Sunday, July 10, 2016

Review: Her Survivor: (A Black Eagle Ops Novel #1) by Vonnie Davis

Book Blurb:

Navy SEAL Dustin Frank can handle physical pain; it's his soul that needs mending.
After losing part of his leg in an explosion, the panic triggered by his PTSD nearly drives him over the edge. So Dustin retreats to the Eagle Ridge Ranch, a charming hideaway tucked into the Hill Country of Texas. There he finds solace in the arms of a shy beauty who reawakens desires he thought he'd lost forever—and who makes him want to lose control, just when he needs it most.

Kelcee Todd sees beyond Dustin's scars to the real man beneath: fiercely protective, strong yet tender. She wants nothing more than to feel his battle-hardened hands on her body. However, Kelcee is not the ordinary small-town girl she appears to be. Her brother is a killer with ties to the Russian mob, and after her testimony put him in prison, he's out and eager for revenge. Now Dustin is her best defense, even if it could cost him everything. Kelcee could never ask him to make that sacrifice . . . but she can't stop him, either.

My Review:

In Her Survivor by Vonnie Davis, Dustin is a Navy SEAL who was injured physically and emotionally.  He comes to Wounded Warrior Falls in Texas to recover at his commander's home.  His commander, ZQ, has more going on that Dustin knows though, and soon enough Dustin will find out.  Kelcee is in Wounded Warrior Falls for her own reasons, making her life there running the bookshop she inherited.  She is always on alert though.  The last thing either of them expects is to find is someone who makes them want so much more.  After an initial first meeting that does not go well, Dustin and Kelcee quickly rebound and soon both of them think they might have found that someone that neither of them was looking for.  The future is uncertain though in more ways than one, and choices, danger, and chances will play an important role in what that future might look like.  Not only is Dustin unsure of what his Navy SEAL future holds, but Kelcee is worried if she'll even have a future if the wrong person catches up with her...  Dustin will do whatever it takes to keep Kelcee safe, but what will be the ultimate ending?

Vonnie Davis explores PTSD well in Her Survivor.  It is an integral and realistic part of the plot.   With this realism and relevancy to life in the armed forces, Vonnie brings Dustin to life and made me really feel for him.  I liked the acknowledgment of what Dustin and others go through, and how it affects their whole way of being.  I liked Kelcee too.  She is a brave woman who did the right thing but is paying for it now.  I understood her hesitation to let Dustin in on her past, but at the same time I felt like it could impact him also, and sometimes it is good to have someone on your side.  Both of them want to protect each other which at times was endearing and at other times was frustrating.  Their relationship progressed quickly, and I liked how they admitted to their feelings and didn't run from them.  Their relationship is very hot and cold though, and at times tension filled despite the heat they create together.   Both Kelcee and Dustin have stories to tell, and together they are a couple that could fit.  

Her Survivor has a few sub plots running along with the main plot.  I liked them, but they did progress to a bit of an unrealistic point.  However, that did work with the main plot.

There are a lot of strong secondary characters who help bring the plot to life and I'm sure we'll see more of in future Black Eagle Ops novels.  The dialogue between all of the characters felt very odd and unnatural a lot of the time though, and this tended to distract me as I read.  I could feel a connection with Kelcee and Dustin, but the unnatural way of talking tended to pull that connection away at times.

Overall Her Survivor was an intriguing, well paced read that I'd recommend to romantic suspense readers.

3/5 stars

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