Paying Up

Christina Jennifer Faulkner has been waiting for a phone call or something from Shane Jacobs for over 2 months. At this point, she’s given up on him even though she’ll never forget him. That’s why when her father asked about the length of her skirt on her way to help out a friend waitressing at his bar, she implied she didn’t really care and it really wasn’t any of his concern.
Shane Jacobs works and lives in a nearby compound. That compound is home to a super secret special force that few know about. They don’t really leave the compound or mingle with the town people. Shane cares about Christina and would love to claim her but what kind of life could he offer her? He tries to convince himself that she’s better off without him until he’s told that she’s working at the local bar with legs that never end. 
Shane and Christina have a past from when she was kidnapped and shot 4 times. While that back-story is mentioned frequently in this story, you don’t get all the details. However, while it would be nice to know them, it’s not necessary to know them to enjoy this story. This is a sequel to that book. If you have read the first book, you will get to look in on major characters from it, which really ties the stories together.
Keeping that Shane and Christina have a history is absolutely necessary to remember while reading this story. This story is fairly short and things happen very quickly; much more quickly than you would expect two people to act if they didn’t know each other well but remembering that they do have an intense history makes the quick timeline believable. 
I really enjoyed the characters. Shane is so military that he’s forgotten how to be a civilian, if he ever did. The fact that this big bad man has weaknesses that he might not want the rest of the world to know about is funny. Christina is no shrinking violet. She’s strong and determined. I appreciated that she was going to walk to two blocks to the bar because she could, not letting her kidnapping make her scared to do what should be natural and normal. Yeah, Christina! The secondary characters enhanced the story and some were even loveable enough that you want to know their story too. Is there enough women willing to live in this compound?
This story happens over Valentine’s Day weekend which maybe a corny time for a love story but it still works. This love story is sweet but not too sweet. Hey, a military guy is in it and they aren’t known for being sappy sweet. Christina has convictions that she isn’t going to compromise but Shane can get around them.
I really enjoyed this story. The few things that annoyed me were personal and didn’t have anything to do with how good the actual story is. (Things like guys running around in fatigues just annoy the heck out of me unless they’re on duty or hunting. Like I said just me, not the story.) The characters, writing and storyline were excellent. I was intrigued enough that I want to go find the first book of this series but didn’t find that I needed it to enjoy this one. I really want to see more of these hot guys so I’m also hoping that this isn’t the last book concerning these special operatives.

Book Blurb for Paying Up

Christina Faulkner made a bet and now she owed him a kiss. If she’s lucky, he’s forgotten all about it. Shane Jacobs didn’t just want the bet paid. He wanted a whole lot more.

But once passion touches its targets, desire transforms simple contact into mesmerizing obsession.

And Christina is about to discover that Shane hasn’t forgotten her. In fact, he’s coming back to claim what is his. All of it.

Linked to the “Dream” series but can be read as a stand-alone story.

Publisher’s Note: This story was previously published in the anthology A Wish, A Kiss, A Dream.

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2009 4.75