Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Paired Pursuit by Clare Murray

Danger rises in the night and so does desire.

Her last living relative dead, Mari is evicted from her shipping container and leaves Flagstaff for the first time in seven years. Boarding a train for Scar City (formerly Reno), she keeps a white-knuckle grip on her debilitating panic attacks.

When the train lurches, she loses that grip and is picked up, calmed down, and turned on by the only other passengers in the car.

Finn and Gareth are under orders from their superiors to follow a slim lead on a stolen alien device. At first Mari is only a pleasant distraction, but through their telepathic Twin link, the brothers discover they both sense a powerful attraction to her that goes far beyond pheromones.

With dawning horror, Mari learns the Twins are after the same device she s seeking, her only hope to get money for a better life. Once they reach Scar City, the three realize they re living on borrowed time unless they can discover the device s secrets before attacking aliens bring the city walls tumbling down.

Warning: Contains two genetically modified warrior heroes, a woman whose worst nightmare is wide open spaces, and distractions of a vibratory nature.

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Book 1
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Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Samhain  Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Paired Pursuit was sooooo good! Murray has created a world in which the invading aliens EAT humans – dead or alive – and their only known weakness is sunlight, specifically UV exposure. If that were not enough, some of the surviving settlements have reverted to medieval standards when it comes to women’s rights, requiring a dowry for marriage and that a woman must then sign over all of her property to her husband upon marriage. Fortunately, a woman has some freedom in that she is able to live on her own if she can support herself, but in Mari’s case, the man who is interested in marrying her so she can bear his children, has influence locally and her landlord has evicted her from her shipping container (I know, right?) and she has no choice but to leave the city of Flagstaff for Reno aka Scar City in hopes that she can find an alien device her father hid and make enough money to live on off of its sale.

Not enough to get your attention. How about we add genetically-engineered super soldiers who were created in pairs and share a telepathic link to further enhance their fighting abilities? Need a little more? If the Twins (as the super-soldiers are called) are fortunate enough to find a woman who appeals to them, they share her as well. I bet THAT got your attention. Despite knowing a set of Twins who found their mate, Finn and Gareth really don’t believe it truly happens … until Mari boards the same train and both men find themselves attracted to the same woman at the same time – something that has never happened before. While it may seem as though things move rather quickly, especially considering Mari is still a virgin (and leaves the train that way), she engages in some steamy play with the men while on the train. But knowing how badly Mari suffers from panic attacks, her capitulation to the Twins’ advances makes sense because they not only succeed in distracting her from her terror, but it also gives her the opportunity to gain back some measure of control over her life as she chooses this intimacy. Unfortunately a misunderstanding upon their arrival at the train station ends up with Mari going off on her own, leaving a frantic set of Twins scouring the city to find their mate. While much of Scar City has devolved into a dangerous wasteland, Mari and the Twins find that there are still good people in the world as Patrice and other residents lend a helping hand when needs arise.

Murray has taken a lot of elements and packed them into Paired Pursuit. But she has done it in such a way that they mesh well rather than seeming over the top or contrived. As we are dealing with a world in which each night may be your last because of how vicious the Barks (aliens) are, the speed with which the Twins and Mari’s relationship develops isn’t unrealistic, especially when combined with the chem-attract effect the Twins experience. I liked that the author varied the sex scenes, with some being tender, some being desperate, and some being aggressive and life-affirming. There was also variations in the couplings so that not all scenes were ménages, which added an element of humor considering the telepathic bond the Twins shared. I loved that Mari found Patrice and that the two women were able to help one another out, forging a family-like bond. The ending was nail-biting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat action and I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out. Paired Pursuit was an awesome sci-fi ménage romance that left me chomping at the bit for the next installment in the Matched Desire series because with the many different Twin pairings (and a set of triplets) that Finn and Gareth mentioned in this book alone, I see so many possibilities. I can only hope the author is writing quickly so we can find out what’s in store for Mari, Finn, Gareth and the other Twins.

Clare Murray was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, living aboard a boat in her early childhood. She has a degree in Journalism and has worked in libraries in both California and London. In 2006 she moved to England, where she now lives happily with her husband and two children.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Paired Pursuit (Matched Desire #1) by Clare Murray to read and review.

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