HEA USA Book Review of Stephanie Tyler’s Night Moves
Written By Lea Franczak, USA TODAY
Night Moves is the fourth book in Stephanie Tyler’s dark, fast-paced Shadow Force series, which chronicles the lives and loves of a group of tough elite Special Forces-trained mercenaries. Tyler’s crisp, gritty prose and dialogue suit these hard-core lethal warriors who embrace the adrenaline rush provided by the dangerous missions they undertake. A prologue takes readers back to when Kell Roberts and Reid Cormier met as young emotionally scarred adolescents living in the same foster home. They forged a tight bond that strengthened during their years in the military. Kell and Reid are as close, if not closer, than brothers.
Kell and Reid continue to contend with the devastation caused by a Delta Force mission gone wrong that cost the life of one of their teammates, and left surviving team operatives, including Reid, fighting for their lives. In the wake of the rescue of his friends, Kell went rogue, spending three months in the jungle of Sierra Leone hunting down and exterminating the remaining terrorists from Dead Man’s Hand (DMH). Reid has pulled Kell in, but he struggles with guilt related to the circumstances surrounding the failed mission, and he feels disconnected, as if he left a piece of his humanity in the jungle. Leaving the military behind, Kell agrees to work a mission with Reid as part of the clandestine mercenary group formed and led by ex-Delta Force operative Dylan Scott.
Kell and Reid are about to complete the covert operation in Juarez, Mexico, when photographer Teddy Lassiter crashes into their lives, bringing a truckload of trouble in the form of mercenaries firing automatic weapons. The men are left with little choice but to spirit Teddy away, resulting in a roller-coaster ride of suspense, danger and desire as deadly threats move in from all sides. Despite Teddy spinning a web of lies related to her reasons for being on the run, Kell can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious, antagonistic woman.
Not only is Teddy on the run from a deadly threat from her past, she has the law looking for her, having given the U.S. Marshals Witness Protection Program the slip. She is tough and strong-willed but floundering in her efforts to prove the innocence of someone close to her and gain freedom from suffocating witness protection. The trio take flight to a safe location ferreted out by Reid. While en route, they run into more trouble: An enemy from Dylan’s rather colorful past is intent on vengeance.
At its heart, Night Moves is a story of two tortured souls who find comfort and love together under the most harrowing of circumstances. There are plot twists a’plenty, and the incessant danger amplifies the desire shared between a hero and heroine who grab fleeting moments of intimacy when and where they can. Readers are treated to a two-pronged love story as sparks fly when the seductive uberalpha Reid meets Grier Catherine-Grace Vanderhall, a tough, no-nonsense U.S. Marshal tasked with finding Teddy and returning her to protective custody.
Tyler paints an enticing portrait of a highly trained group of lethal alpha warriors who often function outside the law to protect innocents. She provides nail-biting suspense, loads of action spiced with one-on-one fight sequences reminiscent of a Jason Bourne movie. Further, this author isn’t afraid to integrate military-style kill scenes into her plots. Kell’s lethal weapon of choice? A pen. Readers can expect bullets flying, surprises at every turn and, for an added punch, passion in the midst of a raging hurricane.
The narratives of all four of the Shadow Force novels are complex, with multiple intersecting subplots and story arcs that culminate in Night Moves. It is for this reason I feel it is crucial for readers interested in this series to read the books in order. The Shadow Force team is brought full circle in Night Moves. The remaining members of this tight-knit family of mercenaries and their heroines make appearances, and Tyler pens an unconventional HEA for Kell and Teddy. As for Reid? Well, all I’ll say is fans will hunger for closure to his story.
The Shadow Force novels: Lie With Me, Promises In the Dark, In the Air Tonight and Night Moves.
Lea Franczak lives in Toronto with her family, which includes three dogs and one cantankerous geriatric cat. She has been blogging and reviewing since 2008 and is a contributor at Book Lovers Inc. and Desert Island Keepers as well as an active member at Goodreads.