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There were quite a few points in the first half of the book that I was really cheering Marley on and enjoyed quite a bit of satisfaction at Jake's shock at Marley's sheer competance in the field. I enjoyed that Naughton had a bit of fun at Jake's expense--a former Navy SEAL who's squeamish in the jungle, and whose own survival skills are more akin to an office mgr than a former operative ;) Oh, don't get me wrong; you never the get the feeling he's any less a hot He-Man (or "alpha" if you prefer). Its just that more often than not, old stereotypes prevail in this type of novel and its nice that Naughton had some fun and gave us some satisfying surprises. Such as when, early in the book, Marley does the Walk, announcing to Jake She's Done. She doesn't get all drama on him. She just does the walk and how often do we wish we could be as poised in our resignation or disgust with a pompous thoughtless boss?
It turns out that despite Jake's relegating Marley to office/operational support, she's quite expert in the field and doesn't make any fanfare about establishing a base camp, catching and prepping dinner with MaGyver-like aptitude in the jungle. Meanwhile our hero shows up with a palm frond after being gone for hours. His mouth agape response at sleeping and food accomodations by Ms Daniel Boone was hilarious.
The story is a another fun, seat of your pants adventure, but it really relies on too many autorial conveniences, making turns in action kind of predictable, which is why I've only offered 4 stars for overall and for the story. The chemistry and the banter between the two is top notch and very enjoyable. Very often during the middle of the book I would stop what I was doing to really concentrate on listening to the dialogue. For that reason, I'm not going to forget this book in the next couple weeks.
But I object that our saavy, sharp Marley is painted as blind to the machinations of rescued ex boyfriend. And that maybe she is purposely being blind, maybe even being so out of spite to Jake's hostility. There's a necessity in writing romance that there's got to be conflict and Jake's particular commitment and esteem issues I think would've been enough to meet the requirement without some of the ridiculousness of the character never finding her tongue to reject a marriage proposal and just weakly going along with it in the lack of so many other things.
We don't really resolve Jakes esteem issues which would have been more realistic than all the shenanigans that ensued. Those shortcomings aside, I still enjoyed the listen in spite of a tad bit of eye rolling and would recommend this to those who like the action romance genre, and especially to those frustrated girl warriors out there.
It looks like Ronan, Marley's half-brother, will get his own tale soon which will be an auto-download for me!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
romance + mystery = great reading. Highly recommend but warning. I never could put it down.