I was in the mood for some thrilling action and a passionate romantic pair so I took up this one and settled in to listen to a rousing good story. The plot delivered on the action and the narrator did an excellent job of drawing me in. This is the first full-length book in a series about a Navy SEAL team full of camaraderie of this team of men, an authentic feel to their world and an exciting and adventurous romance for each guy. For the first book, it is Lt. Sam and a stubborn, fiery environmentalist.
The story opens with Sam and his team being sent into a city on a removal op. A wealthy oil man with some clout has used his connections and power to have the SEALs charged with pulling his headstrong, naive daughter out of a dangerous situation that is growing worse every hour. Maddie Scott ignored the warning that all American citizens needed to leave the Mexican city as the drug cartel took it over. Sam has no use for the rich and is infuriated that he is forced to leave off a legit mission to get a stupid female out of trouble that she wouldn’t be in if she didn’t act like the rules didn’t apply to her. Rescuing Maddie Scott would have been a piece of cake if the female had actually cooperated and didn’t fight him and try to escape him the whole time. She seemed under the impression that she, an unarmed, untrained woman, was going to hold off a bunch of pillaging raping criminals from the school of girls where she has been working. Sam pities the girls and can admire Maddie’s tender heart, but he wants nothing to do with the spoiled girl who will more than likely tattle to daddy that the big rough SEAL hurt her during the extraction.
Maddie Scott is infuriated that her father pulled strings and removed her from helping the poor girls in that school and since her dad isn’t in sight she takes out her wrath on the SEAL that did the actual removal. It galls her, but also shocks her that he is less than impressed by everything about her and only sees her as a pain in the butt and a problem to solve. He thinks her desire to ‘save the world’ one project and person at a time is hopelessly naive and just a willful ignorance of the dangers involved. Its her dream and she won’t give it up. Not for her interfering father or for the infuriating yet attractive Lt. Sasseville. In a surprising twist, their paths cross again, and again, danger is there in the form of terrorists, a possible company cover up and maybe someone who has a personal agenda against her family. Will she ever be able to convince Sam that her work is as necessary as his or will they always be frustrated by opposing ideologies.
This book was both a really good story, but also a tough one to get through for me. I liked the writing, the pace, the strong plot features, the back ground of the characters, and the settings. I liked most of the characters with one exception.
It was that one exception that made this a hard book to finish. I really couldn’t stand the heroine probably 90% of the time. She is an environmentalist who is also an idealist and those things in and off themselves didn’t bother me, but her stubborn-stupid stunts did. That whole opening scene just got me so mad and almost every encounter with her after that put me into slow simmer. She didn’t have a snowflake’s chance in the proverbial to do anything, but get herself raped and/or killed, but she blithely ignores that while she’s busy hurling angry words at her rescuer. I swear I was listening to a modern Perils of Pauline serial. Good thing her love interest is a SEAL since rescuing Maddie was a regular occurrence. And that brings me to the romance, I didn’t find her witless acts, lack of gratitude and stubbornness that attractive so I really only liked some aspects of the romance development.
That said, there is a lot of other stuff going on in the story that I did appreciate. I was very emotionally engaged through that whole hostage situation and even had a tearful response to a moment of personal sacrifice. I was fascinated each time the SEALs were at work. The bit of intrigue that snuck in wasn’t hard for me to figure out, but it sure made things exciting. And even though I wasn’t into the romance in one sense, I found the way the author handled the last part more than made up for it. There were some really tough barriers for these two to overcome and the pacing wasn’t rushed, but it wasn’t drawn out too long either. I appreciated that the author made them work for it and had some individual issues to deal with through it. The Epilogue was just perfect to give a lovely ‘ahs’ moment.
The narrator was a big strength for this story. I felt he was a good match for the tone and challenges of many male voices and more than one foreign accent. He knew how to make the scenes and characters come alive so that all I heard was the story and not the person delivering it.
To sum things up, I enjoyed the story overall. I think in spite of my issue with the heroine that this is a good start to a new series. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy steamy Romantic Suspense within a military setting.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to listen to her book in exchange for an honest review.
Literary Pickers #73 Jungle
Romance Roundtable #71 RS
Interracial Romance #12
Cliché Klatch #12 ‘he’ll play ball’
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