Take Over At Midnight
If you like action movies, you might like Take Over at Midnight. This book reads a lot like an action screenplay converted into novel form. Plenty of tension-filled flight scenes, interesting team dynamics, larger than life characters, and so on. This romance is a little light on the actual romance and some of the cliches will make your eyes roll, but has its fun moments if you don’t take it too seriously.
Lola LaRue is the new pilot on the SOAR team. The story opens as she arrives at her unit, a little nervous but more than ready to prove herself. Even though there is a romance involved, the story often feels as if it’s primarily about Lola. And in true action hero fashion, Lola is just too good to be true. She knows the right things to say to break the ice with the guys (and at least some of the women) she’ll be flying with, she’s gorgeous, and we quickly learn that she is also some kind of flying prodigy.
One of the first people Lola meets is Sgt. Tim Maloney, who is a gunner on one of the helocopters in SOAR. They seem to bond almost instantly and as Lola gets acclimated to her new duties, Tim finds himself very interested in what he sees. Lola returns the interest, and the two move from friendly flirting to sex. Just as in many action movies, the relationship almost feels like something extra that has been tacked onto the story. In this case, most of the action focuses on SOAR’s covert missions and the discovery of a possible bioterrorism plot. In that context, Lola and Tim are really just a little bit of something extra.
The action plot kept me turning pages and the tone of the storytelling kept things fun, so I honestly didn’t mind the constant interactions with the President and other high-ranking figures, as well as the ever-present reminders to the reader that the characters in this book are just The Very Best. Normally, that would get to me but the author made that side of things more or less work here.
Bigger problems came with Lola and Tim’s romance. They’re basically likable characters and readers will more or less want to see them end up together. Lola’s “I grew up in the back kitchen of a brothel with daddy issues and a giant chip on my shoulder” shtick does get old at times, but since this book is more action-driven than character-driven, I could deal with it. However, given that this is an officer-enlisted love story, I expected more to be made of the fraternization issue. I’m no expert on the military, but even I know that this is still considered a big no-no. For that reason, I found it surprising that aside from some casual teasing from their commanding officers, Lola and Tim faced no real consequences.
Bottom line? Take Over at Midnight definitely has its flaws, but it has its fun moments, too. Just as many of us enjoy action movies that are light on character development but heavy on chase scenes and amazing stunts, I suspect those who want plenty of story without a whole lot of introspection may find this book fun. Some of the weak points in this book get to me, but it definitely has its moments.