All Or Nothing: A Trust No One Novel by Dixie Lee Brown

All or Nothing by Dixie Lee BrownAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N (Paperback available in April 2013)

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Avon Impulse

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

Someone wants Cara Sinclair dead. One minute she’s halfheartedly enjoying an Oregon Coast casino, and the next she’s being chased by hit men. Rescued by a total stranger, Cara must decide whether she can trust her safety to this Joe Reynolds and his team of ruthless mercenaries. The more time she spends with Joe, the more her desire for him grows. But can he truly protect her, or is she placing them all in mortal danger?

Joe agreed to protect Cara as a promise to a dying man. He never expected to feel such heat between them, or her total lack of faith in him. Now he must convince her that her only hope lies with him. Because Joe is starting to realize that he won’t be satisfied with just saving her life . . . now, he wants it all.

Six years ago Joe Reynolds lead a team into North Pakistan, their mission was to locate an Al Qaeda operative and bring him out alive. The mission went horribly wrong and although the team made it out, Joe did not, as he was about to be executed, Charlie Dugan defied orders and came back for him. However when Charlie needed him three weeks ago, it was too late. So he has come to Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast to save a woman’s life because Charlie begged him to with his last breath.

As Joe meets Cara outside the casino her brother owns, several men try to grab them forcing them to the beach, Joe struggles and Cara runs, however things turn deadly as Cara shows Joe she is an excellent shot when she is in danger.

Joe must persuade Cara that her brother is trying to kill her and Cara convinces Joe that her ex-husband is also in the mix of people that want her dead. At first Joe thinks Cara may have had something to do with Charlie’s death however several turn of events put them both on the same side. Cara was severely abused by her ex-husband, David who comes from a mafia family. Her brother helped get her a divorce, however there were things unsaid and no one is sure what deals were made to ensure those papers were signed.

Joe takes her to his “ranch” in Kalispell, Montana, a place where he trains people for jobs that no one else wants to take and no one is suppose to know about. His colleagues are those he has collected throughout his life from jobs, those who have nowhere else to turn and have had to deal with some hard living.

Danger gets close as there are two that want Cara dead and while Joe and those at the ranch swear to protect Cara, she does not want anyone getting hurt because of her. In the meantime, Joe’s boss needs one more mission to get the information on her brother, but things get dangerous and deadly as her enemies find her.

What a ride, this was a great start to a new romantic suspense series; the story flowed with several different twists to throw you off as you head toward the conclusion. You can tell that Joe does not believe Cara was the innocent in all events, even though his friend Charlie told him to take care of her. Joe also keeps his distance from Cara as he believes she was Charlie’s girl, and then she was just so distant with everyone because she did not want to be the cause for anyone getting hurt. Her ex-husband did a number on her both physically and emotionally, she needs to overcome much and I think Joe knows this and keeps away.

Much of the story was about the ranch, getting to know those that lived there and the training they are doing. When Joe and Cara finally gravitate toward each other obstacles get in the way to make both back off. The sexual tension was not prevalent in the beginning and did not start until later when they both realized that maybe something could come of their attraction however then her husband would show up or Joe’s boss would need her to do something, always getting in the way of romance. The only thing I did not care too much for was the fact that Cara had a hard time accepting Joe and how he felt for her, even as everyone was telling her how he would look and act toward her, she still had problems believing and I wanted to shake her until she understood.

The characters that Joe “collected” at the ranch were fun and engaging; I believe each will have their own damaging tale to tell of how they came to the ranch from disturbing pasts that were not revealed. And looking on the author’s website it looks like Walker gets his own story next which is wonderful as he is funny and quirky with a little crazy mixed in.

I give All or Nothing: A Trust No One Novel by Dixie Lee Brown 4 stars!

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