by Alexandra Ivy
ARES Security, Book 1
ABOUT THE BOOK:
From the hellhole of a Taliban prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES Security.
Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he's eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can't just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…
There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried
Rafe Vargas is a member of the recently formed ARES Security. Rafe heads to the home of his recently passed grandfather to clean out the house when he meets Annie White. Annie has a notorious history in this town and she is brought back by the frightening dreams that are plaguing her sleep. Her dreams are premonitions and she is fearful that these will come true. Unfortunately, there is a serial killer in town and she is the key to finding and stopping murderer.
This book reads more like a mystery thriller than any other that I have read by this author. I’m a fan of Alexandra Ivy’s paranormal pieces so I knew it was going to be a good story, but I didn’t expect it to be the taut thriller it turned out to be. The paranormal elements are minimal and that still works f because there is strong suspense. I welcome the killer’s perspective as it adds a creep factor that enhanced the story.
The central characters intrigue me, especially Annie. Being the daughter of a suspected (and convicted in the court of public opinion) serial killer, her experiences as a child are horrifying. I can only imagine what it must have been like for her and how heavy the burden of that stigma must be. I also liked Rafe, although he is just this side of bossy for my tastes, I appreciate his earnestness in trying to help Annie solve the mystery of her dreams. He has a need to be the hero. However, I question the chemistry of the two of them as a couple. He acknowledges that she needs protection and help, but is that enough to start a long – term relationship? It seems rather one-sided.
Because it is the first book in the series, we are introduced to team which will be the focus of the books. ARES consists of Rafe, the covert ops specialist; Max Grayson, the resident scientist and nerd; Hauk Laurensen, sniper and weapons specialist; Teagan Moore, the computer wizard and other nerd; and Lucas St. Clair, hostage negotiator. As a team, Ms. Ivy has introduced some interesting personalities. They are a brotherhood forged through their experience in war. It is repeated often they are each other’s family. I’m a fan of stories featuring “teams” and I am excited about forthcoming books.
A intriguing thriller, this is a great start to a new series.