Thursday, 7 March 2013

Review: Kaylea Cross - Tactical Strike


This is going to be a “let’s dissect the blurb”-review.

Gunship pilot Captain Candace Bradford has worked long and hard to earn her rank and position within the male-dominated world of Air Force Special Operations.

This is the set up and since I’ve not read the first book in the series I’m going to take this at face value. She does crash a plane but technically that’s not her fault, so I’m guessing she’s worked hard to earn her wings but there’s very little in the book to show she’s worked particularly hard to earn her rank or that her gender made it especially difficult for her. 

She's not about to let anything or anyone jeopardize that, let alone one sinfully tempting man who seems determined to cause her nothing but trouble. Even if she's starting to fall for him.

This too is part of the set up but I didn’t find it particularly well done. For being such a stickler for rules, she’s having difficulties articulating a denial. Even if she’s starting to fall for someone she works with, if the rules mean that much to her she should be saying no at every turn. She’s not. She’s offering vague denials, mixed signals, and avoidance. None of these actually work. There are other ways to show her inner struggle, but this author doesn’t spend any time on developing those feelings for Candace’s character. 

As an elite Combat Controller, Staff Sergeant Ryan Wentworth is used to overcoming adversity in order to complete a mission.

Now that I think about it, this actually has some basis within the story. Ryan keeps remarkably calm during the action sequence as long as we ignore the utter unprofessionalism prompted by Candace’s presence. 

Breaking through Candace's prickly exterior and into her heart is a challenge he can't let go.

This is the main problem with his character. He’s like a dog with a bone; he can’t let things go not even for a second. He pushes, he stalks, he doesn’t take no for an answer, and I’m baffled why would Candace think Ryan has anything remotely resembling a softer side in him. There are a couple of instances when the author glimpses into his psyche that could constitute as his more humane and understanding feelings, but they were sparse and easily missed. 

But just when he's begun to gain her trust, they're thrown together in the field facing an overwhelming enemy force.

When exactly did that happen? I know when they faced the “overwhelming enemy force” but I’m at a loss to understand when she started trusting him and why. 

Candace and Ryan find themselves on the run, searching the skies for an emergency extraction. But one dangerous enemy has an agenda in mind and he'll use whatever means necessary to achieve it, including using American forces to do his dirty work….

I’m guessing this is part of the longer plot that may have started in book one of Bagram Special Ops and continue if not conclude in book three. 

Instead of character growth, this novel focuses on action and sex—the first being entertaining and the second being rushed. The romantic relationship is woefully underdeveloped. As I’m not an expert on military matters I can hardly comment on the accuracy of their portrayal within the book other than to say that the abbreviation jungle was in sore need of the glossary found at the end of the pdf I read. I actually hope the epubs have footnotes inserted in them for those who need them. 



I received a copy of this book through Lit Connect in exchange for an honest review.

Series: Bagram Special Ops #2
Pages: 214 (ebook)
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Carina Press
Published: March 11th 2013
Source: Lit Connect

32 comments:

  1. I can get so irritated with blurbs sometimes. It seems that lately they are getting worse and worse, and have nothing to do with the book itself.

    The book is so not calling my name. That guy is just a stalker.

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't that the blurb lied per se, it was that I didn't know how else to point out logically all the things I didn't like about the book.

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  2. It's hard for me to take some of these books seriously. They all talk about the "rules" but then throw them out the window for hot sex.

    it sounds like that may be the case here. I should just go with it but I usually can't.

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    Replies
    1. It is one of those cases. Some can suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the sex but I usually need a bit more.

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  3. Crikey this sounds well awful. I must say, I love how you broke this down and reviewed it. Thanks for suffering through this for us.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's my fallback review method when I'm struggling to say anything about the book.

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  4. I really liked the way you reviewed this one. I don't think this is a book for me. I am glad you steered me clear of this one!

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    1. I would say it was my pleasure but I'd be lying ;)

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  5. What an interesting way to do a review. I like it. Still, I also like character growth, so I don't think this one is for me.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. For a romance novel, even focusing on the suspense, there was very little emotional development for the couple.

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  6. too bad for all the points you mentioned. I haven't read many books like that but I don't know if this one is for me...

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    Replies
    1. I'm struggling to think of anyone who to recommend it to right now.

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  7. Dude sometimes I wonder who writes the blurbs! I hardly ever read them anymore :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm guessing blurb writers have their own section in the cover-fraud limbo publishers put all manuscripts through before publishing.

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  8. This was a neat way to review this. And yes, blurbs can be very misleading sometimes. I've read a few wondering about them.

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  9. Eeh not for me but it can be fun to dissect a book though.

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  10. I might copy your 'dissect the blurb' strategy, I warn you - I loved it. The book is not for me (is it any wonder?)

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    1. No, the book is definitely not for you. And go ahead. I've done this occasionally when I haven't known what else to write.

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  11. Well, at least the action was good even if building and sex weren't as well done as could be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The action was good, says the woman who knows nothing of what would happen in a real life situation similar to the ones depicted here.

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  12. hmmm, i wouldn't be that eager to have to read a glossary.

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    Replies
    1. Some abbreviations I could deduce myself, but I do wonder if reading the first book in the series would have made it easier for me.

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  13. What a wonderful, thoughtful review! This sounds like kind of a mess. I don't think I'd enjoy it very much. I really hate rushed romances especially. Thanks for your honesty!

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  14. I'm not sure about this one... next...

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    Replies
    1. :) ...or maybe the one after.

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  15. That's disappointing about the book but great review.

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