In the first book of Stephanie Tyler’s ‘Shadow Force’ series readers are introduced to the suspenseful and deadly world of men who straddle the line between working covert black ops missions and serving in the elite military. As the synopsis of the book indicates, after being framed for a double murder he didn’t commit Delta Force leader Cameron Moore was imprisoned and serving 2 consecutive life sentences. Cameron was 19 years old, and while street wise and tough, being caged in prison and subjected to inmate brutality left deep scars. Then 2 years after his conviction Cameron was approached in prison by CIA chameleon extraordinaire Gabriel Creighton who arranged for his record to be erased, and freedom. However, Cameron was pressed into another type of imprisonment. After entering military service and becoming an elite warrior, Cameron was threatened and forced by Gabriel to do his bidding and complete black ops jobs that had chipped away at his conscience and soul over a period of 10 years.
The good work Cameron does on his missions with Delta Force are what keep a man such as himself with pride and a soul, honorable. It was during one of these missions that he saved a wounded Dylan Scott who eventually became his close friend and confidant. After a near death experience, when Cameron is forced to take out one of Gabriel’s ‘people’ Dylan reveals some valuable Intel regarding the man who has had a noose around his friend’s neck for a decade. Dylan has discovered that Gabriel has a daughter, Skyler Slavin and he convinces Cameron that he must use his military background to ingratiate himself, kidnap her and do whatever is necessary to finally rid himself of Gabriel Creighton.
Skyler Slavin has come back from the dead, literally. After her kidneys failed she required extensive dialysis treatment, a donor was located and she underwent a transplant. Following a dicey recovery where she hovered between life and death, Skyler continues a long road to regain her health and strength but is back on her feet. Needing a break, she takes a working/vacation in the mountains of the Adirondacks. Skyler is an author and she lost her muse following her recovery and she needs to start writing again. When a knock comes to the door and Cameron Moore flashes his military ID indicating he has been sent by her father to protect her, she is naturally suspicious. However, Skyler has been receiving threatening notes and tried without success to reach her father, she therefore accepts the handsome military officer's story.
In the meantime Dylan uses his numerous contacts, inside and outside the military to try and unravel the mystery surrounding Cameron being framed for the murders. As well, he looks for a now missing Gabriel. One of the people he approaches is Riley, a woman who is ex-military, a deadly killer turned black ops for hire, and she has a major grudge against Gabriel. Dylan and Riley have had an explosive on again off again affair and Ms. Tyler weaves a very hot romantic subplot into the narrative concerning these two people.
Skyler is very attracted to Cameron and the last thing he plans or expects happens, he wants the daughter of the man he hates most in the world. As I’ve mentioned here before, one of the reasons I love romantic suspense so much is that I think danger amplifies the sexual tension and sensuality of the interaction between the hero and heroine exponentially. Skyler and Cameron’s story is no exception. Cameron Moore is Alpha, sexy as hell, a trained killer, but he is also written to possess an innate sensitivity and kindness that comes rocketing to the surface during intimate encounters with Skyler. Trouble does arrive in spades, and Cameron is forced to protect and save a still recovering Skyler from hired guns, intent on kidnapping her. As they fight and flee these aggressors their feelings for one another intensify, but can they forge a relationship founded on lies and betrayal?
Ms. Tyler also introduces the sociopathic and elusive Elijah, leader of Dead Man’s Hand (DMH), a home grown terrorist organization that began by funding terror camps, and then branched out to black market weapons and organ trafficking. This is one scary group and Elijah is in the background, pulling the levers of what is an extraordinarily fasted paced, action packed plot that takes a number of surprising and exciting twists and turns.
If you read this review, you may think there is a lot going on in "Lie With Me", and you would be right. However, Ms. Tyler deftly ties the subplots together, making for a conclusion that is not only exciting but hosts a number revelations. If you enjoy a heart wrenching, thrilling, gritty and action packed military romantic suspense, you may like to give,“Lie With Me,” a try. Ms. Tyler sets the foundation for the next story in her “Shadow Force,” series “Promises In the Dark,” which is Navy Seal, Zane Scott (I love this guy) and Dr. Olivia Strohm’s story. I’m SO primed to read this one!
What is the Shadow Force? Read “Lie With Me,” and you will get an idea as to how it begins.
Stephanie Tyler will be here on November 9th to talk about her new series, and for those interested I will be reviewing “Promises In The Dark,” prior it’s release on November 23, 2010.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 big stars! This is one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Heat Level: Hot. You’ve got the danger sex, angry sex, and 'damn I love you’ sex. ;)