Center Mass (Code 11-KPD SWAT Series, Book #1) by Lani Lynn Vale

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I guess we should first be real with one another and say what it is that really drew me to this book: that cover. Holy hell, how hot is that. This is my first read by Lani Lynn Vale and I will say that I was pleased. This book will be told through both POV’s. Now let’s get to it.

Reese is an elementary school nurse in Kilgore, TX. She recently relocated there and took a job that was much more conducive to her being a parent to her five year old daughter, Rowen. She’s not working there long before she gets the pleasure of meeting Luke Roberts, assistant police chief, SWAT team captain, ex-Marine, single father, and not to mention, super gorgeous.

Luke Roberts is drawn to Kilgore to get away. He needs to get away from a failed relationship. Now get this, she (the ex) had no interest in raising a child that didn’t belong to her, bitch right? Well, that was enough for him to get out and he’s been in Kilgore ever since. So your probably wondering how Reese and Luke meet. Luke’s daughter has an allergic reaction and needed a dose from the epi-pen, which brings Luke into the nurse’s office and into the life of Reese.

It doesn’t just happen for them, it does take some work and some cases where they happen to be in the same place at the same time, which helps encourage things alone. The story flows well prior to Reese and Luke coming together, there is some witty banter, Reese is pretty damn funny and regardless of the alpha essence that rolls off of Luke, it doesn’t faze her, which in his eyes, makes her even more appealing. Reese’s only previous relationship experience is Weston, the baby daddy, and it’s not particularly pleasant. She lost her virginity to him, just to have him not step up and be the dad that Rowen needs. So her confidence in another relationship isn’t high, but we’re talking about an ex-Marine/cop/badass, it doesn’t take long to get Reese on board.

Once their relationship gets rolling, is where the story really starts to get busy. I can’t say too much without giving a ton away, so let me skim over what I can. Lydia, who is the “I don’t want to raise another woman’s baby” bitch, is in Kilgore. I don’t believe she followed Luke there, but it’s somewhat shaky with why she’s actually there. Weston (baby daddy) is going to be a huge surprise, in fact, nothing could’ve foreshadowed his story line. Having said all of that, let me wrap it up by saying this, there is an underlying story line here that will involve the majority of the characters. I enjoyed this aspect of the book, my only issue was it took some re-reading on my part, because it got somewhat confusing. But it was adventurous and added some pleasantly surprising mystery to the book, so that I enjoyed.

The supporting cast here is pretty awesome. First, the guys of the Kilgore Police Department. We’ll get to know them because future books will feature them and the author did a really good job here introducing them and their personalities. For me personally, I really loved Reese’s family. She has a sister, Tru, and of course her mom and dad. They were written as a very solid family unit, which added even more lovability to Reese. While I did love Reese and Luke, the supporting guys in this book really rounded it out for me.

The sex. I didn’t hate it, I thought it was well done, the first scene is really hot. Sometimes however, I thought it was too descriptive (makes me sound crazy, huh?). But overall, well done.

My only issue with this book, and it’s kind of big one is this. It’s very wordy. Almost to the point of confusion. I did like the storyline, I thought that part was done great. There were just some portions of the book that forced me to go back and read again, just to understand. There are a lot of “connected” relationships here that perplexed me, but I think that’s because I haven’t read any previous works by this author and that’s where a lot of those “connections” come from.  So, if you’ve read other books by her, you should flow right into this one with no issues.

All in all, this isn’t a bad book, I think I would’ve enjoyed it more had I started with the Dixie Wardens MC book. But, I will continue with the series because I’m quite sure the further into the series I go, the better it will get.

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