My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin
When things go horribly wrong on a mission in Russia, the surviving members of SEAL Team Nine are ordered to scatter and go dark. It’s been two months since everything went to hell, and Senior Chief Dean Baylor is now living under the radar in Scotland, working as a dive boat captain. He doesn’t need any complications, especially if they come in the form of beautiful marine ecologist Annie Henderson. Annie is on the Isle of Lewis to protest a potentially hazardous offshore drilling venture, but when she learns the activists she arrived with are up to something dangerous, she has no one to turn to for help except for the even more dangerous looking dive boat captain. It’s the second time in two months that things go south for Dean, but he’s not about to let anything happen to Annie, even if it means risking blowing his cover.
Monica McCarty starts off her Lost Platoon series with a bang. Going Dark is an intense, interesting, and engaging romantic suspense. I’ve enjoyed Ms. McCarty’s historical romances in the past, so I was thrilled to discover that she’s every bit as adept when it comes to romantic suspense.
What sets Going Dark apart from a lot of the military romances I’ve read lately is the characters. Badass heroes are a dime a dozen, but while the members of SEAL Team Nine are definitely strong alphas, they’re not over the top (which I was grateful for). Dean is a strong, resourceful, straight-shooting conservative hero. He’s both sexy and endearing, but he doesn’t have the best opinion of people like Annie, who he considers liberal academics in their ivory towers. Annie is a liberal vegetarian marine ecologist who is an idealist at heart. Though she can be naïve, Annie won me over because she truly has a good heart and is trying to make the world a better place. The two seem like total opposites, but they actually fit one another perfectly. I loved that they were able to discuss their different ideologies and that they actually listened to one another when they were disagreeing. Ms. McCarty did a great job of showing where Dean and Annie came from and the events that shaped them and their beliefs. It’s not an easy thing to do, particularly given the current political climate, which is why this really stood out to me. I read most of Going Darkin one sitting because I really enjoyed the dynamic between Dean and Annie.
The suspense plotline involving eco-terrorists balanced out the romance and kept the story moving at a good pace. While I enjoyed this storyline, I’m definitely more invested in the overarching series plot. I want to know who betrayed SEAL Team Nine and why. One of the people looking for answers is Colt, a former member of Dean’s platoon. The subplot involving Colt and his ex-wife, Kate, had me on the edge of my seat. The two of them made such a strong impression that they almost threatened to steal the show. I say almost, because Dean and Annie were definitely the heart and soul of the story and they really left a good impression on me. I finished Going Dark a well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see what Ms. McCarty has in store for the rest of the Lost Platoon.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.