Format read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Series: Night Stalkers #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Number of pages: 386 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads | Author’s Website | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Book Depository (US) | Book Depository (UK) | Publisher’s Website
Two Crack Mechanics, One Impossible Mission
Being in The Night Stalkers is Connie Davis’s way of facing her demons head-on, but mountain-strong John Wallace is a threat on all fronts. Their passion is explosive, but their conflicts are insurmountable. When duty calls them to a mission no one else could survive, they’ll fly into the night together—ready or not.
And Connie is a closed book. We spend a lot of the story, not just waiting for dark, but waiting for Connie to open up a little, even to herself.
Connie is in a LOT of pain. Most of the Night Stalkers have something traumatic in the pasts, either the reason they strove so damn hard to join SOAR, or something that happened after they got there. But Connie is so closed off that she doesn’t let much daylight in, even in the privacy of her own head.
This story is a lot like jokes about being in the Army, “hurry up and wait”.
Connie refuses to get close to anyone. She refuses to let anyone close to her. And we really don’t know why. She doesn’t let herself feel anything. Again, the explanations are left unrevealed because she just won’t go there, even to herself.
While I admire Connie’s tenacity, it makes her damn frustrating as a heroine. Big John is also the strong, silent type. We’ve basically got two people who don’t talk much, even in the privacy of their own minds.
The way their relationship begins is that they are able to fix the helicopter without needing to ask each other for tools or parts–they are just that in sync. It scares her and intrigues him. But it doesn’t give us readers much to work with.
Then John takes Connie home with him on leave, not because he necessarily thinks they might start something, even though he’s finally begun to see her in that light…but because he’s finally gotten through her silent withdrawals to realize that the woman has absolutely nowhere to go. At all.
Never has, and has no expectation that she ever will. Connie has no belief that a soldier can have a future. John and his family teach her otherwise.
John finally gets it through her head, and her heart, that there’s a future worth fighting for.
And not just a mission worth dying for.
Verdict: Unlike the first two Night Stalker books, this one had a surprisingly slow start. The action doesn’t pick up until John takes Connie home with him, and then it’s more about her reactions to his family than the romance.
There is a romance, but it’s of the slow and steadily developing kind. They do get there, but neither of them are people who wear their hearts on their sleeve. This story is a lot more about Connie coming to believe that love and happiness are something worth fighting for.
One of the best parts of this series as a whole is that the women are soldiers every bit as much as the men. There’s a scene in the book that gave me chills. John’s younger sister graduates ROTC and becomes an officer. Connie arranges to be the first enlisted person to salute her. It’s tradition. But instead of seeing an “old boy’s network”, we see an “old girl’s network” start to rise. Very cool.