Series: Mission Recovery #1
Published by Lake Union Publishing on January 2nd 2018
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A former Navy SEAL, Cole Makani Hunter has returned home from a disastrous black ops mission without his best friend, his hearing, or the use of his right arm. So when his ex–commanding officer assigns him to an undercover mission at a rehab center for vets to discover who leaked sensitive military information to an enemy, he’d rather be anywhere but there. Almost immediately, Cole finds himself at odds with Annie Murray—a peace-loving ecotherapist whose dream is to open an animal sanctuary out of her home. While the two seemingly have nothing in common, their spirited arguments soon fuel a passion for each other.
But just as things begin to heat up between therapist and patient, dangerous complications arise. So does the past—and a shocking revelation that puts Cole and everything he now holds dear in the path of a murderous traitor.
Dana Marton’s books tend to stand out for me particularly since they tend to involve unusual and unlikely pairings with protagonists who aren’t the most good-looking or the usual types that conform to the stereotypes of romantic suspense. Throw this unbalanced relationship—whether it’s convincing or not depends on the book and the kind of characters Marton chooses to portray—into a plot that’s generally tight and unpredictable enough to keep you guessing and Marton has become one of the authors I’ve come to realise I want more of.
‘Silent Threat’ is no different in this way: a disabled ex-SEAL who’s undercover seeking a traitor and an ecotherapist who dreams of having her own animal rescue sanctuary facing a stalkerish (and very creepy) threat provide more than enough intrigue for the suspense to be built on. Marton sets up 2 apparently separate threats, though there are hints that they are from one and the same source, in a more elaborate twist of the tale that I didn’t see coming.
Marton’s characters however, so obviously flawed and so far beyond the traditional definitions and appearances of what we think of when the terms ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’ pop up, may not always appeal.
In ‘Silent Threat’ as in a few of other Marton’s books, Cole and Annie take some time to warm up to, though Cole was easier to relate to as a protagonist than Annie’s softer and more fickle tree-hugger ways. Like Cole, I was too sceptical of Annie’s Ecotherapy—the things she stood for and her earth-mother motivational sayings just sounded too flaky and naive to me with her trite and overused phrases like ‘deep cleansing breaths’—but admittedly this is my jaded, cynical self talking along with the other SEALs under her care who rolled their eyes at this form of treatment. It was harder to like her as well, as I thought she simply needed to grow a spine when all she did was push away and run without working things out like the adult she was while she hid behind the excuse of preserving therapist/patient boundaries.
Cole and Annie’s relationship however, isn’t rushed, the build-up is slow-going with some amount of push-pull between them, with an equally slow burn until past the halfway mark, flowing well with the suspense that amps up toward the end.
In short, while ‘Silent Threat’ didn’t quite stun me like Marton’s other books have, which isn’t to say that it isn’t a decent read. It’s a series that I’m going to continue with in any case, if only just to see what Marton has up her sleeve the next time around.