A Perfect Storm (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Series #4)

A Perfect Storm (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Series #4)

by Lori Foster
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A Perfect Storm (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Series #4) by Lori Foster

He never saw her coming…

Spencer Lark already knows too many secrets about Arizona Storm, including the nightmare she survived and her resulting trust issues. But in order to expose a smuggling ring—and continue avenging his own tragic past—the bounty hunter reluctantly agrees to make Arizona a decoy. Yet nothing has equipped him for her hypnotic blend of fragility and bravery, or for the protective instincts she stirs in him.

Arizona wants to reclaim her life, which means acting as bait to lure the enemy into a trap. Sure it's dangerous, especially with a partner as distractingly appealing as Spencer. But as their plan—and their chemistry—shifts into high gear, Arizona may discover there's an even greater risk in surrendering her heart to a hero….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373776566
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/27/2012
Series: Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Series , #4
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 197,281
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 6.42(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. She’s had top-selling books for Amazon, Waldenbooks and the BGI Group. For more about Lori, visit her Web site at www.lorifoster.com.

Read an Excerpt

Arizona Storm sat quietly on the overstuffed chair, her chin resting on her drawn-up knees, her fingers laced together around her shins. Waiting.

In the quiet, shadowed room, she breathed in the unique aroma of aftershave and gun oil, and the headier scent of warm male. On the back of the chair behind her he'd tossed his jeans and a rumpled T-shirt. Close at hand on the nightstand, he'd placed his freshly cleaned gun and his deadly switchblade.

His discarded boxers lay on the floor.

He fascinated her.

After breaking into his house, she'd removed her sneakers and put them next to his boots by the front door. The air-conditioning, set on high, left her toes cold, but he'd covered himself with no more than a thin sheet.

Again and again, her gaze tracked over him, from one big foot sticking out over the side of the bed, up and over his flat, solid abs covered by the snowy-white sheet, to his chest—not covered by anything except enticing body hair.

With one arm behind his head, his underarm and the dark tuft of hair there were visible. Seeing that almost made him look vulnerable—except that, despite his relaxed pose, the positioning of his long arm made a thick biceps bulge.

At nearly six and a half feet tall, solidly built and finely sculpted, Spencer Lark was one of the biggest, strongest, most impressive men she'd ever met.

And she knew some really prime specimens.

His long lashes shadowed his high cheekbones, but that didn't detract from the bruising beneath one eye. A recent fight? She smiled while picturing it, sure that Spencer had come out ahead. His skill at fighting intrigued her even more than his big bod.

Amazing, but even his slightly crooked nose held her rapt. When and how had he broken it?

She inhaled a deep breath and let it out in a quiet sigh that, given the silence in his home and Spencer's acute instincts, disturbed his slumber.

Arizona admitted to herself that maybe she'd wanted to wake him. After all, she'd been watching him—and waiting—for a while now.

His head turned on the pillow, his legs shifted.

Holding herself perfectly still, she waited to see if he'd awaken, what he'd do, what he'd say. She didn't know him all that well, and yet.. she did.

Sort of.

They'd met nearly a month ago while they were both on a sting. Immediately, they'd butted heads, and he'd infuriated her by interfering with her life.

But worse, he'd robbed her of the revenge she desperately craved.

Sure, he had his own need for revenge, so she understood his motives. She didn't forgive him. Not yet, anyway.

But she did understand.

At least, she thought she did. Once they talked it over, then she'd decide for sure.

He made a soft, gravelly sound as he stretched that long, strong body. His chin tucked in. Muscles flexed. The sheet tented.

Eyes widening, Arizona stared, not really alarmed, but no longer so at ease, either. She had a very dark history with aroused men, so she doubted she'd ever be unaffected by them. But she didn't let it get in her way, not when she wanted something, not when she had a goal in mind.

She knew she should have taken Spencer's gun, at the very least moved it out of his reach. But instead she'd found him in the bed, and before she'd even thought it through, she'd taken the empty seat and settled in to study him while he slept.

Since that fateful day when her destiny had been stolen from her, she'd seen him only a handful of times. She'd tried to stay away. She'd tried to forget about him.

She hadn't been successful.

Stretching, he brought his hand out from behind his head, around to rub over his hair, across his face, down his chest.

As he gave a sleepy, growling groan, that hand disappeared under the sheet.

Arizona's lips parted, and her heartbeat tripped up. She cleared her throat. "Spence?"

Freezing, without moving any other body part, he opened his eyes and met her gaze.

She frowned at him.

He didn't look super-startled, and he said nothing. He just stared at her.

With his hand still under there.

"Yeah…" Semi-satisfied with his frozen reaction, she nodded at his lap. "You weren't going for a little tug, were you? Because as your spectator, I'd just as soon not see it."

He brought his hand out and put it back behind his head, still silent, still watching her. Almost…relaxed.

His gaze was so dark, so compelling, she felt like squirming, damn it. "I mean, I guess I could wait in the other room if it's really necessary. That is, if you don't take too long."

He disappointed her by not reacting. As if he often woke to an uninvited woman playing voyeur in his bedroom, he looked her over, from her bare toes up to her long, wind-tangled hair.

"Been here long?"

"Maybe half an hour or so." Curiosity prompted her to ask, "Were you going to…you know?" She nodded at his lap.

"Most men say hi to the boys first thing."

"Say hi?"

With no sign of discomfort, he shrugged one shoulder. "You broke in."

A statement, not a question. She gave her own casual shrug. "Since you're not dumb enough to leave the place unlocked, yeah, I had to."

He turned his head, but not to check on the time. He saw the gun still on the nightstand where he'd left it and brought his gaze back to hers again. "You know how to make coffee?"

One eyebrow lifted high. "Trying to get me out of the room so you can leave the bed? I'm not squeamish, you know. I mean, with my background, I've seen plenty of—"

He threw off the sheet and sat up, effectively shutting down her snide retort. Ho boy.

"If you don't know how to make coffee, just say so." Spencer stretched again, harder, longer this time. Sitting on the side of the bed, he snagged up his boxers and stepped into them. As he stood, he pulled them up.

They fit like a glove.

He still had a tent going.

And she still stared.

He picked up the gun and, betraying some trust issues, checked to make sure she hadn't unloaded it. Discovering she hadn't touched it at all, he nodded in satisfaction.

As he passed her, he chucked her under the chin. "It's called morning wood, little girl. No reason for alarm." Gun in hand, he went on past her into the bathroom. The door closed quietly behind him.

Belatedly, Arizona shut her mouth. Oh, how she hated when he called her "little girl." As of today, she wasn't quite as young as he thought, and given her experiences, well, she hadn't felt like a kid in a very long time.

Her brows snapped down, and her spine stiffened. She would not let him get to her. Huh-uh. No way.

This was her game. She would call the shots, and if anyone had to be tongue-tied, it'd be him.

She shoved to her feet, but didn't stomp. Excesses of emotion gave away too much. She didn't want him to know how he affected her.

At the bathroom door, voice cold and collected, she stated, "I'll be the kitchen."

Minutes later, just to prove a point, she went about making coffee.

Spencer stood with his hands braced on the porcelain sink, his head hanging, his muscles twitchy.

What the hell?

Sure, he knew Arizona Storm was a reckless, impetuous, headstrong girl. He'd figured that out in the first few seconds of making her acquaintance.

But breaking and entering?

Why the hell had she sat there watching him sleep? He felt…violated. Angry. He felt extreme pity. For her.

Damn, but he didn't want her, not in his house, not in his head. He could control the first.

Hadn't had much luck controlling the second.

Not trusting her to respect his privacy, knowing damn good and well she would snoop without remorse, he gave up the idea of a shower and shave and instead rushed through brushing his teeth, splashing his face and finger-combing his hair.

Since she wasn't in his bedroom anymore, he took the time to pull on his jeans, but rather than mess with the holster, he just stuck the gun in his waistband. He grabbed up his knife, opened it, closed it again and slid it into his pocket.

Barefoot and shirtless, he went in search of Arizona—and he had to admit, anticipation chased away the cobwebs of old memories and lack of sleep.

Seeing her slumped in a kitchen chair, arms crossed, one foot hooked behind a chair leg, jolted his senses even more.

God Almighty, she was a beauty.

Slim, long-legged and generously stacked, with a face like a wet dream, Arizona would turn heads wherever she went. Dark, wavy hair hung down her back, usually in disarray. Honey-colored skin seemed in direct contrast with light blue, heavily lashed eyes. A full mouth, a strong chin, high cheekbones.

He wondered at the mixed heritage that had produced such a dream.

As he stood unnoticed in the doorway, she chewed at a thumbnail. Arizona didn't wear makeup, or polish her nails, or do much of anything to enhance her looks—and she didn't need to. She could wear burlap and men would burn for her.


She went still before affecting a bored expression and swiveling her head to face him. "Do you always sleep

'til noon?"

"When I've been up all night, yes." He made a bee-line for the coffeepot but didn't thank her for making it. After all, she'd come in uninvited. "You want a cup?"

"If you have sugar and milk."

"Creamer." He poured two cups and set them on the table, then got the creamer from the fridge. The sugar bowl sat in the middle of the table, framed by salt and pepper shakers.

Like many of the things in his kitchen, they resembled cows in one way or another.

His wife had bought the novelty items years ago.

While blowing on the hot coffee, Spencer ruthlessly quashed bad memories. Arizona loaded her coffee with two heaping spoonfuls of sugar and a liberal splash of the cream.

He watched her lush mouth as she sipped, sipped again.

Shaking himself, he took a drink, and nearly choked. Strong enough to peel the lining from his throat, it was the worst coffee he'd ever tasted. Arizona didn't seem to notice, though, so he manned up and drank without complaint.

The overdose of caffeine would do him good.

Silence dragged out while they each gave attention to their coffee. He wouldn't be the first to break.

Finally she eyed him. "How come you were out late? Carousing?"

Actually, he'd needed to expend some energy for reasons he wouldn't yet examine too closely. Shrugging, he said, "I hit up a bar, found a little trouble." He looked at her. "You know how it is, right?"

To his disgruntlement, she nodded. "Yeah, I did the same. But I fared better than you." Her mouth quirked in a small grin, and she winked. "No black eye."

Had she really been in a bar? Looking for trouble?


He didn't need to defend himself, not to her, but still he said, "You should see the other three guys."

"Yeah? Only three?" Tsking, she let her gaze drift over him. "Any other bruises?"


She propped her chin on a fist. "One lucky punch, huh?"

Did she have to appear so amused by idiotic drinking and brawling? "Something like that." Actually it was a thrown chair that had caught him, but whatever. He wouldn't encourage her with details. "So tell me, little girl. What were you doing in a bar?"

She looked away. With one finger, she traced the rim of her coffee cup. "Sometimes," she said low, her voice almost whimsical, "I just need a distraction."

His chest tightened. He waited to see if she'd elaborate, if she'd share details of her tragic background with human traffickers. She had a need to even the score with people already dead, the monsters who'd hurt her badly.

Suddenly she leaned forward. "Can you keep a secret?"

Customer Reviews

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A Perfect Storm 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 183 reviews.
Ozzy12 More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Great book, great story. I was very entertained.
Debs_Book_Nook More than 1 year ago
Lori Foster has once again brought us into the action packed world of the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor. I enjoyed every minute of this book and the entire series will be in a honored place on my keeper shelf.  Spencer Lark, bounty hunter was first introduced in Savor the Danger, the third book in the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series. Honorable, tall and sexy, he has no trouble attracting women, but he has seen too much evil in his life and in his role of bounty hunter to trust easily.  Beautiful Arizona Storm is a survivor. A former victim of human traffickers, but you would never know it by her attitude. She has a take charge, kick butt outlook on life and enjoys nothing more than putting away the bad guys. She vows to never be a victim again. But no matter how tough she acts, she is still vulnerable and trust is not a common word in her vocabulary, much less her life. It will take a lot to get through her the wall she has erected around her heart, and only a special person can make it through. She has always been strangely attracted to Spencer but isn’t sure she can trust any man with her body and her heart. When Arizona discovers a suspected trafficking ring, she asks Spencer to partner with her in shutting it down. But when Arizona wants to use herself as bait, Spencer can't help but worry. He knows her past and the last thing he wants is to put her in danger and make it even harder for her to trust.  This uneasy partnership has them both on edge, especially when things start heating up with the case and their feelings for each other. Can either of them learn to trust and believe in love again? Arizona and Spencer's journey will make you laugh, cry and believe that love can conquer all. Run, don’t walk to get this awesome book.
IrelandJS More than 1 year ago
Lori Foster has a real talent for making characters come alive on the page, and this book is no exception. Readers will be glad to know that Spencer Lark and Arizona Storm are back, and their story is just as good as the previous 3 "Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor" books. In "Perfect Storm," Arizona approaches Spencer for help shutting down a possible human trafficking operation - and he agrees mostly just to ensure she doesn't just do it on her own. While Spencer tries to stay close enough to keep her safe, but far enough to resist temptation, Arizona starts to wonder if some men are worth the risk after all.... One of the things I really appreciate about Foster's books is that she writes likable and BELIEVABLE characters. Her female characters -like Arizona - are often strong and independent, but still feminine and occasionally vulnerable. The men in her books are certainly alpha types - strong, bossy, intense - but also protective, and most importantly, know that "no" means "no." In a market where more and more romance novels seem to glorify rape, Foster's books are a refreshing exception. If you're looking for a sexy read that won't leave a bad taste in your mouth, look no further. The "Perfect Storm" is the perfect read for a romance fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this whole series. However, this was my least favorite. The female lead really was too young (just turning 21). That was kind of a turn off. Also, i didn't like how the author kept bringing up the perfect dead wife who was "everything" to him. That may have been, but it makes it too hard to believe he would fall for this immature 21 year old. But still worth reading if you've read the others. ##
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wish Lori Foster would stop writing about victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking. They arent believable.
Mich_Mc More than 1 year ago
In the 3rd book in this series we where introduced to Arizona and although she played a big part in Jackson's story she was still a bit of an enigma. A Perfect Storm takes place a month after we left them and Arizona is still finding herself drawn to Spencer. We began unravelling her past in Savor the Danger but from Jacksons point of view, it affected me more hearing it from Arizona herself. Arizona is the perfect mix of strength and vulnerability, two qualities that don't usually come together. I loved that she retained some naivety and childlike innocence at times, her life experiences left their mark but she hasn't let them beat her down, it was refreshing to see her curiosity but my heart ached for her at the same time. Spencer was absolutely perfect! He was so patient and strong and an absolutely perfect specimen of a man. Honestly I went in to this book expecting it to be my least favourite of the series but I have never been more happy to be wrong. Arizona and Spencer have firmly placed themselves as my favourite couple in the series, I absolutely loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I struggled to finish this. I liked this series, but this one fell short. My problem was Arizona. She was far too rough and abrasive. Juvenile really. Not at all believable as a lead in a romance novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the whole series. It's a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have ever wrote a review but I had to let you know this book was very dissapointing. I was really looking forward to reading this book, loved the series but this book was a HUGE let down. Very Boring!!!!
SmittenWithReading More than 1 year ago
My Review: The driving force behind this novel...Arizona Storm. This chick is tough. This chick is smart. This chick is resourceful. This chick will absolutely and completely break your heart, but OMG, Spencer was so perfect in how he handled her. Arizona was a victim for human trafficking for months before they then tried to kill her. This happened to her as a teenager and she has been chasing human traffickers ever since, putting herself out there as bait. She's only 21 years old, but has been through so much during her very short life. She's incredibly scarred mentally and hides it behind this tough, bristly facade. She doesn't know how to be affectionate or accept affection from a man or any of her friends. It is absolutely heartbreaking, especially since she just accepts that's the way she will be for the rest of her life. Spencer plans otherwise. Spencer is incredible. OMG! Arizona is so wounded and scarred and he knows that he can help her overcome her fears. The fact that she's incredibly sexy is no hardship either. I just loved how he handled her. At 6'5" tall, he has got to be an incredibly intimidating guy, but he always handles Arizona with such care and cherish. It made me mushy just reading the incredible scenes between the two of them. There is a 12 year age difference between the two of them that I thought I would have problems with as a reader, but his experience is key to helping her overcome. And the fact is that she's had such horrible life-experiences, she is way older in maturity than her physical age shows. Their story was really beautiful. With this being the fourth book in this series, I was THRILLED that we got to see everyone from all the other book. Everyone showed up in this story and they weren't just brief appearances either. It was fabulous to see everyone again, especially Chris. I loved his scenes with Arizona and the way that he understood her needs before anyone else really got what she needed from them. Overall, I think that this has been my favorite book in the series so far!
RomanceaholicBR More than 1 year ago
I’ve been anxious for Spencer and Arizona to get together ever since both characters were first introduced, because I just knew that together they would be not only explosive, but unstoppable. I do think that newcomers to the series would need to at bare minimum read the previous story, Savor The Danger, to really get a good bead on Arizona before diving into this one, though it seems Ms. Foster did a good job with giving it a “refresher” of sorts on all of the important parts without resorting to infodump. There was tons of sexual tension, loads of danger, and plenty of steamy and romance all tangled together to keep me glued to the pages. The occasionally stilted dialog and the presence of Spencer’s neighbor, however, are what pulled me out of the excitement of the story a bit. Overall, I did enjoy this one. While it wasn’t without its problems, the level of excitement and heat in the story, combined with the fantastic twist at the end definitely made this one a keeper. A solid 4/5 Stars. {I received this title free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Full review appears on The Romanceaholic}
Anonymous 9 months ago
I love this Series so much. Wish their were more books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main character is a tough cookie! Falling for the older man was bound to happen. I didn't know that there were other books that led to this one till I finished it. Seemed like I was missing something.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the story.
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JAB4422 More than 1 year ago
As a girl, Arizona had been sold into sex slavery so she hates men. Jackson saved her and now is her over-protective 'brother'. This event has caused Arizona to want to catch men like her captives and save other women from her experiences. She has a plan to take down a smuggling ring but needs help.  She doesn't want to go to Jackson or any of the others on the team so turns to Spencer believing that he will be her partner without telling Jackson.  Spencer likes her plan and agrees not to tell Jackson about it but does tell one of the other team members when he knows they need more people to help with the take down. The character development in this story is quite in depth. You get to know a great deal about the main characters, their lives, and their histories. Arizona had only seen the disgusting, brutal side to men and sex so she doesn't know how to handle her attraction to Spencer. On the other hand, Spencer has always been attracted to Arizona but didn't make his feelings known because he knew of her past and distrust of men. Oh, and he also didn't want to get on Jackson's bad side. It was hard enough to work with Arizona and hide his feelings for her but he also was fighting his alpha male tendencies to take control and let her run the operation. I loved that Spencer was compassionate and didn't try to change Arizona but to accept her own sexuality. His competence and compassion were proven when he was able to get the other guys to trust that Arizona knew what she was doing and could take charge of the operation. Arizona's "I can do it myself" attitude did drive me crazy because it got her into dangerous situations. Even though she had a very hard life, I didn't really 'like' her so much as felt sorry for her.  Even so, I like the way she has handled her life in such a positive way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another reason to keep Lori Foster on my favorite writer of all time pedestal.
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northamericanwordcat More than 1 year ago
A large part me thinks this book and this whole series is ridiculous fluff but a bigger part of me just does not seem to care. I love Foster's  writing, I love the overly spunky and overly alpha heros who are always nice and well hung.  There is no way no matter how "special" as the boys insist she is that Arizona would not need way more sexual healing after her past.  Spencer also is clueless for way too long.  None the less, this book is a ton of fun.  Its a revenge fantasy for women who have been abused.  Arizona keeps getting to kick ass. So many  nuts are cracked in this book.  Spencer glowers. The cast of the other books is around.  Fun! Fun! Fun!  And the underlying message about accepting people how they are is nice.