Title: Friendly Fire
Author: Cari Z.
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Page Count: 252
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.
Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie—a man who captures his attention and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.
But Elliott is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.
Friendly Fire is a good book that sadly could have been a great book.
Elliot is a man who beat his demons and is successfully working on his second chance with a new business venture called Charmed Life, a community of former addicts who support one another in their own second chance.
Lennox is a former Army Sergeant who is working on his own second chance after suffering a catastrophe overseas while he was in command. He is currently in therapy to help overcome his PTSD and help with the strained relationship he has with his teen-aged daughter.
The plot was interesting and very suspenseful and I enjoyed all of the characters very much, especially Lennox’s daughter Lee and Elliot’s personal assistant Serena. But, oh how the relationship between Lennox and Elliot could have been SO MUCH BETTER!
There is sex in this book. Hot sex. But very little. I think 3 scenes? Maybe 4. Unfortunately, all were before Lennox and Elliot had strong feelings for one another. It was just sex. Scratching an itch. Friends with benefits. As for romance, I didn’t see it. At times Lennox and Elliot’s inner dialogues were thinking warm, happy thoughts about the other, but nothing is ever said out loud. The epilogue was woefully inadequate and told us rather than showed us the warm bond that obviously grew between the two men.
But the biggest gripe I have is the missed opportunity for some delicious healing/comfort. Lennox is absolutely destroyed by an event that happened when he was in Afghanistan, to the point that he won’t even let his daughter spend the night with him because his nightmares are so vivid that he is afraid for her safety if he wakes her during one. Not only did we not get a nice nightmare comfort scene (one of my personal favorites!) but Lennox never even TALKS about it with Elliot! Oh, it would have been glorious, I know it!
Good book, could have been great. I do recommend this one, but be prepared for stifled emotions and minimal romance. The mystery was exciting and suspenseful so if that is your bag, you will highly enjoy this one.
Bonus points for Holly!