Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ARC Review: No Rules by Starr Ambrose

No Rules (Omega Group, #1)
Title:  No Rules (An Omega Group Novel, #1)
Author: Starr Ambrose
Publisher/Publication Date: Entangled Edge/Select, August 4, 2014
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Format/Source:  E-ARC, Publisher

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Book Summary

Jess Maulier's estranged father was more than the quiet professor of linguistics he appeared to be – she is shocked to discover he was also an operative for a covert group that rescues hostages.  Before he died he left Jess a vital clue to a rescue.  Unfortunately, it's in the form of a children's story, and she has no idea what it means. Though she resents the close professional and personal relationship the handsome and dangerous Tyler Donovan had with her absentee father, she turns to him for help.

But Tyler doesn't know how to interpret the story, either. An attempt to decipher it takes them to Egypt, where danger ignites sparks between them. Tyler can't get involved, though—Professor Shikovski advised him never to risk emotional attachments—and Jess tempts him more than could ever be safe. No matter how enticing she is, he has to maintain his distance to preserve his focus. But only mutual trust can save them from encroaching danger.

My Thoughts

What’s not to love about No Rules by Starr Ambrose?  Ambrose has created a thrilling romantic suspense novel with well-developed characters and a fast paced plot. 

No Rules is the first book of The Omega Group series. The Omega Group was a secret organization that Wally, Jess' father had been a member of.  The purpose of the group was to rescue hostages. It didn't take long for the problems to be presented or for the thrills to begin.  Wally was dead and the only key to finding the hostages was—unknown by her—left with Jess. As such the Omega Group needed her help deciphering the code. It seemed like their challenge was like finding a needle in a haystack and led to tension within the group as they raced against time. There were some intense dramatic moments between Avery, one of the Omega team members, and Jess. Although Avery broached some difficult topics, it appeared to be an accurate depiction of how sometimes people downplay other people’s pain. Their search for clues spanned across countries from the US to Egypt. I've never been to Egypt so I can’t say for sure that it was an accurate depiction of the people, but I did love how bits of Egyptian history were incorporated into the story. It led to a thrilling yet dangerous quest with no clear end in sight.

Ambrose does a wonderful job of depicting Jess as a character who was the product of her tumultuous and unstable childhood. She is a meek individual with pent-up energy, fear, and abandonment issues. After her father’s death there were revelations about his double life and her world was quickly turned upside down again—even in death he soon brought danger and instability to her front door along with Tyler.

The chemistry between Tyler and Jess was unquestionable, but they were hesitant to act on their emotions. Tyler was everything that was supposed to be bad for Jess. He was dark, sexy, and dangerous. Well, maybe the sexy part wasn't so bad. He was dedicated to the mission and the team. Around Jess, he struggled to keep his eye on the mission and off of her.  And each time he started to lose control while he was with her, he would reel his emotions back in. His self-control was both good and bad. Although his behavior increased the tension between them, it also drove Jess out of her shell as she sought what she wanted. Both characters experienced growth throughout the story as new information came to light and they re-evaluated what they wanted out of life.

No Rules has all the elements of a perfect romantic suspense. There was heat, there was tension, and there was danger at every turn.  Although it was 362 pages, once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down.

Rating 4.5/5

I received an e-arc of No Rules from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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