Uncharted by Anna Hackett

Uncharted by Anna HackettUncharted by Anna Hackett
Series: Treasure Hunter Security #2
Published by Anna Hackett on June 5th 2016
Pages: 148
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Former Navy SEAL Callum Ward has one motto—live life to the fullest. He saw the worst of war and lost good friends, but now he works for Treasure Hunter Security. When he’s not providing security for archeological digs and invaluable museum exhibits, or off on daring treasure hunts, he’s rock climbing, racing, or skiing. Nothing—and no one—has ever tempted him to slow down…until on an expedition into the Cambodian jungle, he has to work with one opinionated, prickly photographer, Dani Navarro. But soon their straight-forward trek to find a lost temple turns deadly, and Cal and Dani find themselves under attack from a dangerous black-market antiquities ring prepared to kill.

Dani Navarro lives for her photography. For years, it’s been her escape from her family and their frivolous lifestyle, affairs, and dramas. With her camera in hand, she travels the world, capturing other people’s moments and avoiding messy entanglements. At first, she thinks Cal Ward is no different from all the other men she’s known, but as their expedition turns into a hazardous dash through uncharted jungle, she uncovers a tough, intelligent, and sexy protector. Together, they must outwit their pursuers and find not only a lost temple…but a priceless, powerful artifact.

The biggest issue that I have with Anna Hackett’s series is that her sprawling vision can never be contained by the sheer brevity of her books.

I felt that this discrepancy is never more evident in this particular book, where the grand sense of adventure and her characters (who really have so much depth more to plumb) are curtailed by the ‘wham, bam, found the treasure and they lived happily together at the end of the rainbow’ ending that smacked me in the face. I could never shake that sense of being hurried through the whole mission or archaeology project as I’m whisked from one place to another (with several steamy scenes in between) while dodging bullets along with the rest of the characters before I’m plopped, dazed and unwittingly into a middle of a Hallmark ending with my bruises still unaccounted for.

For this same reason, the speed at which the main characters went from dislike to bed to declaring their love for each other was unbelievable and difficult to stomach. Could an ex-SEAL suddenly come to the realisation that he was in fact running away from everything that tied him down after a few hot sessions in the jungle with a photographer with emotional issues, who, by the same token, suddenly realised that this commitment-phobic man was the guy for her?

I thought ‘Uncharted’ a disappointment in terms of its unfulfilled potential, only because it could have been so, so much more.