Series: Ranger Brigade (Book 1)
Memories of rescuing her fueled his dreams. Seeing her again fueled his desire.
Far from the mountains of Afghanistan, Abby Stewart found solace in the wild country of western Colorado. But after finishing one war, she was caught in another. In securing the crime scene, Lieutenant Michael Dance was more surprised to see Abby than the dead body. How could he forget her face after caring for her wounds and saving her life? And yet she didn't remember him at all. That wouldn't stop him from embarking on a high stakes investigation leading to much worse than murder. And if it helped jog Abby's memory and soften her toward him, he wouldn't leave her side until she was safe once more…
Good story with some fairly intense suspense. Abby was in Colorado working on her master's degree in environmental science. She likes being outdoors and on her own after her time in the military, which left her scarred physically and emotionally. While on her hunt for plants, she met a young Hispanic woman who seemed afraid, and then stumbled upon a body in the woods.
When Abby showed up at the task force headquarters to report the murder, Michael was surprised to see her. He had been a pararescueman in Afghanistan and part of the team that rescued Abby when she was wounded. Michael has never forgotten the woman whose life he had saved. Now it looks like he'll be protecting her again.
I really enjoyed the interactions between them. Abby has no memory of Michael, but there's something about him that she trusts. She's also attracted to him, something she hasn't felt since she came back from the war. Abby is a strong and independent woman, well able to take care of herself. She isn't always happy with his protectiveness and has no trouble standing up to him when she thinks she needs to. I loved the way they worked together when they were stranded out in the backcountry. She's also still cautious with her emotions, having been hurt by people who couldn't see past her scars. Michael is impressed by Abby's resourcefulness and her ability to stay calm in a crisis. He's also frustrated by her unwillingness to stay back and out of danger. When that danger turns deadly, both of them realize that it's time to put their fears aside and take what fate has offered them..
I liked the suspense side of the story. The task force has been given the mission of dealing with crime on the national park and other lands in the area. They are dealing with drugs, human trafficking, and immigration issues among others. Abby's information gives them hope that they've finally had a break in the case. The danger increases as Abby's encounter with the young woman and the baby put them on the trail of the man who is bringing in illegal aliens to work the drug fields. The final confrontation was intense, with Abby at the mercy of the bad guy. This portion of the story wraps up well, but there are still questions to be answered. They suspect a local bigwig is a key player, but have no proof. I expect that he is going to play a part in future books as the team continues its efforts to stop what is happening. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.