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The Night Is Mine

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Overview

NAME: Emily Beale

RANK: Captain

MISSION: Fly undercover to prevent the assassination of the First Lady, posing as her executive pilot.

NAME: Mark Henderson, code name Viper

RANK: Major

MISSION: Undercover role of wealthy, ex-mercenary boyfriend to Emily

Their jobs are high...

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Overview

NAME: Emily Beale

RANK: Captain

MISSION: Fly undercover to prevent the assassination of the First Lady, posing as her executive pilot.

NAME: Mark Henderson, code name Viper

RANK: Major

MISSION: Undercover role of wealthy, ex-mercenary boyfriend to Emily

Their jobs are high risk, high reward:

Protect the lives of the powerful and the elite at all cost. Neither expected that one kiss could distract them from their mission. But as the passion mounts between them, their lives and their hearts will both be risked...and the reward this time may well be worth it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Buchman’s romantic fiction formula consists of one part romance, one part action/suspense, and two parts military procedural. Capt. Emily Beale blends the unlikely combination of gourmet cook and ace Black Hawk helicopter pilot in one beautiful (natch), highly toned body. When the first lady receives threats, she decides Emily will make the perfect guard in the guise of a chef, so President Peter Matthews, who was Emily’s literal boy-next-door childhood crush, orders her reassignment from “an undisclosed location in southwest Asia” to the White House’s East Wing. Emily misses her high-energy, high-risk nighttime missions as well as her CO and lust object, Maj. Mark Henderson. Unbeknownst to her, Mark returns her feelings, so when he shows up stateside, sparks begin to fly. Predictable red herrings join a few unsurprising plot twists in this well-written but unexceptional offering. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"An action-packed adventure. With a super-stud hero, a strong heroine and a backdrop of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the world of the Washington elite, it will grab readers from the first page. 4 Stars" - RT Book Reviews

"Filled with quite a bit of suspense and intrigue." - Long and Short Reviews

"Awesome, intriguing, powerful and seductive..." - BookLoons.com

"This book was a hit for me. It had plenty of action, romance, and great characters." - NetGalley Reader Review

"Buchman's hard-to-put-down novel, with its nonstop action, surprise villain, and story of forbidden love, will be a real treat for fans of military romantic suspense. Readers who enjoy Suzanne Brockmann, Vicki Hinze, and Merline Lovelace as well as those who like good romantic suspense, military or otherwise, will enjoy the first book in the Night Stalkers series. STARRED Review" - Booklist

"This is romantic suspense at its best... Readers will clamor for the rest of the series." - NetGalley Reader Review

"A lot of fun, terrific characters who pull you in immediately and never let you go... A+" - The Good, The Bad, and the Unread

"Absolutely amazing... The romance and relationship...blends seamlessly into the storyline... This was a great first book for a new series and I cannot wait for the next one to come out. 5 stars, Reviewer Top Pick!" - Night Owl Reviews

"A fun, intriguing and suspenseful romance full of action." - Bookworm 2 Bookworm

"The story kept me hooked the entire time; the author provided plenty of action to keep my excited, twists that kept me guessing and romance that had my heart pounding." - Reading Between the Wines Book Club

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402258107
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 210,797
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

M. L. Buchman has worked in fast food, theater, computers, publishing, and light manufacturing. It's amazing what you can do with a degree in geophysics. At one point he sold everything and spent 18-months riding a bicycle around the world. In 11,000 miles, he touched 15 countries and hundreds of amazing people. Since then, he has acquired a loving lady, the coolest kid on the planet, and lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The CNN film crew had made it fun. But now...

The laptop stood balanced on a couple of empty, dull green ammo cases for the minigun. Sweaty pilots and crew stood gathered around the computer, waiting for the network to roll the clip.

Captain Emily Beale and her team rushed into the tent from the Black Hawk helicopter landing area, still in their hot, sticky flight gear, helmets clutched under their arms. Just past dawn here, late-evening news back home.

A dozen guys who hadn't been lucky enough to fly that night packed the already baking tent. They wore shorts and army green, sleeveless tees revealing a wide variety of arm tattoos. Some with girls' names, some snakes, some helicopters, all with feathered wings. The men squatted on the dirt and sand that passed for a floor, perched on benches, or stood, feet wide, with arms crossed over muscled chests.

The observation jolted Emily a moment before she shrugged it back into her mind's dustiest footlocker. Just another reminder that the entire female roster of this forward deployment included only one name—her own.

Brion Carlson came on and flashed his famous scowl, cuing his multimillion-person audience that the next clip would be fun, not war-torn hell, not drowned mother of twins, not car pileup at eleven.

Emily's free hand rested on the M9 Beretta sidearm in her holster. Tempting. A couple of 9 mm rounds through the screen might cheer her up significantly. But then they'd all know how she felt. Be hard to laugh it off after that level of mayhem. She knew hundreds of ways to kill a person but how do you kill a newscast? Shooting a laptop didn't meet the ultimate criteria for complete suppression. She scanned the intent faces of her flightmates. Still, a bit of localized destruction held its temptations.

She'd only been in the company for two months. The first week or so, she'd been a total outsider. But as she'd proved herself on mission after mission, she'd gained acceptance, grudging at first, then not. Now, on the precarious cusp of true welcome, this.

"Hot from the fighting front, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, CNN caught up with Black Hawk pilot Captain Emily Beale as she cooks up a storm for her flight crew. She's the first, and so far the only, female pilot to qualify to fly helicopters for SOAR, the elite 160th Airwing."

"Air regiment," Big John called out. Someone shushed him.

"With the Night Stalkers, as the Special Operations Aviation Regiment call themselves—"

"Damn straight," John answered and then turned to scowl at whoever had been foolish enough to try and shush him before.

"—she flies, literally, where no woman has flown before."

The clip rolled. A close-up of steak sizzling on a surface so black that it didn't reflect the scorching, midday sun. Odd place to start, but what the hell. The Black Hawk's nose cone covering the terrain-following radar assembly really had been plenty hot to sear a steak. And the meat had tasted damn good. A humorous opening. So far she could live with this.

Then the camera pulled back.

First the nose of her chopper, which was kind of cool. Made a nice surprise for the average viewer.

Then the camera swung toward the person wielding the cooking tongs.

She groaned. Silently. But, damn! She'd given them loads of footage why she flew had answered a thousand probing questions about a woman in a man's world and this is how they started?

Ray-Bans. Blond hair running loose over her shoulders. A trick only Special Forces, SEALs, and SOAR pilots could get away with in all the U.S. military. The elite fighting teams were supposed to wear nonmilitary hair, even mustaches and beards, to blend in wherever they were inserted. SOAR pilots usually did the close-cropped military thing, but not her company. She liked the sound of that, her company. No longer the newbie on the outside looking in.

The laptop image scanned down her body as if she were a model for Playboy or Hustler. This was not what she'd signed up for. At least it would be uphill from here.

She'd made it into the Black Adders, the nastiest and toughest company that SOAR had ever fielded. They belonged to the 5th Battalion, which was the nastiest and toughest battalion, no matter what the other four claimed. That's why the 3rd Black Hawk Company of the 5th Battalion of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) wore their hair long. It made them more like their customers, the Special Forces operations specialists they transported to and from battle. Of course, none of them minded the added bonus of being able to thumb their noses at the establishment they'd give their lives to defend.

The camera continued its slow scan down her body. Army-green tank top. Running shorts and army boots. Standard desert camp gear. She was soaked in sweat, and the clothes clung to her like Saran Wrap. A point the cameraman had made the most of, both on his pan down and back up.

But this wasn't who she was. It wasn't the point of the interview. She flew the most lethal helicopter ever devised by man, and they were turning her into a porn star. Her grip on her still-holstered M9 sidearm grew painful, but she couldn't ease off.

"Em-i-ly!" "Whoo-hoo, Captain!" "Now that's what we're talking about!" The catcalls in the tent overrode the voice-over. Attracted attention from outside the tent. More air jocks drifted in to see what was up. Is that how they thought of her every day? To react would only admit her intimidation. And that door wouldn't be opened for anybody.

She should've shot the stupid screen while she had the chance.

Even on the tiny laptop you could see good muscle definition right at her fighting weight. Not bodybuilder, though she lifted enough weights. Still, she wasn't particularly happy with how she looked. She'd never met a woman who didn't feel that way.

Did guys feel like that? This crowd seemed pretty pleased every time the camera caught one of them. A lot of macho shoulder punching, hard enough to bruise, each time one of them made national television.

The next clip showed her pulling out an emergency foil blanket, good for reflecting away the worst of the sun if you were smacked down in middle of sand dune nowhere. She'd demo-ed how to use one to hide from the sun, even digging it into the sand before disappearing beneath.

But in the next instant, she knew this broadcast didn't go there. Instead they went with her quick origami moment to create a decent solar oven from the foil. Taken her a while to figure that one out back when she flew for the 101st. They jumped to a finished loaf of sourdough bread, from some starter she'd had smuggled in. Not bad. She could live with this. Somehow.

And then the next image rolled.

Not a helicopter or flight suit in sight. How long was this stupid clip anyway? They'd dogged her heels for a full day and this was the best they could do?

Back to the solar oven. The soufflé. They wouldn't. They couldn't. They did.

A whole circle of broad-shouldered, badass flyboys standing around her with their arms crossed over bare, serious-workout chests. A solid wall of shirtless, obviously posed male flesh she'd hadn't even noticed the news crew setting up. Her tiny image on the screen lifted the chocolate soufflé from the makeshift oven. Perfect. And the desert was so frigging hot that the soufflé didn't start its inevitable collapse from cooling until after the camera moved on. The round of applause had tickled her at the time. But on the squidgy, little piece-of-crap laptop, it just made her look like a half-naked Suzy Homemaker in shades.

"Flying into battle, you know her well-fed crew will follow Captain Emily Beale anywhere because she's the hottest chef flying." In the parting shot, a helmeted pilot, visible only as a silvered visor and blue-black helmet, lifted off in a swirl of dust.

Her helmet was purple with a gold-winged flying horse on the side, and everyone in the tent knew it. It remained clamped under her arm at this moment in case they wanted to double-check. She'd had no missions the day the film crew was in camp so they'd shot that dweeb Bronson, of all useless jerks.

That couldn't be the end of the clip. But the wrap shot was perfect, the camera following Bronson high into the achingly blue sky.

All those interviews about her pride as the first woman serving in a man's world.

Not one word made it in.

Descriptions of nasty but unclassified missions that she had been authorized to discuss.

All cut.

Actually, they hadn't used a single word. She'd never spoken. Just cooked and been ogled.

And finally, to drive the hammer home, they'd used Bronson in his transport bird, not her heavy, in-your-face, DAP Hawk for the closer. When you wanted a joy ride, you called Bronson. When you wanted it done, you loaded up her MH-60L Direct Action Penetrator Black Hawk.

They had to include at least one—

"In New York's Bryant Park today..." The laughter drowned out the parade of anorexic women who probably couldn't shoot a lousy .22 without getting knocked on their narrow butts.

She pulled her pistol and let fly at the laptop. The first shot shattered the screen and flipped it off the empty ammo case. The second spun it in midair, and the third punched the computer into the sand.

A dozen guys inspected the smoldering laptop in the ear-ringing silence and then Emily's face as she reholstered the sidearm. A little more mayhem than she'd intended, but she was a pilot first, dammit.

Then, as if on cue, several of the guys fist-pumped the air simultaneously.

"Sexiest chef flying, Captain!" "They got that right!" "Whoo-hoo!"

"Well, your next thousand meals are gonna be damned MREs." She shouted to be heard over the rabble.

They hooted and applauded in reply.

"Cold egg burritos!" The very worst of the Meals Ready-to-Eat menu.

"Ooo!" "We're so scared." "Show us how to make an oven." "Sexiest chef!"

She opened her mouth to offer a few uncouth words about how much they'd enjoyed watching their own lame selves—

"'Tenshun!" The deep voice sliced through the chatter like the rear rotor of her Black Hawk through a stick of softened butter. A voice that had sent a shiver down her spine ever since she'd first heard it two months before.

They all snapped to their feet as if they'd been electrocuted. Some part of the laptop still functioned, Carlson's voice sounded into the sudden silence. "At a recent concert, the Rolling Stones—"

A booted foot smashed down and delivered the coup de grâce to the wounded machine.

Major Mark "The Viper" Henderson stood two paces inside the rolled-back flap of the tent, one foot still buried in the machine. Six feet of cliché soldier. Broad shoulders, raw muscle, and the most dangerous-looking man Emily had ever met. His straight black hair fell to his squared-off jawline. His face clean shaven, eyes hidden by mirrored Ray-Bans. Rumor had it they were implanted and the major no longer needed eyes.

After two months, she couldn't say otherwise. He always wore the shades when he wasn't wearing a helmet for a night mission.

Even the first time they'd met, as purported civilians at Washington state's Sea-Tac Airport, he had worn them. Coming out of security, newly assigned to the 5th Battalion, she'd known instantly who waited for her. She doubted another person in the crowded airport would recognize him as a soldier; they'd both been trained to blend in. But she'd recognized Major Mark Henderson as if some part of her body had known him for years.

In the tent, he swiveled his head once, the sunglasses surveying the crowd. Every man jack of them knew the major had memorized exactly who was there, what they'd said, what they were about to say—and probably knew what they'd been thinking the moment they exited their mothers' wombs. If they weren't careful, he'd start telling them what they would be thinking about during their last moment on Earth, and none of them, not even Crazy Tim, wanted to run head-on into that level of mind-blower.

"There will be no gender-based commentary in this unit. Understood?"

"Sir! Yes, Sir!" Rang out so loudly it would've hurt Emily's ears if she hadn't been shouting herself.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    So-so

    I loved the plot. And i loved the heroine. She was badass. Those are the sole reasons i gave this book 3 stars. It's the writing style i didn't like. It did not flow. Much of it was difficult to understand. Not the military speak, that was enjoyable. It was just the style of writing i couldn't get. The love/sex scences were lacking, i never knew if they had completed the task (so to speak). I will not be reading the next one.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2012

    Highly Recommend. The story is wonderful!

    I can't even say why I bought this book...OK maybe the cover...but I am sure glad I did. The story was GREAT. Not good, GREAT! From the first chapter you will love Emily who is a dedicated army aviator. You'll root for Mark, her CO a tough guy, cracker Jack pilot, and loyal protector.

    The other characters in the book are well developed and enjoyable. I found myself laughing and crying during the book. Witty interactions, enough intrigue too keep my turning the page on my nook until I was finished.

    I can't wait for the next book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Boring!

    I bought this book based on all the glowing reviews. I found the heroine Emily to be stretched on the imagination. The story hopped around so much and way to much helo detail. I definetely will not buy the other in the series. Take my advice don't go by just the reviews.....some could be planted.....read the sample first!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Magnificent

    Reviewed By~Desere
    Review Copy Provided By~Netgalley

    This was one really hot action packed military book! Really adored it, I have a strong love for military novels and this one did not disappoint. The secrets, the suspense and the romance just all rocked in every sense of the word.

    The explosive feelings between Mark and Emily blew me away. I would never have expected the book to have such a awesome twist I really did not see it coming. I loved that Mark is this really scary but at the same time a to-die-for hot hero, where as Emily is your not to screw with heroine (even Mark learns that the hard way).

    I particularly liked learning about the flying side of the missions, the author incorporated the details of the aircraft. I have read too many military books where they focus so much on the characters and tend to leave out the interesting parts like types of aircraft, weapon details and location details.

    I would recommend The Night is Mine to any fan of romance and military action!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Night is Mine is a fast paced thrill ride of action and roma

    The Night is Mine is a fast paced thrill ride of action and romance taking readers from the sweltering deserts of Afghanistan to the dazzling glitters of the White House.

    Emily Beale is the first woman SOAR pilot and she is determined to prove that she has what it takes. Not shying away from the risky missions, she gets her crew in and out of tight situations with a cool head quickly earning the respect of her fellow soldiers and her hard-ass but sexy commanding officer, The Viper. When she is shipped out and away from her unit for a covert mission in the White House though, her world is turned upside down. Masquerading as the First Lady’s chef and personal bodyguard, Emily must find the traitor who is after the First Lady. But what she finds instead could be even more dangerous; deception, intrigue and betrayal run rampant through these gilded halls and not everyone will make it out unscathed.
    Major Mark Henderson, a.k.a. The Viper, is a top-notch pilot and runs his unit like a well oiled machine. With his cool attitude, mirrored Ray Bans and sparse compliments, Mark has strived to treat Emily like any other of his soldiers, pushing her to be her best and has never been disappointed. He knows the attraction he feels for her can never be acknowledge unless he wants to see himself court marshaled. When Emily is sent packing on a mysterious mission though Mark refuses to sit idly by while one of his own gets thrown to the dogs. Pulling in every favor her can, Mark takes a leave and follows Emily D.C. Posing as her boyfriend, he has no clue to what he’s about to wade into but Mark refuses to leave Emily floundering by herself. Little did either of them know that they’d see more action state side then they ever saw in Afghanistan.
    Passion flares and danger ignites, can Emily and Mark discover the supposed traitor before they succeed in taking the First Lady’s life? And if they can make it out of this mission alive, a relationship with her commanding officer if still against the rules, will Emily even be able to return to the unit she thinks of as home after all is said and done?

    The Night is Mine is my first read from a male romantic suspense author and I have to say, I loved it! The story kept me hooked the entire time; the author provided plenty of action to keep my excited, twists that kept me guessing and romance that had my heart pounding.

    The characters of the story were in depth and endearing. The hero and heroine, Emily and Mark, were both kick ass characters that balanced each other perfectly. I enjoyed all of Emily’s dimensions; she was a well developed heroine with a solid history that plays into the current plot. With an F.B.I. director for a father, a socialite mother and a childhood crush for the boy next-door who turns out to be the President of the United States of America and husband to the woman she is assigned to protect, you can imagine how all those little points can come into play in this story of political intrigue. Throw in her amazing chopper flying skills as well as her knowledge of weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, good looks and culinary skills and you have someone who will give even Lara Croft a run for her money!

    And then there’s Mark, the alpha in charge with a surly attitude that surprisingly let’s Emily do her own thing without getting in her way. That’s not to say he’s happy with it all but he supports her no questions asked. But he also has this super sweet side that you get a first glimpse of when Emily is injured. Strong, sexy and swoon worthy, this hero is sure to capture female reader’s hearts. The relationship that unfolds between Emily and Mark was smoothly written and captivating and the love scenes were good but lacked detail. The kind of detail that smutty girls like me crave! I think that would be the only difference that I found from reading a male romance author versus a female one.

    I would have liked to see more from the SOAR unit in the story, and yes, the main plot and eventual villain was unrealistic but nether-the-less entertaining. Like I said, it kept me hooked. And the cover? That adds a star all its own. Haha, just kidding. The Night is Mine was a fun action-packed read and as long as you don’t put too much into the actual realism of it and just enjoy the ride, you’re sure to love the romantic suspense. After all, this is fiction. I’m looking forward to the next installment, I Own the Dawn. (August 2012)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Loved the strong female character. Great dialogue! Can't wait fo

    Loved the strong female character. Great dialogue! Can't wait for the next in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I am thrilled to have found this author. Great plot, great char

    I am thrilled to have found this author. Great plot, great characters, and great writing!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Great action scenes; nice pace

    Loved it. It moved at a good pace and kept my interest the entire time. Great series! Highly recommend if you like military romance with an actual plot to follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    The Night is Mine

    4.5 stars only because I wish the romance scenes were a bit more detailed and I wish I understood half of what was being talked about.
    With that I'm not saying the book was written poorly or was too confusing (it was very well written, a bit choppy tho), I just wish I knew more about the military, politics, and planes/helicopters now. Along with being pretty informative (like I said I have no idea what most of those planes and procedures are), the action scenes were very descriptive. My favorite scene had to be when Emily was sparring with the head of the Secret Service. It was awesome, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!
    Like previous reviewers I was pleasantly surprised that this was written by a male author. I feel like the male characters' POV was better written than what you get from most female authors because you're actually seeing inside a male mind. He also did an awesome job with the female characters. Emily is an absolute badass, yet he was able to capture rare emotions from her that made her human and made her female. I would definutely read more from this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Fantastic

    Very reviting...kept me awake, did not want to put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    really good

    loved the strong characters.

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  • Posted November 28, 2012

    very interesting book. Check it out, you will enjoy it.

    This book was very entertaining and an excellent read. The writer has a great imagination and put through a positive story line. I would buy more of her books. I hope you will check this book out.

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    I enjoyed this series. Loved the characters and thought it was

    I enjoyed this series. Loved the characters and thought it was a great story.

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  • Posted September 18, 2012

    Engrossing story - well-developed plot, wonderful characters and

    Engrossing story - well-developed plot, wonderful characters and great dialogue. While fairly technical, that information doesn't overwhelm the story and makes for interesting reading about the war in Afganistan. Look forward to upcoming books in the Nightstalkers series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Enjoyed the story line of this book. It is the first book in the Nightstalkers series. This story is a little different for most military romance/suspense stories. The main character is a woman. She is the first female to fly and command the Army's newest Special Ops helicopter. Good character development for all characters . A lot of action and a good love story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Hard to follow....

    I found the sequence of events extremely hard to follow...i would walk away from the book and found it hard to return to. I like main characters I only wish the author wrote more clearly......honestly very disappointing.... my worst read this summer.....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    Loved it!

    Based on the descriptions, I thought I'd like the 2nd book in the Night Stalker series better, however this is the one I'd read again. Really fun suspense, action and romance. I loved the characters and the unbelievable plot. My only complaint, the author uses too many words to tell us what the characters are thinking/feeling...makes the dialogue a bit choppy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Slow going

    It doesn't suck, but it reads more like a military instruction manual and it was slow going on action and romance.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    What a great book! I loved the twists and it was suspenseful wit

    What a great book! I loved the twists and it was suspenseful without
    being overly so. The romance was really sweet and it was nice that there
    was not just sex without relationship and build up in the story. I also
    liked that the love scenes were very tasteful and not so explicit. The
    physical part of their relationship is more implied than directly
    spelled out - which is nice, IMO. Great Book and I have already read
    the second. Will keep an eye out for further releases from the author.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    Ok, first off the plot was highly unlikely and the heroine somew

    Ok, first off the plot was highly unlikely and the heroine somewhat unbelievable. And it's a romance written by a guy. So few guys do it well. And yet I have to admit I enjoyed the book, improbable or not, and am looking forward to the next in the series.

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