was the sound of my heart finally coming down to earth. And how long do I have to wait for another DEAd novel?
First of, if you don’t understand what a RCMP is, its explained. I honeymooned in Canada so I had some knowledge. If you don’t know what a DEA agent is..you get the picture. But what was so brilliantly played in the book was how Ms. Fox lets us know how their jobs effect them personally as well as professionally. She doesn’t dumb it down for you as a reader. She explains it through her characters and moves on. Ms. Fox’s writing style is smooth, funny, smart and well thought out. She doesn’t dumb anything down for readers. Another thing that did it for me was the emotional connections throughout the book. Nothing is forced and each character is realistic drawn. The people in the book could be your neighbors, friends, anybody and they stay with you well past the book’s ending.
I will admit though that the first part of the book was slow for me. I didn’t understand why all of the back story laid out for me as a reader. The setting up of Ash, Lisa, Andy, Daniel and even Greg as they graduated from jobs and the years that followed them. Then they whole drug cartel section and of course, Liz. *bangs head* I’m stupid sometimes. Of course, we have to know this stuff because once Part 2 starts…there is no holding back. Its a none stop ride from there until the final sentence of the book.
The book opens up with one the greatest set ups I’ve read. You need to understand that Ash is a man whore and doesn’t apologize for it. Yes, does he sleep with other women in the book? Yes and then some things are implied. But no worries…Ash and his friends don’t ever let him forget about his man whoring days. Even when Emma enters the picture. And even Ash admits it to her.
Emma is the only woman that I could have pictured Ash with period. She pushed him when he needed it and loved him when he needed that, too. The dialogue between them was funny, sexy and smart. And Ash…he didn’t stand a chance with her once he saw her. Did it feel a bit like instalove? Sorta but it made sense. Sometimes you just know and with everything Ash had been through, he knew the first time she touched him (up against a wall-mind.out.of.gutter–that’s later 😉 ) that she was it. Their emotional connection is a slow build but again, once Emma pushes Ash, he realizes that he needed that push, that last hurdle to finally start living again.
My, my, my…I didn’t have clue what was going to happen to them. Seriously. I’m reading and I’m thinking where is the “black moment”? The major conflict that I’ve been waiting for. The one that is going to send me into a panic wondering if they are going to make it as a couple. Let me tell you its a doozy and something that I NEVER saw coming. I held my breath while I was reading those scenes and then finally exhaling with a huge grin on my face thinking…HOLY CRAP that was brilliantly played out. And it completely made sense. 🙂
I would be remiss to remind you that this novel does have sex in it. He He! Its not graphic in nature but at times, its spicy and other times its sensual. Ash is/was a man whore at times. Trust me, the opening scene will actually have you shaking your head and giggling. Perfect set up for Ash.
So can an American DEA agent and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector make it as a couple? You definitely need to read the book and found out. When’s the next DEAd novel coming out? Hopefully Andy will get his HEA. He deserves just as much as Ash.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After being rationed books by my parents like most kids get rationed candy, I turned to writing to tide me over between fixes. I love to get lost in a captivating, exhilarating story, whether reading or writing. Nothing is better than being drawn into a story so deeply you don’t realize you’re turning a page until you’ve reached the end, and the characters live on in your heart and mind long after the cover has been closed.
Having lived in the suburbs of the Mid-West, desert of the Southwest, and foothills of the Rocky Mountains, I’m now on an island in the Puget Sound with my husband and dogs.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Fox/e/B009YC0ERO
Melissa will be awarding an ebook copy of Ash Rising and a $20 gift certificate to Amazon or Starbucks (Winner’s Choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.