Normally I review one book – but this time I’m giving you the whole series, because hey, when you start a series it is beyond cool that you can read every single book because they have actually been written. No waiting around for the next installment! Dee Henderson’s Uncommon Hero’s Series is just that – a four book compilation of romance and suspense.
The difference between this series and The O’Malley Series is not only in the context of “heroes” but also that in this book, both the male and female protagonist are all believers in Christ – so the relationships start out with that firm foundation, something the O’Malley’s did not have on their side.
This series is a beautiful tribute to the men and women who serve, often without notice, and willingly risk their lives to preserve our freedoms.
Book one is True Devotion. This book looks at the life of a Navy Seal, or more importantly, his widow who works as a lifeguard close to the Seal base of operations. Since her husband’s unexplained death Kelly Jacobs has leaned heavily on his best friend, Lieutenant Joe “Bear” Baker.
Joe, however, is harboring a few secrets and a lot of guilt. He knows Kelly’s husband, Nick, died saving Joe’s life. He also struggles to admit that he’s fallen in love with Kelly. That is until she nearly drowns and tells him that she loves him. Then the real adventure begins as they try to sort out their relationship as the enemy responsible for Nick’s death, returns and puts Kelly in danger. Can love survive the trials of SEAL life?
I loved watching the relationship struggled and each fought against the doubts and worries as well as their faith in the midst of the challenges they face. The action just keeps coming and Dee Henderson does a masterful job of giving details, enough to keep the action moving and not too much to bog you down.
In True Valor, Major Bruce “Striker” Stanton is a parajumper who is not fond of the water. His only living relative is his sister, Jill, who is a civilian dating a Navy Seal, “Wolf” who works with Joe “Bear” Baker from book 1. Jill’s best friend is Wolf’s cousin, Lieutenant Grace “Gracie” Yates who is a fighter pilot with the Navy. After a near death experience, Striker writes her a letter. She gets it before her next deployment and they strike up a relationship by mail.
Gracie can’t see how a relationship can survive military separations but starts to fall in love with the man who writes her letters baring his heart and cracking open hers. When her plane goes down in enemy territory, it is Striker who rescues her and finds that he is in love. Now he just has to convince her to take a chance on him.
This was not a wishy-washy relationship, on and off type of thing, this is one that blooms over time, distance and real physical threats. I enjoyed the letter writing part of this which is a unique way to tell part of a story and reveal character’s hearts. Again, Dee Henderson gives lots of details about missions and planes and made me realize I would never want to be one of those people flying and trying to land on an aircraft carrier! I felt anxious with every landing! That’s how well they are written.
True Honor is book number three. Darcy St. James retired from the CIA after being awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor. She’s a spy. Or at least she was. But with a contract out on her head she’s retreated to the seclusion of North Dakota and a much more relaxed life until circumstances pull her back into action just before the 9-11 attacks.
Chief Petty Officer Sam “Cougar” Houston meets Darcy quite by accident after his friend Wolf’s wedding (from book two). He is one of Joe “Bear” Baker’s bear cubs and Wolf is his partner. Serving as a Navy Seal his specialty is working as a sniper. He rescues Darcy after she is attacked in a flubbed attempt at murder and sticks with her as events unfold around the world to reveal terrorists. Much of what Darcy uncovers sends Cougar into danger to help route the enemy. Eventually together they succeed and perhaps find love in the process.
Lots of detail and intrigue in this novel. (Not that there wasn’t in book one as well, book two’s enemy was war-time deployment and battles fought on foreign soil). The connection between Cougar and Darcy is quick, but it lasts, especially as they realize they both share a faith in God.
The fourth and final book in the Uncommon Hero’s series is True Courage and it is a bit of a departure from the other three. There is no connection to the Navy Seals whatsoever and none of the characters from the first three novels emerge in this one. Having said that, FBI agent, Luke Falcon, still has his hands full and when his job takes a twist and becomes personal, it tests his faith and confidence.
Caroline Lane is a fifth-grade teacher and while she’s allowed her relationship with Luke to coast for a year, she’s beginning to think that it is not worth it since he repeatedly cancels out on their dates and is distant and distracted with work when they are together. But when Luke’s brother and her sister who are married, and Caroline’s nephew disappear on Labor Day weekend, Caroline knows that Luke is the only person she can turn to.
This novel is unique was well in that the timeline of it is about a week in duration. With kidnapping and murder happening and clues to each hard to find, Luke and Caroline struggle to learn to trust and depend on each other, and God to get them through. This book is one that, both times I’ve read it, I had to go back and read parts of the ending. They were so well written. I was sad to see the book end, but when it did I had a smile on my face, contented for having taken the journey.