Lieutenant John Sullivan of the U.S. Navy SEALs is a bit of a control freak, especially when it comes to love. He needs to be in control to feel like he has everything secure and in order. When a recent mission doesn’t go as planned he takes refuge in his cabin in the Adirondack wilderness for some decompression and relaxation. What he does not foresee is running into Dr. Maggie O’Brien a city girl, also seeking respite from her stressful job. A broken down car and an incoming storm mean that the two are forced together, where maybe they realise that isolation isn’t the best form of R&R.
First I want to get a few niggling things out the way before I get to the good stuff. Remember this is according to my own personal tastes!
I found that Maggie made a lot of assumptions, especially after sex. For example when she thinks John is married, she shuts him out. I found that this led to their behaviour being hot and cold. They have sex, she shuts him out, they have sex, she accuses him of being married and once again shuts him out, they have sex, and she leaves – shutting him out. This, for me, didn’t quite work because it was a little repetitive and became predictable. Also in the conversations after sex, when she’s emotionally shutting him out and building walls around herself, she seems to do a lot of spitting. No, not actual spitting, but when she talks to him she often ‘spat’ her words at him.
This feeds into my other niggle about repetition. Quite a few phrases and words were repeated and I know this was in all likelihood done to show how Maggie and John have a similar mind-set, but it just grated on me a little. The two best examples of this that spring to mind are the chicken and bacon sandwich, both use almost exactly the same phrase to say how Aunt Bridget sure makes a mean sandwich, only pages apart. The other example is towards the end where John says he doesn’t like where the situation is heading, only Snake (his team mate) said exactly the same thing not two pages earlier. Like I always say, my reviews are subjective and it’s a well-known fact now that repetition is like a red flag to my bull. So please don’t assume that this means that the book wasn’t well written or that it didn’t flow smoothly, because it did. It was fast past and kept me interested throughout.
Roisin is a talented writer who sucks you into the lives of her characters. I may moan about the repetition but at the end of the book I had a tear in my eye at the HEA (happily ever after). Only a good writer can do that for me. I loved how stubborn Maggie was, always thinking she can do everything herself and in some cases ending up in some sticky situations. I did kind of want to see Maggie grow in her relationship with her mother, because that’s where I felt Roisin was heading so I was a little disappointed when it didn’t. I’m hoping that Roisin writes a book for either Snake or Joker and maybe has Maggie and her mother in the background briefly just so I know if they’ve reconnected or are still distant.
I also loved how Roisin made John’s team come together. They all had these little nuances and distinctive personalities, which made me what to find out more about them. The devil, with Roisin Black, is definitely in the detail. Not only did she make her characters grounded and likable, but the food and wine descriptions had me salivating at work, craving a nice glass of whatever John was offering.
Overall I’d recommend this is you’re after a HEA, with a fast paced, interesting storyline (if a little predictable at times), a stubborn female lead and a sexy dominant male. I really enjoyed this debut full length novel from Roisin and know that whatever she has planned next will be even better.