Friday, October 20, 2017
Review - - Going Dark
By Monica McCarty
Publisher: Berkley Jove
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Reviewed by PJ
Like Rome’s Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.
After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.
Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she’d intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .
She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he’s the kind of man she can depend on. Because he’s gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .
As a newly minted PhD, Annie is overflowing with idealism and determination to save the oceans and shorelines from what she considers their most dangerous predator: oil companies and offshore drilling. It is that enthusiasm, as well as perhaps a fair dose of naiveté, that has led her to a drilling protest in Scotland in the company of her new boyfriend, a Frenchman who checks off all the cerebral, liberal, beta boxes on her list and raised a number of red flags on mine. But if Julien is her perfect match, why is their dive boat captain - who clearly is not cerebral, liberal, or beta - the one who keeps drawing her attention? And, when everything blows up in her face, why is he the only one she is certain can save her?
As part of the Navy SEAL Lost Platoon that was ambushed in Russia, the last thing Dan Warren needs is to draw attention to himself. If his cover is blown, it could put the lives of his teammates at risk and derail their search to discover who betrayed them. So why is he smack-dab in the middle of the mess Annie's landed in? Because that's what a guy does when he's honorable to his core. Now they're on the run, with killers on their trail, his cover in serious jeopardy, and, for the first time in his life, a woman who is slowly but surely carving a place for herself in his heart .
Annie and Dan are polar opposites...or so they think. For Annie, Dan represents everything she stands against. After the death of her beloved father, an Army Ranger, she was determined to never lose her heart to a military man. Yet Dan, in all his alpha glory, seems to be the only man for her. Perhaps he's the path destined to help her rediscover the part of herself that was lost when her father died. It took me awhile to warm up to Annie. I admit, there were times when I found her incredibly annoying yet she grew on me. By the end of the book I could appreciate the journey of growth she had taken and I heartily cheered for her and Dan.
When they first meet, Dan views Annie as a flaky, idealistic tree-hugger, blind to any view but her own. Yet, when they are forced to spend time together they begin to see neither is completely right...or wrong. They both grow as people and while they will never be in complete agreement on certain issues, they learn to open their minds and their hearts to one another. With love and compromise, they learn to listen with open minds; to accept, respect, and understand one another without compromising their own ideals. I was probably predisposed to fall for Dan after 25 happy years of marriage to a military man. It was as if McCarty had created him just for me. He's steady, sexy, honorable, capable, a natural protector...did I mention sexy? I hope we'll see more of him and Annie in future books.
I've been a fan of Monica McCarty's writing since the publication of her first book, Highlander Untamed, ten years ago and have eagerly traipsed across the Scottish Highlands through the pages of the twenty-one historical novels that have followed. Of course, I wasn't about to be left behind when she announced last year that she was creating a new romantic suspense series featuring a contemporary "band of brothers" as she had done with the men of her historical Highland Guard. Going Dark is a promising launch to McCarty's new Lost Platoon series. It's filled with plenty of action, suspense, mystery, and, of course, romance and sizzle, all things at which McCarty excels. Seeds are sown for future stories as well as the overarching mystery of who betrayed this band of warriors. I'm all in!