Joint review with E originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/03/21/joint-review-the-perfect-storm-by-lori-foster/
E: One of my fellow bookpushers *cough*MinnChica*cough* pushed the first of Ms Foster’s Men Who Walk The Edge of Honor series on me a while ago. I am forced to admit that she did a good job pushing. I read When You Dare, book 1, and then glomped my way through Trace of Fever and Savor the Danger, books two and three. When I first met Arizona I was really rooting for her to heal and find her way so I was very excited to see that book four was going to be her story. I had noticed throughout the three previous books that Spencer kept showing up and seemed to have his eye on Arizona but I never knew what made him tick. I have to say that I think The Perfect Storm was well worth the wait. Some of it was predictable but Ms Foster included some twists that I didn’t expect.
MinnChica: I would apologize for getting you hooked on these books, but I’m not. So… =P I’ve long been a fan of the total alpha hero who takes his duties as a man to the extreme, and I can always count on Foster to do that with her heroes. Spencer was no exception. He was strong, set in his morals and values and would do anything to protect those he loves. He was the perfect type of hero that I adore reading about, and Arizona was the kind of heroine who could kick butt and takes names right along side of him. I adore this series, especially since it brings to light some of the problems with human trafficking, and this book didn’t disappoint.
E: I have had to take mandatory classes on Combating Human Trafficking and I have to say I wish they would make this series mandatory reading to replace the class because it takes that subject and personalizes it. Like MinnChica said you have strong men and women who will do everything possible to stop trafficking. On top of the real world issues we got a great romance with the primary characters both growing and adjusting to each other and some views into the lives of previous heroes and heroines. One other thing that I really loved was how the women who had been in Spencer’s life previously were never maligned but instead were valued and treated like they meant something.
MinnChica: I think the romance in this book was very different and unique from the typical romance novel. Arizona has such a brutal and horrific past that she is almost child-like in her relationships. She is somewhat selfish and so goal-oriented in getting rid of traffickers one at a time, she doesn’t really make the time or effort to build healthy adult relationships. Yet Spencer is one of the few people she trusts to have her back and keep her safe. From that tiny bud of trust, they develop a friendship. Spencer helps her to deal with and face some of the issues in her past, and over the course of the book they become this sweet and somewhat innocent couple. It was not the typical romance journey, but a beautiful one at the same time.
E: I was really touched by Spencer’s patience and persistence towards Arizona. He knew what he wanted, well what he thought he wanted *grin* and steadily moved towards getting it. He never betrayed Arizona’s trust yet he also never kept what she was doing away from her adoptive family. One of the many scenes with Spencer that I really enjoyed is when he agreed to go swimming with Arizona and stick right next to her instead of just keeping her in sight. She had admitted her well-deserved fear of swimming and without ridiculing her, he went along with her request. On the other side Arizona did her part to continue trusting Spencer and to decide what she wanted. She decided to take risks and to give Spencer the opportunity to prove what he said. I was afraid for a while that she was going to make a TSTL move but thanks to Spencer’s neighbor that didn’t come to pass.
MinnChica: I loved the ending! Especially when Spencer was able to convince the other guys to trust that Arizona knew what she was doing and could take care of herself. It was such a wonderful way for him to support her, Arizona to prove herself and the guys to become convinced that she would fit right into their organization seamlessly. I don’t know if Foster is planning on continuing this series, and while I didn’t really see any additional characters left waiting in the wings for the next book, I can only hope that she continues to write books about this issue, in the way that she has with this series. I have loved and adored all the heroes, but I think Spencer became my favorite!
E: I agree with MinnChica, this did seem like the final book in this particular series because we haven’t been introduced to any other characters who have made their personalities known. I have really enjoyed the series and hope that Ms Foster continues to address this because it is one of those ugly things that no one wants to admit exists. On a more pleasant note while I was reading A Perfect Storm I really begrudged all of the interruptions because I was sucked to deeply into the story. Spencer’s attention, caring, and trust in Arizona’s abilities I think just epitomized the Alpha-male who was confident enough to let his loved one be herself. There were a few things that niggled at me, like the fact that Spencer never told Arizona that her favorite knife was also his and how quickly Arizona’s “big brothers” accepted Spencer’s intentions. Like I said earlier I did enjoy reading this.
I give A Perfect Storm an A-
MinnChica: All in all I think this was a perfect ending to the series (at least what I assume is the end of the series). Everything about Spencer and Arizona’s relationship was so different and sweet and endearing that I was sucked into the characters and book and oblivious to everything around me. Spencer was the perfect hero, Arizona grew and developed so much as a character and I absolutely loved the happy ending to each couple we’ve seen so far. Foster has become one of my go-to authors after this series!
I give A Perfect Storm an A-