Opening Line: "That inner part of a soldier that tells him when he’s being watched was going off big-time in Wes Holden’s head.”
This was actually my first book from author Sharon Sala but I can see now why she’s so popular. It was a very good read, well parts of it were; I mean the beginning is just excellent, grabbing you right away as we watch Army Special Ops soldier Wes Holden struggle with PTSD before losing his wife and son in an on-base suicide bombing and then subsequently giving up his hold on reality. If you have a thing for the tortured heroes (like I do), then it doesn’t get much more heartbreaking than this.
On the other hand right after the gripping opening chapters we jump straight into the heroines head and I suddenly felt like I was reading a different book. Her POV’s (before she meets the hero) read like a historical romance. Ally Monroe lives in an isolated mountain community and spends her days cooking and cleaning for her strict father and two brothers. Attending church on Sundays and trying to get out of marrying any of the potential suitors her Pa brings home in an attempt to marry her off before she’s completely passed her sell by date and despite her club foot. It all just seemed a little far-fetched, and I honestly wondered how these two were going to have any kind of romance.
Speaking of which… just when I’m getting on board with these two fitting together in a slow-going courtshipy kind of way it was like Sala suddenly ran out of page time and thought I better get these two into bed and wrap this up. There was zero chemistry pre getting-it-on and therefore all the ONE love scene did was make me uncomfortable because it was so out of the blue. Poor naïve virgin Ally, her first night in a hotel and she has to spout lines like “are we going to make love now?” Yeah I was surprised too honey, especially with Wes still missing his wife, barely able to function in the world and without any condoms. Anyways, it was pretty horrible.
On the other, (other) hand, the mad scientist, bad guy in this was excellent. Well actually he wasn’t all that interesting but the bioterrorism he engages in scared the shit out of me. Creating a “super weed” that is so toxic and addictive that it makes anything that touches it go mad (animals, insects, stray deer, the men paid to harvest it) trying to get more, more, more before they die an agonizing death. This plot line was clever and interesting and realistically scary.
So yeah, I would definitely give Sharon Sala another shot. MISSING was well written with engaging secondary characters, plenty of suspense, some twists and surprises and a great broken hero.
Oh, one other thing; I agree with another reviewer who questioned the title. Nobody is “missing” in this book unless you count the heroes mind but that’s just misleading, anyways Cheers.