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review 2019-02-13 15:23
He needed training in how to deal with female co-workers.
The Woman Left Behind - Linda Howard

The blurb made it seem that she would spend a goodly chunk of the book getting herself back to the team or civilisation or whatever but actually it's only a few chapters in a story, though it is a pivotal point in the story for the heroines growth.

Levi Butcher leads a paramilitary unit of macho men and into this mix his boss puts a geek, and a female geek at that. She, Jina Modell, and the other geeks assigned to other teams, are unfit and would not be able to keep up with the team so they set about fixing that, trying to break her, but she refuses to break and becomes part of the team. After a few missions she ends up left behind and has to get to safety, ignoring pain and the fear of being trapped behind enemy lines.

It's interesting and the characters are well drawn, even if Levi Butcher comes across as being a bit of an ass sometimes while he tries to convince himself that the only feelings he has for Jina is that of a co-worker. I also had some issues with the resolution as it was a bit pat and easy. Still an interesting read with characters I was rooting for.

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review 2018-11-16 07:10
Thoughts: The Woman Left Behind
The Woman Left Behind - Linda Howard

The Woman Left Behind

by Linda Howard
Book 2 of GO-Team



Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it.  She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC.  She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit.  The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun... or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina--who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice--making it through the rigors of training.  The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation.  In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates.  What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria.  While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives.  Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for.  He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

The truth is that this book probably doesn't deserve more than 3 Stars.  It isn't the best outlined, and would even come across as fairly boring to anyone looking for an action-packed story where our heroine gets left behind, and needs to fend for herself until her team comes back for her.  But the summary blurb is a little bit misleading, frankly, and the action-packed part of the book really doesn't take place until well into the last half of the book.

The Woman Left Behind had tons of potential to be a great book, but it fell short of that by maybe spending too much time on Jina's day-to-day training life with the GO-Team she's been re-assigned to work with.  This part of the book, in itself, is already a little unbelievable, and requires a very high willingness to suspend disbelief.

By narrative, Jina ends up spending six months on physical training and drone training.  In the book, there are times where you want to get on with the story.  On the other hand, I can't find myself just blowing off that first half of the book she spends challenging herself and pushing herself to physical limits she never knew she had.  And I honestly loved the camaraderie built between her and a team of macho super paramilitary men who didn't think she was going to make it in the first place.

Color me contradictory--those six months she spends getting to know her knew teammates was truly loads of fun.  I love a character driven story, and I love great character interaction, and this book certainly had that in spades.  To others, it might come off dragged out and too banal for a romantic suspense, or military romance thriller.  And once again, the entire ordeal requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief anyway--because who in their right mind actually thinks its a great idea to take a bunch of chair-bound tech geeks and force them through high impact military precision training so that they can join these elite GO-Teams in dangerous operations?

I have a hard time believing that the higher ups couldn't have just transferred in some military personnel, already trained for battle, who also have great tech skills.

But moving along, because something about that entire training sequence sort of appealed to me anyway.

Yeah, I'm kind of wishy-washy in my opinions.

And speaking of the romance, for romance lovers, this book might also kind of fall to the wayside.

While we DO have a lovely couple to focus on, we unfortunately don't get to see much of the chemistry, or the romantic bond building between Jina and Levi.  And also, Levi sort of runs hot and cold, which helps him get categorized squarely on my asshole list.  I don't care that he also had some very good personality traits, he crossed a couple lines he shouldn't have crossed and that makes him an asshole.  The way that the romance was resolved made me a bit pissy.

On the other hand, I like how Jina's own self-revelation journey/conflict was concluded.  Somehow, it seems appropriate for her.

So without a whole lot of suspense and without a whole lot of romance, and without even a focal conflict, this book, instead, ends up becoming a sort of self-journey book for Jina, as an individual.  And it's a fairly thought-provoking journey that I thoroughly enjoyed.

And we'll just kindly side-step that strange, background villain subplot that lurked along the entire book, and took up precious book space every few chapters.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/thoughts-woman-left-behind.html
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review 2018-06-23 00:00
The Woman Left Behind
The Woman Left Behind - Linda Howard

The Woman Left Behind is a story that reminds me why I adore romantic suspense! Jina, the heroine, is intelligent and bold. She is thrown into a job she didn't want, but refuses to roll over and give up. Seeing her push herself beyond what she thought she was capable of is empowering. However, Jina never loses her believability. There are times she breaks down and cries and those times remind the reader that she is determined but she isn't a robot. The story is focused on her journey from her cushy desk job to being part of an elite special ops team. I found all of the story to be engaging, even when the tasks seemed mundane (like months of training).

Ace, the hero and leader of the special ops team, is certainly douche-y in the beginning. He doesn't want Jina or anyone on his team. He worries that the addition of a 'geek' would be a liability for his team. He also worries that Jina's presence will be a liability for him because he can't stop thinking about her. However, as long as they are on the same team, she is off limits to him (and the rest of the team!)

By the end, I was totally crying. What Jina endures could have been written in such a way to minimize what happened or given to the reader in a kind of information dump. But Howard gives us the inner and external struggle Jina faces and I simply couldn't hold back the tears of pain and sorrow I had for her character.

Whenever possible, I will always gravitate towards romantic suspense and The Woman Left Behind is one of the books that reinforces why. Well written characters, engaging plots, and real danger and emotions make these stories unputdownable!

  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: yes
  • Trope: special ops
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes but I still would have appreciated an epilogue to give more information about where they all go from the end

The Virtue Falls series by Christina Dodd, The Red Stone Security series by Katie Reus, The Tracers series by Laura Griffin, The Omega Sector series by Janie Crouch...then you will probably like The Woman Left Behind!


The Woman Left Behind

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 See full review on The Book Disciple
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review 2016-06-09 01:50
Life problems
No Woman Left Behind: A Lexi Carmichael Mystery, Book Six - Julie Moffett

This book is # 6 in the Lexi Carmichael Mystery series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  Since this book contains spoilers about the series and characters, I recommend reading the series in the order intended.


Lexi has so much to take on in this book.  Her best friend, Basia, is missing.  She has to find her.  Clues are not helping - where to turn?  


She also has to deal with her mother meeting the latest man in her life.  Serious fun and laughter ensues since this meeting of the parents is so much fun!  Lexi is very analytical and smart.  She tends to need help with the other parts in life.


This book has great humor.  It is a lot of fun to read.  It is also a great mystery.  The fans of this series will be thrilled to read this installment.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review only.

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text 2015-06-03 05:50
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