The Book Worm: Review: Hot Zone

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Hot Zone

catherine mann, hot zone, book review

The haunted eyes of pararescueman Hugh Franco should have been her first clue that deep pain roiled beneath the surface. But if Amelia couldn't see the damage, how could she be expected to know he'd break her heart?
Amelia Bailey's not the kind of girl who usually needs rescuing...but there are anything but usual circumstances.
Genre: military romance, romantic suspense

Publishing date: December 2011

Offensive content: the destruction in the aftermath of an earthquake, dead bodies, human trafficking and a few sex scenes. If you're easily impressed or offended by this, proceed with caution.

Hot Zone is book 2 in Catherine Mann's Elite Force Series: Last week I reviewed book 1, Cover Me (missed it? Find the review here) and while Hot Zone is still an amazingly action packed romance novel, it pales a bit in comparison with the previous one. That's why I'm rating it with four stars instead of five. 

The beginning of the book is an mesmerizing description of the rescue of an earthquake victim (Amelia, in this case) literally buried under the remains of a fallen building. Totally not the standard beginning of a romance novel, and it made me really admire the courage and determination of the rescue teams (Hugh Franco and the rest of his unit) working day and night to, against all odds, save as many lives as possible. 

The descriptions of the destruction caused by the earthquake are so detailed and believable, they are not for the weak of heart and made me wonder if they were based on the author's own experience. 

My complaints? Just two. 

First, I think the connection between Hugh and Amelia, which was very strong in the beginning, somehow paled as the story progressed. In the end, they were going through the predictable motions expected in a romance novel but I couldn't really feel a deep connection between them any more.

And second, there were a lot of side stories: Aiden (Amelia's brother), and his wife Lisabeth, then Major McCabe and Rachel (which somehow were left in a sort of limbo) and Jocelyn and her child smuggling operation. Some of these stories were so detailed that the book was harder to follow overall. Interesting, but a bit more confusing than book 1. 

Still, it's a great romance novel and can be perfectly read as a stand alone book. This time I decided to read a series in order (I'm already looking at book 3, Under Fire, though I haven't downloaded it yet), but with these books it is clearly not necessary.

Despite the complimentary happily ever after, this is not a light and fluffy romance. So, while I still recommend it, you should be aware of all offensive content before reading it.

Happy readings,

the book worm, book blog

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