This was my third foray into Rhonda Nelson's work, and my, my, my I think I'm in love! Nelson is definitely moving up my list of fav contemporary authors and Harlequin's Blaze series has definitely reshaped itself from being "all about sex" to being "all about the sexy"!
Major Brian Payne is one of the Rangers suffering from guilt over the death of their other Ranger buddy, Danny, and like the others, Brian has made a deal with the "Devil" Colonel Carl Garrett: His freedom from the service in exchange for an ambiguous, as needed "favor".
For Brian, the favor seems simple enough -- hunt down a pocketwatch legend says was owned by Robert E. Lee before his competition can. Brian heads out and bumps (literally) into Emma Langsford. Emma is on the hunt as well, working for Garrett's competition after accepting the job to help ease her family's horrible financial situation as well as fund her own quest to go back to school. Emma, however, is also ex-military and just as smart, determined, and crafty as Brian. Her reputation for "ruthlessness" definitely proceeds her.
From there on out it's a game of one-upmanship with Emma constantly throwing Mr. In Control for loop after sexy loop. What I love most about Nelson's pairings is she constantly finds couples that *fit*. They click together and you understand why they would be attracted (beyond the obligatory hot looks and great sex) to the other. Emma and Brian are no exception to this fabulous rule, and soon they're giving in to passion in bed... up against the wall... against the door... Whew! Hot stuff!
The funny thing about this couple is they're both very strong individuals who pride themselves on their brain power and strength, so when they're together and sense those same qualities in the other, they find those abilities even sexier and more admirable.
The Specialist was a great book and I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning just to finish it. I haven't been able to say that about a book in a long, long time. Definitely recommend it and the author and look forward to her future books!