I opened up my newest romantic suspense novel, and what did I find? Well, we have a damaged soul turned kickass heroine and a bunch of hot special ops men out to save the world from the bad guys. Obviously, readers will have seen this plot before. Even if some of the trappings feel familiar, Elle Kennedy does them justice and Midnight Rescue ends up being an entertaining read. Those who enjoy action romances will likely want to pick this one up.
Abby Sinclair ends up imprisoned in the dungeon of an arms dealer, sex trafficker, and all-around bad guy. Unknown to her captors, she is really a skilled assassin who has let herself fall into their hands while on a mission. Meanwhile, Abby’s boss has gone to Jack Morgan and his band of mercenaries for help in rescuing her. Kane, one of Morgan’s men, ends up on the mission to get Abby out of the prison. While the mission is successful, Abby’s behavior and her blowing of her cover cause Kane and his teammates to feel suspicious toward her.
Even as he struggles to deal with the blend of tough attitude and vulnerability that is Abby, Kane also finds himself attracted to her from the very beginning. Kane recognizes that Abby carries deep scars, but he feels drawn to her anyway. Kane can’t help how he feels with regard to wanting her, but he does a good job of controlling his behavior around her and that made him a real hero in my book. After the rescue, Abby tells Kane and his team about young girls held prisoner deep within the arms dealers’ compound. She wants the team to go back to Columbia with her to set these girls free before they’re sold to the highest bidder. The villain has some very savvy helpers and, since Abby was injured in the rescue, this will be a high-risk mission, but she manages to persuade Kane and his colleagues to help.
The development of the romance had its own set of issues. Kane isn’t overly sure about trusting Abby, and after surviving an abusive childhood followed by an adulthood where she has gone from mission to mission and used sex primarily as a tool or weapon, Abby’s not exactly chomping at the bit to get into a relationship either. Kane works to prove himself again and again to Abby. However, Abby’s wounds run deep and I could understand her hiding behind emotional walls. Even so, her reluctance to trust Kane at crucial points in the story, even after he had proven himself and she had supposedly let down her guard somewhat, could get frustrating. Abby’s secrecy and reluctance to accept help when needed made sense at first but as the relationship between Kane and Abby deepened, the wedge it continued to drive between these two started to strain logic.
The plot action kept me reading this book, and if somewhat cliched, it still held my interest. I like a good action story even if the author isn’t necessarily breaking new ground. A thriller done well is still, well, thrilling to read. And this one is for the most part. We have the usual hyper-skilled operatives putting together a covert operation, infiltrating a Columbian compound, and carrying out their mission. Things may be a little overly perfect at times, but it’s definitely not a snoozefest. I enjoyed the action even if things did seem to fall into place a little too easily toward the end.
Since this story revolves around the operatives’ group dynamics almost as much as the leads’ romance, it helped that the secondary characters were interesting. I saw hints of a secondary romance that I can’t wait to see developed further, and I’ll be curious to see if the group’s relationships develop and evolve as the series progresses. Even with some bobbles, Midnight Rescue was a fun read and I think action or special ops fans will want to follow this new series.