Out of Time Out of Time on December 31, 2018
Pages: 384
Buy at Amazonfive-stars

A hunt for dangerous secrets leads to explosive chemistry in this exhilarating romantic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Off the Grid.

A team of Navy SEALs goes on a mission and disappears without a trace--they are the Lost Platoon.

With his men scattered to all corners of the globe after a disastrous secret op in Russia, Lieutenant Commander Scott Taylor is trying to find out who was responsible for leaking the information that killed half his platoon. Were it not for Natalie Andersson, the woman he had been secretly dating in the Pentagon who had warned him of the danger, he knows they would all be dead. Scott is devastated when he hears that the woman he loved and hoped to marry has been killed for helping him--until he learns that Natalie was the spy who betrayed them. But when his search to clear his name brings him face-to-face with a very-much-alive Natalie, Scott realizes that justice and vengeance might not be as clear-cut as he thought.

Natalie Andersson, or, as she was born, Natalya Petrova, has put the memories of her early childhood in Russia behind her. She never dreamed that she would be at the center of an elaborate "sleeper" espionage program. Even when she learns the truth, she refuses to spy for the country of her birth, until the Russians threaten the lives of the only family she has ever known. But Natalie is the worst spy in the history of spying, falling for her target. When her attempt at misdirection leads to irreversible consequences, she is forced to run for her life, with her lover hot on her tail. 

In this third book in Monica McCarty’s Lost Platoon series, we see everyone picking up exactly where book 2 left off. Scott’s dead girlfriend turned out to be a Russian spy. Even though she had been the reason he was still alive with her last minute phone call to him on their sat phone, he couldn’t believe he’d fallen for a Russian spy. He’d been planning on proposing. He went from grieving his men and his girlfriend, to hating himself for ever letting her close. How could he have been so blind?

Natalie isn’t dead. She’s also a terrible spy. Seriously, she’s really bad. But that’s because she’s not a spy. I mean, technically she is, but not really. She was adopted at five years old from Russia. And Russia used the children adopted out as spies. Not like highly trained secret double agents, but more along the lines of, hey I will kill your (adopted) family if you do not spy for Russia, this is why you were allowed out of the country and by the way we killed your parents. Natalie is really put in a tight spot. So her version of spying is that she tries to pass along intel that is useless and boring and not at all helpful. She thinks she may be able to get out unscathed. It’s just a little light treason after all. Until the night she meets Scott.

She and Scott have an amazing night together, and while he wants more, she tries to break up with him. But she’s told to get close to him. Once more she tries to give her contact really useless information, but when she finds out something potentially lethal, she warns Scott that his team has been compromised. She saved them with that phone call. Unfortunately, at the end of the last book, his team found out that she was the one who betrayed them.

But she wasn’t.

Scott needed closure. He just couldn’t fathom how he’d allowed himself to be played so hard. He started to look into Natalie’s life and saw she had a close friend. He hunted down the friend and found…a ghost.

I love the second chance type of trope where someone was betrayed by the other. Scott can’t believe that Natalie isn’t dead. Seeing her only solidifies the fact that she was the one who betrayed his team, nevermind that she’s also the one who called him to tell him to get out therefore saving their lives. There’s another complication. though. And Scott doesn’t know what to believe or who to trust, but he starts to see an entirely different side of Natalie. Learning to trust and love again, while also trying to stay out of prison for treason, isn’t easy on a relationship. This book tackles some tough topics and handles them well. I love that the betrayal is real. It isn’t just a big misunderstanding that could be solved by a simple conversation. This was a true and heart-rending betrayal that had extenuating circumstances that everyone had to learn to move past.

This author does an amazing job with the “betrayal trope” (I don’t know what else to call it), and she makes you see both his side, her side, and you fall in love with them both. This series cannot be read out of order. I really hope this wasn’t the last book in this series. While the over-arching storyline may have been wrapped up, this team could do so much more.

***Review copy courtesy of Berkley Romance

five-stars