Series: Alpha Ops

Guest Review: Over the Line by Emmy Curtis

Posted March 24, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Over the Line by Emmy CurtisReviewer: Judith
Over the Line by Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #2
Also in this series: Dangerous Territory, Over the Line, Pushing the Limit, Compromised, Pushing the Limit
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: Romance, Military, Contemporary, Suspense
Pages: 300
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Army Special Forces Sergeant Beth Garcia owes James Walker big-time for saving her life in Afghanistan. So the least she can do is agree to be his rock-climbing partner. After a year of physical therapy, she's finally eligible for deployment again, and what better way to celebrate than a weekend with a sexy Air Force hero? She's prepared to kick his ass at climbing-until James reveals what he really has in mind . . .

Pretending to be engaged wasn't the most brilliant idea James ever had. Neither was dragging Beth to his sister's wedding. The competitive tomboy is a far cry from the type of woman his family usually pushes on him. Yet Beth is more exciting than anyone he's ever met, and James has a feeling that if he can get her in bed, she'll blow his mind. They're just supposed to be acting-but as the wedding weekend wears on, Beth and James have a fighting chance at something real and much more lasting . . .

(75,000 words)
More Alpha Ops books: Dangerous Territory (novella), Pushing the Limit, Blowback, Compromised, Risk of Exposure.

This is the second novel in a series that has taken quite a number of months to appear.  I just recently obtained this book through a discount reading service and was fascinated with the dynamics of this family and these characters.  It seems that the characters of this story are intertwined with others who are involved in the intelligence community and its various agencies.  In fact, the heroine’s dad is the director of the CIA and while he seems to have his head in the intelligence game, his need to keep his political relationships front and center drive the dynamics of the family.  The two main characters meet in the Middle East and their lives seem glued together over those shared experiences.  James doesn’t want to admit that he was already emotionally ensnared by Beth even before they met once again Stateside after her lengthy rehabilitation.

Beth loves her job and is planning one more deployment in order for her to meet the requirements of an applicant to the CIA.  She really is attracted to James but knows that anything between them must be temporary as she is not prepared to set aside her goals.  James is busy hiding his real job as an Air Force officer from a father who has never stopped being disappointed that his son hasn’t ever wanted to go into the family “business” of being spies.  Now James is faced with deciding if he will attend his sister’s wedding, knowing it will be a political happening rather than a family celebration.  He also knows that his parents are still manipulating him in order to get him back with his ex, a widow who has been grieving the death of her husband for seven years.  So much of the action of this story is set at the family mansion in McLean, Virginia, and the dynamics of a very dysfunctional family surrounded by friends and not-so-friendly non-friends is a rich brew of ups and downs that make this novel fascinating and complicated.

I don’t remember reading an Emmy Curtis novel before this one, but I have to admit that I moved right out of this one into the next.  The characters were so well crafted, the action sharp and often unexpected, the growing love relationship between James and Beth a roller coaster of on-again-off-again emotions and misunderstandings.  Add in the fact there is mischief afoot which could potentially mean severe hurt for some of James’ family and you have a marvelous “stew” of ingredients that make this a novel well worth reading.  This book was released over a year ago, but the story is fresh and contemporary and the entire series is riveting.  Do yourself a favor and get this book.  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at http://www.drjsbookplace.blogspot.com.

Reading Order:
Dangerous Territory
Over the Line
Pushing the Limit
Blowback
Compromised
Risk of Exposure

four-stars

Guest Review: Pushing the Limit by Emmy Curtis

Posted March 22, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Pushing the Limit by Emmy CurtisReviewer: Judith
Pushing the Limit by Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #3
Also in this series: Dangerous Territory, Over the Line, Pushing the Limit, Compromised, Over the Line
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Romance, Military, Contemporary, Suspense
Pages: 300
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

After their one-night fling at a wedding, archaeologist Henrietta "Harry" Markowitz thought she'd never see war hero Matt Stanning again. So when they're paired up to investigate a military plane crash in Iraq, she's not sure if the three-month reunion is serendipitous or cursed. What she does know is this gorgeous man lights her body on fire-and incredible sex is always a welcome distraction.

Air Force Sergeant Matt Stanning has been called a hero, but he feels nothing like one when he realizes the sexy blonde in his bed is the widow of his fallen brother-in-arms. Even worse, he actually has to work with her, and she's unearthed evidence that points to a military conspiracy. If they dig deeper, they'll put their lives in danger. If they don't, they'll never know the truth-not only about the mysterious plane crash, but about each other.

More in the Alpha Ops series: Dangerous Territory (novella) Over the Line Compromised Risk of Exposure

After reading the preceding novel in this series, I felt compelled to get the next book and I am so glad I did.  Even though the action at the family wedding wasn’t continued in this story, the characters certainly are.  Add in the fact that Matt discovers an unexpected connection with Henrietta, an archaeologist he met at James Walker’s sister’s wedding, a woman who certainly piqued his interest and with whom he shared a night of passion, and one who is finally open to moving on from the grief over her husband’s death in the Middle East eight years earlier.  Harry, as Henrietta is fondly known by her friends, is an investigative scientist working for a foundation at various sites around the world.  She loves her work and especially loves being back in Iraq where she has friends and associates of somewhat long standing.  However, the discovery of a strange artifact which isn’t at all antique, spurs the appearance of studly Matt Stanning, the man who took her on a passionate erotic journey three months earlier.

All of the books in this series are filled with intrique that is characteristic of the intelligence community, and this particular novel features some of the action that continues in the Middle East.  There are still after effects of the Iraqi conflict and Harry becomes aware that this simple artifact may be important to discovering why the tension around her dig has escalated.  In addition, Harry becomes aware that quite possibly the foundation she is working for may be something other than what she has been led to believe so that the suspicions of Matt curiously coincide with hers and others of her colleagues.  Things just keep on getting curiouser and curiouser and Harry begins to wonder if it is only her reputation she must guard.  Perhaps her very life is on the line.

Lots of action in this book and it is interwoven with a love story that is unexpectedly influenced by recent history.  And as is so often the case in stories of this genre, who to trust is possibly the most serious question.  I know that as I was reading I kept looking for indications that might give me clues about who was trustworthy and who was the perpetrator of evil.  It is that mysterious component that keeps me glued to stories of this kind.  Makes my brain work and that’s a wonderful part of reading for me.

This is another beautifully written book, a story well told, a good balance between love and war, good and evil, friends and those who will eventually turn out to be not so friendly.  It was released late in 2014 but like all good books, its worth as good fiction has not been at all diminished.  This entire series is fabulous and I highly recommend this as such a good read.  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at http://www.drjsbookplace.blogspot.com.

Reading Order:
Dangerous Territory
Over the Line
Pushing the Limit
Blowback
Compromised
Risk of Exposure

four-stars

Guest Review: Compromised by Emmy Curtis

Posted March 8, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Compromised by Emmy CurtisReviewer: Judith
Compromised by Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #5
Also in this series: Dangerous Territory, Over the Line, Pushing the Limit, Pushing the Limit, Over the Line
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Genres: Romance, Military, Contemporary
Pages: 240
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. But when her wedding erupts in gunfire, Sadie Walker realizes this is not the life she wants-her fiancé's work with Delta Force will always cast a shadow over their relationship. After leaving the hard-muscled hero at the altar, she thinks she'll never see him again . . . until a chance encounter reveals that he still has a strong grip on her heart.

On a covert assignment overseas, Simon Tennant is shocked when he spots Sadie with another man. Jealousy flares, as does an irresistible urge to keep her protected. Amid a dangerous game of international espionage, he'll have to convince Sadie just how perfect they've always been together. This time, nothing will take precedence over winning her back, no matter the cost to his cover-or his life . . . More in the Alpha Ops series:DANGEROUS TERRITORY (novella)OVER THE LINEPUSHING THE LIMITBLOWBACK

Simon and Sadie’s wedding ended up not happening.  Even though Sadie knew that Simon was in some sort of intelligence agency and frequently their planned activities were disrupted or set aside because of his obligations, the year they had dated and fallen in love was enough to convince Sadie to marry her Black Ops soldier.  Now she is finished with him, or so she thinks, even as she has moved on to become a CIA agent posted at the office in Athens.  She is a “rookie” and thus she wants very much to prove to her dad that she can do the work of an operative and do it with distinction.  She believes her relationship with Simon is over and that he is permanently out of her life until she sees him in Athens.  It doesn’t help that Simon sees Sadie “working” a mark for a project that requires her to flirt and romance a guy that is somehow attached to the Russian Mafia.  Finding out just what the nature of that attachment may be is Sadie’s assignment.  Simon could well and truly upend all her efforts.  On the other hand, Simon is struggling to understand what Sadie is doing, first in Athens, and then with this guy.  He has no idea that she is not with the CIA and thus must somehow figure this out all on his own while working out his own undercover scheme.

Of all the novels in this series, I think this one is the most convoluted.  It is far from simple and understanding how Sadie is thinking and perceiving Simon, and then reading how Simon is thinking and how he is perceiving Sadie is sometimes confusing and difficult to keep straight.  There are peripheral characters that are helpful sometimes and sometimes they just seem to add to the confusion.  This is also the latest in the series so there are mentions of other characters who have been featured in previous books.  I found this book was a bit more work to read than the others and much more complicated that many romance novels I have read.  That’s not to say that isn’t good.  A tough and complicated read is good stuff from time to time.  It’s one of the reasons I find myself picking up a good mystery or a intriguing spy novel.  Too much sugar, too much easy romance gets to me after a while.

I think this entire series is super and this latest book is a good addition.  I particularly was fascinated to follow Sadie’s anger at Simon, believing that he hadn’t really loved her but had instead used her as a “mark.”  How these two resolve their upsets and manage to find ways to heal their wounds is very much a part of this story.  I also think that this story tells about Sadie’s journey of maturing into a woman who is comfortable in her skin, who is moving even further away from the machinations of her parents, her father in particular, and who is coming into her own as a confident and competent adult.  There is no doubt that the ups and downs, the unexpected crises that ensnare Sadie force her to use her mind, her wits, her learning and training, and her considerable ability to ferret out the truth-teller from the con artist.

I really enjoyed this book because it was a more complicated book.  Some reviewers seem to be turned off by the twisted and snarled nature of the action but that was a positive for me.  I hope you will get this novel, especially if you are a lover of suspense and romance and spy stuff all mixed up into a glorious literary mess.  You’ll find that here.  I give this book a 4 out of 5 rating.

You can read more from Judith at http://www.drjsbookplace.blogspot.com.

Reading Order:
Dangerous Territory
Over the Line
Pushing the Limit
Blowback
Compromised
Risk of Exposure

four-stars

Guest Review: Pushing the Limit by Emmy Curtis

Posted January 13, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Pushing the Limit by Emmy CurtisReviewer: Tracy
Pushing the Limit by Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #2
Also in this series: Dangerous Territory, Over the Line, Compromised, Pushing the Limit, Over the Line
Published by Forever Yours
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

 

After their one-night fling at a wedding, archaeologist Henrietta “Harry” Markowitz thought she’d never see war hero Matt Stanning again. So when they’re paired up to investigate a military plane crash in Iraq, she’s not sure if the three-month reunion is serendipitous or cursed. What she does know is this gorgeous man lights her body on fire—and incredible sex is always a welcome distraction.

Air Force Sergeant Matt Stanning has been called a hero, but he feels nothing like one when he realizes the sexy blonde in his bed is the widow of his fallen brother-in-arms. Even worse, he actually has to work with her, and she’s unearthed evidence that points to a military conspiracy. If they dig deeper, they’ll put their lives in danger. If they don’t, they’ll never know the truth—not only about the mysterious plane crash, but about each other.

Matt and Henrietta (aka Harry) met at their friends’ wedding and had a little naked sexy time in the garden in the rain. Neither one has been able to foget about that short but wonderful time in their lives.

Harry is an archaeologist who is working for a private company in Iraq. Matt Stanning shows up after Harry puts in a call about a piece of metal she found that might possibly belong to a downed military plane. From the minute that Matt shows up he and Harry cllick once again. They end up sleeping together – finally! – but that all turns a little nuts when Matt realizes that Harry is the widow of his best friend who died seven years earlier. Matt is mortified that he’s betrayed his best friend but Harry doesn’t see the issue. Yes, she loved her husband so very much and feels that she’ll never let anyone into her heart again, but she sees no problem in sleeping with Matt as it won’t mean a relationship.

While the two are dealing with the “sleeping” arrangements their lives are in danger. There is someone out there who wants whatever is below the surface at Harry’s dig site and will stop at nothing to get it.

This was another great story in the Alpha Ops series. So far I’ve really enjoyed reading about the different characters that we met in the previous book. I think that both the suspense part of the story as well as the romance was well done and blended nicely with each other.

The dig site and what’s underneath the sand in Iraq is a major part of the story but it provides a nice catalyst for bringing our two MC’s together. Both Harry and Matt had dealt with Danny’s death in their own way. Matt felt incredibly responsible for Danny’s death even though Danny was a man who worked with explosives and nothing Matt could have done would have saved Danny’s life. Despite that Matt had deeply mourned his friend for the past seven years and hasn’t moved on.

Harry knew that Danny had been her one true love and that she’d never love anyone the way she’d loved her husband. Knowing that, she had allowed herself the rare sexual partner but had always held herself apart from any true connection. When she met Matt she thought that they could just sleep together and have some fun but she soon realized that Matt meant more to her than even she thought possible. Each of them had to come to terms with their feelings about each other and I really liked how Curtis took us on their individual journey’s in dealing with their grief and recovery. I did want to slap Matt a time or two near the end of the book because he was acting like an ass but other than that I loved reading about the romance between these two characters.

The other parts of the book that dealt with the suspense portion were incredibly interesting. I found myself completely absorbed with the story which is always a good thing.

Overall the book was well done and I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reading Order:

 

four-stars

Guest Review: Over the Line by Emmy Curtis

Posted December 3, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Over the Line by Emmy CurtisReviewer: Tracy
Over the Line by Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #1
Also in this series: Dangerous Territory, Pushing the Limit, Compromised, Pushing the Limit, Over the Line
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: Romance, Military, Multicultural & Interracial, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Army Special Forces Sergeant Beth Garcia owes James Walker big-time for saving her life in Afghanistan. So the least she can do is agree to be his rock-climbing partner. After a year of physical therapy, she's finally eligible for deployment again, and what better way to celebrate than a weekend with a sexy Air Force hero? She's prepared to kick his ass at climbing-until James reveals what he really has in mind . . .

Pretending to be engaged wasn't the most brilliant idea James ever had. Neither was dragging Beth to his sister's wedding. The competitive tomboy is a far cry from the type of woman his family usually pushes on him. Yet Beth is more exciting than anyone he's ever met, and James has a feeling that if he can get her in bed, she'll blow his mind.

They're just supposed to be acting-but as the wedding weekend wears on, Beth and James have a fighting chance at something real and much more lasting . . .

 

Tracy’s review of Over the Line (Alpha Ops #1) by Emmy Curtis

James Walker saved Beth Garcia’s life while in combat. A year later they meet unexpectedly. He always had a thing for her and she him but neither ever said anything. Now he sees his chance to take her out to dinner and she accepts! Their plans for dinner almost immediately morph into a weekend spent climbing together as James is trying to get away from his family, and his sister’s wedding. That’s until he finds out that both of his sisters have been getting creepy emails from an unknown source. James and Beth decide that they need to go to the wedding and James asks Beth to play his girlfriend to ward off any matchmaking his mother and father might do. Playing girlfriend soon turns into playing his fiancé and while neither really like the deception they agree it’s necessary.

They head to James’s parents house and Beth is overwhelmed with the wealth of the place – that’s when James decides to tell Beth that his father is the Director of the CIA. Wow – completely unexpected – especially as Beth is planning to apply to the CIA when she ends her army duty. She manages to play it cool but James’s family is whack. Seriously messed up – well, at least his parents are. His two sisters are wonderful and he loves them. There’s definitely never a dull moment in the Walker household.

Beth and James end up taking their role as an engaged couple to the next level and end up in bed together – multiple times throughout the weekend but strange things keep happening – attacks on Beth and James’s sister Sadie, the bride among the big ones While both of them would like to just concentrate on the other there are interruptions, gun fights and cocktails with his parents to get through. It certainly wasn’t boring.

This was a pretty great story. I really liked both James and Beth individually and together they were even better. I also loved that the author didn’t try to push an insta-love weekend on us and try to get us to believe it. Yes, most of the book took place during that one weekend but there were no “I Love You’s” spoken during that time and I really appreciated it. Because of their close proximity James and Beth were able to explore each other in a way that they probably wouldn’t have ever done had they just gone to dinner or even spent the weekend climbing. The closeness that created made for some pretty great sex scenes and a very good love story. 🙂

I think this was a good follow up to Curtis’s 0.5 novella, Dangerous Territory, and I can’t wait to read what happens with James’s ex girlfriend Harry and Air Force Sergeant Matt in the next book. So far a great series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Forever Yours Publishing.   You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars