Friday, September 8, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Going Dark by Monica McCarty

I loved Going Dark by Monica McCarty and can't wait for the next installment, so I'm thrilled to share my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway! 

Publication Date: September 5th 2017 by Berkley Books
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

About the book:

The members of a top secret SEAL Team can't keep their passion under wraps in this thrilling contemporary romantic suspense series from New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty.

Like Rome's Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she'd intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven't exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he's the kind of man she can depend on. Because he's gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .
My Thoughts:
Annie, a marine ecologist, left the US to protest an oil drilling off the pristine coast of Scotland with her boyfriend, Julien.  Her new boyfriend, and she can’t hardly believe her hasty decision.  Sure, she’s all for saving the planet from greedy big corporations that care for nothing but the bottom line, but now that she’s in Scotland the plans seem a little more intense that she bargained for.  Also, Annie’s getting wicked bad vibes from Julien’s best friend, Jean Paul, the leader of the group. 

Annie’s in the middle of the ocean when she realized exactly how dangerous her situation is, and unfortunately, she has no one to confide in or ask for help except for the rude boat captain, Dan.  Even with his gruff demeanor, there’s something about Dan that feels trustworthy, and she has no other options.

Dan is working as a boat captain in Scotland, lying low after his covert SEAL mission went to hell.  Helping Annie could blow his cover and his isn’t the only life at risk. 

Going Dark is romantic suspense at its finest! After a little settling in, sorting out the members of SEAL Team Nine, the story takes off, and we focus on just one of the guys, Dan.  Not his real name, but you find out exactly which teammate he is relatively quickly. 

Dan and Annie don’t get off to the best start, because he’s kind of an ass, but who can blame him with everything that happened?  Doesn’t matter what kind of manners he had, because he turned out to be Annie’s rock. They try and stay ahead of the danger and survive, whether from the elements or evil people, and it’s a non-stop action filled ride to stay alive!  Let me tell you, Dan’s pretty impressive; that SEAL training definitely paid off! The attraction Dan and Annie felt from the moment they laid eyes on each other simmers and spills over into some wickedly hot encounters sure to leave you hot and bothered! That lifeboat ride, oh my!

No worries about the “boyfriend” Julien.  Things didn’t look good early on, and he’s basically a non-issue, IMO.

Even though the romance and current situation is settled nicely, there is an ongoing story arc, the covert mission that went horribly wrong for SEAL Team Nine.  The reason they’re hiding out. They’re getting some inside help, trying to figure out how they were betrayed and by whom.  This sets up the stories to come, and there’s a couple of romances in the works from what I can tell. I’m curious about Kate and Colt. Will they be a couple of will Kate be paired with Scott?  I’m kind of rooting for Colt, but either could be possible.

At any rate, Going Dark was an excellent kick off to The Lost Platoon series!  Monica McCarty’s writing was fast-paced and addictive, balanced with well-developed characters I grew to love.  Count me in for the coming books! 

4.5 Suns


Dean was about to turn up his street when a woman darted past him. She was so preoccupied with whatever was bothering her that she didn’t notice him.
But he noticed her. The sexy brunette had been the focus of too many of his sex-starved thoughts for him not to have recognized that shadowed figure right away.
His thoughts immediately turned to anger. What the hell was she doing out here alone at this time of night?
Granted Stornoway wasn’t exactly the mean streets of name-your-favorite American inner city, but it had its share of illegal activity—especially along the waterfront—and it wasn’t a place where a young woman should be walking alone in the middle of the night.
He went after her without thinking. Proving his point, she took way too long to realize he was behind her.
He could tell by the way she jumped when she turned around that he’d startled her.
But it didn’t last. As soon as she recognized him, her eyes narrowed angrily. “Why are you following me? You scared me!”
“Good. You shouldn’t be out here alone—” He stopped suddenly, seeing her expression. She looked about ready to burst into tears. “What’s wrong?”
Unconsciously he’d reached for her arm. Why the hell he’d done that he had no clue. He didn’t go around touching women without an invitation.
He released her before she could protest. But if she’d noticed the too-personal gesture, she didn’t let on.
“Nothing,” she replied, her expression too blank.
He held her gaze long enough for her to see that he knew she was lying. It must not be something she did often, because a guilty blush rose to her cheeks.
She was so damned cute. He wanted to . . .
He took a step back.
Go dark. Don’t do anything to risk your cover.
He heard the warnings loud and clear. But he couldn’t very well let her walk around alone. What if something happened?
“Where’s your boyfriend?”
The tightening around her mouth before she responded gave a big hint of what might be bothering her. Trouble in paradise? Now, that was a cryin’ shame.
“He’s still at camp. He’s hanging around for the music. Julien plays guitar.”
Dean didn’t care if he was Jimmy Hendrix returning from the dead for one last show. “And he let you walk back alone?”
She immediately stiffened, giving him a scathing look. “He didn’t let me do anything. I make my own decisions.”
From the way she said it, it was clear she thought he was some kind of medieval misogynistic pig.
One of those, was she? He should have guessed. That kind of oversensitive feminist crap drove him crazy—not everything was a “microagression.” Being a strong woman didn’t mean you could be stupid about personal safety. And all he’d meant was that douche bag should have cared enough about her safety enough to insist on accompanying her.
Although admittedly Julien probably wasn’t much of a defense.
“Then your decision was a shitty one.”
She looked stunned. “You just say whatever you think, don’t you? I wasn’t asking for your opinion.”
“Well, you got it.” He gave her a long look, taking in the Tulane sweatshirt, tight jeans that left no room to hide anything, and flip-flops. “And unless you are a black belt jujitsu specialist or trained in self-defense and carrying some kind of weapon, I’m walking you to the guest house.”
She looked up at him half outraged and half bemused, as if she couldn’t quite believe someone like him actually existed. It was a look he’d been on the receiving end of more than once.
Eventually her mouth twisted with a smile. “How do you know I’m not?”
“Because if you had any secret ninja skills, from the way you were looking at me a few minutes ago, I’d be on my ass right now.”

Connect with Monica McCarty:

The wonderful people of Berkley Books provided a Paperback Copy of Going Dark for a giveaway to one lucky reader.  Giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

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