The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Levi Butcher is singularly devoted to his work. As team leader for the GO-Team, his unwavering focus is on the mission. Levi knows all too well that one minor distraction can hold deadly consequences. But with the soothing, sensual voice of "Babe," the team’s communication expert, constantly in his ear, keeping his concentration on the dangerous work at hand is becoming extremely difficult.
Jina Modell definitely doesn’t feel like a "Babe," especially when she’s working with the gruff, no-nonsense Levi. When the base where she’s stationed is attacked, Jina manages to escape but the rest of the team, working some distance away, is exfiltrated, thinking Jina died in the explosion—leaving her stranded. To survive, she’s got to figure out how to get back to safety before she’s discovered by the enemy.
Levi would never willingly leave a soldier behind, especially a brave woman whose sweet voice haunts his every thought. Once he discovers Jina is alive, the tenacious warrior will walk into fire to save this intriguing woman who has captured his heart.
Jina is a tech geek. She loves her job working in communications in a climate-controlled environment. She makes good money and likes what she does. When she finds out she’s being reassigned to a GO-team she’s not thrilled, to say the least. The first day she heads out to the training ground and instead of training with the other 9 re-assignees her GO-team takes over. They figure that A) they need to make sure that she’s trained properly and B) she’s the only woman so it’s a special case. Jina has both a younger and an older brother and was always in competition with them. Quitting is not an option, but she doesn’t have to do it quietly. She mouths off and cusses them constantly, much to the amusement of the team.
Ace is the team leader and he does not want some tech geek to get in the way of his team’s success. From day one he’s not thrilled about Jina and he wants nothing more than for her to quit. Not because he thinks a woman can’t hack it but because as long as Jina is on his team he can’t make a move on her and he desperately wants to make a move on her.
Jina does an amazing job and she’s soon out on missions with her team. One mission to Syria, however, goes FUBAR and the team thinks her dead. While Jina loves her tech she doesn’t love being in the desert by herself, trying to catch up to her team and is determined to make it out, no matter what it takes.
I’d love to say that I’ve read all of Howard’s books but that’s not true at all. Of her many books this is only my 6th read of Howard’s.
This was a really good book, imho. I was completely intrigued by the premise after reading the blurb and once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down. The characters, the situations and little bit of romance were the thing that kept me going.
Jina is a character, let me tell you. I absolutely loved her spirit. I know that it was a competitive thing that kept her going and refusing to quit but I loved that she never gave up. Her verbal lashings of the team were hilarious and perfect for the situation. I understood her desire to be a part of the team and she did that by being herself. She had a love/hate relationship with Ace. He was constantly hot and cold with her and I wasn’t surprised she found it confusing.
Ace wasn’t a bad guy. He had such mixed feelings about Jina being on the team. He wanted her for himself so he wanted her to quit the team. Despite that he was impressed by her determination to do her best and be her best. When their mission goes FUBAR and she’s left behind I couldn’t blame him. He did what any other team leader would have done. In the end Jina recognized that and I was happy when she got past it all.
The book was a good one and I really liked it. I’m not a die-hard Howard fan so I’m not comparing this to earlier works or writing. It is what it is and I enjoyed it, I think you will too.
Rating: 4 out of 5