**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
So this book was pretty awesome. I loved it, and had a VERY hard time putting it down. Ryker and Rachel's relationship is sweet...but intense. Ryker definitely had damage, but the way he treats Rachel at different times is deplorable. Yes, he apologizes, but I think I would have at least slapped him at some point before forgiving him. Rachel is strong to do what she does in the book. I love the brotherly relationships she had with the rest of the people she worked with.
Ryker (Nathan) is the type of guy that every girl wants. He is, by definition, swoon worthy. A good guy at heart, with a wild side and a little bit edgy. Not to mention awesome in bed, giver of multiple orgasms, with enough stamina to do marathon sex. He's got scars, sexy tattoos, and of course, muscles. He's a hero, cares about those around him, basically perfect except his PTSD, almost too perfect. We hardly hear anything bad about him, or even anything negative, except a bit when Troy warns Rachel. Other than that, it is just him bashing himself. During the book, he gets flashbacks. Often when he hears explosions (duh) which, predictably, causes some problems. However, I really liked him. I thought he overreacted by cutting Rachel out so brutally, but whatever.
The only word that I could possibly use to describe Rachel is strong. Rachel is unbelievably strong. Going through everything with her sister, her family, and then going after Nathan. And taking care of Nathan after his flashbacks, encouraging him to get help. Rachel made me laugh during the banter with her coworkers, but I am glad that she finally sticks up for herself, making sure that everyone knows she is qualified to take on the job needed to be done. Normally, I don't like love triangles, but throwing in Marx as another guy who wants Rachel actually worked in this book. I think it really forced Nathan to step up and act on his feelings...even though he was kind of a little bitch about it. Rachel's sister really pissed me off, I just wanted to smack her for what she did, and then expecting Rachel to automatically forgive her and forget about it. I'm just glad we didn't meet Dante up close and personal, I'm sure my phone would have been hurled viciously across the room and into a wall. Which would have been a shame, because I really did like the book.
Overall, the plot was good, enough conflict to keep me interested, but still a nice and sweet (except for the sex, that was ridiculously hot) romance book. Now, about the sex, hot, hot, HOT. It was a little kinky (yay!) but Nathan wasn't an uber dom always ordering Rachel around. I liked that he was kinky though. Also, they weren't always having sex. They each had their own lives, and sure, they may have been a bit distracted by the great sex, but they didn't lay in bed all day, neglecting their friends and the rest of their lives. The book didn't jump around, but still gave enough background as to what happened to Nathan. Rachel's background was a little fuzzier, but easy enough to get the main idea of what happened with her sister until the author does go into detail and explain it. There was no whining about unnecessary shit in the book, which I greatly appreciate.
I have never read this author before, but I will be reading the first two books in the series now. Hopefully they are just as great!