Series: Evidence: Under Fire, #1, #1
Published by Janus Publishing on 7th October 2022
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As a storm rolls in, a team of elite Navy SEALs arrives at a remote lodge for a wilderness training exercise that becomes terrifyingly real...
Xavier Rivera planned the exercise down to the smallest detail, but he didn't plan the arrival of archaeologist Audrey Kendrick—a woman he shared a passionate night with before betraying her in the worst way.
As the storm is unleashed on the historic lodge it becomes clear the training has been compromised. Trapped by weather, isolated by the remote wilderness, and silenced as communication with the world has been severed, unarmed SEALs face an unexpected and deadly foe.
Audrey and Xavier must set aside their distrust and desire and work together to save a team under fire and survive in a battle against the wild.
Xavier Rivera’s and Audrey Kendrick’s story in the prequel is the base from which ‘Into the Storm’ launches, and somehow this book isn’t too complete without that short, steamy read.
Nonetheless, ‘Into the Storm’ is a solid offering that revolves around a military training exercise gone awry, for reasons that aren’t really made clear until the end. The atmosphere is tense and taut, made more so with the characters running around like pieces on the chessboard, wondering like the reader, just how a controlled event has just snapped off all its hinges and steamrolls into a situation where stakes are higher than they’ve ever been.
Anchoring the action are Xavier and Audrey, whose recent history together is one of betrayal and distrust–and one that they have to overcome together in the crossfire they’re inadvertently caught in. But both are capable protagonists and experts in their own fields; I liked Rachel Grant’s mature focus on how they could put aside the friction between them (though I did think Audrey was a little soft when considering what Xavier had done to her) and work together to survive the crisis. Even as Grant drives the action forward, taking the time to create some nuanced characterisation of the supporting cast to set up future books definitely helped lift ‘Into the Storm’ to new heights.
‘Into the Storm’ is a book that takes time, as compelling as it is and I found that I needed quite a fair bit of time to digest all of the details of this tightly woven story. There were places I found myself lost (like an unintended meta perhaps) and that the ending–when revealed–felt somewhat climatic. Still, it’s one of Grant’s best works I’ve read in a while…and fingers crossed, this series will just only climb higher.