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Riding the Storm

by Sydney Croft

Series: ACRO (1)

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2751376,980 (3.69)1
A storm's rage. A woman's desire. A man with the power to set them both free. He can summon lightning at will. Emerge unscathed from the center of a tornado. Strip a woman down to her barest defenses through the sheer force of his sexuality. He's gorgeous, dangerous, and the target of parameteorologist Haley Holmes's latest mission. Haley has been dispatched to the Louisiana bayous to investigate the phenomenon known as Remy Begnaud-a man with a gift he never wanted: the ability to control a storm's fury. But even a woman trained in bizarre weather phenomena has no defense against the electrifying power of the ex--Navy SEAL...a power his enemies would kill to control. With her agency monitoring their every move, Haley's job is to seduce Remy, gain his trust-and help him harness his extraordinary gift. But who will protect her from this voracious lover who's introducing her to a new world of erotic thrills--a man who grows increasingly insatiable with each new weather event? Haley knows a big storm is approaching--and with it will come unexpected delights. But so, too, will the storm unleash her greatest fears: an enemy bent on destroying Remy. And her worst fear of all--falling in love with this magnificent man, then having to betray him.… (more)
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Riding the Storm
3 Stars


Synopsis:
Remy Begnaud has an unwanted gift: the ability to control a storm’s fury. Now, ACRO, a covert agency that seeks to help people with special powers, has sent para-meteorologist, Haley Holmes to seduce Remy and recruit him to their cause. Unfortunately, another rival agency is also in the running but their purposes are far more sinister, and Haley must contend both with them and her growing feelings for Remy if she is to help him master his extraordinary abilities before they destroy him.

Review:
This book has the kernels of a strong mythology and an interesting paranormal plot focusing on X-Men like characters. However, the sexually explicit descriptions have a tendency to overshadow the story.

The characters, both primary and secondary, are well developed. Remy and Haley have interesting back-stories and great chemistry. However, it is the characters in one of the two additional side stories that really drew me in: Annika and Creed, whose sizzling relationship continues and develops in the next two installments. I was not as enamored of Dev’s story.

Overall, the writing duo of Stephanie Tyler and Larissa Ione (of Demonica fame) have fashioned an intriguing world of action, suspense and passion. Even though I enjoyed the book, I think that the sex scenes become repetitive and could have been toned down a bit. Let’s see what happens in the next book. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
The story itself is really good, but wow, there are a lot of sex scenes. Too many, as if the story exists solely for sex... it's more Paranormal Penthouse than erotica. ( )
  kristina_brooke | Apr 15, 2016 |
So far, in my erotic romance reading experiences, I've found that the best books are usually those that focus in on the sex and relationships. With the ones that add other elements, such as science fiction, suspense, paranormal, etc., the plot typically tends to suffer. Not so with Riding the Storm. This novel is like X-Men meets erotic romance, and in my opinion, it was a fabulous story that was a great start to the ACRO series. The overall premise of the series is that a group of men and women who possess supernatural abilities (ala superheroes) have banded together as part of a secret government agency to fight the evil versions of themselves (ala super-villains). I've always been a fan of superhero stories. Riding the Storm is just a super-sexy version of a superhero story, and I can't wait to read more.

Remy is a man with a lot of baggage. He was abandoned on a church doorstep as an infant in the middle of a hurricane that he may have caused. Remy's adoptive father had just lost his wife and unborn child in an accident, and saw it as some sort of omen that he was meant to take this child in and give him a home. He knew from the start that Remy was different. He tried to be a decent parent, but his heartbreak never quite healed. As a result he spent a lot of time at the bottom of a bottle, often leaving Remy to fend for himself. Ultimately, his father sold him out, but at least it was to the right people and he felt bad about it afterward. Remy discovered by puberty that he could control the weather, and that the storms and his sexual desires feed off of one another. His ability has always made him feel like a freak. The superstitious residents of the bayou think he's possessed by an evil spirit and have been trying to spell him since he was a child. Even joining the military didn't really give him a sense of belonging, as most of the other guys were freaked out by his seeming connection to the weather. All the women Remy was ever with were frightened of the ferocity of his sexual desires during storms, so romantic relationships have been all but impossible for him. That all changes when Haley shows up. She offers him a place where his ability will be appreciated, not reviled, and welcomes his sexual intensity in a way he never thought possible.

Haley is a parameteorologist who was sent by ACRO to assess Remy's abilities. She is also tasked with bringing him into the agency if he proves to be as powerful as they suspect. I liked that Haley was so accepting of Remy's passionate nature, that she even enjoyed it and met him with a certain intensity of her own. She does initially keep her true purpose for being in the bayou a secret, which leads to some problems for them down the line, but I still think she proved more than once that he had become much more than a job to her. I loved how she was as protective of him as he was of her. She also gave freely of herself to him and put her life on the line to help save him even though she had no special ability to fall back on.

Riding the Storm has a fascinating cast of secondary characters that I can't wait to see again. Devlin is the enigmatic director of ACRO, the agency he essentially inherited from his parents. Dev is physically blind, but through his psychic talents, he can see things most people can't. He is an incredibly sexy and intriguing man who is apparently nursing a broken heart with a series of meaningless sexual encounters. Then there was Creed and Annika, a couple who were every bit as appealing as Remy and Haley if not a little more so. Annika is super-charged with electricity, and much like Remy she feels like a freak. She also has trouble with relationships because of her inability to control her electrical pulses during sex which can fry the poor unfortunate guy. Creed is a ghost hunter who is followed by a possessive female spirit who doesn't want him getting too attached to any other woman, but he appears to be immune to Annika's ability. With his tats, piercings, and bad boy persona, Creed reminds me of one of the brothers from J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood. Annika and Creed spend a large part of the story trying to make contact with an unfriendly spirit in Dev's childhood home. Normally, I'm not a big fan of ghost stories, but this one was very engaging. I really enjoyed how they battled the ghost in the haunted house while also battling their growing passion for one another. Both of these characters have fascinating back stories, and yet, I feel the authors have only scratched the surface with this pair. I would love to see this couple get their own story, but as of yet, that doesn't appear to be the case. I'm not sure if their romance will continue to play out as secondary characters, but I certainly hope so. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of them and learning more about this spirit from Dev's past. Last but not least there were the two operatives Ender and Wyatt. These two are like oil and water. Ender is about as unfriendly as Wyatt is friendly, and they seem to enjoy trying to one up each other. Wyatt will become the hero of book #3, Seduced by the Storm.

Riding the Storm was a wonderful and entertaining beginning to what promises to be a sexy and engrossing new-to-me series. Sydney Croft is a pseudonym for the writing team of Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler, both of whom have pretty impressive resumes as individuals. It looks like Larissa probably drew upon her own experience as a meteorologist for the character of Haley. I'm dying to see what else these two come up with together, as well as exploring their individual backlists, because if this book is any indication, they are both very talented authors.

Note: This book is categorized as erotic romance, and while the love scenes are frequent, creative and ultra-spicy, there is nothing that I would describe as kinky. However, there is one scene of M/M sensuality that may offend some readers. ( )
  mom2lnb | Oct 31, 2013 |
bit disjointed at the start but improved over time. ( )
  emcnicho | Aug 25, 2013 |
ALIAS & TOMB RAIDER UNITED!

I recently found out about an author, Sydney Croft, who is actually a writing duo of Stephanie Tyler & Larissa Ione. Apparently they picked the name based on their two favorite kick-ass heroines - Lara CROFT of the Tomb Raider fame... and SYDNEY Bristol of the TV show `Alias'. They've created a series around a world called ACRO based on some "accelerated" humans. There are currently six books in the series and a few novellas that are within anthologies. I've borrowed them through my library and I've read the first four; now just waiting for the fifth one to "drop" from the library queue. Sigh...

Riding the Storm (ACRO #1) is the story of Remy and Haley, and is the first of a three-book-arc story regarding a super storm weather machine. Haley is a parameteorologist (I looked - I don't think there is an actual job like this LOL) and Remy is able to affect (& be effected by) the weather. Haley works for ACRO and is trying to recruit Remy before Itor (aka "the bad guys") get him. This book is 355 pages of HOTNESS. Yes, there's some sex... and there's actually an instance of some m/m sex action (a character secondary to the main action) so if that bothers you, you're warned. There's also a LOT of action, suspense and character development. It's one of those books that the minute you end it, you start looking for the next one. No, it's not because there are "cliffhangers" in it -- while it is a 3 story arc, each book has an "end" and the story smoothly progresses to the next book. I really think this is a series, however, that you should read IN ORDER. The story *could* work as a standalone, but as you progress in the books I think it's definitely beneficial to know the prior / back stories.

This is one I give HUGE thumbs ups to, and encourage all to read! ( )
  SnarkyMom | Aug 6, 2013 |
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A storm's rage. A woman's desire. A man with the power to set them both free. He can summon lightning at will. Emerge unscathed from the center of a tornado. Strip a woman down to her barest defenses through the sheer force of his sexuality. He's gorgeous, dangerous, and the target of parameteorologist Haley Holmes's latest mission. Haley has been dispatched to the Louisiana bayous to investigate the phenomenon known as Remy Begnaud-a man with a gift he never wanted: the ability to control a storm's fury. But even a woman trained in bizarre weather phenomena has no defense against the electrifying power of the ex--Navy SEAL...a power his enemies would kill to control. With her agency monitoring their every move, Haley's job is to seduce Remy, gain his trust-and help him harness his extraordinary gift. But who will protect her from this voracious lover who's introducing her to a new world of erotic thrills--a man who grows increasingly insatiable with each new weather event? Haley knows a big storm is approaching--and with it will come unexpected delights. But so, too, will the storm unleash her greatest fears: an enemy bent on destroying Remy. And her worst fear of all--falling in love with this magnificent man, then having to betray him.

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