Series: Code: Warrior SEALs (Book 1)
Going undercover in a seedy New Orleans club to find her brother, Eve Hankova knows the dangers. But she isn't prepared for the blazing heat arcing between her and the customer who "buys" her for his exclusive pleasure. Like wildfire, it burns hot and out of control.
Navy SEAL Ashe Konig knows no other way to protect Eve from the Russian mob she's infiltrated at the club. But for this disillusioned loner, is it a suicide mission? As heavily armed mobsters breathe down their necks, the stubborn woman refuses to quit. Ashe doesn't know who poses the greater danger--the ruthless killers who threaten their lives or the sweet innocent who threatens his heart.
Excellent book with action and suspense that kept me turning the pages to the very end. Ashe has been ordered to take some time off by his boss, because he has been taking too many chances. So he heads for New Orleans, where he grew up but hasn't been in seven years. He finds himself wandering the French Quarter and ends up in a bar called the Who Doo VooDoo. He'd just settled into his seat when a fight broke out and steps in to help stop it. Next thing he knows he has a lap full of waitress, as Eve Hankova attempts to deliver a thank you whiskey to him. He's surprised to feel an instant connection with her, and a feeling that she needs protecting.
Eve, or Hank as she goes by, is the sister of an art dealer who has gone missing, and the Who Doo is the last place he was seen. So Hank has gone undercover as a waitress, trying to find out what has happened to him. She isn't a trusting person, but there is something about Ashe that says she can trust him. She also doesn't want to blow her cover, so she tries to avoid him for the rest of the evening.
That evening, he follows her home to make sure she gets there safely and ends up saving her from an attacker. It doesn't take him too long to find out just what she's gotten involved in, and his protective instincts are engaged. What he doesn't expect is to find Hank rapidly coming to mean a whole lot more to him. He's a loner who has never been a ladies man, but he doesn't want to let Hank out of his sight. And the more he learns about what is happening, the more worried about her he gets. I really enjoyed seeing the methods he uses to protect her.
I loved the connection between Ashe and Hank. Both are loners who don't connect easily with others. Ashe isn't a man who plays games, he says exactly what he means at all times and expects the same from her. Hank feels a bit guilty because there is some information about herself that she hasn't told him, but she was trained early that family comes first. By the time she knew she could trust him all the way, she wasn't sure how to tell him. The chemistry between them is also smoking hot, which has both of them wondering if there is any chance of a future for them. In the end, I loved the way that Ashe put his feelings for Hank out there and took a chance that she could handle who and what he was. What he told her about how she changed his life was incredibly romantic for him.
This book had me on the edge of my seat all the way through. It was obvious early on that there was much more than just illegal sex going on at the club, and whatever Hank had done was stirring up a whole lot of trouble. I loved seeing how Ashe first got his former teammate involved in helping them. I loved the banter between them, and the respect. Bastien's current job as a cop gives them the means to bring down the operation at the club, once they can get all the proof they need. As the days went on, the danger for Ashe and Hank grew stronger. It wasn't long before Ashe's boss got involved, because of the information that was turning up. When suspicious information turned up about Hank's background, Ashe began to worry that he'd been had, but his heart refused to believe it. As the danger intensified, Ashe's solo attempt to help Hank turned into a full fledged operation with the help of his team. The final confrontation was amazing with a really interesting twist involving Hank's brother. With a start like this, I can't wait to see what's next in this series.