It's been a year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly saw his wife Rachel alive. Now he's received an anonymous phone call claiming Rachel is alive. To find her, Ethan will have to doge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise.
On the first anniversary of his wife's death, Ethan Kelly receives proof of life and enlists his brothers' aid in mounting a rescue mission. Ethan and Rachel must deal with the trauma of her experiences and rediscover their relationship and marriage. However, just as their lives are getting back on track, an insidious threat emerges; one that will stop at nothing to remove Rachel from the equation.
Great premise, poor execution.
The plot involving former military men establishing their own private mercenary service has potential as does the specific story of drug cartels and hostage rescues. Unfortunately, the romance fails miserably. Ethan and Rachel have little to no chemistry, and at times it seems as if she is closer to his brother Garrett. This, together with the fact that she was basically raised in his parents' house as a sister, lends an almost incestuous quality to their relationship.
Moreover, Rachel is not my preferred type of heroine i.e., intelligent, strong willed and self-sufficient. She comes across instead as a whiny and wimpy damsel in distress and it is only toward the end that she develops a backbone, even though this too is short lived. In addition, the men in the story use too many childish and condescending endearments for her, such as "baby" or "sweet pea". As such, it is virtually impossible to take her seriously or identify with her as a heroine.
While I appreciate a hero who is in touch with his feelings, and doesn't fear shedding a tear or two, Ethan is excessively emotional and cries at the drop of a hat – come on man, you are a Navy SEAL, suck it up! He spends most of the book either coddling his wife or worrying that she will find out about their marital problems prior to her kidnapping – the fact that someone wants her dead is almost forgotten amongst the romantic concerns.
The secondary characters are the real highlight of the book. The Kelly family dynamic is hilarious and engaging, and each brother has a distinct personality. Rusty's side story is also entertaining and I found myself identifying with the smart-mouthed teen more than the heroine.
The writing is solid and well paced with excellent descriptions of Rachel's rescue and the after effects of her kidnapping, including her drug addiction and amnesia.
Overall, the series has promise and I will give the next one a chance.read more