Series: Delta Force

Heart Strike by M.L. Buchman

Heart Strike by M.L. BuchmanHeart Strike by M.L. Buchman
Series: Delta Force #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on August 2nd 2016
Pages: 384
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Richie Goldman is the team geek of Delta Force, a warrior and a technical wizard-but nothing is more mysterious to him than women. When a feisty new recruit joins the team just in time for a dangerous mission in the Colombian jungle, he'll have to make it out alive if he ever wants to figure her out.
Melissa Moore is going to be the best woman in Delta Force. Ready to do battle, her biggest challenge is avoiding Richie's sweet and sexy distractions. She was prepared for combat, but falling in love is an entirely different battlefield…

The hesitation I have from reading any book of M.L. Buchman stems from several deep-seated reservations I can’t exactly get over: the sheer amount of minutiae with which Buchman tends to overwhelm a reader (even though that has definitely garnered praise because he knows his stuff) and the odd quirks of his super-human characters who never quite do what you expect them to do and say (again, not a bad thing) thereby giving them a particularly affected air which is difficult to relate to at times. Even if the action is unrelenting and the pacing superb, Buchman’s writing sometimes feel as though I’m reading a Marvel movie on paper, as his personal avengers accomplish feats, make posturing their second nature and talk a particular brand of trash so far removed from the reality I live in.

Then again, I do feel torn. The romantic entanglements and conflicts are given a different sheen every time Buchman writes them and while it’s tempting to simply say that the masculine voice lends something else to the genre, I really do appreciate there aren’t too many TSTL moments or predictable breaks that induce eye-rolling. If anything, his leads come in with guns blazing – sometimes literally -, fall hard and pretty much go down that road the moment their connection is established.

‘Heart Strike’ doesn’t stray too far from what I think is typical of Buchman as I’ve outlined above. I can’t really resist geeks – even if the geek speak and the movie references got a little too much here – and that’s pretty much the only reason I’ve delved into this story that just doesn’t stop from the word ‘go’. Richie and Melissa are a fairly well-matched pair and likeable too, and the story puts the spotlight on the newest woman recruit and the tension she creates in an already well-oiled team. I never knew what Buchman has in store for this pairing: from their traipse through the South American jungle, to their numerous plane flights and back down to the exchanges on the ground and finally, to an explosive (again, literally) climax.

But there’s something I can’t put my finger on, something that simply doesn’t make the book unforgettable enough to warrant a thorough dissection of every scene and every gesture, or even a re-read. I did end up skimming when the technicalities got too overwhelming and the action too crazy, after all.

And when it all ended, floating in the sea of cocaine-filled debris, that declaration of love after a week or so within meeting each other? I got up, as the cinema lights turned back on, and went on my merry way.