In the aftermath of a failed Delta Force mission that claimed the life of their teammate and best friend Gray, Mace Stevens and Caleb Scott, are put on an extended leave. Noah, the team’s CO orders Mace to take Caleb to the home/bar Mace owns in upstate New York to recuperate. Caleb is suffering from traumatic amnesia as a result of torture the men endured at the hands of their terrorist captors. Mace is not only grieving the loss of Gray, he is healing from physical torture, and he is tasked with helping Caleb to cope as his memories return. The tight knit team is fractured, Reid is looking for Kell who is hunting the terrorists who imprisoned and tortured his friends.
Then another complication arrives at Mace’s door in the form of the beautiful, haunted Paige Grayson, Gray’s stepsister. Mace met Paige 4 years earlier when he and Gray stayed at her apartment while on leave. Paige is on the run from a threat that has barked at her heels her entire life and she seeks out Mace Stevens, as instructed by Gray, if anything ever happened and she needed help. Paige is an amazing heroine. She is an experienced Emergency Room nurse who has a gift of psychometry, meaning she can read the memories of people through touch of them or some inanimate objects that they been in contact with. Paige’s gift is both a blessing and a curse because she literally absorbs emotions and the experience can be exhausting and crippling. There is more to her story, Paige’s brother Jeffrey, is imprisoned as he committed mass murder at Paige’s school when she was a teenager killing many of her close friends in front of her eyes. Jeffrey is a maniacal, manipulative sociopath, and Paige, through her gift knew what he was capable of. However, no one heeded her warnings as to Jeffrey’s level of depravity. The horror of Jeffrey’s acts have followed Paige her entire life and she has never been able to settle and establish roots or friendships. She is a very lonely woman.
Then Paige walks into Mace’s bar on a stormy winter night and things change, for both of them.
“There was an energy around her—it almost made her glow. Her eyes, big and brown, her blond hair pulled back. She looked young, younger than he knew she was. And way too freaking innocent to be hanging around here. Except that Mace knew she was tough as nails, at least from what Gray had told him. She’d worked inner-city ERs for years.
Jesus, she did it for him in every single way. He couldn’t help but stare at the way the soft, old denim hugged her curves in all the right places. Her sweater was thin—definitely not warm enough—and she held the fabric of the sleeves fisted in her palms.
He’d noted that the sleeves were worn and stretched, as though holding the sweater like that was a common occurrence. Gray had told him about Paige’s psychometry—magic hands, Gray used to call them.”
In The Air Tonight © Stephanie Tyler
The sexual tension and attraction between Mace and Paige, blazes! Their romance is volatile because of the circumstances surrounding their second meeting, but the intense danger surrounding this heroine and hero amplifies the sensuality of the story ten fold. Neither of these people trust easily and like the other Shadow Force men and women they have a very bumpy road to travel before they admit their love. The love scenes in this story? Smoking. Hot. :-)
In The Air Tonight has about 4 subplots that are woven through a storyline that is rife with intrigue and danger. Caleb is reunited with Vivi, whose story began in Promises In The Dark. Theirs is a heartbreaking reunion because Caleb doesn’t remember their love. Caleb, the strong committed military man is changed from the trauma of the tragic mission. There are many questions to be answered about what happened as he was separated from the team during their ordeal and in some ways he is very afraid of what his returning memory will reveal.
While readers know Paige’s maniac of a brother is imprisoned, we are also are lead to believe he is somehow reaching out to further terrorize her. Or is he? This guy is one scary, diabolical antagonist, however the terrorists are also out there, could they be the enemy?
Dylan Scott and Cameron Moore, introduced in Lie With Me also play small secondary roles in story. Dylan continues to work on the periphery of the law as a mercenary with Cameron. Dylan’s extraordinary skills and connections are invaluable as danger moves ever closer to Mace and Paige resulting in more than one horrific murder.
Reid (I LOVED this guy) and Kell are floundering, both blame themselves for the Gray’s death and the team’s capture by the terrorist group DMH (Dead Man’s Hand). Reid and Kell are best friends and their separation is particularly hard on Reid. Their story will continue in Book IV - Night Moves (can't wait!).
What did I love about this book? Everything! In The Air Tonight provided an absolutely riveting thrill ride of a read, as well as being extremely emotional. Every time I thought I had figured out who the bad guy was, Ms. Tyler would instill another plot twist proving me wrong. In The Air Tonight is action packed, fast paced, sexy and, unpredictable. I wept for these people and was so relieved when Paige and Mace, and Caleb and Vivi are able to trust enough to find love. In addition, Ms. Tyler creates a tight knit family unit for these military men and their devotion to each other really tugged at my heartstrings. This book and the entire series are favorite reads of 2010 & 2011!
If you haven't read the Shadow Force series and are interested I would strongly suggest you read the books in order because Ms. Tyler does build connecting plots in each book. Book I is Lie With Me; Book II is Promises In The Dark.