*I received a free copy of Under Pressure from Harlequin HQN via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Under Pressure by Lori Foster
Series: Body Armor #1
Published by Harlequin HQN on 24 January 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Reading Challenges: 2017 New Release Challenge, COYER Blackout
He can protect anything except his heart
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 honour. 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 was very slow-paced, and for quite a bit of it, the only characters present were Leese and Cat. The mystery and the suspense was well done, though, and, of course, Foster’s writing impeccable.
While I found the suspense and the mystery part of Under Pressure to be well executed, I also found it to be a very slow read. It picked up a bit in the middle, then slowed back down until near the end. Cat was a bit too naïve for my taste in the beginning, but as she shared a bit more of herself with Leese, I got her reasoning. She was trusting in some ways, and extremely wary in others. And she really needed to feel safe, and I understand why Leese made her feel that way. I had already met Leese, of course, as he’s a part of the Ultimate universe. He fit the role of a body guard very well, and the way he was able to make sure Cat would be safe even when she didn’t want to let him, proved that he was the man for the job.
For long parts of the story, Under Pressure was a closed partition in which only Cat and Leese evolved. I would definitely have enjoyed getting to know Sahara better, because a female boss of an agency dealing with personal security and body guards is hot! When she was on the scene, she showed some serious skills, plus, she was also very smart and fair when it came to her employees. And she definitely knew her thing, and how to keep both the building and her clients secure – not afraid of taking a risk or two to make sure they stayed that way either.
Of course, I’ll continue with the Body Armor series, because I see so many great ways and excellent stories that can stem from this. And while the action in Under Pressure was slow, the writing was great, the character development fantastic, and the overall plot was really good. I guess I was expecting something a little faster, and so I felt a little *stuck* at times, but that’s all on me. Written in third person point of view, past tense, and with lots of great dialogues, Under Pressure also has Foster’s excellent romance and chemistry. And the fact that the romance was kind of forbidden – body guard and client – made it all the sweeter;)
Smiling, she struck a seductive pose then twirled, sending the material to fan out around her legs. “Do you like it?” The way the dress parted, she had to be naked underneath. For damn sure she wasn’t wearing a bra. “Yeah,” he growled, looking at her small bare feet. “I like it.” “I’d hoped you would”
“Let’s put the seduction on the back burner, at least for a week.” When she started to protest, he cut her off. “One week, Cat. You can rein it in that long, and if after a week – ” which was about as far as he could push himself ” – we’re still holed up together , and you’re still sure of what you want, well then – ” She bolted up to face him. “You mean it?”