Series: Base Branch, #1
Published by Megan Mitcham on September 27th 2014
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When friends become enemies and enemies become lovers.
Born in the blood of Sierra Leone's Civil War, enslaved, then sold to the US as an orphan, Base Branch operative, Sloan Harris is emotionally dead and driven by vengeance. With no soul to give, her body becomes the bargaining chip to infiltrate a warlord's inner circle, the man called The Devil who killed her family and helped destroy a region.
As son of the warlord, Baine Kendrick will happily use Sloan's body, if it expedites his father's demise. Yet, he is wholly unprepared for the possessive and protective emotions she provokes. Maybe it’s the flashes of memory. Two forgotten children drawing in the dirt beneath the boabab tree. But he fears there is more at stake than his life.
In the Devil's den with Baine by her side, Sloan braves certain death and discovers a spirit for living.
A rather enjoyable read, with an immensely capable heroine and a hunky hero traipsing around to bring down a warlord – with a load of obstacles in the way, their shared childhood not withstanding. Sloan and Baine have an undeniable chemistry and I definitely liked them together as well as the setup of the intrigue that unfolds over the course of the book, whetting my appetite for the rest of the supporting characters’ own stories.
I do have some gripes though. (Maybe this could actually be a consequence of self-publication?)
Characterisation: For a hardass, Baine seems rather ‘soft’ and actually seemed on the brink of tears from time to time – which made me nervous because I really so wanted to read about a hero who has the X-factor (as well as the classic British-isms that make Brit heroes so iconic).
Fact check: And did Sloan go to Princeton or to Yale?
Writing and style: Proof-reading not withstanding, Megan Mitcham’s unusual and sometimes awkward use of phrases (with the abundant usage of the middle voice), while poetic on occasion, would have been better without the prolific use of analogies/metaphors as they do interfere with the flow of the action and suspense. Characters’ speech patterns are odd, delving into archaic constructions better suited to historical novels – instead of feeling moved as Sloan and Baine declare their devotion to each other in an almost-medieval way, I was actually blinking in bewilderment at the bizarre way they talked. Continuity also seems to be an issue; the transitions between paragraphs/chapters/POVs are sometimes abrupt, and I’m often left wondering what actually took place between the last sentence and the next.
That being said, I’m not ready to give up on this author just yet. There are more books to come and as other reviewers have mentioned, they do seem to get better.