Friday, December 19, 2014

Stocking Stuffer ~ Code Name Ghost

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Author ~ Natasza Waters
Published ~ 17 October 2013
Genre ~ Suspense | Romance
Pages ~ 356
Amazon | B&N | Apple 

My Rating ~ 3 bites

Commander Thane “Ghost” Austen is a Navy SEAL in charge of Coronado Amphibious Base in San Diego. Even though he’s done more than enough years out in the field and could take a promotion and the desk job to go with it, he still leads his Team out on the most dangerous missions. Married to his job and his country, duty means everything to him. Until Canadian Kayla Banks is hired to be the tactical specialist in the Command Center of his base. Now he’s feeling things he’s never felt before and he’s pretty sure that isn't a good thing especially when a serial killer named the Blood Shark turns his attention on Kayla. Kayla is a tough woman, but she has secrets that haunt her and now she’s a target. Ghost may be off-balance for the first time in his life, but he’s intent on protecting her from the Shark and even from herself. Is he up for the job?

This is a fast-paced military suspense with sexual tension thrown in. For the most part, it’s a decent story. However, I had some issues with it. Let me start with what I enjoyed. The plot is pretty good, the military parts are excellent, most of the characters are wonderful, the sexual tension is scrumptious and, for the most part, it’s fast-paced.

Now, what I didn’t enjoy was the sometimes uneven pacing of the story. There seemed to be some scenes that could have been shortened or even left out entirely to tighten the flow. The ending is a whopping cliffhanger, a particular pet peeve of mine. But my biggest complaint is Ghost himself. He exhausted me with his emotional swings. He was like a woman constantly PMSing. Not to mention for ¾ of the book I disliked him so intensely I would have gladly seen him killed either by the Shark or on a mission. He was a self-centered asshole. Everything was all about him. He did not think for a single moment about Kayla. He saw, he wanted, he would have thrown her away when he was done. His grabby hands (and lips) whenever she was within touching distance totally turned me off because again, it was all about him and never about her. Honorable my ass. He was far from honorable when it came to Kayla. It wasn’t until he pulled his head out of his ass and starting viewing her as an actual person and not a pussy to fuck and leave behind that I started to revise my opinion of him. But then the book ended leaving me still slightly pissed at him and not convinced he was ready to commit 100% to her. I also did not buy into their insta-love. For most of the book Ghost proves he only loves his country, his duty and himself, in that order. Kayla has major issues stemming from her past and says more than once she’s dead inside, so I don’t buy her insta-love either. Attraction and lust, for sure, but love? Nope.

Now, having said all that, I would definitely continue with book 2 if only to see if Ghost has indeed changed, if Kayla can be saved and who the hell the Blood Shark is and whether he is exterminated with extreme prejudice. 

About the Author

I grew up on the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia with the Pacific Ocean on my western doorstep, and thousands of acres of forest on the other. After finishing school, my life took a drastic twist, and a lifelong working relationship with the marine industry began.
After a twenty-year hiatus from my creative writing, the stories swirling in my mind began to swim hard to resurface, and I threw them a life ring. I juggle my creativity during my days off, and then get back down to business, working in Vancouver Harbour. My life is a mix of creativity vs. black and white procedures. With a lifetime of working in the marine community, there’s plenty of stories to tell. It’s a different world, different language, unsung heroes and heroines aplenty, heated moments, and blissful silence when all is well. Reading and writing is the way I turn down the loud hum that my work causes, and after thirty years of humming, it’s time to vent.

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