Series: Wild Aces #1
Published by Berkley on May 20th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.
U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.
Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.
One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…
Fly With Me is the first book in the new Wild Aces series by Chanel Cleeton. The Wild Aces are a squadron of Air Force fighter pilots, currently stationed in Oklahoma, but ready to be relocated at a moment’s notice. (They are not like the fighter pilots from Top Gun. Those were Navy fighter pilots. Noah is really tired of people making that mistake. Which Jordan does. A lot.)
Jordan and Noah met at a club in Vegas. She was there for her younger sister’s bachelorette party, and Noah was in Vegas for work. Insta-lust ensues. Boy howdy. Does it ever. Jordan and Noah are smoking hot from the moment they meet. But despite their insane chemistry, Jordan wants more from this relationship than one night – she thinks she may have found the Chupacabra of dating, and she’s determined to make him work for it.
…the urban legend, Chupacabra-like myth of a man who would fuck you up against a wall while he pulled your hair and then spoon you to sleep after. The guy who would bring you breakfast in bed with an orgasm on the side. The kind of guy who was so masculine that he could get you pregnant just by looking at you.
Noah’s job and the physical distance between them mean he and Jordan have to do things a lot differently than most new couples. They have to make bigger decisions sooner, they can’t just date and see how it goes. Noah knows, and tries to be completely honest and up front with Jordan about, exactly what it is to date a fighter pilot. He can’t make any promises to her. Holidays, family events, day-to-day activities, none of them are givens. If they have kids, he’s going to miss most of their childhood. If they get married, he’s going to be gone most of the time. Even something like a relative’s wedding with a year’s notice can’t be guaranteed. It’s a really, really hard life, and not one to be taken on easily. He’s nowhere near getting out of the Air Force, so this isn’t a ‘ride it out and see what comes next’ situation.
Jordan is a smart girl. She understands what he’s telling her. He’s not sugarcoating anything, and she’s not looking at it with rose-colored glasses. If she decides to be with Noah, all of the sacrifices will be hers. She will have to give up the successful clothing boutique she owns with her best friend in Florida. She’ll have to leave her family and friends behind and follow him to wherever he’s sent at a moment’s notice. She’ll be the one to do all of the parenting if they have kids. She won’t be able to have a job because of the uncertainty about where they’ll be and for how long. And he could be sent anywhere in the world, so she wouldn’t be able to have a job at all if they were sent out of the U.S. Even now, when they first meet and they just want to date, it’s complicated. He doesn’t have the freedom to come and go as he wants, so she has to fly back and forth to Oklahoma from Florida so they can see each other. She has to be the one to get her business partner to cover the store for entire weekends and watch her dog. She has to miss out on spending weekends with her own friends so they can be with his. And they have to start discussing this stuff immediately, because after their weekend in Vegas, she has to go back to Florida, and he has to go back to Oklahoma, but the chemistry between them is undeniable and they want to see each other again.
At the same time, Noah does have a tiny bit of say, or least gets to have an opinion on where he’s sent next, and he’s not going to make that decision on a relationship that’s casual. So, again, he and Jordan have to make big decisions almost immediately. Are they more than a fling? Exclusive? Committed to the future? These are not things most of us think about within days or even weeks of meeting someone.
But these were determined to make it work. There wasn’t a lot of drama, just a lot of honest conversation, both with each other, and for Jordan with some of the other military wives and girlfriends. I was so happy she had other women she could talk to about everything, and get a genuine look at how their lives work and exactly how it would be for her. And Jordan was smart enough to realize this. She was such a great heroine. On the outside, she looked like a cliche, all blond hair and blue eyes and bombshell curves, but she was smart, she was savvy, she knew her own mind, she was able to hold her own with Noah and his friends, and her own family.
According to Chanel Cleeton’s bio, her husband is a fighter pilot, and her insider knowledge of this world shows. Every part of this book rings true. All of the characters, even the secondary characters, were well-developed real people, not a cardboard cutout to be found. The only reason I didn’t go with a full five stars was the ending. A big part of Jordan’s decision-making process was her family. She’d been born and raised in Florida, and her entire family was still there. If she decided to go with Noah, she’d be leaving all of them behind, and the relationship between her and her mother was already strained. This is a romance novel, so I don’t think it’s too spoilery to say that she decides to stay with Noah, but there’s no indication of exactly how she makes it work. I don’t know how her mother, who dislikes Noah just on principle, reacts. I don’t know how her business partner reacts to the news, or what Jordan ends up doing with her dog. I really wanted to know these things.
As much as I read, there are only a few authors who I can trust to give me an entire cast of characters I feel like I know and can root for. So many authors do well with the main characters but the side characters are walking stick figures. Chanel Cleeton is now officially on that list. I ordered the next book in this series as soon as I finished this one, and I can’t wait to read it. It’s not about who I was hoping for, but it looks like that one is coming, and I’ll preorder that one as soon as I can.