BEYOND LIMITS – Laura Griffin
A Perfect 10
A Tracers Novel
, Book 8
Pocket Books
ISBN-13:  978-1-4516-8935-8
February 2014
Romantic Suspense

Houston, Texas – Present Day 

FBI agent Elizabeth LeBlanc is in the middle of investigating the death of one of her informants when she is called away by Gordon Moore's team to investigate some terrorists coming into the States with the intent off causing some major trouble.  The only problem is Lt. Derek Vaughn of the Navy SEALs is also involved.  She met Derek a year ago on another case, and though there were definite sparks between them, Elizabeth refused all advances from him and all calls from him afterward.  That is not to say she didn't spend many nights awake, worrying about him and reminding herself a man with his hazardous job is not someone she could trust in a relationship.

Derek just got off an operation rescuing a doctor and a young woman from a kidnapping in Afghanistan.  The woman was beaten and probably raped, and one of his fellow SEALs was killed during the escape.  Several weeks later the FBI, including Elizabeth, come to interview Derek and his team about any names the kidnapped woman might have mentioned; papers and a flash drive they also removed from the scene lead them to believe some sort of bomb is scheduled to be set off in Houston.  Derek is surprised to see Elizabeth again; he, too, had dreams of her and tried several times to call her during his last leave.  He knew she was scared of the feelings he aroused in her, but now he is determined—Elizabeth is in his sights, and as a SEAL he doesn't often fail any assignment.

The action ratchets between slow and steady and mind blowing as Elizabeth with the FBI and Derek, sort of working off the books, try to identify and figure out what the terrorists target is in Houston, who they are, and why they want to do this.

Laura Griffin has written a page-turning explosion of excitement with BEYOND LIMITS.  Derek and Elizabeth both knew there was attraction between them a year ago, but Derek could never get her to give him a chance.  Derek is a SEAL through and through.  Together, his field experience and her training have them making advances in the case, much to the head FBI leader's chagrin as some FBI rules seem to be getting kicked to the wayside.

Secondary characters include Luke Jones, a fellow SEAL, and Hailey Gardner, the woman who was kidnapped in Afghanistan.  After being interviewed by Luke, Hailey tentatively tries to strike up a relationship with him, but he considers her too far above him and is scared to tell her just how he feels, and they both avoid discussing the truth and what happened to her during her kidnapping.  Gordon is Elizabeth's boss for this operation, and she believes he sneakily added her to this assignment because he knew about her and Derek's meeting last year and is using Derek's experience to help flush out the terrorists.

BEYOND LIMITS has everything I look for in a book: excitement, danger, a slow growing, tension-filled relationship between Elizabeth and Derek, and lots of inside information on how the FBI works and how the deductive reasoning and experience of SEALs mesh so easily together.  I seldom give Perfect 10's, but this book richly deserves it because it is so awesome, and it is a richly recommended story.  If you love SEALs like I do, you'll adore it even more.

Carolyn Crisher