Does she try and work with the FBI on bringing him home? Nope. Why do that when you can go to his apartment and start investigating on your own? Surely her skills as an artist will help her solve the crime, right? Ugh. Just...ugh. I have an absolute zero-tolerance policy regarding TSTL heroines, and at this point in the story, I’m side-eyeing Audrey REALLY hard.
Sequel bait. The hero’s elite team of ex-military/special forces/FBI hotties is just brimming with sequel fodder. Here’s what I have to say to the rest of the team, considering this isn’t their story: I don’t care about you. Any of you. Don’t. Care. Get off the pages so that the hero and heroine can take charge of the story like they’re supposed to in a romance novel.
Is it really that easy to develop a team of mercs? Seemed like it should be more complicated than that. And would a team that was developed, like, an HOUR ago really be ready to throw themselves into a high-stakes hostage negotiation? I’m calling bullshit on this one.
During their first real conversation together, Audrey is super flirty with the hero (I can’t even remember his name because he was soooooo boring) and asks him if he’s as attracted to her as she is to him. He reminds her that he can’t afford to be distracted since her brother’s life is on the line. I kind of had to agree. I’m thinking that if my brother was being held prisoner in Colombia by run-of-the-mill romantic suspense baddies that my main concern wouldn’t be forcing the dude helping me rescue him to admit his attraction to me.
The hero (again, the name of whom I don’t care to recall), practically as soon as he sees the heroine, feels that he needs to push her the hell away, because he just knows he won’t be able to keep his dick in his pants around her. Now, at this point in the story, she’s a total stranger. He has no idea if she’s even remotely interested in seeing his dick. I mean, she might be a lesbian or something. But our boy here is just so sure he’ll end up in bed with her that he can’t stand the sight of her. Wow. He really thinks very highly of himself, doesn’t he? Or, he just plans to take whatever he wants from Audrey. And those thoughts as I’m reading REALLY make me question if the dude I’ve been reading about is the story’s hero, or its villain. (Not a good thing in a romance, folks.)
At 25% of the story, Audrey says, “I’m a woman, duh. And a Southern woman, to boot. Manipulation is what we do best.” And...I’m out. Manipulation is what women do best? Really? Are we sure the author isn’t a misogynist old white guy? I was offended on behalf of all women by this quote. (especially Southern women)
So, long-story-short, this isn’t a read I can recommend to anyone. Well, except maybe the chick who was standing in my way at the grocery studying a carton of yogurt as if it held the answers to all of life’s mysteries. She can read this book. She deserves it. (And while I’m at it: It’s yogurt, lady. Just pick one up and move along so that those of us who actually know what we want can get the hell out of there and go home.)
(Side note: to the dude on the cover, I say: Nicely done, sir. Sorry you weren’t able to grace a book that I actually enjoyed)
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Other reading suggestions
For a great read about an ex-Seal turned merc, check out Scarlett Cole’s Under Fire. Check out our 5-star review here.