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review 2013-11-23 01:00
In the Dark (SEAL Team 12, #2)
In the Dark - Marliss Melton

Opening Line: "The high pitched whine of a mosquito roused Hannah from a drug induced sleep."


In The Dark is the 2nd book from Melton’s SEAL Team 12 series, which as a whole is pretty good. It's got a Brockmann-“ish” feel to it, in that its well written, more romantic then suspenseful, and filled with great secondary characters as well as a couple of romantic sub plots. The story here relies heavily on events started back in book 1 (FORGET ME NOT) so I couldn’t recommend it as a stand alone.

Hannah Geary is a CIA agent introduced to us towards the end of Gabe's book. At that time she was investigating suspected arms dealers when her partner was killed and she was kidnapped. When we open Hannah is being held prisoner in Cuba, she’s no damsel in distress however and is doing a fine job of rescuing herself when Team 12 finally shows up. Hannah is then placed in the protection of SEAL's Luther and Westy who decide to work together to locate the arms dealers and prove Gabe's "Jaguar" innocence as he’s somehow wound up back in jail since his HEA in the last book.

Where do I begin with our hero Luther? He’s nursing a wounded heart after finding out his fiancé was cheating on him so the last thing he’s looking for right now is a relationship. However being put in close quarters with Hannah is proving difficult, she’s perfect for him, and they have so much in common, including (unfortunately) a career. You see Luther only wants a woman who will stay home and have his babies while he goes off on missions. He definitely doesn’t want to get involved with someone who’ll be risking her life for country and not putting him first. Hmmm? Anyways Hannah agrees, there’s simply no future for them because she’s worked too hard to get to this stage in her career to give it up for a man.  That doesn’t mean they can’t scratch a shared itch while they work the case together though.

Now I have to be honest here; while there was nothing particularly wrong with this book (save the chauvinist attitude of our heroes) I struggled to get through it, putting it down several times and only finishing on principle. I just couldn’t get engaged in the story, never felt any true connection between the H/h, the love scenes were meh, and I was less then surprised by the identity of the bad guy. (No kidding)

I also found the stalker-esque secondary love story between Sebastian and Leila unnecessary and just plain weird. When we first entered their POV I actually thought he was a bad guy not another romantic lead as he was sneaking around having all these crazy possessive thoughts and tampering with her car. All in the hopes that he would be able to come to her rescue and she would be forced to spend time with him. Nice basis for a relationship.

Maybe Cindy Gerard and Pamela Clare have just ruined me for any other romantic suspense?
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review 2013-11-19 00:25
Tall Dark and Dangerous #11 -the end of a great series
Night Watch - Suzanne Brockmann

Opening Line: “Brittany Evan’s hated to be late, but parking had been a pain in the butt."

 

With Wes’s story we come to the end of the Tall Dark and Dangerous series and I have to say I was more than a little sad. I’ve had such a good time with this series (and all its hunky SEAL's) and can’t say enough good things about it.

 

I’m always guaranteed a good time here, with clever writing, action packed storylines, to-die-for heroes and strong women that bring them to their knees. Brockmann’s dialogue is always good too; sigh-worthy, realistic and often very funny. All the books are loosely connected (following Seal Team 10’s Alpha squad) yet each still different enough that it feels fresh and unique and could easily be read as stand-alone. Of course then theres the romance and Brockmann will get you every time especially when her tough guys cry, and they almost always do.

 

My only complaint with this would be that because it’s the last in the series I wanted to have a more final epilogue. One that included all the guys together and some reflection (like say a wedding) giving me a sort of closure. As it was she even introduced new characters and then it just well…ended like all the other books. HEA-see ya later. I was like now what? What’s going to happen to SEAL team 10? -Sigh, I need to get a life.

 

Wes Skelly is on leave in LA. He’s also in love with a married woman so he doesn’t expect much to come of the blind date he’s just been set up on by Melody and Cowboy Jones (Everyday, Average Jones) Brittany Evans isn’t really keen on this date either and sets the rules quickly (not gunna happen), which surprisingly results in the two of them becoming friends without having to worry about the romance end of it. Britt is different then any woman Wes has ever met and for some reason he finds himself opening up to her and relaxing. She’s a single mother to an adopted son, a good listener, tons of fun and the perfect nurturer for a man with serious issues (god I love the tortured heroes.)

 

Yeah Wes has some problems; he “might” be an alcoholic, craves a cigarette every couple of pages has issues with his father, never got over the death of his brother, is in love with a colleagues wife and top it off is vertically challenged, being the only SEAL not topping 6 feet. Still with all the baggage Wes is a very likable guy. I loved watching him open up and realize that he was worth much more then unrequited love. The inner dialogue is again very good as are the love scenes and I enjoyed the fact that these two became friends before the lust hit. With a cute sub plot involving a spoiled TV starlet, a crazed stalker and a surprising death, this had just about everything I could ask for until I realized it was the last one. Thanks boys, stay safe!

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review 2013-11-17 01:34
Boring, confusing and sadly disappointing
Heat Seeker (Elite Ops) - Lora Leigh

Opening Line: "It was a world Baily hadn't expected to ever enter again."


Jeez, what a struggle it was to finish this one. I was determined though, despite warnings from other reviewers but also because I was such a fan of Lora Leigh’s previous Elite-Ops/Tempting Seals books. I felt confident that I’d be able to see through the anticipated bad editing and ‘soul’ searing sex scenes, I’d just suspend belief for a couple of days and enjoy another great addition to the series…


So, two weeks, one spread sheet and several graphs later -which I used to keep track of all the alter egos assigned to our Ops (up to 3 each), the infinite number of secondary characters and oh lets not forget Jules!? It was with a huge sigh of relief that I finally finished.
 
               
This is book #3 in the Elite-Ops series or book #8 if you count the Tempting Seals. In all my other reviews I started by raving about the sexy, alpha heroes, the erotic love scenes and the ensuing beautiful love story. Unfortunately with Heat Seeker we get none of these things and a word that keeps coming to mind is vague. Everything about this is vague; story, characters, dialogue, completed ideas. Essentially its just rehashed plotlines from every other book in the series in particular; Wild Card, Maverick and Hidden Agendas there's nothing new here. And when you combine that with the bad editing, too many confusing characters and a bland couple that except for having great sex in the shower never really gave me the feeling that they were in love, the whole thing is well, boring.

I also have no real idea of what our couple looked like or where most of this took place, because except for the brief mention of Aspen and all the sweaters and leather jackets being removed it’s never described. Bailey and Trent spend 90% of the book attending parties in mansions with big maze like gardens and knife wielding guests.

Here’s the plot as near as I can figure; we begin in Australia with CIA agents Bailey Serborne and Trent Daylen getting it on (Lora Leigh style) during a thunderstorm. The couple has just finished working a case together and they’re in love and celebrating. However the party is short lived as by the end of the chapter Trent has been ‘killed’ in an explosion set by the worst named bad guy ever, Warbucks.

5 or 6 years later (depending on your math skills) Bailey has quit (or been fired) from the FBI. She is now seeking revenge and trying to locate Warbucks, the man responsible for killing her wealthy parents (and a cousin I think) as well the love of her life Trent. Bailey is getting close to his inner circle when her plans are thwarted by a group of mercenaries. They are of course the Elite-Ops who also have Warbucks in their sights.
The agents team up with Bailey and for whatever reason it becomes imperative that she pose as John Vincent’s lover, something to do with securing a missile launcher and weapons of mass destruction which Bailey has the codes for!? Now John looks very familiar to Bailey even though he doesn’t have an Australian accent or say “Love” anymore but she’s pretty sure she knows who he is. And isn’t that also her long lost cousin David Abijah aka Micah Sloane aka Maverick aka Jerric Abbas lurking about? Just who the hell are these guys?

Trent Daylen aka Heat Seeker aka John Vincent might be a dead man but he’s never been able to get Bailey out of his soul and now after all the great sex they’ve been having in the shower he’s also never been cleaner or more complete. Theres just no way he’s going to let her go again once this mission is over even if his grumpy leader Jordan Malone owns his ass for the next 6 or 7 years (depending on your math skills.) Yup its good times with Lora Leigh

So Black Jack is up next and I’m hopeful that it will be better but I’ve also got my spread sheets and graphs ready just in case. Cheers.             
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review 2013-11-11 01:02
No romance but a worthy backstory for some real heroes
The Embattled Road - J.M. Madden

Opening Line: “Duncan could not wait to get the fuck out of this sand pit.”

 

Now this is how to start a romantic suspense series. Get the entire back story and set up out of the way without the distraction of a romance, -which is especially relevant here because JM Madden has taken the time to give us some real heroes. I loved how this 40 page prequel gave us all three soldiers stories from the very beginning, starting in the frontlines of Iraq and then through their injuries and subsequent treatment at a VA hospital. These aren’t your standard romance heroes battle scars either, these are real injuries and they haven’t been glossed over for which I want to thank Madden.

Our men have missing limbs, disfiguring burns and are wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.  These are gut-wrenching, life altering wounds. We also get all the horror of war, the pain, the anger, the humiliation, the flashbacks and the grief over their lost bodies. Who they once were and the bewilderment about what their futures can hold for them now. Yup, these are heroes that needed their stories told first without the distraction of a romance.

My only real criticism here would be that at times I got the men confused, whose head we were in as they were often referred to by either their rank or a first or last name which was confusing.

In this well written prequel to (The Lost And Found Series) we meet three wounded warriors as they recover in hospital. Marine 1st Sargent Duncan Wilde- badly burned and learning to walk again and oh his girlfriend is expecting another man’s baby, doh!, Sergeant Chad Lowell who lost a leg and doesn’t relish returning to his hometown and its ongoing sympathy party, and Gunnery Sergeant John Palmer who is confined to a wheelchair, full of F-bombs and angry at the world.

Emotionally and physically torn apart we witness as a friendship is forged on adversity. But as their bodies heal and a new reality is faced they wonder what will they do now? How can they still give back to society? Surely there must be a way to still utilize their military talents despite their setbacks and limitations. And it’s here that “Lost And Found Investigative Services” is forged.

Can’t wait to start Embattled Hearts, just wish I had a Kindle so I could continue with John’s F’n story right now LOL

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review 2013-10-27 01:34
Wow, This one's a keeper
Show No Mercy - Cindy Gerard

Opening Line"Tracer rounds zipped across the murky darkness, lighting up the night sky in brilliant slashes of red, yellow and green."

 

 I absolutely loved this book, it's got everything you could possibly want in a romantic suspense; uber alpha-male hero, exotic locations, suspense, drama, explosions, gunfights, hot sweaty jungles, passionate love scenes, psychotic villains, movie-worthy action scenes and some of the most touching dialogue I've read (gotta love those tortured heroes.) There's also a sweet secondary romance and best of all a whole team of Black Ops just waiting to have their stories told next.

 

 

Usually a book is just entertaining or nice to read before bed, well SHOW NO MERCY gave me actual emotions. At times my heart was racing, I was tense, sad, angry, and found myself swearing with surprise. Then just when I thought everything was going to be all wrapped up nice and happily-ever-after Gerard twisted the ending, briefly left me hanging and created a lifelong fan. This is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time and I've just ordered the entire Black-Ops series.

 

Only two things could take journalist Jenna McMillan back to Buenos Aires after being held captive by terrorists months before: a rare interview with reclusive billionaire Maxim and the memory of the tough and oh so sexy man who saved her before. Gabriel Jones is a warrior and after a lifetime in the military and profound personal loss he is scarred both inside and out. Missions and combat are his way of life now.

 

He and the other members of Black-Ops have just been hired to protect Maxim which is a happy coincidence because they're also watching him for presumed terrorist connections. So when a bomb explodes at Jenna's interview Gabe is right there to save her life although he's badly injured in the process. When it becomes apparent that Jenna not Maxim is the target she's forced to join Gabe and the mercenaries. However this is no coincidence and a ruthless enemy is now stalking them both.

 

THEN things really heat up and man there's a lot going on. With Gabe and Jenna fighting for their lives (and Gabe briefly turning into Rambo) their growing feelings take center stage and the sexual tension is almost as fantastic as the fast paced action. Jenna is strong yet vulnerable and Gabe is filled with so much guilt that he may never let her into his heart, turning his back on her just when he needs her most.

 

I will admit in the beginning my mind wandered as we got a very detailed back story and introduction to a huge cast of characters however things picked up rapidly and chapter 25 nearly put me over the edge...I'll be back for TAKE NO PRISONERS. Cheers!

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