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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Under Fire (Elite Force, Book 3) by Catherine Mann
Romantic Suspense published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 1 May 12

I am loving this Elite Force series by Catherine Mann. Military mysteries with sexy heroes and intelligent and equally sexy heroines, these stories keep you turning the pages, keep you guessing, and keep your emotional upheaval on uneven ground until the very last page. Get ready for a wild ride!

We met Liam and Rachel in Hot Zone, the second book of the series. While searching for earthquake victims in the Bahamas, there was an attraction between them. Liam was upfront with Rachel about wanting her and while Rachel wanted him too, his past marriage record, along with her own past, held her back. Now her life has become one frightening place, and the only one she can turn to is Liam. But after refusing to return his phone calls over the past six months, will he be too angry to help? She’s about to find out.

With retirement as a pararescueman on the horizon, Liam is not looking forward to life outside the service, on the one hand, but on the other, he knows it’s for the best now that his body is showing its age. He’s a career man, and though he’d stay longer if he could, he knows his days are numbered. Then out of the blue he gets the surprise of his life – Rachel and her service dog have stowed away in his Jeep on base. The woman couldn’t bother returning a phone call and now she’s here like this? But seeing her again is pleasurable and he’ll take her any way he can get her.

Burnout finally getting to her, Rachel quit her search and rescue missions to take on training therapy dogs for wounded soldiers. That’s where she met Brandon, a military cop suffering from PTSD. While introducing and then working with Brandon and his dog, he tells her of a treasonous plot involving high-ranking military officials. But when they try to get help from the service and then local law enforcement, no one believes the story because it comes from a soldier with mental issues. That’s when things begin to happen that tell Rachel she’s being watched and someone wants her out of the picture. And why she ends up in Liam’s Jeep.

Not once does Liam not believe Rachel when she tells him her story. He vows to help her find out what the hell’s going on. He has friends in high places, but first he calls on his team, who help out no questions asked.  Then when he gets his superiors involved, things are not what they seem. So the only solution at this point is to run – long and far. His team steps up to the plate again, all of them hiding out in the Florida Keys while trying to figure out who the traitor is. That’s when things really heat up, the villain gets his hands on those who have screwed up his plans. And he doesn’t pussyfoot around when it comes to getting those who are in his way out of his way. All I can say is good thing he’s an egomaniac.

We get a nice secondary romance with Brandon and Catriona, the lady who takes in dogs to train for service. She’s the only one, besides Rachel, who looks at Brandon as the man he is and not some unbalanced sissy everyone else wants to get rid of. Cat overcomes her shyness and surprises Brandon big time, sticking by him through thick and thin. We also get to catch up with Liam’s team, the featured players from the two previous books. It’s nice to see how they’ve balanced their lives together to make their relationships work.

Liam and Rachel are terrific together. They get to know one another under cover of fear and the unknown. Their attraction becomes full-blown passion, a longing that never died from their first meeting. They both have issues to get through. Liam has decided not to marry again after three failures, and he even tries to do the right thing, in his mind, by leaving Rachel to find someone who truly deserves her. She’s having none of that. Especially since she’s also had to face her past and come to grips with perhaps losing love again if she jumps back into the fire. They don’t have it easy no matter what in this book – well, except for the burning-up-the-pages lovemaking – but they talk and work things out, after a fashion anyway. It’s nice when everything comes together as it should.

I hope this series goes on for a few more books at least. Though I haven’t read any other of Catherine Mann’s military series – only one other book, Protector from Dark Ops, and it just doesn’t compare to the stories in this series – I have a feeling the characters and stories of the Elite Force are always going to be my favorites. They’re going to be hard to beat, but I will give her other series a chance!

SandyMGrade: A+


A decorated hero, pararescueman Liam McCabe lives to serve. Six months ago, he and Rachel Flores met in the horrific aftermath of an earthquake in the Bahamas. They were tempted by an explosive attraction, yet parted ways. Still, Liam has thought about Rachel every day—and night—since.

Now, after ignoring all his phone calls for six months, Rachel has turned up on base with a wild story about a high-ranking military traitor. She claims no one but Liam can help her—and she won’t trust anyone else.

With nothing but her word and the testimony of a discharged military cop to go on, Liam would be insane to risk his career—even his life—to help this woman who left him in the dust.

Read an excerpt. (scroll down)

Other books in this series:

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