It’s a good thing Gabe Bristow lives and breathes the Navy SEAL credo, “the only easy day was yesterday,” because today, his life is unrecognizable. When his prestigious career comes to a crashing halt, he’s left with a bum leg and few prospects for employment that don’t include a desk.
That is, until he’s offered the chance to command a private hostage rescue team and free a wealthy American businessman from Colombian paramilitary rebels. It seems like a good deal—until he meets his new team: a drunk Cajun linguist, a boy-genius CIA threat analyst, an FBI negotiator with mob ties, a cowboy medic, and an EOD expert as volatile as the bombs he defuses. Oh, and who could forget the sexy, frustratingly impulsive Audrey Van Amee? She’s determined to help rescue her brother—or drive Gabe crazy. Whichever comes first.
As the death toll rises, Gabe’s team of delinquents must figure out how to work together long enough to save the day. Or, at least, not get themselves killed. Because Gabe’s finally found something worth living for, and God help him if he can’t bring her brother back alive.
Overall Rating: 5/5 — Definite must-read! Exciting, exhilarating, and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat!
I honestly did not know what to expect with this story when I requested for an ARC but I was pleasantly surprised that I got more than what I bargained for! I’ve read my fair share of novels involving a military/army/navy guy but mostly, it revolved around the romance and after they served their time and didn’t really delve much into the nitty gritty of the action scenes. This novel also came at the right time because I got tired of the redundant romance novels that I’ve been reading and I really wanted to get some real time action instead….thank heavens that’s exactly what this book gave me!
And so we meet Gabriel Bristow, former Navy SEAL, who instead of diving head straight into boring office work at the pentagon opted to do some private work involving a hostage rescue instead funded by a wealthy businessman-slash-aspiring politician. WIth the help of his partner Travis Quinn, they formed the most disorganized team of misfits to rescue a wealthy businessman, Bryson Van Amee, who’s held captive in Colombia. And of course… chaos and some hilarity ensue.
Their team, Hornets (a name which I thoroughly support btw), consisted of the following:
: Jean-Luc Cavalier – multi-linguist and former military man
: Marcus Deangelo – former FBI agent
: Eric “Harvard” Physick – former CIA analyst and all-around genius
: Ian Reindhart – explosive ordnance expert
: Jesse Warrick – medic and former Delta Force member
And then there’s Audrey Van Amee, Bryson’s sister, who also happened to be at the right place at the right time and accidentally became a part of their hostage rescue team as well.
After their initial interactions with each other, which involved quite a lot of back and forth banter and minor quarrels, they went straight to work in finding Bryson and freeing him as soon as possible. I really don’t want to ruin the suspense and thrill for you by spoiling some of the major twists and turns, but trust me when I say it will really leave you at the edge of your seat guessing what would happen next. Gabe and Audrey took the brunt of all the action and their bond through those tough times solidified their already intense attraction to each other, and that’s where the romance part enters. I honestly can’t blame them for acting on it even in the middle of all the chaos, because I do think that it eased some of the tension and distress they’ve been feeling. BUT no, their attraction and growing feelings for each other were not just because of the situation and they both knew it.
“It’s rude to show up without a gift. The dolphins got the toy. You get me.”
“I do, huh?”
“For as long as you’ll have me. I’m in love with you, too, Audrey. Have been practically since minute one.”
What I loved about this story is just when you think they’ve hit a jackpot with a lead on Bryson’s whereabouts and the mystery surrounding his kidnapping, another twist and turn happens that throws them completely off course. I really enjoyed all the strategising behind their actions and how each of the member contributed in accomplishing the mission. Somehow, they really made their differences work in harmony with each other and some of the final scenes leading to Bryson’s rescue were more than exhilarating and exciting. But then again, the surprises and twists did not stop there. There was one final twist that I didn’t even foresee up until the last part and I was completely floored!
Don’t worry, this story did somehow wrap up in a happy ever after but you just know that there still a lot to expect with the HORNETS and each of its members. I’m having a gut feel that the next book would be about Quinn and I’m seriously looking forward to unearthing more of the real man behind his strong facade. In addition, I’m also excited for more action now that they’re acquiring new members, especially the traumatized sniper Seth.
I highly recommend this novel for those looking for a lot of suspense and thrill surrounding military-esque characters, and of course, there’s a hot romance somewhere in between as well that you surely can’t resist!
***I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Entangled Publishing***