Synopsis: It was supposed to be a routine sneak n’ peak, but someone tattled, leaving Gallagher and Carmen running for their lives. Unfortunately, their get-away helicopter had been tampered with and, after the crash, the two agents are stuck in the mountains hoping to survive. At least they had each other to keep warm until their rescue. Carmen tries to keep things as one-night stand, while Gallagher wants more, thus causing tension as they continue their mission to find the saboteur and save a female hostage who has been enduring two years of captivity. Needless to say, the mission isn’t exactly going as planned…
Author: I’ve had Shannon Stacey on my twitter for some time now even though I had not read any of her books before. My library back home didn’t have any, but I have now managed to get my hands on the third of her series. I really hate reading books out of order, but I took one for the team just so I could read one of Shannon’s novels. I was happy to discover that her writing voice is just as amusing as her blog and tweets.
Format: When I picked up the book from the library, the first thing I noticed was the cover. It distracted me from realizing that this book is not the comfortable, mass-market paperback size, it is a Trade. It’s larger and a bit floppier, but thankfully made out of excellent board and stock, so not too bad to deal with. The type setting drove me nearly insane for the entire book, though; the lines were either 1.5 or double-spaced. Nevertheless, I must commend Samhain Publishing for making a quality product.
Pacing: Towards the beginning of the book, I had some difficulties following, as the scenes would quickly jump from the hero and heroine to their co-workers. A couple times I had to go back and reread from the start of the scene once I realized that it was a different character than whom I was expecting.
Also, it felt like there was a scene missing in the beginning of the book –hence my aforementioned confusion- as Carmen and Gallagher go from jumping into their helicopter to their boss telling his wife about getting the call of them going down. I would have liked to have a scene of the two in the copter, realizing it’s going down but fighting to land safely. I think it would have been more effective than to hear it all being discussed in retrospect.
Character: I had a bit of a problem with the hero of the tale, Gallagher. The problem is that his name is John Gallagher McLaine. Now, I have no prejudice against guys with that name, but some of you just might recognize the name’s similarity to another gun-toting, rule-breaking, butt-kicking hero… John McClane of Die Hard. Every time I saw the name in the novel, I had the urge to go pop in one of the four Die Hard movies, and that made it hard to stay in the “zone” of reading. I have to say though, Shannon’s John has a much hotter body than movie John… I mean, check out those abs! And pecs! And arms! *swoon*
Romance: The love story between Gallagher and Carmen almost –but not quite- comes secondary to the action. Their careers as agents are expected to be prone to violence, and their love for each other shows in what they would do to keep each other safe and alive. The action drives the book forward, but the love the characters have for each other no matter what circumstance they find themselves in keeps it emotional.
Note to the Reader: I have to admit, if you took the movie Die Hard and moved it to the jungle, focusing more on the love between McClane and his wife than on killing people, it essentially has the same cathartic reaction as this book does.
Quote: “I’m guessing my clothes didn’t fall off in the crash?”
The Verdict: A worthwhile read. If you like a bit of action in your books –and especially if you’re a fan of Die Hard- you’ll like The Devlin Group.
Would you get involved with a co-worker, even though you know a relationship might end? What would you do for the person you love if you thought they were in danger?