The unexpected twists to this exciting story kept me enthralled until the last fascinating word. One should be forewarned that this is a very gritty story with sometimes gut-wrenching scenes that evoke the price paid by those who go to war, and sometimes paid by those who are innocents in an evil situation. I love the way the author vividly creates tension-filled situations that show the strength that each of these characters has acquired while craftily revealing snippets of the background that has shaped them. The reader is buffeted by tension and fear throughout the story yet a wonderful sense of camaraderie and affection is gradually coaxed into being, just as occurs within the story itself. I had not realized at first that I had already encountered this author’s dexterity at presenting vivid and tortured characters, but once I made the connection to her fantasy books, the ‘Stonewiser’ series, I was reminded of how memorable her characters have been for me.
I always have a soft spot for stories that feature military heroes who are trying to find a way to deal with the horrors they have dealt with and rejoice when they find someone to help ease their burdens. The connection that forms over a common issue of PTSD is both heartbreaking and a beautiful unfolding to observe. The combination of the therapy dog who is able to use his training to treat both of the main characters, the wry humor that breaks up the tension at times (e.g. vet treating the vet), the poignant flashbacks, and the persistence and determination that are hallmarks of the characters’ personalities make this a wonderful start to the series and I can only hope that future stories continue to showcase such compelling characters in equally exciting and mesmerizing situations.
“The Asset” by Anna del Mar is part of the ‘Wounded Warrior’ series and is a romantic suspense story that follows Lia Stuart who unwillingly acquires a roommate/tenant named Asher (Ash) Hunter and his Wounded Warrior dog, Neil. Finding a way to help Ash heal from some of his wounds forces Lia to expose far more of her own issues than she is comfortable with, and their burgeoning relationship may have fatal consequences.
Fleeing doesn't lead to freedom She's on the run from a deadly cartel, hiding in a small Rocky Mountain town. Surviving, but only barely. Her luck might be over when a stranger shows up at her door. Her finger twitches on the trigger. No way. She's not going back. Lia Stewart won't be taken alive.Ash Hunter knows what it is to run. A SEAL wounded in Afghanistan, he's gone AWOL from the hospital. Scarred physically and mentally, Ash is drawn to the isolated lakeside cottage—and then to the beautiful, haunted woman holding a gun to his head. Like recognizes like.Soon, Ash realizes he's not the only one tormented by the past. Pushing the limits of his broken body, testing the boundaries of her shattered soul, he'll protect Lia until his last breath.