Denise A. Agnew
Private Maneuvers (Hot Zone, #3)
Samhain Publishing, April 2008
Genre & Keywords: Contemporary, Uniformly Hot: Special Forces
Heat level: ¹½
Private Maneuvers is the third installment in the Hot Zone series by Denise A. Agnew which is about soldiers. The protagonists of this third book were already introduced in the second, Unconditional Surrender. The hero, Jake, was one of the Special Forces soldiers that came to rescue when the heroine of that second novel was on a tour gone bad in Mexico. The heroine, Marisa, was part of the travelling party. The moment they met, they instantly felt attracted but didn’t act on it. Now they meet again when Jake takes a job as a temporary bouncer at Marisa’s uncle’s tavern. Marisa is working there too as an accountant and there happened to be some threats. Jake admits that he took the job to get to know Marisa better. Marisa doesn’t want to become involved with Jake because of a former bad experience with a soldier boyfriend. Piece by piece they get to know each other and their secrets and insecurities are revealed.
The plot is well dosed and contains some good elements. But the storytelling is a bit faltering at times. The dialogues are sometimes not very smooth or flashy either, but I liked it that Jake and Marisa talked a lot about serious things, their past issues and feelings, before they fell in bed with each other. What I missed, in the previous books as well: the hero and heroine having friends with whom they interact on a regular basis and in a different way than with their lovers. It can tell a lot about someone’s character. And it was good to have some suspense added although the threats never got really threatening. The physical parts of the story were a bit disappointing when it comes to quantity. And all the talking beforehand diminished the hotness a bit ;-). But the lack of quantity is made up by the high quality of the elaborate love scene. It’s sexy and sweet, as the hero and heroine of Private Maneuvers are.
A woman craves. A man wants. Their collision pitches them into the hot zone.
Hot Zone Book 3
Sometimes a woman craves what she shouldn’t want…
Marisa Clyde wants nothing to do with the soldier acting as a temporary bouncer in her uncle’s tavern, even though the stoic, six-feet-of-smoldering hunk rescued her during a tour gone bad in Mexico. While those few short moments sent their sexual tension screaming off the charts, a devastating hurt in her past now blocks her willingness to surrender to him. He’ll only be in town a month. If she can just wait it out, he’ll soon be out of her life.
Sometimes a man wants more than a woman is willing to share…
Jake Sullivan watches Marisa like a hawk, well aware his need to protect is messing with his mind and making him care way more than he should. Priding himself on clinical detachment in the game between man and woman, he figures once he’s slept with her, she’ll be out of his system for good. But that’s before he experiences her at a deeper level—and learns she just might be in danger again.
Warning: Beware of sizzling sexual tension and extreme emotional connection between hero and heroine. Sex, when it finally happens, is enough to blister