Published by Montlake Romance on November 18th 2014
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Adventure stories seem to be one of the hardest to balance the excitement and the romance. I was looking forward to a story where it was the heroine who comes in and saves the day for a change.
The story jumped right in and we find Glenn Danning being tortured once again. He has been picked up and accused of being a spy. We hear about the torture and some that he has already endured. We have no idea if Glenn is what he says he is, a businessman on vacation, or if he might be a CIA spy on assignment. He is tortured into unconsciousness and returned to his cell. From there, he makes a daring escape attempt and we are left hanging not knowing whether or not he is successful. And I’m on the edge of my seat.
Everything gets slowed down as we meet our heroine who is starting a new job at the Civilian Personnel Recovery Unit. We spend time walking around the new offices and meeting a few people. Filling out a W-9. Setting up her desk. While Miranda’s job with the military was recovered captured soldiers and she would storm in with a team guns blazing, her new job at CPRU is more of a diplomatic mission. She goes in, unarmed, to meet with local police to follow up on the missing U.S. citizens, usually tourists, and hopes that they provide her with all relevant information. She will usually get a local babysitter to monitor where she goes and who she speaks with.
We learn vague facts about Miranda in this chapter: She lost her job for the army but we don’t know why. All we know is that she killed someone. A bad guy? A good guy? She also misses some people in her life but no more information is given. We learn much later that these missing people are her husband and her daughter and what happened to them. All these things keep being brought up for the remainder of the story but takes too long to get the actual details. By the end of Chapter 2, we’ve lost all the momentum that we had gained in Chapter 1.
Through her investigation she turns up additional clues that the police ignored and manages to get an idea where Glenn is being held. With her local babysitter she heads out and it is Miranda who foils Glenn’s escape. We then go on a loop of capture, escape, hiding in the jungle, and getting close to rescue before re-capture. Their big plan being to sneak into the local airport and sneak onto a plane, because you know no one care who boards a plane anymore, right?
While trekking through the jungle, we learn about Miranda and Glenn’s past. Two college, science geeks that enjoyed spending time together and sexual experimentation. There is the usual poor girl/rich boy subplot that Miranda disappeared from Glenn’s life after poor scholarship girl is shoo’d away by super rich boyfriend’s mother. We also learn that Miranda has the worst luck since her husband and her daughter are killed in separate horrible instances.
As far as the romance, Glenn and Miranda were re-connecting well. Eventually Miranda confesses why she originally left Glenn and to a degree it makes sense that she would be leave not only for the poor girl/rich boy circumstances, but she needed to find her own way. We have great reconnecting, leading to sex, but then Miranda starts pulling away for what now is B.S. reasons. This time losing the romantic momentum.
This story started out with great potential. A fabulous opening Chapter that jumped right into the action. It would pick up speed here and there but generally, it just floundered.
Received ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
As they moved out, a monkey screeched in the trees above them, so close it startled her.
Glenn looked up. “Winky?”
“Who?” She followed his gaze.
“My old buddy. We were POWs together. He followed me when I escaped.” Glenn grinned. “He goes off, then comes back. I have no idea how he finds me.”
“He probably thinks you’re part of his tribe.” She shook her head. “He came with you from Guri?”
“He was caged in the courtyard, target practice for the soldiers. I couldn’t leave him.”
Okay, that was the Glenn she knew, the one with the big heart. She felt herself softening, so she picked up her pace.
Miranda ate a couple of handfuls of trail mix for breakfast, sharing some with Winky, who dropped by in the early morning to serve as their alarm clock, jumping on their makeshift roof and scaring the bejesus out of her.
“Do that again, and no more breakfast,” she warned.
The monkey shoved a pretzel in his mouth and winked at her.
“Hey, your monkey is flirting with me,” she called back to Glenn.
“Don’t get too excited. He used to do that whenever I was in the torture chamber. Maybe he winks at people he thinks are doomed.”