There’s an awful lot to like about this book. It’s got an intriguing storyline, a fabulous hero, and just enough suspense to keep the ball rolling pretty much up until the final page. But, regretfully, all that good stuff comes along with a big, big problem – the heroine. Calling her TSTL would be an understatement, and labeling her “stubborn” (as the author does who clearly admires this quality in her heroine) is also putting things far too mildly.
Taylor O’Toole is a successful mystery writer. She’s also the self-described screw up sister to the heroine of My Spy. Taylor is selfish, stubborn to the point of lunacy, and, since learning from our mistakes is always a true measure of intelligence, definitely into the red on the Intelligence Meter.
So, why am I so vehemently bothered by this? Throughout the book the “adorably” spunky heroine insists on going directly against the advice of Navy SEAL Jack Broussard and other experts in high security stuff. And every single time she does – every darn single time – the results are disastrous both to herself and to the people she loves. But does she even begin to learn anything from these unfortunate “mistakes”? Not on your life since a big one (a big, big, big one) occurs on page 377 of a 418-page book.
When Taylor and her casual acquaintance and climbing instructor narrowly escape injury in a suspicious accident, it’s just the first sign that Taylor’s life is spinning out of control. When she arrives home bruised and battered that evening following a visit to the ER, she finds that her new next door neighbor is an unbelievably hunky guy who also happens to be equally adept at both carpentry and cooking. (You’ve gotta love that.) When she’s involved in a scary convenience store incident while following the climbing buddy’s ex-boyfriend whom she thinks is probably behind their mysterious “accident,” it’s clear that Taylor has become a target. Fortunately, gorgeous Jack has been assigned to protect her, something we readers know but Taylor does not.
The plot here is complicated and, since following its twists and turns makes up a great deal of the fun to be had here, I don’t want to give away too much. Suffice it to say that Taylor has inadvertently become mixed up in some very shady dealings with some equally shady characters that could have major national security ramifications.
Jack is a terrific hero and definitely the stuff of which SEAL dreams are made. He’s strong, capable, sexy, and when the two of them finally get around to making love, an inventive and demanding lover. The love scenes here are some of the hottest I’ve read in a while and I enjoyed them immensely. The suspense plot also kept my interest at fever pitch and came to a satisfying and plausible conclusion. Equally enjoyable are the lively and intriguing cast of secondary characters, including Izzy, the mysterious security expert whose enigmatic appearances in the author’s books are always intriguing. The far more likable heroine and hero of My Spy also make a welcome return appearance.
And that brings me back to my original lament. The truth is that without that Taylor problem, Hot Pursuit would have earned a far more positive recommendation and a substantially higher grade. But, alas, the Taylor problem is real, immense, and – with everything positive that this book has going – one big darn shame. Taylor’s almost retro-style “spunkiness” is a major liability and if you can’t get past it, then I would definitely advise you to pass on this book. But, if hunky Navy SEALs are a favorite of yours and if you think you can put aside any distaste you might feel for the heroine in exchange for a pretty darn hot hero, there could well be enough here to keep you happy.