Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-363-8
Contemporary Romance, 2015 (Reissue)
JC Wilder’s Tactical Pleasure was previously published by Ellora’s Cave in 2005. Now reissued by Samhain Publishing, it is not clear whether this story has been expanded or revised. At any rate, you can always bug the author if you are curious.
John Stevens is the hottest guy that has ever walked into our heroine Miranda White’s diner. Even better, he’s a SWAT sniper, which means he’s a professional at handling big, long guns. Too bad he seems like a big player as well, and Randa doesn’t want to be another notch in the bedpost. When she needs a date for the retirement dinner of one of the cops in Haven, she decides to ask John’s buddy. But not if John can help it, since he’s been attracted to her from day one and he’s going to have her in his bed, sooner or later.
Despite the abundance of men in uniform in this story and the guy on the cover holding a gun, this one is a straightforward contemporary romance without any terrorist or bombing to get in the way. Okay, there is some drama late in the story, but it’s an excuse to get John all vulnerable so that Randa can go all oh-oh-me-love-you over him. The romance is pretty sweet and readable, however, with John being all alpha but not creepy or weird, and Randa manages to play hard to get while coming off as sensible and smart at the same time. There is chemistry and the author does a great job combining humor and sexual tension here.
The story is quite short, however, so the resolution occurs abruptly. Reading this story is like getting on a train only to have it stop three stations down. Things are fun while they last, but all things come to a sudden end here. I’ve had a good time, but I actually feel rather disappointed in the end. Somehow, I feel like I’ve been cheated of a longer, more satisfying story.