Guest Review: Beyond Limits by Laura Griffin

Posted February 9, 2015 by Jen in Reviews | 3 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

1Jen’s review of Beyond Limits (Tracers #8) by Laura Griffin.

FBI agent Elizabeth LeBlanc is still caught in the aftermath of her last big case when she runs into the one man from her past who is sure to rock her equilibrium even more. Navy SEAL Derek Vaughn is back home from a harrowing rescue mission in which he found evidence of a secret terror cell on US soil. Elizabeth knows he’ll do anything to unravel the plot—including seducing her for information. And despite the risks involved, she’s tempted to let him. Together with the forensics experts at the Delphi Center, Derek and Elizabeth are closing in on the truth, but it may not be fast enough to avert a devastating attack…

I’ve been a dedicated reader of Griffin’s Tracers series for quite a while now. I love her strong, competent heroines and her exciting plots. While I did have a few issues with this book, it still satisfied my love for a good romantic thriller.

This book shifts away from the Delphi Center a bit, which is the privately funded high tech forensic investigation organization the series centers around. (We do get a quick glimpse of some of the Delphi staff, but they’re not really integral to the story.) Instead, we hear the story of FBI Agent Elizabeth LeBlanc and SEAL Derek Vaughn. Elizabeth and Derek first met in book 6 of the series when Derek spent a whole week trying to distract Elizabeth from investigating his SEAL buddy. They were mutually attracted, but Elizabeth was reluctant to start anything with a guy who’s never around, so they parted ways. Now, Elizabeth is on a task force investigating a possible terrorist cell in Houston, Texas, the same terrorists Derek had a run in with during an operation in Afghanistan. Derek sort of barges his way into the investigation, and both he and Elizabeth’s team quickly learn that the plot is bigger and more deadly than anyone anticipated. They are in a race against time to find and stop the terrorists before they can attack.

As usual, Griffin does a great job building a suspenseful story. Often Griffin’s characters are fighting serial killers or some kind of other criminal, but this book scales up the crime. This time, Elizabeth and Derek are trying to stop a large terrorist attack that could kill thousands. It’s definitely a different kind of story, but no less exciting. There is less focus on the science component than we’ve seen in the other books, and more focus on following trails, trying to anticipate terrorist plans/targets, and profiling. I did miss the science a little because I’m geeky, but I thought the investigation was logical and appropriately complex. The ending in particular was fast paced and action packed, and I didn’t want to take my eyeballs off the page! I also really enjoyed the romance portion of the story. I felt like Elizabeth and Derek were well matched, and they had some great sexual tension.

One of my favorite things about the Tracers series is that the heroines are so damn smart and good at their jobs. The heroes are good too, but they don’t always upstage the heroines like you often see in romantic suspense. Griffin has set the bar high in my mind, but I felt like this book veered more into the same-old territory of the hero being the actual HERO while the woman is just his support. Don’t get me wrong–Elizabeth is extremely competent and an excellent agent, but Derek often steamrolled over her and took charge of her job, which pissed me off. There is one part where he goes his own way in the investigation and does some things that could legitimately get Elizabeth fired, and she is (justifiably) angry with him. But instead of talking to him about it and him apologizing for his behavior, she sleeps with him and ignores what happened. I was so frustrated that Derek got off the hook and usurped her awesomeness! I guess I just felt like things didn’t need to be this way, and in fact it would have been more logical for Elizabeth to be the star and Derek to be her support. After all, he’s a SEAL, not an investigating agent. Fortunately, Derek does grow to respect and trust Elizabeth’s skills, too, but I don’t know why he had to be the star of the show.

I think even someone new to this series could absolutely understand and enjoy this book because there’s no continuing plot from book to book, and I encourage any romantic suspense/thriller fans to give the series a try. While I wanted to see a little more focus on the heroine, Beyond Limits is still a thrilling and compelling read.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Reading Order:

This book is available from Pocket Books. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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3 responses to “Guest Review: Beyond Limits by Laura Griffin

  1. Great review Jen 🙂 I loved it – a 5 star read for me! And the bit that annoyed you? I would have slept with him too! 😛

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