To The Brink (The First Force Series #4) - Cindy McDonald
Tess thought her life would settle after the death of her husband, Ballard Crafton. After all she’d escaped Russia with the formula to his secret serum that transforms ordinary soldiers into unstoppable machines. She was certain the Russians thought Ballard’s notes were lost in the explosion that destroyed his lab, but one man believes that Tess possesses the precious information, and he wants it for his own wicked agenda.
Hired assailants dog her night and day. She needs help and she needed it weeks ago. Now she turns to First Force for protection only to find the team is away with only one operative at First Force headquarters holding down the fort—Dan Garrison.
How can Dan keep her safe when he isn’t sure that he believes her story? How can Tess gain his trust, and how can either of them deny the underlying passion that is exploding between the fine line of deception and danger?
I am such a fan of this series and I get excited every time one of them comes out, so when I was contacted by the author to review this one, I was all over it. Um, yes- I'll take another of the First Force hunks, thankyouverymuch.
The great thing about this series is that technically these are stand alone books and you'll be just fine no matter where you hop in. BUT. If you read from the books in order, it adds a whole other layer of greatness because the story builds over time. I also have to say, because I don't think I mentioned it in reviews for the other books, but the author does a great job at bringing the previous books' characters into each book while focusing on the "main couple". It's like revisiting old friends, it's really nice to catch up with them again.
So this book centers around Tess, who is on the run now that her bad guy husband is dead. His brother (and his goons) are after a serum that essentially could turn a regular guy into a super fighting machine, basically. A Hulk of sorts; which obviously, would be a bad thing in the hands of the wrong people. Tess is on the run and she knows that if she can get to the First Force team they could ultimately help her but she has to decide, is she able to trust them to hand the serum over? Or should she get rid of it herself? Enter Dan Garrison, the lone First Force member on duty once Tess arrives. He's a hunk, swoon worthy and the complete opposite of her husband. Dan knows that his directive is to get that serum because First Force could use it (they are the good guys) but they could also decide to destroy it too, but either way- he needs to gain Tess's trust, at all costs, to get his hands on it.
We also have the criminal aspect of this, headed by August Crafton, the brother of Tess's dead husband. Turns out, he's as disgustingly creepy as the criminals in the other books so the author did a bang up job there. Once you figure out how he has been tracking Tess, ick. So icky and creepy and you know she's going to hate herself for not figuring it out since Tess is a bit of a techie.
Overall? The romance element? So great. The thriller element? Also great, and it's in solid company with the other three books. You won't be let down by this story and if you've been with this series already you'll be so happy with the turn of the story. And can we all get a hell yes about book 5 being Casey's story? CAN WE? Yes, we can. *I'm excited* to say the least. Swoon.