GLow World, $9.99, ISBN 978-0-9914742-2-6
Romantic Suspense, 2014
I have to hand it to Gennita Low. While many authors would play it safe and give their action heroes increasingly clichéd names like Max and Maddox, she gives the hero an admittedly clichéd name – Lucas Branson – but then turns the whole thing around by giving the Navy SEAL dude the nickname of Cucumber. Okay, some folks call him Cumber, which doesn’t have a flattering connotation as well. And the author opens the story by forcing Lucas and his friends forced to share a room that is entirely in pink. The whole set-up is just gorgeous, and it says a lot about the author being so secure of her men’s heterosexuality that she has no qualms about setting them up in scenes like that one, heh.
Warrior is Lucas’s story, and while this story is part of the Crossfire series, it can stand alone pretty well. I can’t remember much about the other books in this series, but I get this one just fine. The story has a very simple plot, and the secondary characters do their thing without overwhelming the main characters or stealing the spotlight from them. All in all, it’s a pretty good place to dip one’s toes in if one is new to the author or the series.
Anyway, Lucas and Kit-Ling Harrison know each other from way back because he is her best friend’s brother. The whole thing in the pink room end up in some playful drama that makes them aware of just how much they are attracted to one another, but dating may have to wait. She and her news team are soon off to Afghanistan to cover the plight of the women in the war-torn country. Lucas and his buddies are there too to do their thing along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and their paths soon cross. And there is nowhere better for love and lust to thrive than in a field full of flying bullets.
This is a simple story, and the characterization is on the light touch. Lucas is a capable hero, Kit is also capable and determined, and they like each other. This story is all about the action and heroic bravado, and both the excitement and the romance serve to complement one another. As a result, it feels natural that Lucas and Kit belong together. They do their thing very well together, navigating through dangers and what not, and these two seem to fit together very well in every way. Therefore, while the romance isn’t deep, it feels very right and natural.
I initially had some reservations about the whole heroes coming in to save third world women premise. Sure, I’d be the first to admit that things are very screwed up in that region, but there is always a danger of the author getting carried away and turning the whole story into some kind of propaganda about Western superiority over everything else. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen here. No overt judgment, no “Team America” chest-thumping, just our heroes and heroines doing their thing because it’s the right thing to do.
I also find myself intrigued by the secondary characters Shahrukh and Zerya. The author seems to be setting them up, especially Shahrukh, for something bigger down the road, and I find myself looking forward to the party when that happens.
At any rate, Warrior is all about the romance and action adventure. Romance is part of the whole adrenaline-ramped fast-paced package, and there is a heady mix of lust, danger, and excitement that works very well as prime time entertainment. Very nice, I like it.