Requested ARC Review: Cold Pursuit by Toni Anderson

Format: E-bookcoldpursuit
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Cold Justice, #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jed Brennan
Heroine: Veronica Vincent
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 2, 2014
Started On: May 29, 2014
Finished On: June 1, 2014

Cold Pursuit is the novel that follows A Cold Dark Place, the second book in the Cold Justice series by Toni Anderson. It tells the story of single mom Veronica Vincent (Vivi) and her eight year old son Michael who get caught up in the crossfire of a terrorist attack at a shopping mall. With an eidetic memory, Michael who doesn’t speak poses a serious threat to the plans of the terrorists, whose bigger agenda supersedes that of any usual terrorist attack.

FBI Special Agent Jed Brennan who is on enforced leave finds himself a crucial part of the investigation launched to find the remaining terrorists and to prevent any further attacks. There is also the untimely attraction that flares between Vivi and himself way before the case begins, throwing the detachment that should be when it comes to her nowhere to be found. Unlocking the clues in Michael’s head is the break that practically every law enforcement agency in the country needs but with Vivi protecting her son as fiercely as any mother should makes the task doubly harder when Jed himself becomes protective of the little boy who tugs at his heartstrings.

Too many close calls finds Jed, Vivi and Michael going into hiding, to give the agencies the time to do what they do best and to give Michael the time to recuperate so that he might give into the need to put pen to paper and give a face to the people that were being hunted relentlessly. Add to the mix the volatile sexual attraction between Vivi and Jed together with the baggage Vivi mostly brings to the equation, Cold Pursuit definitely has the elements of a high roller coaster ride.

Reading terrorism themed books and watching related TV shows is a bit of a touchy issue with me, considering the fact that I am a Muslim myself. Not that I would ever believe that our religion calls for the slaughter of millions of innocents in the name of a religion that propagates peace above everything else. But the fact that Muslims at large are portrayed as terrorists by the fact their name ends or begins with Muhammad is a cause of concern for me, stereotyping that actually adds to the problem in my opinion. In my eyes, violence is wrong whether its state sanctioned or endorsed by a terrorist organization looking to make the headlines. But I guess it is rather easy to make that call while you are sitting in the comfort of your own home, reading on your iPad or watching what goes over in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan for that matter on TV with a detached air about you because those things have become practically the realities of everyday existence.

I’d say Toni handled the terrorism aspect of the story really well, giving voice to the villains as well as the heroes in the story. The villains aren’t as clear cut as some people might like them to be and I understood where they were coming from – survival being the reason behind the consequential actions. However that doesn’t mean I agree with the killing and senseless mayhem that went down, but becoming pawns in a mindless game planned and executed as a nefarious means to an end by the power hungry is something that happens across the globe every single day. Kudos to Toni for giving a voice to the killers and the victims; it is not easy to make a reader empathize with a villain on a level such as this and she has achieved it remarkably well in my opinion.

The sexual tension in the book kept the sizzle factor always at the forefront, no mean feat when there’s killing and mayhem surrounding you at every turn. Jed was such a dreamy hero, sexy enough to melt your panties, charming enough to knock your socks off and with the kind of gentle soul that you don’t come across every day. Toni creates splendid alpha heroes that are sweet on the inside and yet manages to give just enough angst to keep things real between the hero and heroine. That is what I call good writing, the kind that keeps you coming back for more.

Vivi and Michael each have earned a place in my heart; Vivi for her sheer bravery and the protectiveness that she displays towards her son. It is not easy to move past the scars left behind by an emotionally abusive spouse and Vivi earned my wholehearted approval by being brave enough to seduce Jed out of his goody two shoes belief that he is no good for the long run where relationships are concerned. Michael on the other hand tugged at my heartstrings; his uniqueness something Toni created beautifully well. The struggles that Vivi undergoes added to the burden of being the sole caregiver of Michael increased the respect I had for Vivi as the heroine.

The ending definitely gave the surprise effect Toni was aiming for. And that you’d have to read to find out because in my eyes, the scenario that played out is entirely a plausible one when one considers the factors in play. The only thing I could have wished for was an epilogue. Sorely missed one in the first book and this one as well.

Most obviously I am looking forward to Killion’s story. Now if that ain’t a hint to Toni to write the story ASAP, I don’t know what would be. Definitely recommended for those who love a great romantic suspense!

Final Verdict: Toni definitely knows how to keep the pages turning & the mind whirring!

Favorite Quotes

He held her still, his gaze intent on her lips. Sexual awareness swirled between them, made her breath catch as arousal stirred low and hot in her belly. The air around them crackled and she shivered as she stared up into his face, mesmerized.
Jed slanted his mouth over hers like he had to taste her—just the way he had when he’d found them at the safe house. It was an open-mouthed, full-on assault and she willingly met him halfway. Her tongue tangled with his in a silky slick slide, the taste of him hot and very, very male. Something inside her ignited with long forgotten need.

Then he was kissing her and she leaned into him, grabbing the collar of his vest to pull him closer. She licked inside his mouth and a furnace exploded inside him. He backed her up a few paces to the shelter they’d built years ago. Hunger filled him and even though he didn’t release her mouth, his hand was pulling her shirt from her jeans, his hand cupping her breast, finding her nipple a taut, firm pebble against his palm.
How did she do this to him? Reduce him to nothing but want.

He drove his fingers into her, keeping a rhythm that made her writhe against him and lose her ability to do anything except react—and God help him he liked that. He liked giving her pleasure. His thumb found her clit and then he pressed his palm hard against the throbbing nub of flesh. He drove deeper, wishing it wasn’t so damn cold and he could strip her naked right here in the woods.

Purchase Links: Amazon

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