Under Pressure- Lori Foster
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Rating (out of 5):
Synopsis: Leese Phelps's road hasn't been an easy one, but it's brought him to the perfect job—working for the elite Body Armor security agency. And what his newest assignment lacks in size, she makes up for in fire and backbone. But being drawn to Catalina Nicholson is a dangerous complication, especially since it could be the very man who hired Leese who's threatening her.
What Catalina knows could get her killed. But who'd believe the sordid truth about her powerful stepfather? Beyond Leese's ripped body and brooding gaze is a man of impeccable honor. He's the last person she expects to trust—and the first who's ever made her feel safe. And he's the only one who can help her expose a deadly secret, if they can just stay alive long enough…
Under Pressure is the exciting start of a new Lori Foster series, with some familiar faces for fans of Foster's Ultimate Fighters series. Leese Phelps has transitioned from being an MMA fighter to bodyguard at the elite Body Armor security agency. He's calm, cool, and collected but his newest assignment throws him for a loop: protecting Catalina Nicholson from unknown threats. Cat has been on the run for over a month and is wearing down. So when an unknown man steps up to defend her against a group of street toughs, she lets him. Turns out, he's her new bodyguard and has been hired by one of the very men she's trying to run from. But Cat trusts her instincts, and her instincts say that Leese is one of the good guys. Soon they are working with Body Armor's boss Sahara Silver and new hire (and former MMA fighter) Justice to not only protect Cat from those out to get her, but to bring down some very powerful men whose secrets are worth killing to protect.
Lori Foster has done it again, creating an exciting plot, a believable romance, and a world we hate to leave. While it was fun to get to see some of the characters from the Ultimate Fighters series (Leese was always a favorite of mine!) a reader new to Foster's books won't feel like they need to read that series in order to follow this one. Though they will probably want to read them while waiting for Justice's book to come out in March! Leese is a great contrast to a stereotypical movie bodyguard- he thinks first, uses a gun only as a last resort. His sense of humor, calm demeanor, and overall caring (and hotness) make it no surprise that Catalina is instantly drawn to him. Catalina is the woman we all wish we could be if we ever found ourselves in her position: resourceful, strong, and a survivor. While running from powerful men she's overheard admitting to murder she sees herself as a coward while everyone else sees her as being both strong and brave enough to even try and get away. She sees her fear as a weakness while we see it as not only perfectly normal, but are impressed that she has powered through it. She wants to protect Leese and her new friends at Body Armor, which Leese may see as a lack of confidence in his abilities but is a sign of her strength and love.
Under Pressure is a fast read, well written, and with all of what I've come to expect in a Lori Foster book: humor, witty dialogue, off the charts chemistry, believable relationships, and creepy bad guys. The twists and turns come as we try to figure out exactly how many bad guys we're up against, who is working with whom, who is not? Secondary characters like Sahara, Justice, and Enoch are as carefully written as the main characters and readers can be sure that we will continue to see them grow throughout the series. Tender, quiet moments and sizzlingly sexiness combined with heart-pounding danger led to a story I couldn't wait to get through and was sorry to have to put down when it ended.
Warning: Don't start this book in the evening- you'll stay up all night to find out what happens next!
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review