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ARC Review: In The Air Tonight

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In The Air Tonight
Author: Stephanie Tyler 
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: Dell Books
Shadow Force #3
ISBN: #978-0440423034
Genre: Military/Suspense Romance
Format(s): Paperback (400 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Author (eARC)

About the book:

      With danger closing in, all they have is each other.
      Haunted by a mission he barely survived, Delta Force operative Mace Stevens still carries a soldier’s burden. Running a small bar in upstate New York, he remains a stone cold warrior who guards dangerous secrets and stays ready for anything. Anything except beautiful, vulnerable Paige Grayson, who shows up at his door, demanding answers about her heroic stepbrother’s death under his command.
      Paige bears burdens, too. She’s plagued by demons unleashed by an older brother who committed mass murder before her eyes. But here in this snowy haven with Mace, she almost feels safe from the menacing promises of her insane sibling. As a nurse whose hands can read the deepest thoughts of anyone she touches, Paige knows Mace needs her as desperately as she needs him. And when a faceless killer begins unleashing fresh terror, Mace proves just how far he will go to save the woman who means everything to him.

What Im talking about:

      In the Air Tonight is the third installment of Ms. Tyler’s Shadow Force series, and it picks up a few months after the conclusion of Promises in the Dark (review HERE). There is enough break between this and the last book that it could certainly be read as a stand alone. The main hero, Mace, and most of his military brothers were minor characters in the last book.  With that said, this book does pick up on the Cael-Vivi romance which began in Promises.
      The story opens with a bang as ER nurse Paige is taken hostage. We quickly find out that she’s had a tough life (I was almost in tears by page 13) — her older brother was the perpetrator of a Columbine-type school shooting.  To compound problems, her best friend, stepbrother Gray, was recently killed in the line of duty, and to top it off, Paige is has pschometric hands, able to read thoughts and histories from a touch.
      Paige managed to keep her true identity a secret for years, but when news of her capture and release hits the TV, soon everyone discovers her secrets. She escapes to a small town where Gray’s best friend, Mace, lives and runs and bar when he’s not on missions with the Delta Force.  Although they had only met once before, both Paige and Mace never forget one another.
      I was a bit confused for the first 40 pages or so of the story because I was trying to remember who was who from the last book AND I didn’t realize that time had passed since the conclusion of the second book.  Prior to the start of this one, the Delta team goes on a mission that goes bad where Gray is killed and Cael walks away with amnesia (these aren’t spoilers, I just didn’t pick up on the fact that time had passed and a mission took place.)
      Once I got myself straightened out (well even before) I was hooked on the story.  Ms. Tyler does an excellent job of mixing action and suspense with romance.  I adore that her characters are never perfect, in fact can have significant flaws, but they are always able to move past them without completely forgetting their problems or suddenly finding out everything is alright.
      I loved Cael & Vivi together, and was a bit disappointed when they didn’t have HEA at end of last book. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I first read about the amnesia storyline – frustrated that the two weren’t together (and in fact took many steps backwards), but wow – it really worked. It was wonderful watching Vivi and Cael fall in love all over again.  Their interactions were emotionally satisfying and Ms. Tyler did a superb job describing Vivi’s frustration and pain.
      As for the primary couple, Mace and Paige… Another well-written romance.  They had great emotional and gut-wrenching dialogue and some sizzlin’ smex. At one point, they didn’t really trust each other and wanted to use each other to forget, but there was always that “maybe it’s different” feeling for both.  Mace was cruel and blunt, and it worked. It hurt me to read his words when he was so direct with Paige. I wanted Paige to deny them, but they were true… She was a strong woman to accept his words and move forward.
      This book has much more of a whodunit feel to it than the first two.  Someone is helping Paige’s evil brother torment her and the clues point back to Paige’s allies.  Each time I thought I’d figured it out, there was a new twist in the plot.
      I really enjoyed this one… It’s my favorite of the series so far. The book had a real sense of closure, even though I know more stories are coming. The story was quick-paced and high action, but full of emotions and detail.

My Rating:

Enjoyed – strongly recommend

  • oooh, great review! I am REALLY looking forward to this one. It has been on my wish list forever waiting for it to come out… smiles!

  • Una

    This sounds really good. I’m going to have to add this to my TBR list! Thanks, TwiMom!

  • I’ve read and reviewed it too (review is up on the Blog today) and it’s funny how books can work in such different ways for readers, because though I agree with most that you’ve written, this was my least favorite of the three books…however I still enjoyed it very much as Steph never disappoints with the romance or the suspense 🙂

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