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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Aces Wild by Emmy Curtis

Not a bad start to a series but it did have some issues that I think kept it from being a really great standalone romance.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Forever Yours
Release Date: April 30, 2017

In the heat of the Nevada desert, the most elite military pilots in the world are about to engage in some friendly competition. Only this year, someone is changing all the rules...

RAF pilot Dexter Stone has been through his fair share of sticky situations. After living through a crash in enemy territory where no one expected him to walk away, the Red Flag training exercises should be a piece of cake-assuming he can keep his mind on the mission and not on the smart mouth of his gorgeous American competition.

As one of the few women in a sky full of hotshot flyboys, Maj. Eleanor Daniels has worked day and night to earn a coveted spot at Red Flag. And she's not about to let some cocky British bad boy distract her from winning. But when the games take a deadly turn, he may be her only hope for survival.

What’s it About? After a surviving a near fatal crash in enemy territory, RAF pilot Dexter Stone is more determined than ever to prove that he is still at the top of his game. As long as he can keep from getting distracted by Major Eleanor Daniels, a fellow Red Flag trainee, Dex should be able to accomplish his goals in no time. Eleanor on the other hand is trying to prove that just because she's a woman doesn't mean she doesn't deserve a spot at Red Flag but when she inadvertently becomes the target of killers, she and Dex will have to work together to survive and find answers.

Overall reaction to the story? Aces Wild isn't a bad way to start a new series but it DID have some issues that kept it from being rated a solid four. For starters, the pace was too fast. It seemed like things were happening super fast over a long period of time when in fact it had only been a few days. Also, for two characters like Dex and Eleanor who didn't have a past together, I expected a bit more development from them when it came to romance. I know the setting doesn't exactly lend itself to slow romance but I felt like there was something missing from it at the end. Another issue I had was with the suspense plot. It felt unfinished, and left me thinking I had missed something. The buildup was great and had me all in but the way that aspect of the book wrapped up fell short of my expectations. Even with my hangups about the book, I would still pick up the next book in the series.

Describe the hero in five words: Cocky. Stubborn. Fun. Loyal. Smart.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Dex is all about trying to prove he can still be the best after basically walking away from a death defying plane crash. I loved his determination to succeed but I also loved that he wasn't a jerk about it. He was willing to work hard to reach his goal but he wasn't one of those guys who would walk all over or worse, sabotage a fellow pilot's reputation to do it. He was confident but overall, a really good guy who was fighting some anxiety along the way and ended up meeting a woman he couldn't let go of. Speaking of which, Dex was never intimidated by Eleanor or women in the military in general, a trait which should never be overlooked in a male character. I loved how he could be an easy going, teasing charmer to a highly trained RAF pilot in the blink of an eye.

Describe the heroine in five words: Determined. Intelligent. Loyal. Stubborn. Confident.
Did you like her? Yes
Why? Eleanor is the type of heroine who really stands out in book like Aces Wild because she's determined to succeed on her own merit in a male dominated workplace. Her father is a high ranking officer who hasn't paid all that much attention to her and has certainly never helped her get ahead but that doesn't stop people from thinking he has. I loved that she could back up her tough girl talk with actions, she wasn't just mouthing off about proving herself, she actually did it. For the most part she was confident about her ability to do the job she was trained to do but she also recognized when she needed help. She was a definite leader but at the same time she knew when someone else was better suited to lead in a difficult situation. Love those traits in a female character.

Let’s talk about the romance: Okay so the attraction between Dex and Eleanor was spot on and always there, even when the focus was on work it was hanging around in the background waiting for the right moment to really dig in.These two worked so well together and their personalities complimented each other BUT I do think the romance needed more development instead of seeming like it happened off page or worse, too fast. I get that the book is a romantic suspense but a balance between the two is possible, especially with two characters like Dex and Eleanor who play off each other so nicely when they were bantering and teasing each other.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Even with the issues I had, Aces Wild is still worth reading and generates a lot of interest in the rest of the series.

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