Formats available: ebook
Genres: action adventure romance, military romance, romantic suspense
Series: Treasure Hunter Security #3
Published by Anna Hackett on July 12th 2016
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
One former Navy SEAL. One woman in search of her kidnapped brother. One ancient lost city in the cloud forests of the Andes.
Former Navy SEAL Logan O’Connor is big, rough, and a little wild. He thrived as a SEAL…until he trusted the wrong woman. After a horrible betrayal that almost left him dead, he now works for his best friend at Treasure Hunter Security. He doesn’t like the sand, the jungle, or the mosquitoes, but he gets the job done—protecting archeological digs and expeditions. What he likes even less are liars. As he finds himself heading to Peru with a cool, classy CEO in search of her kidnapped brother, Logan knows one thing: Sydney Granger isn’t telling him the entire truth.
After the death of her father, Sydney is trying to learn the ropes as CEO of Granger Industries while her brother runs off to research a pre-Incan culture. But one ransom demand leaves her terrified—a lethal black-market antiquities syndicate has kidnapped her brother. The only people she can turn to is Treasure Hunter Security, and that includes big, annoying Logan, who makes it clear he doesn’t like her.
As they are swept into a deadly adventure into the cloud forests of the Andes, tracing the steps of the mysterious Warriors of the Clouds, danger dogs their every step. Logan and Sydney are drawn closer together, secrets are uncovered, shots are fired, and both of them might just find something more valuable than treasure.
Three books in (after Undiscovered and Uncharted), the Treasure Hunter Security series still feels like a cross between Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones. In the case of this entry in the series, there is even a shout-out to the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
At the beginning of Raiders, Indy is searching the booby-trapped ruins of a Cloud Warrior temple in the Andes. Indy is searching for a golden idol. In Unexplored, Sydney Granger and the crew of THS are searching for Cloud Warrior ruins in the Andes. Not because they expect to find a golden idol, but because they are desperately hunting for Sidney’s brother Drew.
Silk Road called Sidney to say that they had kidnapped Drew, when the truth of the matter, not surprisingly, was that they wanted to kidnap Sidney so that they could use her as leverage to make Drew tell them where the Cloud Warrior treasure was hidden – which would hopefully (for Silk Road) include much, much more than just one golden idol.
And that pretty much sums up the action/adventure part of the story. Corporate hotshot Sydney Granger gets a phone call that her wandering brother has been kidnapped by Silk Road. Not being a fool, and having enough money to hire the help she needs, Sydney searches for information about Silk Road and anyone who has tangled with them, and that leads her straight to Treasure Hunter Security’s brawny arms. Literally, in one particular case.
While they all question why Silk Road has suddenly turned to kidnapping for ransom as a new revenue stream, they all agree that going down to the Andes to scope things out makes the most sense. What doesn’t make sense is the heat of the attraction between Sydney and THS operative Logan O’Connor. Logan knows she’s hiding something, and he’s painfully learned not to trust women who don’t seem upfront about who they are.
From Sydney’s perspective, Logan is all alpha-male prowls and growls, not safe like the men she dates. But even though he’s nothing like she thinks she should go for, he’s everything she needs. Not just because he has the ability to save her brother, but because he’s able to take her out of herself.
Assuming they can keep each other alive long enough to find her brother, thwart the bad guys and take home a treasure that isn’t even supposed to exist.
It’s all in a day’s work (and a day’s play) for Treasure Hunter Security.
Escape Rating B: I enjoyed the story, and I liked Logan and Sydney, but the story here is just too much like the stories in Undiscovered and Uncharted to get up into the A ratings.
I had fun, but this one isn’t memorable. The series is starting to blend one into another a bit, which makes them great mind candy while I’m reading, but doesn’t lift them above the B’s.
One of the things that is starting to feel necessary is more information about Silk Road. They are still in the category of bwahaha evil, without a particularly clear motive or even a particular face. Yes, I know they want to make a profit, and a big one. But there are other ways. Who are they behind the name, and why did they choose treasure hunting? And why so nasty about it?
I accept that some people and/or organizations, particularly in fiction, can be evil for evil’s sake. But it isn’t nearly as interesting as evil with a motive or a vision. Or particularly evil evil that justifies its evil as being somehow good or necessary.
The treasure in this story was a bit different. Except for that stray reference in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Cloud Warriors are a surprisingly neat lost civilization that hasn’t been fictionally exploited nearly often enough.
If you are looking for a fun way to while away a couple or a few hours on a hot, lazy summer afternoon, Treasure Hunter Security is a great way to kill a few hours and vicariously dispose of a few bad guys while thrilling along with a hot romance.
I’m still waiting for Darcy’s romance with the hot and annoying FBI agent. I like Darcy a lot, and I want to see this series break pattern a bit. It should be fun!
Reviewer’s Note: Unexplored is currently available as part of the Romancing the Alpha 2 set. It will also be published separately in August.