Target EngagedTitle:  Target Engaged
Series:  Delta Force #1
Author:  M. L. Buchman
Genre:  Military Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published:  December 1, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

Kyle Reeves was trained by his father to do one thing: be the very best. So he isn’t daunted by the Delta Force selection process—the toughest military training on earth—or when the very best woman falls into his arms.

Carla Anderson buried her heart in Arlington when she lost her mother and brother to combat. She wants nothing more than to give her all in the line of duty until she too is laid down beside them, and Delta training might just be the challenge she’s looking for. Little did she know, the true challenge was coming in the shape of a sexy, alpha-male military operative.

Surviving brutal training is just the beginning of the merciless path to Delta, but it’s also the dawn of the hottest passion Kyle and Carla have ever known.

Read on for my thoughts on Target Engaged.  No true spoilers, promise.

There are elite military units that are so legendary that just the sound of their name brings respect, and if the rest of us are honest about it – a bit of awe as well.  Delta Force is one of those legendary names.  There is absolutely no doubt that each member is kickass and worry about names later, if ever.  Fierce, proud modern day warriors who give everything they have and then a bit more to duty, country and their team.

Delta Force is about to get their first female warrior.  And quite frankly, they are not prepared for this woman.

Target Engaged is a gripping, intense novel full of action and emotions that run hot, very hot.  We are taken through selection and training for Delta from the very first day until team and mission assignments are given to those that survived and have made it onto a Delta team.  Then we are taken a bit further as the survivors of training form their own Team and continue on together to their first mission.  These are men and a woman who would die for each other without a second’s hesitation.  Strong, intelligent, determined to win and leave with their Team intact.  What sets these elite teams apart is an uncanny ability by every member to think beyond the parameters, to make decisions on the spot beyond what is set in stone, to go beyond thinking on their feet to surviving in unsurvivable situations.

Carla’s entry scene will have you chuckling in an ironic way as she effectively and almost nonchalantly deals with a dickhead who totally underestimates  her.  Carla’s “Oops.” at the end of their encounter is priceless and sets the stage for the understanding that this is a woman who will never suffer fools and can stand toe to toe with any other warrior and 9 out of 10 times…win.  Yet, Carla is a dead woman walking.  The pain of her mother’s and her brother’s deaths in combat have closed off her heart.  In a way, she is committing suicide by military engagement, because she fully expects to die in combat and that’s just fine with her.

Kyle and Carla’s competitive natures will have then trying to out do each other or at the very least keep up.  And if there is some seriously hot flirting going on during the selection and training – they’re both adults.  There will be a time when they can act on those feelings, but for now the mutual attraction only adds fuel to the drive to get through and take their places on their Team.  I don’t know if I can honestly call it a slow burn but there is a building of respect, friendship, and that underlying special affection that only Team members truly understand.  Add that to the sexual attraction, the flirting and the explosive coming together at last – yeah, they have a special attraction even love for each other.  But Carla’s closed off heart won’t easily admit to more than physical attraction which drives Kyle crazy.

Target Engaged kept me turning pages, involved in the story long past the time I should have been asleep.  It pulled me into the character’s lives and experiences so completely that there was a bit of a sense of loss at the final page.  Now, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next story in this series.

I would highly recommend Target Engaged for any reader who enjoys strong characters, a vivid story and a romance between two equally strong, stubborn people.  I was hooked from the first page, and I’m betting that you will be too.

*I received an e-ARC of Target Engaged from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Available in paperback, audio and for the Kindle