Tuesday, October 21, 2014

review || IGNITED

My goodness gracious, do I have a number of August-read books that are just begging for their reviews. Ok, so it was just this one and DESIRED; the other 9 on my to-publish queue are less than 10 days old, with the oldest being parts of tours (so I'm allowing myself to be a bit more lax on them).

I read IGNITED on a whim. I'm not really sure how I came across it. Perhaps it was free. Maybe someone suggested Kaylea on another author's page. However I found her, though, I'm glad I did. Not only was the book phenomenal, Kaylea is pretty stellar herself and she suggested I read SINGED (which also happened to be the next book in this series), as it was her favorite to write. And while, yes, I did like SINGED (review will come soon/eventually, promise), IGNITED was my favorite (....ok, so I've only read the two so far for this series).

Ignited by Kaylea Cross

Publisher: Kaylea Cross (6/15/2013)
Series: Titanium Security, book 1
Genre: Military Romance
Source: Purchased
Buy It For Your Kindle | Amazon | BN & Nook || Goodreads
My Rating: 

When her father is murdered by a Taliban cell in the tribal regions of Pakistan, Khalia Patterson reluctantly steps into his shoes to carry on the legacy of Fair Start Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to furthering the education of girls. There she meets Hunter Phillips, the ex-SEAL and head of her Titanium security team, and quickly learns that coming to Pakistan might prove to be a deadly decision. 

Battling demons of his own, Hunter grudgingly leads Khalia’s protective detail as a favor to his boss. From their first meeting it’s clear she’s going to be trouble, and that the cell that killed her father is hell bent on taking her out as well. Keeping her alive is one of the toughest assignments he’s ever faced, yet through one harrowing situation after another she continually impresses him with her strength and inner courage. Even though he fights his feelings for her, it’s a losing battle. And when the job is over, he doesn’t know how he’ll let her go.

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This story starts with Hunter, the lead male, in the middle of a fire fight, he and his buddy (who is also the team leader) trying to get from one point to another without being taken out.

And BAM.

...Hunter wakes up.

Woooah, hold the phone. That was a flashback?!

Now, most flashbacks tend to be written in italics, or they're placed in a way where the reader knows it's a flashback, but Kaylea opens this badboy like a good movie -- drawing the reader in  then waking the lead character up. I thought that was extremely well written. (Eep, sorry to ruin it, but hey, it's only the first few pages. I promise that's the deepest spoiler I'll give).

When Hunter and Khalia meet, it's under the pretense that he'll be watching over her as security as she goes back into the country which, ultimately, took her father's life. However, due to the circumstances surrounding her father's death, Khalia doesn't go into this meeting exactly... trusting.

At first it puts Hunter's back up -- until he realizes that she doesn't trust his experience, doesn't believe that he was a SEAL. And when she finally explains why... well, it all just clicks. 

I like that Hunter is upfront from the get-go : he's there for her protection. He doesn't want to be her friend. If she needs a friend, there are a number of others on the team she can talk to but under no circumstances should she talk to him.

It certainly doesn't help that he's attracted to her, and the feeling is obviously mutual. 

'The attraction was there. She was subtle about it, but he'd noticed the glimmer of of female interest in her eyes the few times he'd caught her checking him out. The interest was definitely mutual. Under different circumstances he'd be making moves on her in a big way, but not when she was a client and he was in charge of her safety over here.'
Oh, ha-ha-ha, you silly man you...It's just a matter of hours/days and he goes back on that promise.
'When he finally told her, it would probably scare her shitless no matter how he worded it. He wished there was something else he could do to shield her from all this. He hated her being in harm's way over here.
'She was kind and gentle and only trying to make a difference. Not many people would go to these lengths to step up and do something to better the lives of complete strangers halfway across the world, let alone someone who'd just lost her father in such a horrific way and now facing a lethal threat of her own. Knowing those militant fuckers wanted to kill her filled him with a deep, protective rage he had to keep locked down if he wanted to be sharp out there.
'"Sure you want to be the one to give her the heads up tonight?" Gage asked as he packed equipment in his ruck.
'"I'm sure." She was already scared, even if she tried to hide it. No, this had to come from him. He was head of her detail. And dammit, he wanted to put her mind at ease before he left...
'Glancing over, he caught the flash of Gage's knowing grin before he masked it. "That's one hell of a bedtime story for her, Hunt. Think you'd better stay with her awhile afterward, just to make sure you don't give her nightmares. Maybe tuck her in. I promise not to wait up for you."
'He shot Gage a narrow-eyed look that warned him to mind his own fucking business. "Hey. Long walk. Short pier."
'Gage only chuckled and went back to packing his gear. Hunter scowled at himself and stalked across the room to check his weapons. He already cared about her on a personal level, and if Gage could see it too, he was in serious fucking trouble here...' 
...the other part that I love about that particular passage is the relationship between Gage and Hunter. It may have been the (partial) driving force (behind the personal recommendation from Kaylea herself) to read Gage's book.

Also, as a person who pretty much strongly dislikes side stories... I rather enjoyed the few glimpses into the whole Gage/Claire saga. It really made a girl want to know a little bit more about them.

As this was my first book of Kaylea's, I could not have been happier. IGNITED is well written, with great development in both the plot and characters. You can see the war, the bombs, the dishevelment... You even feel pretty bad for the poor couple (being Khalia and Hunter) when they get, uh-hmm, interrupted again... and again...

I always love the way a well-written hero loves his heroine, and Hunter with Khalia was no different. In the beginning, when he's supposed to just be head detail but is starting to do the hanky-panky with her, he still has such respect for her and how strong she manages to hold up under all of the pressure. I love that he doesn't press and push, but also that he respects her abilities. I love that he's so fiercely protective of her, even when he's not supposed to have feelings for her.

This was the first of four books I've read by Kaylea. I am extremely excited to add the rest to my collections! Slowly but surely, they will allllllllll be read.

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