Series: The Lost Platoon
Published by berkley on September 5, 2017
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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The members of a top secret SEAL Team can't keep their passion under wraps in this thrilling contemporary romantic suspense series from New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty.
Like Rome's Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.
After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.
Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she'd intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .
She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven't exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he's the kind of man she can depend on. Because he's gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .
Monica McCarty is known for her fantastic and well-written Scottish Historicals. This seems like it would be quite shift from Highlanders…except it’s not.
Her Highlanders were strong, honorable, and noble. They wanted to protect their people, and they loved their women with everything they had in them. Her SEALs are no different.
When a mission goes south, the survivors go into hiding.
Annie Henderson has just gotten her doctorate in Marine Ecology, and her new boyfriend has convinced her to go protest offshore drilling in Scotland. She is caught up in both the excitement of actually doing something instead of just writing papers about the long-term results of oil spills, and the idea of an adventure. But once they get to Scotland, she starts to realize how little she knows about her “boyfriend.”
Dean is keeping a low profile and waiting on orders. After their last mission, where he lost half his team, he’s been ordered to hang tight and observe. He’s captaining charter boats in the area as “Dan” when Annie and her new friends are supposed to take his boat to an oil rig.
He knows this isn’t what it seems and bets that they’re eco-terrorists rather than peaceful protesters. It’s a shame Annie doesn’t know.
This is all still the first few chapters. Once Annie realizes that she’s in way over her head, she runs to Dean to let him know what’s going on. He nopes out of there so fast she’s left standing on the deck wondering what he’s doing. Hey, the man’s got orders, and those orders don’t involve rescuing naive women from themselves.
But when one of the group she’s with figures out what happened, he pulls Annie to him with a gun to her head. Dean can’t just let her die. This is where I feel the book really hits its stride. I wanna say it’s still just the first couple of chapters.
Dean and Annie go on the run, and it’s exciting, action-packed, sexy, and emotional. I do think this book has First Book in the Series Syndrome (FBITSS) which is unusual since you usually see that in UF and PNR series. But that’s the thing, this book/series is so well-researched, that the beginning feels like a SEAL action/thriller, and then the romance begins.
By the third chapter or so, this book hits its stride. I couldn’t put it down! I think the beginning bogs it down a bit. It’s a very well researched book, and I loved that! But it can be a lot of info to take in right off the bat. Pay attention to the prologue. That’s what sets up the series.
This book has an ending that is left open for the series, but not a cliffhanger ending. It’s more along the lines that the immediate danger surrounding Annie and Dean is resolved, and they get their HFN ending, BUT the main problem of who sold out his platoon is still hanging over their heads, and I’m assuming it’ll take all the guys working together again for this to be solved.
In true Monica McCarty fashion, this book has that band of brothers vibe we loved in her Highland Guard series, it has intense action, a missing platoon that had to go off-grid scattered around the world, and romance. You believe in Annie and Dean, and you want them to be together. With her brand of action and romance brought into the current century, you know this book will be amazing. And the cheeky ending left me with a smile on my face.
***ARC courtesy of Berkley
Dean was about to turn up his street when a woman darted past him. She was so preoccupied with whatever was bothering her that she didn’t notice him.
But he noticed her. The sexy brunette had been the focus of too many of his sex-starved thoughts for him not to have recognized that shadowed figure right away.
His thoughts immediately turned to anger. What the hell was she doing out here alone at this time of night?
Granted Stornoway wasn’t exactly the mean streets of name-your-favorite American inner city, but it had its share of illegal activity—especially along the waterfront—and it wasn’t a place where a young woman should be walking alone in the middle of the night.
He went after her without thinking. Proving his point, she took way too long to realize he was behind her.
He could tell by the way she jumped when she turned around that he’d startled her.
But it didn’t last. As soon as she recognized him, her eyes narrowed angrily. “Why are you following me? You scared me!”
“Good. You shouldn’t be out here alone—” He stopped suddenly, seeing her expression. She looked about ready to burst into tears. “What’s wrong?”
Unconsciously he’d reached for her arm. Why the hell he’d done that he had no clue. He didn’t go around touching women without an invitation.
He released her before she could protest. But if she’d noticed the too-personal gesture, she didn’t let on.
“Nothing,” she replied, her expression too blank.
He held her gaze long enough for her to see that he knew she was lying. It must not be something she did often, because a guilty blush rose to her cheeks.
She was so damned cute. He wanted to . . .
He took a step back.
Go dark. Don’t do anything to risk your cover.
He heard the warnings loud and clear. But he couldn’t very well let her walk around alone. What if something happened?
“Where’s your boyfriend?”
The tightening around her mouth before she responded gave a big hint of what might be bothering her. Trouble in paradise? Now, that was a cryin’ shame.
“He’s still at camp. He’s hanging around for the music. Julien plays guitar.”
Dean didn’t care if he was Jimmy Hendrix returning from the dead for one last show. “And he let you walk back alone?”
She immediately stiffened, giving him a scathing look. “He didn’t let me do anything. I make my own decisions.”
From the way she said it, it was clear she thought he was some kind of medieval misogynistic pig.
One of those, was she? He should have guessed. That kind of oversensitive feminist crap drove him crazy—not everything was a “microagression.” Being a strong woman didn’t mean you could be stupid about personal safety. And all he’d meant was that douche bag should have cared enough about her safety enough to insist on accompanying her.
Although admittedly Julien probably wasn’t much of a defense.
“Then your decision was a shitty one.”
She looked stunned. “You just say whatever you think, don’t you? I wasn’t asking for your opinion.”
“Well, you got it.” He gave her a long look, taking in the Tulane sweatshirt, tight jeans that left no room to hide anything, and flip–flops. “And unless you are a black belt jujitsu specialist or trained in self-defense and carrying some kind of weapon, I’m walking you to the guest house.”
She looked up at him half outraged and half bemused, as if she couldn’t quite believe someone like him actually existed. It was a look he’d been on the receiving end of more than once.
Eventually her mouth twisted with a smile. “How do you know I’m not?”
“Because if you had any secret ninja skills, from the way you were looking at me a few minutes ago, I’d be on my ass right now.”