Hawk McMillan, SEAL commander, is on a lone mission. To get close to Dragan Dilaver, a Kosovo kingpin involved in drugs and arms–trafficking, Hawk helped him escape from Asia and return to his former country of Yugoslavia. Now Hawk has to discover where certain weapons have been dropped for Dilaver over the diverse regions of Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania –– not an easy task for someone unfamiliar with the territory. In order for the operation to succeed, he needs a tracker and the only available person is CIA contact agent Amber Hutchens.
Beautiful and smart, Amber has made a life for herself in Velesta, Macedonia and she is more than capable of assisting Hawk in finding the cache of hidden weapons. Despite the danger of exposure and torture, they risk everything in their mission to strike down Dilaver and his ruthless gang –– even their love.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I first read Low’s short story in the SEAL of my dreams anthology, I was hooked! The romance was great and the story was jam packed with action. I was expecting another high-octane romantic suspense, and although it started a little slower than I anticipated, I enjoyed it.
Hawk is undercover in one of the worst assignments ever. He can’t break his cover and protect the innocent women he sees day in and day out, and that is slowly eating away at him. His primary mission is to find a certain weapon and make sure it doesn’t land into the wrong hands. About the only good thing about this assignment is Amber, his sexy CIA contact.
Amber deals in information, and while she isn’t exactly on the up-and-up, she works hard to protect those who can’t help themselves. As Hawk goes further undercover, and uses his position to try and help Amber’s side agenda, his cover is broken. Together he and Amber must travel around an unfamiliar country side, looking for a weapon and evading those after them.
Like I said, this book started a little slower than I was expecting. In the short story I read, we were dropped right into the action, and I was hoping that this story would have just as much. Although it took us awhile to get to that, once it came I felt as if the story just flew along, roped me in and kept me engaged and turning the page as quickly as possible.
I totally fell for Hawk, from the very beginning. It’s almost painful to watch him struggle with keeping his cover, especially when it’s so obvious that he doesn’t want to have to force himself to be friendly with Dilaver. Every time he was forced to watch something so horrific, listening to him justify not doing anything in his head, my heart just broke for Hawk and I wanted to wrap him up in a big hug.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Amber at first, and it took awhile for me to really warm up to her character. I’m not exactly sure why, and I think it wasn’t until she had to witness just how awful things were for the young girls she rescued that I really felt a connection to her character.
In the past year or so I’ve read a good handful of books dealing with sex trafficking and human slavery, but this book did not have as much of a happy ending as the others did, and it was much more descriptive in the horrific things that young women have to endure once forced into that life. It was awful and tragic and at times so hard to read, and yet at the same time it was enlightening and hopefully. But a warning, anyone who has a hard time stomaching these issues, you will probably want to steer clear.
I was also interested in a lot of the secondary characters. I am definitely going to have to go back and read the other books in this series, especially the one after this that deals with Amber’s partner the mysterious Lily. The story line with Lily was left wide open, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to her.
All in all I enjoyed my second Low story. The suspense part of the plot was done very well, and while not very mysterious, the book had an overall creepy feeling to it, especially since it dealt with some very heavy issues. The romance between Hawk and Amber was very hot, and I found myself cheering these two on, especially once they went on the run together. I will definitely be looking for more of Low’s work in the future.
I give Hunter a B-