Hell or High Water by Julie Ann WalkerHell or High Water by Julie Ann Walker
Series: Deep Six
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on July 7, 2015
Genres: Military Romantic Suspence, Rom-Suspense
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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In a world on the brink...

Six men. One sunken Spanish galleon. Millions in gold and silver coins lying on the ocean floor. And a past that refuses to let the guys of Deep Six Salvage forget the Navy SEAL motto: the only easy day was yesterday...

There's more than one kind of treasure...

The nation's security has always been CIA agent Olivia Mortier's top priority. But a mission-gone-wrong has begun to make her wonder if there's more to life than risking hers.

And more than one secret at the bottom of the sea...

Only two things could make Leo Anderson abandon his hunt for the legendary lost ship, La Santa Christina, and return to the world of weapons and warfare he swore to leave behind: a capsule of enriched uranium, lost on the ocean floor, and a plea for assistance from the one woman he can't seem to forget...

This book is a case of it’s not you, it’s me. The voice and tone of the author just did not work for me. The plot is excellent, the characters are developed…yet the sense of humor and the voice just irritated the crap out of me.

Okay, so we have a very recently retired SEAL lieutenant and his team…they now have sunk everything they own into an underwater salvage company. They’re relaxing in the Florida Keys when the woman he can’t get out of his head, CIA agent Olivia Mortier, walks onto his island with a job for him. The CIA “gave” some terrorists chemicals but had trackers on them, so they could find who was in charge of said terrorists. But the shipment is dead in the water (literally). I’ve simplified it, really it’s a great plot.

Meanwhile, Leo is ready to go hunt down a certain Spanish galleon that is loaded with treasure. But Olivia needs him, and he needs the money. So he and his team are off to intercept and then deep water dive down to fetch the chemicals. But it’s not that easy, of course. The terrorists have commandeered a yacht from a good Samaritan passing by, and they are waiting for further instructions.

The Deep Six guys make it to the location, and there’s a yacht just hanging out. They hail it, and the captain says it’s all okay, but, Leo and his team aren’t certain. Then all hell breaks loose. His ship is sunk, he’s got Olivia floating in the open ocean, and he can’t keep his mind off of her even though his  team is ready to go. Pushing her out of his mind for a moment, he and the guys take back the yacht.

Now the part I had issue with-the sense of humor and voice. This author loves her punny similes. But they’re awful. Seriously awful. Mind you I have the dorkiest sense of humor and I love puns. This was bad.

“Wound tighter than a suicide bomber…”

“…leaking out like hazardous chemicals.”

“Exploded in his brain like an IED.” 

“He burst through the door like the kool aid pitcher guy burst through walls…” 

They really get worse, and they were seriously ever other sentence. These were some of the better ones, although I don’t know a single military guy who would make awful similes like those. (I’m married to a former Airman, so I know a few guys from living on-base for years. I even asked a few about the bad jokes they tell…one guy told me he thought the IED and suicide bomber one were in bad taste…I agree).

The  biggest issue that I had with this book is that when Olivia and Leo met, they were both stationed in the Desert, and yet, as an active duty SEAL, he’s described as having a bushy beard. NO. Full stop. It’s not allowed. His beard continues to feature in his new career as a deep sea diver–well…even his stubble would cause his SCBA apparatus to not seal against his skin. If he’d had a beard on land, and then shaved it before he went in the water, hey that’s normal, I get that. But as an active-duty SEAL? It’s actually not allowed. I looked it up. The author’s note went on about how much she thanked the guys who taught her about deep sea diving, and she lived on a boat in the Keys for a couple of weeks…why put that much effort into getting it right, just to not even get a very simple detail right? Seriously? A full bushy beard? NO.

I am seriously debating whether to try the next book, because on one hand, SUPER interesting characters. On the other…I might get another book full of stupid similes.

***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca