Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it is very cool, even for Washington, D.C. She likes being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room...
But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-Teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is that she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun . . . or else she’ll be out of a job.
Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina—whom he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice—making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-Team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth . . . or the building chemistry and tension between them.
Meanwhile, a powerful congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-Teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, and the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew before they’re exfiltrated from the country.
But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.
Howard (Troublemaker) delivers an exciting standalone romantic thriller, featuring nuanced characters in extraordinary circumstances who still feel relatable and warm. Jina Modell has a desk job in communications for a secret government agency; she's surprised to be transferred to a black-ops group that needs someone to run its comms. Jina's never been a quitter, but the training that team leader Levi Butcher puts her through makes her reconsider whether she wants this exciting new gig. Almost half the book covers her intense workouts and long runs while she learns to use a high-tech drone and proves herself a tough, capable member of Levi's team. As the team travels the world to conduct surveillance and complete missions, she regrets that she can't act on the intense attraction drawing her and Levi together. Howard skillfully delays Levi and Levi and Jina's coming together until it feels like a well-deserved payoff, using the time to show relationships between the close-knit crew, who work seamlessly together. A subplot involving a crooked congresswoman is barely needed.
The Woman Left Behind
Loved the spunky woman main character. Loved the story. Interesting, fast paced, mystery, and the raw human emotions. The story had everything. Sad that I finished it!
Probably the best book from Linda Howard I’ve read yet. Needs a sequel!
Linda Howard never fails!!