Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-244128-7
Romantic Suspense, 2016
Reid Armstrong, a member of the top-secret military security agency that everyone seems to know about called the Alliance, is on vacation when he discovers that his ex-fiancée Cara Layne is missing. You see, just like every romantic alpha male, he and Cara’s brother constantly check to make sure that Cara has checked in when she is away from them, so when she failed to check in the last time – ding, ding, ding, he must go save her! The world is so cruel to beautiful American women, I tell you. Aren’t we fortunate that American men are all well-muscled MacGyvers out to smash foreign scums and make the world a better place?
That’s basically Under the Wire. I actually checked, ten pages into the story, to see whether I’d somehow read this book before, because the premise, the tone, and every-freaking-thing else about this story feels so overwhelmingly familiar. Well, it turns out that I haven’t read this book before, but I sure have read this story before, if you know what I mean. There is nothing new or interesting here, unless you are a reader who is devoted to the cause of helping the author make her bread, I’d imagine.
Cara is in trouble for the second time in just over a year, as a secondary character points out, and she gets angry when this is said to her. Alas, she doesn’t seem to take any precautions to protect herself, not even a gun. Not that the author is one of those anti-gun people, mind you, as her heroes certainly aren’t gun shy. Or maybe it’s just men who are allowed to play with guns? Reid is, naturally, powered to the max, the fiends and scums who dare to terrorize American women are of no match to him, so there isn’t much excitement or suspense to be had here. Oh, and despite the fact that she’s on the run for her life and he’s supposed to be focusing on protecting here, the two of them spend a lot of time whining and moping about why they aren’t bumping uglies anymore.
Then again, Reid is here. Cara actually says that she feels “the change” (no, not menopause, don’t be silly) in her when he’s with her, because she is now safe. That probably explains her lack of survival instincts – she knows that Reid will always come to save her because he and the other men in her life all stalk her and make sure that she doesn’t forget to breathe when she’s too excited. I won’t be surprised if they will one day install some kind of Bat Signal-like device on her cleavage that will send a big sign to the sky every time she is in danger. Well, she’d have to be in danger very often, as this is one romance that works because he needs to rescue her. If there is no more rescuing needed, the two of them would likely revert to their old mope-and-walk-out pattern.
Anyway, I’m sure you can tell by the tone of this review that the book bores me out of my mind. It’s like everything that has been done before by other action-packed romantic stories in the past, and here, the tropes are used in ways that often don’t make sense. The characters seem more concerned about whether the other person can love them back instead of focusing of getting out of their predicament alive, and I end up wondering whether I’m supposed to take these jokers seriously.
As I’ve said, buy this one if you think the author could really use the money. Under the Wire is like a book created from some random trope generator device; if you read this book, well, try to have a good time, and if you don’t, oh well, it’s not like you will be missing out of anything major anyway.