Oh, boy, this one took me a long time to read. It wasn’t particularly long, but it wasn’t paced to make it a short read either. Striking Distance is the story of Laura Nilsson and Javier Corbray and continues the ITeam series. After reading Breaking Point, I thought I had a new series to love even if I hadn’t started from the beginning. Unfortunately, I still don’t know the people from the past books nor their story. While they don’t directly relate to the this story, it was confusing at times not knowing who was who and their story.
Laura Nilsson is the “Bagdad Babe”, a woman who has integrity in reporting the hard stories overseas. In one weekend in Dubai, Laura is harassed by some men and Javier comes to her rescue. They spend a passion filled weekend in the hotel and left each other with no regrets thinking they had all the time in the world if they wanted to reconnect.
Two months later, Laura is kidnapped and held hostage in an Al Qaeda for eighteen months. Brutally beaten, raped and abused mentally with threats of her own death, she barely remembers her own name. When Navy Seals swoop in to take the leader into custody, she barely remembers that she is a hostage and let’s them know. Now it is two years later and her captor is coming to justice for his actions, but also a threat is identified that could end her life.
Javier can never reveal his involvement in rescuing Laura, even though everyone thought she was dead. Recovering from a mission gone bad, he is back in Denver to visit his friend, Nathan. The bonus is getting to see Laura again. Unfortunately, attacks start up against Laura and this time Javier won’t let them harm her again.
The two stick together and slowly … very slowly start to grow closer. Intimacies takes some time to take hold and you will totally understand why as the story continues.
Characters roll in and out and the names started to blur. Several different law forces were involved which made it all confusing. Basically, someone wants her dead and the trick is uncovering if the facts presented meet what the FBI, US Marshals and even the Navy Seals can agree upon.
There are sections of this book that dragged as I was reading. I ended up putting it down to try another time. Thinking it might be better on audio, I switched to that and found it better, but also confusing once again with so many names. Add in the it was a guy doing the audio…and his voice for Laura was all wrong.
This is a very deep story that goes places I really did not want to read about. I know it actually does happen, but my reading materials are meant to help me escape not drag me into a war that is more brutal than I want to think about. There is a secret Laura holds throughout the story. It starts off small, and grows as the story progresses and becomes an integral part of the story. This part is what gave me fits and I could not imagine going through it.
The writing was adequate, sometimes the pacing was just off. Enjoyable? Not really and that is why I only recommend this to readers who want to know some about being kidnapped in war zones and living with the fallout once rescued.
Do you enjoy war related romance stories? Can you handle a victim being brutalized even years after they are back home? What draws you to realistic romances?