I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When Dean's SEAL team mission goes horribly wrong, he and the few survivors are ordered to scatter and go dark. Hiding out in a small Scottish town should be easy to keep his cover but when a damsel in distress crosses his path, all bets are off.
Annie knows it was reckless to travel with her new boyfriend to Scotland but she wants to make a difference in the world and protesting an offshore drilling site will hopefully protect the oceanic ecosystem she's worked to get her PhD in. When red flags start to appear though, she knows she's in trouble.
Annie and Dean have a whole lot of trouble chasing them down but their attraction for one another can't be ignored.
This new series starts off with intensity as we are introduced to SEAL Team Nine and follow along as they are on a dark ops mission in Russia. There is a lot thrown at you as we are introduced to a wide range of characters and military terms; it’s overwhelming and a bit confusing. The prologue sets the reader up thinking they'll be following along with a certain character only to have a switcheroo, it felt a bit odd. The basic concept though, of a SEAL team scattered throughout the world, hiding out, and searching for who betrayed them, is intriguing, mysterious, and will have you desperate to know more. This story arc weaves in and out as this book focuses on the Senior Chief Dean and his damsel in distress Annie.
Annie is introduced as our idealistic, vegetarian, and liberal activist with Dean as our “been around the world twice”, military tough, and conservative leanings hero. With this opposites attract set-up, they naturally had a lot of squabbles. The author did a good job of balancing out the good and bad of both Annie and Dean's ideals, liberal and conservative, but it also had a tendency to make their dialogue and interactions not feel natural and a bit preachy. I, personally, felt their whole liberal vs. conservative back and forth rhetoric somewhat exhausting as everyday life has inundated me with this already. They kind of have an insta-lust connection and because of how full the story is, their emotional connection was lacking for me. There was a scene where Dean talks about his dad but instead of it feeling like a bonding moment with Annie, it felt awkward and as if he was suddenly unloading on her out of nowhere.
There is so much going on in this story, the Lost Platoon story line that brings in a cast of characters that includes an old friend of Dean's named Colt and how he is trying to find out what happened to his friends. It's a bit of a secondary couple as Colt has to contact his ex-wife Kate, who we are led to believe slept with one of his teammates and best friend, with the best friend being the Lt Commander of the Lost Platoon, named Scott. So this side story of betrayed Lost Platoon, three way drama between Colt, Katie, and Scott, is beside Dean and Annie running from eco-terrorists. You can see why Annie and Dean's emotional building blocks got a bit left behind.
Annie was a bit manipulated to be overly naïve to further the damsel in distress and Dean was forced to be led by his hots for the good looking liberal while a bit confusing eco-terrorists plot kept them together. The main couple was overshadowed by the series arc of the Lost Platoon for me, it’s what kept me reading. Colt and Kate have me wildly curious about their story and I'm locked into finding out who betrayed SEAL Team Nine and just who all the survivors were.