Heart Strike by M.L. Buchman #Review

Heart Strike by M.L. Buchman #ReviewHeart Strike by M.L. Buchman

Series: #2 Delta Force
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on August 2, 2016
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars      four-flames

Carrying on after the explosive excitement of book one, the spotlight shifts from Kyle and Carla to another member of the team, Richie ‘Q’ Goldman and the newest female Delta, Melissa ‘the Cat’ Moore.   The elite tough members of the Delta team’s story is told with detail, passion, and a rush of adrenaline.

This is book two in the Delta Force series and while it could be read out of order in a pinch, it builds on the book that came before it and continues the series arc about the team and the previous story of Kyle and Carla.

Melissa Moore has finished her training.  She has achieved the impossible by becoming Delta and a member of The Unit.  She has come a long way from the young girl who lived on a houseboat in Washington State, working in a museum, and going on hiking adventures and flying lessons with her intrepid brother.  But one fateful climb, leaves her bereft of a beloved brother and ready for a new life’s calling.  She joins the army and pushes to become the best of the best like the amazing man who rescued her up on that mountain.  Now, she is being shipped out to work with an existing team in South America.

Melissa takes one look at her new team and wonders if there has been a mistake especially when half the team bristles at her appearance and all of them are far more skilled than she is.  What can she possibly add to the equation and why is she here?  Even after the CIA man tells them they have a new assignment that requires flyers, she is still off her game because of the unlikely boyish grin of Richie Goldman.

Richie is the team’s tech guy and resident genius, but that doesn’t make him any less a warrior and qualified to be there.  He watches Chad and envies him his ease with women since Richie stumbles all over himself and struggles to catch the nuances.  Thus, he is as surprised as everyone else when he is as natural and relaxed as can be with Melissa.   Their rapport is instant even after he discovers she can appreciate his geek out moments and they share the love and ability to fly planes.

Adventures and situations arise as they are want to do for Delta team members, but through it all the pair grow close and marvel at what is happening between them.  But then the doubts come.  Can this be real?  Can they have something special in their line of work and on the same team?

Things heat up and the mission takes over.  Both are determined to make it out alive and make sure the mission is successful so they can cash in on all the previous missed opportunities.

Alright, this was an enjoyable read.  Like the first book, it starts out slowly and then picks up speed as it goes.  I enjoy the author’s careful attention to detail so that the back drop and characters, the plot and development feel right for such a story.

The characters are tough, gritty, and live a life constantly on the edge.  Honed to a sharpness that the average person cannot even imagine, they go about life, love, and work so differently.  I continue to enjoy the group introduced in the first book that now includes Melissa into the dynamics.  Melissa is a hard, focused woman, and most think she has walls around her as thick as a fort, but from the first encounter, Richie awakens the laughter and easy side.  Melissa has no idea how this many-faceted guy does it and Richie is just being Richie.  Melissa is gifted at reading people and their motives though she doesn’t realize just how crucial such a gift it is until she is on the team and part of the mission.  Instead, she is uneasy and wonders what her place will be since she is moved from her newly graduated team to this already established one.  Chad is hostile and Carla starts out that way.  Duane takes a wait and see.  Kyle, the team leader, and Richie accept her without reservation.  Melissa is captivated by both the gentle geek and by the fierce warrior spirit that are both Richie.  Richie never thought he’d be the guy to get the girl and decides upfront that he wants something meaningful that will survive past one night.  He reads Melissa well and appreciates her strength without being intimidated so that he can let her take the lead with full trust.

The romance is passionate, but also develops at an even pace.  They are constantly together and in an intense situation so the relationship progresses quickly though not unbelievably.   This pair are caliente.  I loved the way Richie was with Melissa.  He keeps her guessing and has her wanting.  He’s got a lightness to him and enjoys discovering new things and new facts, but he is all male for Melissa.  The author gave them wonderful experiences whether it is underwater exploring a Caribbean reef and appreciating an island respite or sharing an intense coupling in a drug empires’ lair.  They make sense together and are a fantastic team and part of the larger team.

All in all, this was a fantastic story balanced well between the romance and the action-suspense.  Only my third encounter with the author’s works and I am prepared to read anything he writes and has written.  Those who enjoy military romantic suspense should definitely give this series a go.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

About M.L. Buchman

M.L. Buchman’s romances have been named in Booklist’s Top 10 of the year and NPR’s Top 5 of the year. He has also published science fiction and fantasy under the name Matthew Lieber Buchman. He is happiest, no matter how cliché it may seem, when walking on the beach holding hands with the mother of his awesome kid… or when he’s writing. In addition to his career as a corporate project manager, he has rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world. He is now making his living full-time as a writer, living on the Oregon Coast. You can keep up with his writing at www.mlbuchman.com.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Debbie Haupt

    ooh this one looks good and a great rating by a male rom-suspense author I need to check him out because they are as rare as unicorns and husbands who are well trained. LOL

    • Oh yes, this author is a strong romance author and one of the handful I recommend for rom susp. LOL, yes they are rare, but the guys are out there writing some good ones.

  • I used to read bunches of this type of book and for the most part loved them. I did however get tired of it usually ending up in a jungle setting. You don’t mention a jungle but South America? So I am wondering if it’s a jungle romance?

    • That’s true that the jungle is a typical setting. This one ends up there for a few brief scenes, but most of the book is not. I won’t spoil it, but they usually move around a lot for this series.

  • Caliente! 😀 Sounds like these two are perfect for each other. I haven’t been reading romantic suspense books like this lately, but I have this series on standby for when I need one.

    • OH yeah, sizzling! Hope you get the chance at some point. These are fun.

  • I can appreciate a book that starts slow as long as it picks up and this seems like it did just that. Thanks for the great review.

    • Oh yes, I agree. I don’t mind a book getting things set up slowly as long as it does get on with it. Thanks for stopping, Mary!

  • I really like this author…he is pretty great. Although his books normally start slow, so I always have to give it a little time before it kicks in. I love the way he writes his characters though—they are always so real and fascinating. Great review.

    • That’s good advice. I do plan to catch his backlist with the Nightstalker series since this one seems to be in the same world and has crossover moments. I don’t mind the slow build since now I know it will get rolling soon enough. Yes, his characters are great. I particularly loved this pair together and individually.

  • He always has amazing covers. It really sounds fantastic, too! I could totally see being smitten with the hero 😀

    • I agree. I’ve admired these Sourcebooks Covers even with the older series.

      I really liked this pair and Richie is an amazing guy. Wish he were real! 🙂

  • I tried one of this author’s other books some years ago, but didn’t like it very much. RS is always tricky for me, especially when I’m expecting the characters to be a certain way. I have to tell myself that it’s the author’s prerogative to write what they want. LOL! I’m glad you enjoyed this!P.S. I will catch up on older posts this week. I’ve been too busy and tired to lift a finger since last week.

    • I’ve had that sort of experience where the writing style, the tone, or the way the characters are just doesn’t sit right and I don’t have the interest in more from the author. Haha, yes, I suppose it is their prerogative.

      Oh no pressure, if life is holding you captive at the moment, don’t worry about obligatory blog visits. Just come by when you can. 🙂

  • This actually sounds pretty yummy, Sophia 🙂 And I haven’t read anything by this author, which is something I need to remedy one of these days 😉
    I hope you’re having a great week.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    • I’ve enjoyed my few encounters with his books. They are definitely yummy. Hope you get the chance, Lexxie!

  • Shari Delighted Read

    I read one book by this author a few years ago and couldn’t really get into it. Glad you like them.

    • Yeah, I have that trouble with a few series. Just didn’t connect with them. I do like these, though. 😉