My thanks go out to the lovely Penny, representing Author Marketing Experts, for introducing me to author Lori Matthews, and to Netgalley for my lovely PDF download.
HIT AND RUN – (Callahan Security #3)
Gage Callahan knew his latest assignment with Callahan Security was going to be a disaster. He traipsed around Europe to locate the computer programmer he was hired to protect only to discover she’s actually a hacker hiding in Alaska. Tensions mount when she narrowly escapes becoming roadkill as a vicious organization comes after her. It will take all his ingenuity to rush her to safety, especially when Gage’s primary objective…get her and the prototype to New York…becomes secondary to protecting his heart from a fatal attraction to the spunky woman.
Dani Pierce is used to working on the dark web but now she is truly scared because deadly trouble has arrived at her front door. The self-reliant hacker knows she’ll need help to survive her contract to build facial recognition software. The aggravating yet handsome man hired to protect her makes it clear he detests her, but that doesn’t stop her from developing feelings for him.
It soon becomes apparent to Gage that Dani’s in deeper than she’ll admit but her answers don’t explain why the deadly gang after her is always one step ahead. It will take his military skills and her hacking know-how to save not only their butts, but the budding love they’ve discovered in the midst of danger.
Lori Matthews grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, in a house full of books and readers. Some of her fondest memories are of reading in the same room with her mother and sisters, arguing about whose turn it was to make tea. No one wanted to put their book down!
She was introduced to different genres because of her parents’ habit of leaving books all over the house. Her mother read romance and her father read thrillers.
After two degrees, a career as a librarian, a husband and two kids, she attended a workshop in Tuscany that relit that spark for writing. She’s been pounding the keyboard ever since.
Lori writes what she calls romantic thrillers as she’s a true product of her upbringing!
She lives in New Jersey with her family, a crazy dog, and a cranky cat.
“So, I’m going to let you in on a secret. I do not control my characters. They control themselves and sometimes, me. I would love to be one of those authors who can plan a book from start to finish with detailed notes on every chapter. I’m just not. Those amazing people are called plotters.
The flip side of this is called being a pantser, meaning you fly by the seat of your pants. I am somewhere in between. I have a few points I want to hit in the story but for the most part I just sit back and let the characters take me where they want to go.”
“The roaring of an engine and the crunch of metal hitting bone caused Dani Pierce to look up.
Her stomach lurched as she watched the blond woman who had been crossing the street directly in front of her catapult twenty feet in the air.”
“Growing up in foster care, she would look at the hands of any new boyfriend her foster mom brought into the house and try to calculate if they had hands that liked to hit.”
“He hadn’t been thinking. He’d been feeling again. One minute, Dani was tough and being a hard-ass and the next she was all vulnerable and needed help. He didn’t know which one appealed to him more. Either way, it had to stop. It didn’t matter that she was a smart, sassy, beautiful woman. She was out of bounds.”
“I’ll continue to protect you. I will not leave you alone to face this. But you have to tell me the whole story. It’s the only way I know to guarantee your safety. Lies are opportunities for things to go wrong.”
“Trust was bad. Once she trusted someone, they could disappoint her, and she’d get hurt. Getting hurt was just not something she wanted to go through again. She’d fought long and hard to come back from the pain her foster mom had caused. Trust was a painful word for her.”
“It was funny how having nothing left to lose made her stronger than she’d ever been. Gage was already lost to her, and Carly was soon to be gone forever. What did it matter now if she made it out or not?”
“It was too much. The joy and laughter and love this little girl had given her was gone, and yet she was still able to give a last gift. The most precious gift of all.”
“Work the problem”
If you enjoy your thriller reads with a good dollop of sexy romance, or if you like your romance to have that extra thrill of danger – Then this series is definitely for you!
I have only read this, the final part of the trilogy, after being assured by Lori that the books work just fine as stand alone stories, which believe me, they do!
However, if you read the premises for all three of the books, you will soon pick up on the recurring theme to the storylines, which are rich in both plot and characterisation.
This intense, romantic thriller is written in lovely short chapters, but still stays very fluid, which keeps things moving along nicely at a good pace. The narrative is crisp, the air is crackling with tension, and the dialogue is sharp and punchy. The story is nice and complete, with some great action right from the first word, a well put together intense storyline, rounded off with a conclusive and satisfying ending.
The gripping, suspenseful storyline is very fast paced, non-stop action, for hacker Dani and her bodyguard Gage. Whether that is trying to keep one step ahead of the baddies, or staying glued to each other in the bedroom, the two are in a continual state of ‘flight or fight’, as Dani races against time to finish her latest assignment before she is picked up, or picked off, by the bad guys, and Gage struggles to keep the gang at bay and his hands off Dani, who doesn’t think she needs protecting, let alone loving!
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, which it would be quite easy to do, but let’s just say, that given the confines of the space in which Dani and Gage are operating, there is a lot of running and hiding going on, which you really need to be on top of your game to keep up with, or things might begin to feel a little rushed. In fact there is quite a lot of depth in the detail of this storyline and rather surprisingly, what I personally found to be, one or two quite humorous moments in the middle of all this turmoil. The bad guys are stand out from the crowd and easily identifiable, however the person who wasn’t quite so easy to spot, was the mole within. I’m generally quite good at working ahead of the narrative in this respect, but this time around, I missed all the signs and hints completely and was still surprised when they were unmasked and outed. It’s a good job they got their comeuppance eventually, or I would have been most disappointed!
I must have been too busy getting side-tracked by all those compelling, sultry, sexy bedroom scenes, which are quite explicit in their detail, and as much as I felt that I didn’t really need to read them, I did anyway! I think I’ll just leave those pages of raw passion, naked lust and erotic desire, to your imagination, although you won’t really need that if you read the book, as Lori misses out none of the delicious detail!
The story has a disparate, multifaceted cast of characters, which are well defined and drawn, although that doesn’t make them any easier to connect with, as they won’t let you get too close to them. The really bad guys are easy to spot, as they are just a bunch of thugs with zero personality. Our ‘mole’ only has revenge on their mind, but born out of desperation and a heart-breaking loss. They have taken their time to plan their moves and only become reckless when finally all else fails and they feel they have nothing left to lose in life, except for life itself.
The Callahan brothers have some tensions between them, although as a self-sufficient unit who have always learned to rely on one another, that is only to be expected. However when the chips are down, they immediately close ranks and stand shoulder to shoulder. For them, blood is definitely thicker than water.
The main focus of the storyline is the dynamic and volatile, ongoing and everchanging on-off relationship between Gage and Dani. Both vulnerable, broken and damaged beyond belief, both lost and searching for a sense of belonging. The wild dialogue between them covers just about every hurtful, destructive and positively hateful insult they can throw at one another, but each is then rushing to support the other when the threats from sources seeking payback and retribution begin to mount and the violence becomes physical. In amongst all this mayhem and chaos, they even find time for plenty of ‘making up’, although hiding any potential weapons they can turn on one another, might be a wise idea! Is this destined to be a relationship best left to wither and die for everyone’s sake, or does fire meeting fire end in a smouldering heat which is destined to burn forever – Now that would be telling!
Oh! and you really do need to look out for the ‘granny brigade’. They were a continual source of amusement and amazement to me and left me chuckling long after their part was over and they had left the stage. I know that the older generation are much more resourceful and resilient, however this bunch really did go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty, and seemed to have so much fun doing so, regardless of the danger, and just how deeply they put themselves in harms way.
A 4 star story filled with heart, humour, love and longing. Wrong decisions made for all the right reasons, or right decisions made for all the wrong reasons? – You decide!
A complimentary download of this book, was kindly made available by NetGalley, as part of their ‘Read Now’, request free offering.
Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article which promotes this book or its author.
I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a well deserved 4 out of 5 stars!