The challenge with this book review thing is going to be balancing my reading time with my typing time. I rarely feel ready to write a review as soon as I finish a book, but I generally read at least 5 books a week, so it’s easy to get ahead of myself. However, The Consort just left for his new job in another province, so writing should be another way to occupy myself, along with sorting, packing, spending time with the dog and – oh yeah! – working.
There were a couple of new releases this week, and also the next book in a series I read that I somehow missed the release of. Silly me. So I’m starting with that one: Viable Threat, Book 1 in the Outbreak Task Force series by Julie Rowe. Or, as I really think of it, Book 4 in the Biological Task Force series.
As you might guess, the series follows a fictional American military group that is made of up doctors and disease specialists that are tasked with aiding management of disease outbreaks and fighting engineered biological weapons. (Fictional in the sense, that I assume and hope that the military does have teams like this, just probably not by this name or exact set up.) In the first book, we are introduced to the idea that these doctors are being paired with Special Forces groups; both to the train the soldiers and to provide protection to the specialists.
This scenario puts a bunch of intelligent, focused, musclebound men and women in highly charged emotional circumstances with a bunch of intelligent, focused, confident women and men. As a result, romance is bound to bloom, regardless of any attempts by the military to squash just that. In Viable Threat, the action returns to US soil, with a slightly unhinged bad guy getting his hands on a biological weapon provided by lingering idiots from earlier in the series. His plan is to spur political and social change in the American people by dumping them in a pressure cooker.
Our heroes in this book are Sgt. Walter River, who we met earlier and Dr. Ava Lloyd, who is new to the CDC after a stint providing front-line aid at such vacation spots as the Ebola outbreak in Africa. We get to watch them chase the bad guy, tackle their personal baggage, and fight to prevent the spread of a virulent pathogen, all while being blown up multiple times. This is a HEA, so of course, our heroes save the day, although there is no doubt that the clean-up will be long, expensive and unavoidably tragic.
I love this series because although the men are undoubtedly alpha and possessive, they are also smart and confident. With a little practice, River is able to recognize that what he finds attractive in Ava are the qualities that mean she’s never going to sit at home, patiently waiting for him. They have skill sets that are very different but also complementary, making them stronger when they work together.
The other thing I appreciate about this series is that the sex scenes are a little different. Because the heroes are generally in the middle of fighting, chasing, and recovering, usually with very little privacy, the sex is usually hot, quick, and in less than ideal settings. It definitely works to help heighten the attraction when they can’t just book a motel for the weekend and burn off the hormones.
In my less than scientific rating system, I gave this one four stars on Goodreads.