“He couldn’t be in love and be a sniper” ...and I'm done

Time to Run - Marliss Melton

Opening Line: "Sara was diligently putting away the frozen groceries first, the way her husband expected.”


This is book #3 from the SEAL Team 12 series but I’m pretty sure you could read it as a standalone without any problems. This one centres on team sniper Chase “Westy” McCaffery and on the run military spouse Sara Garrett.

Our hero is on leave for the majority of the story here, so the military aspect which I usually enjoy takes a bit of back seat. Chase is on his way to a family ranch in Oklahoma that he’s just inherited when Sara (a woman he’s aided in the past) approaches and asks for his help in escaping her controlling husband (a ride).

At first Chase refuses, not wanting to get mixed up with a JAG lawyer and his wife’s domestic issues but because he suffered abuse in his own past he also spots the signs of terror in her and the next day Sara and her young son are in his car and on their way to Texas.

We get a bit of a road trip story then, Sara gets a makeover, her son bonds with Chase and they decide to go and hide out at his ranch for a few days while she gets her bearings again, free from the clutches of her abusive husband. - Who is of course now bashing down doors in his frantic search for her. And then the skinheads show up.

So, I struggled through this story, it’s not that it’s terrible but I’ve come to the conclusion that Marliss Melton is just not for me. I find her writing really frustrating and I spend a lot of time rolling my eyes at crazy situations and old fashioned dialogue.

I think the reason I get so frustrated is because parts of her books are super good, her story ideas are intriguing, the set ups for the romance, the tortured heroes but her follow through drives me crazy. This book was gripping initially but as soon as we arrived at the ranch it got bogged down by silly sub plots involving Neo-Nazis, abductions and plans to bomb a golf course on Columbus Day. The murder of Jesse the dog had me seriously debating finishing. Even the bad guy husband who started out with promise lost all credibility by the end and just became a stereotype.

I also have issues with the dubious and old fashioned language she throws in “Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.” “Heavens, who was in charge of this abduction?" (I’ve only ever heard my grandmother use expressions like these. And again “Heavens must you fire your gun at 7 in the morning, I thought the skin heads were back.” Really!?

Time To Run also included one of the weirdest sex scenes I’ve ever read wherein Chase and Sara finally give in to temptation, are half way through makin love and then stop to have a full on conversation. He threatens to “rip her husband’s head off” she tells him she thinks she loves him, he contemplates leaving, then because “he’s in his mother’s bed “ has a flashbacky type childhood memory and starts crying uncontrollably… Not sexy!

So yeah, I’m done with this series.