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Hell on Wheels: Black Knights Inc.    by Julie Ann Walker order for
Hell on Wheels
by Julie Ann Walker
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2012 (2012)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Nate 'Ghost' Weller has always managed to keep his cool in every situation - that's what's made him a world-class sniper. This same monumental control has served him well with his various encounters with Ali Morgan. The former SEAL knows he's not the right man for the sunny beauty; he's seen and done things Ali could never understand. The fact that she's his best friend and comrade's little sister is also excellent incentive for Nate to stay away from her. But when Grigg Morgan is killed on a mission, everything changes.

Ali has loved Nate Weller since the day they met but she wasn't so starry eyed that she didn't figure out that his feelings are strictly platonic. When she becomes the target of muggers and then shadowy hit men, however, she knows he's the only who can protect her. Ali, together with Nate and several of the specialized operatives that make up Black Knights Inc. soon unearth the shocking truth behind Grigg's death - one that Ali's heart might never survive.

Walker's isn't a new premise - former spec ops soldiers teaming up to work as private contractors. What makes her series debut stand out is the author's uncanny ability to draw you into her heroes' dark and dangerous world. Walker's characterizations also happen to shine; she's a deft hand with snappy and often humorous dialogue and has a definite flair for flash-bang action sequences that transport you right into the thick of things. Most importantly of course, there's the off-the-charts sexual tension between leads Nate and Ali. Walker also does a wonderful job revving things up between various secondary characters waiting in the wings for stories of their own.

Hell on Wheels is one of the best debut romantic suspense novels I've read in quite a while and Julie Ann Walker is definitely an author to watch. This first instalment will only whet your appetite for more: happily, there's not a long wait for Walker's next two books - In Rides Trouble hits the shelves in September and Rev It Up in October.

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