Monday, August 18, 2014

Navy SEAL Surrender - Angi Morgan (HI #1495 - May 2014)

Series: Texas Family Reckoning (Book 1)


Navy SEAL John Sloane thought he'd come home to Texas to save the family ranch and reconnect with his estranged twin brother. He never expected to reunite with the girl whose heart he broke. But when Alicia Adams's daughter is kidnapped, the fearless SEAL jumps into action.

However, the off-book op poses unfamiliar dangers to John, none more risky than his feelings for Alicia. To regain her trust and protect her from the kidnappers, he'll risk his career and even his life. It all hinges on one daring scheme that could prove he's the hero she needs -- or break her heart all over again….

Good story. John had come home after receiving a message that his father had had a bad stroke. He has taken leave in order to help out on the ranch and try to reconnect with his twin brother. He and Brian hadn't seen each other or spoken in twelve years, after a misunderstanding over a girl and both being blamed for a deadly fire. Brian took the blame and sent John off to join the Navy. Now he's back and seeing Alicia again is bringing back memories of how it used to be.

I felt some sympathy for John as he didn't know what to expect when he got home. His father is worse than he expected, the ranch is in bad shape, and his brother tries to beat him up. John is glad he's there when Alicia's daughter is kidnapped. He swears to her that he will find Lauren and bring her home. He's had quite a bit of experience doing rescue missions overseas, so he expects that he won't have too much trouble. He doesn't expect Alicia to be as much of a distraction as she is, and overconfidence causes him to make some basic mistakes. Those things together with some general feelings of discontent have him rethinking his future.

I had mixed feelings about Alicia. She was a fantastic mother, and had had a really bad time of things since her husband's death. Her in-laws are a real piece of work, and thanks to them she's barely making ends meet. She is terrified when her daughter is kidnapped, and goes to the only person she can think of who might be able to help. She's still mad at John for leaving without saying goodbye, but she also discovers that some of those old feelings are still there. She tries to resist them as they make her feel disloyal to her late husband. I got frustrated with her during the whole kidnapping event. In spite of everything that John told her, she spent an awful lot of time believing that if she could just get Lauren back everything would be fine. She couldn't get it through her head that everyone thought she had staged the kidnapping herself and getting Lauren into her hands would just make her look guiltier. Sometimes she would be strong and willing to do whatever John told her to do then she would turn around and turn into a horrible whiner. She did redeem herself at the end by being the one who kept her head.

There were some very interesting twists and turns with the whole kidnapping plot. We knew early on who was behind it, but some of the details only came to light bit by bit. I liked seeing John call on his friend Dev for help, and liked seeing him deal with the fact that he got more help than he originally wanted. Dev provided a calm voice of reason when things would get a little heated. 

The secondary story of the estrangement between John and Brian was very good. As twins they should have always had each others' backs, but there had also been some problems over John's feelings for Alicia. The night of the fire, both John and Brian thought the other was guilty and they had never talked about it letting their feelings fester over the years. I loved seeing the way that they finally confronted those feelings and actually talked, thanks to Alicia treating them like the children they were behaving like. Once they actually talked, there ended up being more questions than answers, creating an excellent lead-in to Brian's book.

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