Desert Isle Keeper
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Yes!! Suzanne Brockmann finally hit another home run book in her Navy SEAL series. I thought the last two – Everyday, Average Jones and Harvard’s Education were good, but not as good as Prince Joe or Forever Blue – my favorites. I liked everything about this one: the heroine, the hero and the action.
William “Crash” Hawken is a SEAL – he’s not part of Alpha squad yet, but he’s worked with them and one of the Alpha Squad members, “Cowboy” Jones, had been Crash’s swim buddy during their basic training. This installment in the series finds Crash on the run and accused of murdering Admiral Jake Robinson who had been like a second father to him. Crash is obviously being set up, and he goes to the only person he can trust – Nell Burns. Crash and Nell had met the year before, brought together by Crash’s cousin Daisy and Jake. Daisy was dying of cancer and Crash and Nell had helped nurse her. Daisy was sure that Crash and Nell were perfect for each other and Nell had fallen deeply in love with Crash. After Daisy’s death, Crash left Nell, because he didn’t think they could make it for the long haul.
Nell is the only person who believes Crash is innocent and sets to work to prove it. This unfortunately puts Nell into the line of fire, and when someone tries to kill her, Crash has to take her with him. Nell is no wimpy, whiny heroine. She keeps it together in tense situations, and she doesn’t do anything stupid that’s likely to get her killed. Crash is honest and tough and set on proving his innocence and he appreciates Nell’s faith in him. However, he doesn’t believe there’s a place in his life for love and family, and Nell has to work to make him realize there is. Crash’s emotional issues are the problem Nell has to overcome, and the moment when she realizes he wants to live for her is wonderful. That’s when we know she’s truly broken through to him.
I like action movies, so it stands to reason that I like books with lots of action as well. Brockmann hits the right mix of action and romance in this book. There’s plenty of action to keep the book moving, but the action also furthers the plot. The relationship between Crash and Nell is not lost in all the action because Ms Brockmann gives them lots of time to talk while they are in various cars and hotel rooms.
There’s a surprise ending that caps off the book perfectly, and the appearance by some of the members of Alpha Squad is wonderful, too. The only thing I was not especially fond of was the book’s structure – it opens with the scene of Jake’s killing, which is very exciting, and then goes into flashback mode when Crash and Nell first meet. The switch from tension of Crash’s situation to the slow build of Crash’s and Nell’s romance was a little jarring but this is a minor beef that did not detract from my enjoyment.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is now my third favorite of this series, after Prince Joe and Forever Blue. I don’t know how I’m going to wait for the next installment, due sometime next year, but I guess I’ll have to.