4.5 out of 5 stars
"I want to break free of these bonds, bend you the fuck over and rail you so hard you scream."
They say there can be a whole lot of pleasure in a little bit of pain. Taming the Fire, the 4th installment of he ACRO series, confirms as much. Meet Trance, former Army MP, now ACRO agent. Trance, an excedosapien, possesses extraordinary strength and the ability to hypnotise. As Maroon 5 would say, "look into his eyes and he'll own you.." Trance isn't new the underground BDSM scene, though for this mission, he must step out of his comfort zone. Trance must pose as a Sub. Something this alpha Dom won't find easy to do. That is until he sets his eyes on his target, or "Mistress Rik" as it were.
Ulrika, aka "Rik" is on the run from Itor. Her entire clan were held by Itor. With experiments gone wrong, Rik is the only survivor. Rik is a shapeshifter who is always battling the her inner beast. Dominating humans is just one way of maining herself, not letting the beast take over. If the beast takes over the woman, Rik becomes extremely dangerous not only to others, but to herself as well. This is why ACRO must bring her in, for everyone's protection, including her own.
The story of Trance and Rik was intriguing. The power struggle, the willing to submit when everything in your body screams otherwise. Trusting someone is often one of the hardest things a person can do. Their story tests that willingness, that surrender. Even when you think you've come to the end of their struggle to find happiness, a huge bomb is dropped, a connection they never saw coming. One that only true love could survive.
While on his mission, Trance also sees a familar face, an ACRO agent, whose fate was unknown. Throughout the series we know that Dev, along with other things, constantly worries about the fate of an agent who was working undercover for ACRO within the ITOR organization. While Trance recognizes Ryan, Ryan isn't clear on anything, other than he too is on a mission that could bring he and Trance head to head.
That realization helps to launch the second of the three love stories in this book. ACRO agent Ryan has no memory. Even what he thinks he knows of himself, it's not that simple. One name, "Coco" is all he can recall. Who "Coco" turns out to be, not only to Ryan but also to a character from a previous book, ties the stories together nicely. I love Coco and Ryan's backstory. Ryan believes he's a cruel, disturbed man and initially behaves accordingly. That being said, there's just something about "Coco" that moves him. Bringing out the man he truly is.
Last but certainly not least, we have Dev. He continues to struggle to be the leader ACRO needs while still in such mourning. He has Marlena and she does all she can for him. While their relationship is dysfunctional at best, there is a certain ease between them. They genuinely care for one another, this book showcases that. Marlena's selfless sacrifce , for Dev, was heartbreaking.
The harsh winter is over and Oz, being true to his word, sent Dev an "angel" of sorts. New ACRO recruit, "Gabe" or Gabriel is a little rough around the edges. He's got a chip on his shoulder, powers he doesn't have full control of and constantly finds himself at Dev's door. Did I mention he's gorgeous? Dev struggles with himself, could this really be Oz's doing? He's uncomfortable with the pull he feels for the troubled recruit. Gabe may be young but he's not intimidated by Dev, he won't back down. As some walls start to tumble, we, the reader, learn more about Gabe's background. In one word, tragic. Oz made me smile, what he did for Dev, he didn't stop there. It was a small gesture, but there's a little something he does for Trance that makes for the perfect way to tie all these stories together.
Extremely enjoyable read, excited to start book 5.