Tag: William Morrow

Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Posted September 28, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda HowardReviewer: Casee
The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2) by Linda Howard
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Series: GO-Team #2
Also in this series: Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2), The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2)
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Length: 11 hours, 35 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun...or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina—who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice—making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

I’m relatively new to listening to audiobooks. I’ve listened to four audiobooks in my life. I listened to a Harlen Coben books (weird, huh?) about 20 years ago when he was super popular. In more recent times, I’ve listened to the first two Harry Potter books and this book. I adored the narrator of the HP books. I am on the fence about this narrator. I admit, some of it was me. She talked super slow. Like super slow. I didn’t know I could speed it up. My bad. So I did that and it wasn’t so bad.

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization. She likes being safe in an office. Her life changes when a test that she didn’t even know she had taken shows that she has an aptitude for field work. She’s put into training with a GO-Team and a year of heaven and hell commences.

She’s immediately attracted to Levi Butcher, the GO-Team leader, but knows it can’t go anywhere. For one, he’s her team leader. For another, it’s clear that he doesn’t think much of her. As a woman, Jina thinks that she has to prove herself more than any man would. So she pushes herself harder and farther than she ever thought she could go.

Levi wants her. He has wanted her since the first time he heard her raspy, sexy as hell voice. But she’s off limits. To him and to the guys on the team. If he breaks his own rule, it would kill the trust he has with his team and he is not willing to do that, not even for Jina. So he pushes her harder that he’s ever pushed anyone. He doesn’t cut her any slack, hoping she will quit, knowing that she’ll quit. Except she thrives like he doesn’t expect. Soon she’s a member of their team and Levi knows he might never have her.

When a mission takes them to Syria, they have no idea that they’ve been setup. When the mission that Jina is directing the drone from explodes, Levi is sure that he’s dead. He can’t go back for her body until he gets his injured men to the helicopter. When he does and he turns to go back for Jina, he’s astounded when he sees her running toward the helicopter.

They left her. That’s all Jina could think. She ran five hours in the desert. Five hours until her feet were nothing but raw meat to get to the helicopter before she was left in the desert. Logically she knew that Levi thought she was dead and was going to come back for her. He had to take care of the two injured teammates. But it doesn’t help. He left her.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. LH’s writing has changed drastically. I’m just not really emotionally invested. There was so much of the book that concentrated on Jina’s training, it got boring. Like I know that she’s honed like the blade of a knife. She’s a kick ass woman. Hear her roar. I really admired her. I also admired Levi for his restraint. The tension between the two was off the charts. Still, there was something missing for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

GO-Team

three-stars


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Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Posted May 14, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda HowardReviewer: Holly
The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2) by Linda Howard
Series: GO-Team #2
Also in this series: Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2), The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2)
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun...or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina—who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice—making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

Linda Howard is a long time favorite of mine, but her more recent books haven’t worked as well for me as her older ones. I went into this with some trepidation, but I ended up really enjoying it. Jina’s strength and determination really came through as she tried to earn her place on the GO-Team. Her snarky attitude and dry wit really carried the book. What might have been a story slogged down with minor details was instead fun and fresh because of Jina. Her constant muttering and threats, plus her sheer strength of will, had me cheering for her from the beginning. I enjoyed Levi and the other members of the GO-Team, as well as the political aspects, though that part of the story definitely took a backseat to Jina’s training.

Where I struggled was Jina’s decision at the end of the book. It was jarring and extremely problematic considering the content of the book. I’d have rather half the book been focused on her training and the other half her doing missions with the team.

View Spoiler »

There were some questions left unanswered and I hope we’ll see more books in the series in the future. Jina’s strength of will and determination made this an engaging read. The ending was problematic and pulled down my overall grade.

3.25 out of 5

GO-Team

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Posted March 5, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

Guest Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda HowardReviewer: Tracy
The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

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

four-stars


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Guest Review: Till Death by Jennifer Armentrout

Posted March 31, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: Till Death by Jennifer ArmentroutReviewer: Jen
Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Harper Collins, William Morrow
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

In college, Sasha had been the only surviving victim of The Groom, a serial killer who preyed on young women in the town. The memories were too much for her, so she moved away and cut off ties with everyone except her mom and best friend. One of those she left behind was her boyfriend, Cole. She never saw him again after the night of her attack, but she never quite forgot him. She finally decides to move back home again to help her mom run the family B&B, and once Cole realizes she’s back in town he shows up, because it turns out Cole never forgot her either. Soon, frightening things start happening to Sasha, and more girls start disappearing. Sasha has to overcome her fear and help Cole (an FBI agent) figure out what is going on.

This is my first Jennifer Armentrout book, and I enjoyed it. I liked the way Sasha was portrayed. She was tortured by The Groom and is understandably traumatized. I thought her level of fear and her emotional challenges were perfectly appropriate, but she also is determined and has worked hard in therapy and on her own to cope with what happened to her. I appreciated that Cole is understanding and patient, too. He doesn’t push her into anything she doesn’t want. He just wants to be around her, if she’ll have him. He carries a lot of guilt over the past, as he was the last one to see Sasha before she was abducted. It’s clear that the guilt shaped his whole life, and it shows you he’s truly a good guy.

The story is told from Sasha’s point of view only, which is not my favorite. While I liked Cole, it was hard to connect to him when we didn’t get to hear his side. He obviously cares for Sasha a great deal, but I think some of the emotional punch gets lost because we don’t know how HE felt about the danger swirling around Sasha. The other weak point of the book is that the mystery is a little contrived. The killer is fairly easy to identify, and there were just a lot of coincidences and convenient plot points. It’s not a bad mystery, just not particularly unique.

I would have liked a little more focus on the romance, but I enjoyed this one more than I thought I might. 

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Posted February 5, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

This week’s Sunday Spotlight is a book that I heard such good things about before reading it myself…and then falling in love with it just as much. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne was well received with a lot of the bloggers that I read on a daily basis. I couldn’t read this book fast enough and when I finally got my hands on it, read it and then loved it…I knew I was going to feature the book on Sunday Spotlight.

You guys, this book is a keeper. I really enjoyed this one. I loved the chemistry between Josh and Lucy and I really loved how they grew to love each other. We see their hate for each other turn around into something so much bigger than the both of them and Josh? Gah, loved him.


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Released on August 9, 2016 by William Morrow

Buy the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Josh and Lucy spent a huge chunk of the book hating each other. They were always one upping each other and playing games. I’m not normally a fan of game playing between grown ass adults but in this setting and in this particular story, it worked really well. Josh and Lucy played off each other, they inspired each other to do better and they made me laugh so freaking much.

Here are some quotes that worked for me. Some of the reasons this book struck all of my happy buttons.

Quotes

“He did not smile back, and somehow I feel like he’s been carrying my smile around in his breast pocket ever since. He’s one up.”

Ahhh, Lucy. Of course Josh carries your smile around. He l-o-v-e-s you. Ha!

“Watching you pretend to hate the nickname is the best part of my day.”

Haha, of course he’s right!

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.

Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are schredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.

Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you háve to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”

Yes!! This was their relationship to a tee. They hated each other so much in the beginning that those feelings had no choice but to turn into love.

“What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy.”

“Strangling you. Bare hands.” I can barely get the words out. I’m huskier than a phone-sex operator after a double shift.

“So that’s your kink.” His eyes are going dark.

“Only where you’re concerned.”

Both his eyebrows ratchet up, and he opens his mouth as his eyes go completely black, but he does not seem to be able to say a word.

It is wonderful.”

Ha, these two are great!

There is so much more but you’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself. It’s good, I promise! Josh and Lucy should be known and you should know them! Enter our giveaway below for a chance to win a free copy of The Hating Game.

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you a fan of this book as much as we are? Let us know what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Sally Thorne

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.


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