Published by Montlake Romance on January 17th 2017
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Storm chaser Max Grady can already feel it: there’s a tornado coming to his hometown of Chance, Nebraska. Max is going after it, and the only person he wants by his side is police officer Bree McDermott, fellow adrenaline junkie, his best friend, and the woman Max has secretly been in love with for years. But when a close call with a tornado leaves them lip-locked, Max knows that the danger is only beginning.
Bree is always up for excitement. Her close and sexy encounter with Max is unlike anything she’s felt before, and she wants more. As they work together to help clean up Chance, the air between them crackles with sexual tension. But Bree has a tendency to look ahead to the next thrill, and Max knows it. Now they’re all tangled up as they chase the strongest force of nature on earth: love.
I’m going to call this my first real read of 2017, not because I’m an old coot who turns a nose up at near everything that comes my way (although it sometimes seems like it) but because I’d found myself engaged and absorbed in Max/Bree’s story for most of it.
Bree McDermott lives for the adrenaline thrill and at first glance, I’d associated her with someone who has that kind of compulsive behaviour that needs therapy at the very least. I’m glad to see Erin Nicholas pinpointing the complications of problematic risk-taking behaviour early on: that her restless nature cannot and will not permit the supposed attraction for Max to last beyond a tornado episode. That she was always seeking a newer, riskier high however, was an issue I’d waited to see if that would have been sufficiently addressed, because it seemed necessary before she and Max could move on together. But I also liked that Bree had some sense of self-awareness, that she wasn’t completely steeped in self-denial, or that she wasn’t a reckless, all-in female character who went on and on without a care for anyone else, although I thought there was definitely more to explained about when it came to the psychological issues behind how the death of her brother had affected her behaviour up until now.
For Max Grady, the attraction to Bree had always been there. Gut-deep, visceral and yearning…even though being tied to him, as Bree had once cruelly said, would have been ‘boring’. I could appreciate how Max was acutely aware of his desire never to hold her back, while recognising that she needed to see him for who he was rather than as the next high to conquer.
I was—pleasantly—thrown for a loop really: I’d expected the consequences of chasing the next high to be dire, leading to an equally, shouting-match dire climax, but Nicholas surprised me with that. Bree knew her own mind, had some personal epiphanies and while I kept waiting for her to run when the thrill wore off, she surprised me by not being afraid to see what she had been missing all along. Suddenly, it became about Max and his own gun-shy insecurities about not being able to keep up with her because he has made Bree’s noncommittal stance to be everything he didn’t want. Add to the strange ice-cream analogy, the story took off in a direction that didn’t quite conform to my expectations. And that wasn’t a bad thing, because I’d wondered whether this was going to be a straight-up story about unrequited love when it really wasn’t quite one after all.
But what I think I’m really looking forward to? Kit/Dillon’s story and judging from about of sparks generated here, well, let’s just say I’m more than up for it.