I’ve become a fan of romantic suspense. What can I say? There’s something about the danger and a man of honor willing to lay it all on the line for his team, his country and the people he loves. This series looks at a group of men assembled for black-ops. Undercover international operatives that are not acknowledged by the government but go in and do the dirty work no one else wants to. The name of this team is Nightshade (also title of the first book) and is made up of men with dark pasts who have been spat out by the military and struggling with issues related to what they did (like PTSD) struggle to fit into the real world again. Nightshade gives them a purpose and a community to rehabilitate in as it were.
The first book tells the story of Max Jacobs (aka “Frogman”)– a former navy SEAL who is on the verge of divorce because of his anger issues. He’s still in love with his wife, who works as a reporter. Max is is the leader under the authority of “The Old Man” General Olin Lambert, a member of the joint chiefs. He equips them and gives them their orders and works to help them when they need it. General Lambert grows to love these men like they are his sons.
Max’s wife Sydney is distraught – and unbeknownst to her soon to be ex-husband, pregnant. Her nosey news search almost uncovers the very rescues her husband is undertaking, putting the team at risk. Her journeys take her directly into his path and things get messy. With the help of his friends, Max finds his way back to what’s really important to him in this life. Oh, and they defeat the bad guys too.
Colton “Cowboy” Neeley has a four year old daughter and is falling in love with a woman working at a department store. “Cowboy” loves wearing the hat and boots and talks with a Southern drawl. In book one he is the man who has the common sense on the team and is a close friend to Max.
Unfortunately, Piper Blum, the woman he falls in love with, has her own secrets, secrets that put Colton’s family into a life-threatening situation as well as his team. The struggle for faith in the face of grief and deception all around is a riveting read as Colton faces his flashbacks and finds love along the way.
Canyon Metcalfe, aka “Midas” is a former Green Beret and medic who left his service to his country under threats and a weight of shame and blame for a mission gone wrong. His brother rescues a woman who had been held captive for months in Venezuala, raped and tortured but escaped to try to deliver top secret information to her god-father, “The Old Man.” Her name is smeared and the only way to preserve her life and reputation is to return to Venezuela with Nightshade. She has already fallen hard and fast for Canyon who fights his attraction to her in deference to his brother’s “staked claim.”
A mission gone bad, a secret addiction and growing attraction lead to unforeseen consequences and deep pain as they are captured, separated and tortured. Canyon finds that the past and the present come together to exonerate him but along the way he acquires a family while alienating his brother after trying to “man up” and take responsibility for his mistakes.
This was probably the hardest book in the series to read. It’s like a massive puzzle piece of points of view as Nightshade has been attacked and dismantled but they don’t know by who. A spy, Kazi Falcon is hired by the General to bring the team together again. Her first job is to break Griffen “Legend” Riddell out of a maximum security prison. Once on the run and out to save the others, Griffen falls hard and fast for the secretive Kazi.
Kazi however has her own battles to fight as she tries to complete the mission that the General has hired her for and has learned that men are not to be trusted. As the team reassembles from various areas of the globe the tension ratchets up with every page turn and the ending had me in tears.
These are fast moving, adrenaline pumping books and hard to put down. One caution – do not read them too close to bedtime, if you do, give up sleep and just finish the novel. You’ll rest better for having gotten to the end! It’s sad that this is the end of the series because I am sure I could have read far more books about this team. Ronie encourages readers to connect with www.soldiersangels.org to adopt a military man and offer support for those who put their lives on the line for our freedoms.
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