Series: Hostile Operations Team, #10
Published by H.O.T. Publishing on April 11th 2017
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When Dex “Double Dee” Davidson was abandoned at the altar by the woman he loved, he threw himself into his military career, training hard enough to get accepted into the elite Black Ops unit known as HOT. The love he felt for Annabelle Quinn burned to ash in the face of her betrayal—so when she crashes back into his life and begs him to save her, he has no problem laughing in her face.
Blackmailed into jilting Dex and forced into an abusive marriage, Annabelle never thought she’d escape the hell of the last five years. But her husband died a month ago and she’s finally free. Except she isn’t. Someone claims that Eric stole a fortune—and they want it back. If she doesn’t return it within twenty-four hours, she’ll be dead—and so will her young daughter. With time running out, Annabelle has no one to turn to. No one except Dex.
When Dex learns that Annabelle’s husband committed treason against the US by selling a top secret military project to the Russians, he has no choice but to get involved. He’ll protect Annabelle and her child, and he’ll find out who’s threatening her. But he won’t fall for her intoxicating sensuality ever again. And if he discovers the secret she’s been hiding from him? It’ll be game over for good…
I try, I really try. Which is why I still go on with the HOT books despite being rather disappointed in Lynn Raye Harris’s past installments.
I like Harris’s storylines—the mixture of devil-may-care action and the active form of counterterrorism that these HOT guys fight—and how these books are actually a build up of an overarching narrative of a complex network of spies, baddies and shady characters who drive the ongoing plot. ‘Hot Addiction’ reminds me very much of ‘Hot Shot’ with its similar plot though, and while it isn’t quite a rehash of it, this takes place so much further in the HOT universe that things have clearly changed in the military situation that the guys deal with, as there are more happily married ones around.
But there’re too many times in the series that I can’t get over the stupidity of many of the heroines whose spineless behaviour can’t hold a candle to the guys they want. Sadly, Annabelle is yet another one in the long line of those—which is why I’ll fondly remember Victoria and Lucky as the ultimate HOT women—who jilted Dex because she chose her parents over him. Then not being able to face the truth of whether her daughter is Dex or the man she left Dex for tanked Annabelle completely in my opinion.
I understand that characters have their flaws. Tt makes them human and relatable, though there are some faults that go beyond my own personal limits—the lack of trust destroying relationships irreparably being one of those, clearly. Annabelle’s turning to Dex appeared more out of desperation than remorse and want, needing his company when she was scared witless yet it was still not enough to give up the whole truth to him. She gets my sympathy to an extent of course—a victim of rape never deserves it, despite what some people try to argue—but I couldn’t like her sufficiently because ultimately she didn’t have enough gumption to fight for what she wanted. I think she simply did way too many things wrong from the start which eventually snowballed into something she couldn’t control, then pretty much laying it on Dex when he tried to do the best by her just didn’t resonate with me, to put it nicely. That Dex was the one left grovelling in the end was probably the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Clearly this review falls in the minority and it’s just me with my personal triggers and innate sense of ‘justice’ of wronged parties acting up here. It didn’t change the fact that I felt sorry for Dex though, even though his HEA seemed to be harder fought on his side than Annabelle who should had grown more than a pair…yesterday. My rating reflects this, but that’s not to say that I’m not going to follow up on Mendez’s story, hoping for another hit the next time around.