Series: Code 11-KPD SWAT #2
Published by Self-Published on June 4, 2015
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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Also by this author: Put Out, Beard Mode, I Like Big Dragons and I Cannot Lie, Fear the Beard, Son of a Beard, I'm Only Here For the Beard, Center Mass
Also in this series: Center Mass
Nico met the love of his life when he was seventeen.
Immediately, he realizes that the gap in their ages is too significant to make a move on her until she’s legal in the eyes of the law. So he joins the United States Navy, killing time until he can come home to her again.
But a tragedy strikes while Georgia is alone and vulnerable, and with no other recourse, Georgia leaves, disappearing without a trace.
After months of searching, he finds her, but quickly realizes that she needs the time to herself to work out her problems on her own.
So he leaves her be, knowing that if she ever felt anything for him, she’d come back home to him.
But it takes her years to return, and in those years, Nico changes, too.
He’s seen too much. Done too much. Lost too much.
He lives his life as a SWAT officer for KPD, goes through the motions of everyday life, but only as half a man. And not even the good half. The US military saw to that.
When the two finally come back together, one question remains. Will she love him as the man he is now, or leave him because he’s not the same man he used to be?
Double Tap by Lani Lynn Vale had a different tone than Center Mass did. While all of Lani Lynn Vale’s stories are family based, Double Tap had a serious home feel to it. I felt like I was one of the family as I was reading about Nico and Georgia’s religious practices, their expectations for their siblings, and their interactions with Nico’s parents (who were like second parents to Georgia). While there was mystery and drama going on within these pages, this tone never waned. Instead of Nico’s character being the dominant factor (as the males in Lani Lynn Vale’s stories are) the family dynamics, whether by blood or choice, dominated. Not a page went by were I felt like I wasn’t getting an update about one of Nico’s or Georgia’s family members, especially Georgia’s younger brother. I had actually felt like the drama that was taking place was a hindrance because it was taking away from learning more about the family. Silly, right?
My thoughts on Nico’s character, from what I glimpsed in Center Mass, led me to believe that he was of the strong, silent, and mysterious/killer variety. I’m not saying that my thoughts were wrong, simply stating that those characteristics were just a small fraction of what made up Nico as a whole. He was actually a sweetie pie who REALLY liked his privacy, which brought a little tenderness to his character after we catch a few glimpses of what he endured in the military. Now on the other side of the spectrum, Georgia, who was our heroine, was the firecracker in this story. Most of the time she would be so focused on trying to keep everything together that she would forget about her own needs. This lack is where Nico brought her balance, whether she would realize it or not, Nico would always be there to ground her when things became too much, and reel her in when she would get ahead of herself.
I absolutely adored how Georgia handled being the eldest out of all her brothers, how she selflessly took care of them and never wanted them to receive better care from strangers than herself. I loved how her brothers recognized and respected that, took the example she gave and became better than what their circumstances would have resulted. What made it even better was that Nico also recognized and respected her role, and never tried to take the responsibility she felt towards her brothers simply because he felt it was his right as her man.
Now that I am thinking of this, the reason I believe this story was fundamentally different than Center Mass, and the other stories written by this author, is that Nico and Georgia were meant to be. They were destined to be together since before the tragedy struck Georgia’s family and separated them. They were always “it” for each other, they both recognized that and acted accordingly. Meaning, that Nico didn’t have any ex-tramps waiting for him to slip up, and Georgia didn’t try to get past her love for Nico by sleeping with so and so. They both recognized what the other meant to them and chose and hoped for nothing less than that. To me that’s the true definition of soul mates.
One negative that this story held, and I have to be honest about, was during the beginning of their adult relationship where I found it hard to buy into their attraction to one another. Nico felt awkward, in my opinion, whenever he was around Georgia in a romantic sense, which then left Georgia feeling unsure about how to respond to a lot of the situations they found themselves in. The sex, I felt, also happened too fast. One minute they are working out the relationship dynamic and the next thing I’m reading about is them getting it on on the couch. I felt like a skipped something vital that would’ve bridged the gap between the two scenes. Talk about quick. But thankfully, once all the awkwardness and newness passed, things really clicked for me.
Double Tap by Lani Lynn Vale was truly an amazing read, except for that rocky start, and I am truly glad that I was able to see Nico as he was present in this story. It’s sometimes hard to remember that not ALPHA males come with the same personality traits, some actually know how to let the woman breathe a little. With all that being said, I really and sincerely hope that Downy’s book is next. My red-headed Highlander needs a match made in Kilgore bliss.