by M.L. Buchman
This is the fifth book in my Night Stalkers series and I have to say that one of the really fun aspects of this series is having both the hero and the heroine right in the fray.
A lot of military romantic suspense isn't that way. It's the military guy and the lady he's saving, rescuing, helping, freeing...not, of course, realizing that she's the one saving him.
But with them both in harm's way by choice, I find both of them very exciting to write and to watch.
Lieutenant Trisha O'Malley of the U.S. Army's 160th SOAR definitely has some attitudes and preconceptions about our hero:
Even as Trisha pulled up to hover in a guard position fifty feet in the air, she could see people running from that building, being herded by a man carrying a rifle. The briefing had warned them there was an embedded friendly doing the inside setup. If there hadn’t been, they’d have had to bring more choppers loaded with more Special Forces. But this guy was apparently a one-man rescue machine.
They didn’t reveal any of his details, other than he was absolutely trustworthy and be careful not to kill him. A “high-value asset.” What kind of a crazy idiot, high-value or otherwise, embedded himself in the Somali pirate community? Probably some testosterone-poisoned jerk, some serious adrenaline junkie with a death wish.
Of course Bill Bruce has a slightly different view:
Navy SEAL Lieutenant William Bruce squatted in the dust, wearing the standard clothes of a mercenary soldier looking for a quick buck by joining the Somali pirates. Bill wore camo pants, a dark tank-tee, and a black sweatband. He carried a very battered but immensely serviceable M-16 which marked him even more clearly as a merc for bringing his own weapon with him.
Most pirates wielded out-of-date Russian crap, some of it from all the way back to WWII, that was as likely to explode in their hands as to actually fire. He had a Russian TT-30 semi-auto pistol in the back of his waistband, a reliable enough weapon though he preferred a Sig Sauer, spare magazines in his thigh pouches, and a rusting but very sharp hunting knife strapped to his thigh. He fit right in.
And after she rescues him from near certain death:
“I didn’t want a goddamn rescue!”
The guy was alive on the deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu and complaining about it bitterly.
Trisha let him rant while she shut down the May. 03:46:10, right on mission schedule, ten seconds late this time. She made a point of chatting with Roland for a moment before she peeled off her helmet and turned to face the raging idiot.
The red deck lights for night operations were bright enough that he’d be able to see her clearly. That usually stopped guys cold.
“Oh fine. A woman. Now I’m probably going to have my ass reamed for yelling at a woman.” Then he continued right along, chewing her out without further pause, which was pretty funny. She let him rant, figuring he’d feel better if he could burn off some of his excess, over-righteous macho.
Embedded agent. She’d expected a skinny black Somali with a rusting AKM rifle looking for a ticket to America. This guy was white as could be and built like a linebacker. Totally crazy to go undercover in Somalia looking the way he did.
Which, she had to admit, was pretty good despite the ratty clothes and smelling like he’d had a couple dozen too many nights in the desert without a shower. Actually, linebacker looked damn good on this guy. She liked them big and handsome. She also liked his temper. Guys who just rolled over and played puppy dog when confronted with a cute woman were dull and predictable. Mr. Agent Man…
She climbed down and set her helmet on her seat. Even standing up straight in her boots, he towered over her. Six foot, maybe six-two. SEAL or Delta. Hard to imagine a Delta Force operator yelling at her. D-boys rarely even spoke and were rarely over five-eight. So he was a SEAL. It was the blue eyes, eyes that blazed with fury at the moment, that were his outstanding feature.
It was this "simple" beginning that set these characters for me: two brilliantly tough and determined soldiers, determined in everything including their deep antipathy for the other.
Which made it a rocking fun romance to write. Certainly hope that you enjoy the read!
M.L. Buchman has over 30 novels in print which have garnered:
NPR and B&N Top 5 Romance of the Year
Booklist Top 10 Romance of the Year
Light Up the Night has already been named RT Book Reviews 4-1/2 stars, Top Pick for September
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