Fatal Pursuit by Elisabeth Naughton

Fatal Pursuit by Elisabeth NaughtonFatal Pursuit by Elisabeth Naughton
Series: Aegis #3
Published by Montlake Romance on July 28th 2015
Pages: 336
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Five years ago, Aegis Security op manager Marley Addison’s lover died in a South American raid gone horribly wrong…or so she thought. When she receives a phone call telling her that he is still very much alive and in danger, she vows to bring him home safely, even if Aegis CEO and former Navy SEAL Jake Ryder has kept her out of the field for the last few years. Then Jake shows up in Colombia to help her, leaving Marley annoyed…and more than a little distracted by her alarmingly handsome boss.
As things between Marley and Jake heat up in the wilderness, they discover their rescue mission is filled with treachery. Now the domineering Jake has to rely on Marley for survival. But can she depend on him when their mission takes a shocking and deadly turn?

In ‘Fatal Pursuit’, it’s finally the badass and bad-tempered boss who’ll be going down in a spectacular (albeit not in a totally believable) fashion. And it’s Marley Addison who triggers a juggernaut of events that begins with an unexpected call from an ex-boyfriend who’d apparently died in South America 5 years ago. Marley doesn’t think twice about rushing to her ex’s aid into dangerous territory, but that is in part, a split-second decision made after Jake’s act of monumental stupidity during a security op without any regard for her professionalism or feelings. This particular journey however, unravels more than what Jake wants unravelling and his determination to keep things with Marley purely professional fails the moment things start going south (pun not fully intended).

The adventure really begins on page one and doesn’t really stop up until the end. Like any Indiana Jones movie, there’s a good dose of action, horizontal tangling (more than I expected) and a case of an ex who isn’t all he seems. The pursuit happens on many levels, both in the present and in recent history: Jake hightails it after Marley, who’s after her ex who is of dubious motivation and after something of his own. And the consequences are dire, for most part.

The standout for me personally in this series is Elisabeth Naughton’s treatment and understanding of relationships, or at least the in-depth exploration of the heroines’ motivations and feelings, even as her heroes all seem to exhibit the same emotional stutter that’s typical of this genre. Jake’s refusal to see Marley as anything but a receptionist for the longest time is as frustrating as it is sexist, and it wasn’t hard to like Marley for wanting to stand up on her own.

The conclusion is as tricky as I thought it would be, displaying a naïveté (I just couldn’t accept Jake’s sudden turnaround and formulaic response) about sudden and rushed revelations about love, need, care and happy-ever-afters, but what I could definitely appreciate was Marley not giving Jake an easy time when he really needed to figure out what he really wanted.

I finished ‘Fatal Pursuit’ as always as I always do with a continuing series, wondering about the new characters that Ms. Naughton has introduced (Allison and Ronan in particular) and hoping that there will be their own stories written – soon.