It’s a good thing Gabe Bristow lives and breathes the Navy SEAL credo, “the only easy day was yesterday,” because today, his life is unrecognizable. When his prestigious career comes to a crashing halt, he’s left with a bum leg and few prospects for employment that don’t include a desk.
That is, until he’s offered the chance to command a private hostage rescue team and free a wealthy American businessman from Colombian paramilitary rebels. It seems like a good deal—until he meets his new team: a drunk Cajun linguist, a boy-genius CIA threat analyst, an FBI negotiator with mob ties, a cowboy medic, and an EOD expert as volatile as the bombs he defuses. Oh, and who could forget the sexy, frustratingly impulsive Audrey Van Amee? She’s determined to help rescue her brother—or drive Gabe crazy. Whichever comes first.
As the death toll rises, Gabe’s team of delinquents must figure out how to work together long enough to save the day. Or, at least, not get themselves killed.Because Gabe’s finally found something worth living for, and God help him if he can’t bring her brother back alive.
A lot of things attract me to read a book. Sometimes it’s the cover and sometimes it just the author and his/her reputation or even just the book blurb or a combination of all or some of those. With SEAL of Honor, Book #1 in the HORNET series by Tonya Burrows, it was the blurb first and then the cover. The blurb was very intriguing and made it sound as if this book might actually be a lot of fun with some extremely different and unique characters.
For a first time author this book is tightly written, fast paced with lots of high octane action. The characters are well developed and it is interesting and has its own unique voice. It kept me enthralled from beginning to end!
Gabe Bristow and fellow SEAL Travis Quinn were in a suspicious accident that caused both to end up with rather serious injuries and also resulted in the end of their active careers. Now at a loose end, Gabe is wary of taking an offer of going private, but he loathes the idea of taking a job in Washington with his father the admiral. When push comes to shove though, he jumps on board with Quinn and together with the help of Tucker Quentin a business man who will provide their funding and resources, they form HORNET—HumInt Inc.’s Hostage Rescue and Negotiation Team. The HORNET team consists of Gabe and Quinn, former FBI agent, Marcus Deangelo, linguist, Jean-Luc Cavalier, former CIA analyst Eric “Harvard” Physick, Ian Reinhardt, the explosive ordnance expert and Jesse Warrick the medic of the team.
Generally when you read books about teams of men like these they are all experienced, they have fought together and they are a tight cohesive unit. Nothing could be farther from the truth in this case, because their first job is also the first time any of them work with each other. Add to this the fact that out of all of them only Gabe and Travis have really been trained in the complete sense of the word. The rest have their skill sets, but they are nothing compared to the training Gabe and Travis have undergone, or the experience they have had on similar missions. All of these men also have some issues, whether it is women, drink, illness or injury, or some personal demons that causes them to be the way they are.
This story is so unique in this respect and it is great reading about this different group of men and how they work to come together as a cohesive unit that works well and in which they also respect each other.
The HORNETs have been tasked with rescuing an American business man from kidnappers. To complicate things is said businessman’s sister, Audrey Van Amee. She is determined to be part of the rescue and she won’t take no for an answer. Thankfully she speaks fluent Spanish which is a skill that a few of the HORNETs have yet to master, and she has a knack of driving Gabe crazy. Whether that is a good or bad thing is yet to be determined!
To the case of the kidnapped businessman add some gang members, the People’s Army of Colombia, or EPC, a disgraced former SAS soldier and a seemingly untouchable businessman/drug lord that Gabe and Quinn were training to take out and you have a mystery as well as a dangerous situation. Who has kidnapped Audrey’s brother Bryson and why?
Off to talk to the limo driver, Gabe and Audrey manage to get themselves kidnapped and so begins their journey through the jungle and their own personal journey getting to know each other and getting so much closer than they should. The sexual tension and attraction between these two is like a slow burning fuse. When it does go off, expect fireworks and bullets.
Can this rag tag team minus its leader work out where Bryson is being held? Can they function as a team or will their differences tear them apart, leaving them unable to do their job? What about Gabe and Audrey? Can they get themselves out of the clutches of their kidnappers? What about their burgeoning relationship? Can it survive?
Audrey is a great female lead. She is an artist and she loves her brother, but she also feels he doesn’t understand her or what she does. She is rather a free spirit but he is her only family and she will do what it takes, even kill to rescue him. She doesn’t let any of the guys phase her, especially Gabe. She is able to deal with all of them and she has so much more strength and determination than you could possibly imagine an artist having that she even surprises Gabe. She also lives for the moment but she is clued in enough to see through the gruff and prickly exterior of Gabe’s to the man underneath.
I loved reading about all of the characters even the secondary characters were interesting and well fleshed out. For each HORNET member it was a journey of discovery. For Gabe it was learning he actually could function outside of the military and he didn’t need to be a SEAL to define the man he was and Audrey brings colour into his life. For Quinn, well I sure hope his story will come, but at the moment suffice it to say that getting through one day at a time and being able to step in when Gabe was out of action and lead the team was an important accomplishment. Each of these guys has his own issues, some worse than others, but they grow together in the process of completing this mission and they learn to work with each other and recognize their individual quirks and idiosyncrasies.
I am really glad this is the start of a new series, because I really want to learn more about the rest of the HORNETs and also about the sniper who is going to come on board. Fantastic story and well done, Ms. Burrows! Grab yourself a copy, you definitely won’t regret it!
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