Monday, February 16, 2015

review || TAKING FIRE { blog tour }


Taking Fire by Lindsay McKenna

Publisher: HQN Books (2/24/2015)
Series: Shadow Warriors, book 7
Genre: Military Romance
Source: Tasty Book Tours / NetGalley
Purchase || amazon | bnitunes | kobo | indiebound || add to goodreads

Rating: ★★★★1/2

She dances on the edge of life…and death...  

Not all are meant to walk in the light. Marine Corps Sergeant Khat Shinwari lives among the shadows of the rocky Afghani hills, a Shadow Warrior by name and by nature. She works alone, undercover and undetected—until a small team of US Navy SEALs are set upon by the Taliban…and Khat is forced to disobey orders to save their lives. go rogue.

Now, hidden deep in the hills with injured SEAL Michael Tarik in her care, Khat learns that he's more than just a soldier. In him, she sees something of herself and of what she could be. Now duty faces off against the raw, overwhelming attraction she has for Mike. And she must decide between the safety of the shadows…and risking everything by stepping into the light.

about Lindsay McKenna || Lindsay McKenna is proud to have served her country in the U.S. Navy as an aerographer’s mate third class—also known as a weather forecaster. She is one of the original founders of the military romance subgenre and loves to combine heart-pounding action with soulful and poignant romance. Her latest book is the romantic suspense Taking Fire.

connect with Lindsay || website | facebook | twitter | goodreads

{ review } .
First off? Nothing like reading a book (and being annoyed by something -- aka Gabe Griffin) but feeling like you know these Gabe and Bay characters, but figure, eh, must be like another book you've read. And then going to find the goodreads link for your review, and realizing, hmm... those titles look familiar... And then, of course, clicking on a title (BREAKING POINT) and realizing -- yeah, you remember how your thought Gabe and Bay were familiar sounding but couldn't place it? Yeah, it's because you read (...and own) their first book and loved them. The end of their book, on the beach?
"When you get to missing me, you can have that ring sitting right along with the cedar heart I carved for you in your Kevlar vest. I'll be that close to you, baby. I'll be with you in spirit, watching over you..."
Oh, swoon worthy times ten. I loved them and had every intention to read their second book and. Just. Didn't....
Well, now that I've read this and realized what a silly reader I am, I guess I'll be going back for their book two! Ok, back to regular programming ;) 
I was back and forth when it came to rating this title, because I had some issues with it.
However, in the end, the romance junkie in me won it and gave the book a 4.5 rating -- but that critic in me? The one who's making herself more and more known with the more books I have had the opportunity to read? She was pushing for a 3.5 -- and let me tell you why.
I felt that there were too many times where the point of view shifted from Mike to Khat, and back again. Early on, this was done in paragraph form -- some sections only being 3-4 paragraphs long before switching view points. And while I may be wrong, I felt that at times during the rest of the book, it would start out in Mike's view, and then without any sort of preamble, it would turn to Khat's thoughts. This simply confused me while paying attention*. I also felt that at times, Khat and Mike's dialogue was too imformative -- too many words, too many details, not a typical conversation.
Mike also repetively told Khat that Gabe Griffin was his old SEAL buddy. Yes, his old SEAL buddy, Gabe Griffin. He has a freind named Gabe Griffin. He'd been through some tough times with Gabe Griffin.
...we got the point, Mike. You have a friend. His name is Gabe. His last name is Griffin. He's a former SEAL.
My last criticism, then, is the unlikelihood of some of the scenarios. Khat being a sniper? Believable (I believe in those special op ladies who don't get credit). Her saving a SEAL's behind? Totally doable. Her living on her own for five years? Hey, she's pretty deep black, so totally possible.
Mike waking up and falling in love with her? Eh... maybe not -- granted, when his friend, Bay, states that maybe it's love, he does say that's not possible after 2 days.
Getting his nose, and friends' noses, all up in Khat's business, and the higher ups magically allowing Khat to change her touch-base? Eh... a little too good to be true.
Ok, Critic-Mignon, nobody likes you.
To the fan-girl it is, then -- because need I remind you? I did give the book 4.5 stars.
First off? Talk about girl power. Khat, immediately, shows us what a strong woman she is. She's living in a war-torn country, hiding in caves -- and has been doing it for years. And then you find out she's hardly gone stateside? Dangggg girl.
...and when you learn the little pieces of her that make her who she truly is? Strong doesn't even touch Khat Shinwari.
You watch as she watches SEALs entering a bad situation, and you listen to her piss-poor handler tell her to stand down, and what does she do? She has the major cajones to ignore the poor excuse of a man, and saves the lives of the 4-man SEAL time. When one man ends up being blown by a blast and the other three men (have to) leave? She goes down and she rescues him -- and he's not the first she's done so with.
love that Khat was like the white knight riding in on stead to save Mike.
I love that while Khat has saved men before, this is the first time she's had any sort of feelings towards one of them. She's really good at keeping to herself -- her father/country's belief in things about her has sworn her off of men, but there's something about Mike that she can tell she can trust.

Equally, I love that Mike accepts Khat -- 100%. When he first sees her scars, do they anger him? Absolutely. Does he push for answers? Nope... and it's a good bit into their relationship before she will trust him with that information. He is everything her father told her she wouldn't find. When Khat freaks out and leaves, Mike gives her her space -- but knows that either she'll come back or he'll find a way back to her.

I like when the hero of the story lets the leading lady shine. He doesn't overbear her. His shadow doesn't darken Khat's world. They work well with one another and neither outshines the other. While the romance was certainly quick, it's deep and full of truth.

One other thing that I enjoyed about the story was that it dealt with not just one, but two, individuals with Middle Eastern blood. I'm not a political person, and while I'm a Marine brat with a Big Bad Marine for a not-so-little brother, as an American (heck, as a human), I'm not naive. It is broadcasted all over how people of Middle Eastern descent often have problems in today's society. Goodness knows after 9-11 full-blooded Americans who were Middle Eastern were ostracized. So to read about these two people who have such strong ties to their Middle Eastern blood, who allow their faith and beliefs to fuel their desire to fight... it was refreshing and I enjoyed that extra little look into a 'different' mind.

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{ giveaway } .

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