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Riding the Storm

Riding the Storm - Sydney Croft (pseudonym of the writing team of Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler)I couldn't really decide how to rate this one. So, I am settling for 3.5★, but rounded up to 4. The book reads like X-Men + Heroes on Viagra. There's a lot of sex, but then that would be expected since the main characters, Remy and Haley have libidos that put just about everyone to shame. Riding the Storm introduces us to A LOT of people and two organizations. The two rivalry organizations ACRO and Itor both employ people with extraordinary abilities. They differ in that ACRO wants their members to join of their own free will while Itor will take them anyway they can get them. ACRO provides a "safe haven to Special Ability types in return for their helping to keep safe the world at large" and Itor sells their services to the highest bidder. ACRO stands for "Agency for Covert Rare Operative" and Itor stands for ??The book is a cross between X-Men and Heroes with a little splash of "Practical Magic" thrown in. ("Practical Magic"? Well, Remy believes Haley showing up in his life might be b/c of the "spell he threw when he was ten" ... "i just wanted someone who loved me, loved me for me".)Meet the X-Men/Heroes:* Remy Begnaud, a former Navy SEAL interrogator who's lust turns insatiable when the weather turns bad. He is an Elementalist, he's able to control the weather.* Annika Svenson can control electromagnetic energy. The CIA stole her from her mother when she was two years old, 19 yrs ago. She was rescued by ACRO and now works for them. * Creed McCabe, ghost hunter/Terminator (in all black leather, chains and ruthless persistence") who's entire right side of his body is covered by a tattoo, one he was born with. He's "accompanied" by a ghost he calls Kat, who makes it hard for him to date b/c she will not allow him to get close to another woman. He was born into ACRO, his parents were some of the earliest recruits. He's able to speak to the dead through "his" spirit makes him a sort-of ghost translator; she also acts as a kind of bounty hunter, bringing spirits to him.* Devlin O'Malley, the leader of ACRO, formerly a member of the Air Force, lost his sight 10 years ago. But, blindness brought out his gift of second sight, and learning CRV - Controlled Remote Viewing.* Oz, Dev's lover, was the best medium ACRO had ever seen. He left ACRO three years ago and hasn't been heard from since.* Ender (AKA: Tom Knight), former Delta Force, is an excedosapien, he has super speed and a magic way with weapons.* Wyatt Kennedy, former Navy SEAL, has telekinesis.** There are also "Speedsters", "Brawlers", "Mentalists", "Seducers" and Psychics. Meet the Villains:* Charles, Itor's leader* Hakata* Oksana Minsky an empath who used to belong to the KGB* Niles a telekinetic* Apollo Mikos, team leader The Gist:Haley Marie Holmes, ACRO's parameteorologist, a human with no special abilities, is sent to determine if Remy's "the real deal". How shocking that "As a meteorology geek with a passion for severe weather, she'd always harbored a secret fantasy, one that took her into the heart of a tempest with a man who was strong enough to stand up to Mother Nature." And how lucky for her that's exactly what she finds in Remy, someone with a sex drive as high revved as hers. Remy isn't "about to let himself become a sex toy for science" and is determined to find out what Haley's doing in his house and what is has to do with him.Annika and Creed are sent to Dev's old childhood home, which is haunted, to learn more about it. They have always disliked each other, but also *shock* find themselves extremely drawn to the other. Annika has always feared injuring the man she's sexual with (being that she can shock with 50,000 volts), but *lucky her* Creed seems to be immune to her zaps. Creed hasn't been able to have a real relationship b/c of his ghost tag-along.Itor is relentless in it's pursuit to get Remy on their "team" and ACRO is just as determined to have him work for them.Back at ACRO, Dev is dealing with the fact the agency has a mole. He's also, personally, dealing with the loss of Oz. There was so much information provided in this book, sometimes it was hard to keep track of it all. But, overall, it was a quick, hot read and I think the series will prove to be interesting with all its good v. evil with superheroes.