At Any Cost by Mandy Baxter
Series: U.S. Marshals #4
Published by Kensington, Zebra Books
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
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Fast, cunning, and driven, he'll do whatever it takes to nail the most violent federal perps. But she is the one danger he'll never see coming…
She can't remember when she wasn't afraid. She can't go to the police. And "Olivia Gallagher" is only a day away from fleeing her Idaho wilderness life before biker gang leader Joel Meecum finally catches up with her. So keeping her rugged new neighbor at arm's length is the only safe play. Until Livy can't resist one last hungry chance to feel alive…
For U.S. Marshal Nick Brady, taking his vacation next door to Meecum's ex-girlfriend seemed the smartest way to find him. But suddenly, nothing is making sense. How could this feisty, straight-talking brunette ever get mixed up with Meecum's brutal crew? And why is he breaking his oath and getting so close that all he wants is to keep her safe? Now as the clock ticks, Nick and Livy's only chance at escape may be the one they can't survive…
Nick Brady has been with the US Marshal service for a mere three months and he’s already in the director’s office because he’s in trouble. He wants to hunt fugitives, that’s why he joined, but the director wants him to work the courts, escorting prisoners to and from. Boring. The director tells him that’s now on a forced vacation (read: Suspension) but Nick isn’t about to sit around and sip cocktails. He decides to follow up on a lead that they had on one of their top 15 fugitives, Joel Meecum. There was a possible lead on Meecum’s ex-girlfriend that he follows which takes him to Idaho.
Nick rents a cabin across the street from Olivia Gallagher who he believes is actually Kari Hanson. He befriends her but soon they can’t deny their attraction to each other and fall in bed together. Unfortunately, when Livy finds out that Nick knows exactly who she is he’s not sure that their relationship will be able to go any farther.
Let me start by saying that I really wanted to like this book. It had a good premise and I obviously liked the blurb or else I wouldn’t have read it. That being said this was just an ok read for me.
Nick was a not really a likable guy and that bothered me. Yes, he had good intentions with wanting to find Meecum but he bucked authority to do it. Now I’m not all about following the rules but Nick was almost to the point of going vigilante to get the bad guy and that didn’t sit well with me. I also didn’t like that he started a relationship with Livy knowing that he was lying to her about who he was. This doesn’t normally bother me but it did in this instance for some reason.
Livy was a careful woman. She locked doors and checked things constantly for her own safety. When she so easily lets Nick into her life and starts doing things she knows are out of her norm, therefore putting herself in danger, I really questioned it. That just wasn’t her and she didn’t seem like the type of person to just agree to go out on dates after meeting Nick when she had previously been afraid of her own shadow. IDK, it just didn’t make sense.
The story itself dragged for me. I needed more action and less sex as the sex scenes went on and on. I found myself skimming those time and again. I hate to say I got bored after a while but I did. The very last portion of the book was when the action happened, which was good, but by that time it was just too late to salvage the book for me. This was my first read by this author so I’ll give her another chance in the future.
Rating: 2 out of 5
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At Any Cost
Locked and Loaded