Opening Line: “God help him if he didn’t make it to the airport by seven.”
Well hello lick-worthy cover! Romantic suspense lovers (and fans of Cindy Gerard) may want to check out Tonya Burrows' new HORNET series. Featuring a rag-tag band of (yummy) former military men who once they get the kinks worked out might actually be able to do the job. Unruly, unorganised, unprepared and underequipped, these misfits make up the newly formed hostage rescue and negation team of "Hornet". They’re all experts in their assorted military fields’ but they’re also just a little off, hence being available on a moment’s notice.
Within hours of being put together the guys find themselves on a plane bound for Bogotá Columbia. Led by our hero de jour Gabriel Bristow; a former Navy SEAL on involuntary early retirement after a foot injury sidelined him. Rather than park his ass behind a desk in Washington Gabe takes his best friend Quinn up on his offer to command a privately funded merc-for-hire group which keeps him in the adrenaline charged soldier game he loves. A minute to consider his new life would have been nice but, they already have their first mission; finding and extracting a wealthy businessman from Columbian rebels. This thrown together unit is of course nowhere near ready to go, never mind working together, they’re a mess and that’s what makes them awesome.
This is an action filled read that gets going almost immediately, introducing flighty artist Audrey Van Amee as the sister of the hostage whose invaluable Spanish skills see her becoming a somewhat distracting member of the team. We spend a bit of time getting the introductions out of the way of course (as this is a first book in the series) so there’s some info dumping. But I have to say Burrows did a great job of giving us just enough page time on each of the team members (and their troubled pasts) that I’m intrigued enough to anticipate the next book.
Burrows uses a fair bit of military jargon here, which I loved as it put me more into the story and I also appreciated the often hilarious f-bomb filled banter between the guys. Gabe and Quinn in particular have a very sweet bromance going. Where I had a problem was the melodramatic internal dialogue (mostly spouted on Gabe’s part) which seemed out of sync with the whole tone.
“Her pleading all but shattered his heart. He couldn’t deny her, even though every instinct screamed to get far, far away.”
The ending wraps things up very nicely, leaving us anticipating the next Hornet to have his story told and as Gabe seemed the least screwed up it seems sure we’ll get a tortured hero.