Genre: adventure / romantic suspense
Sex scenes: short of hot
Troubleshooters: (1) The Unsung Hero, (2) The Defiant Hero, (3) Over the Edge, (4) Out of Control, (5) Into the Night, (6) Gone Too Far .... (15) Hot Pursuit
Ken ‘Wildcard’ Karmody might be Navy SEAL Team Sixteen’s new Petty Officer and resident computer geek, but there’s a reason his nickname is ‘Wildcard’. He’s a quick thinker, adaptable and resourceful, but also prone to think outside the box, hence the unpredictability of his wildcard status. He might be brilliant, but that’s not always an advantage – especially when his big mouth gets the better of his brain.
Savannah von Hopf is on a mission. Her flat tyre outside Kenny’s house was unplanned, as was his impromptu invitation to dinner at his house, but she had always planned on persuading him to go to Indonesia with her. Only, when she does get around to asking, Kenny’s already been deceived by omission and he’s not happy ... it might not have been the smartest move he ever made, but he finds himself on a plane with Savannah to Jakarta in order to save her uncle Alex with the ransom money she brought along – a cool $250,000.
After the ransom drop goes horribly wrong, Kenny and Savannah are stuck in the thick Indonesian jungle with nothing but the clothes on their backs, the contents of Savannah’s handbag – and the case of money. If that wasn’t bad enough, the bad guys are on their tail and really want their hands on that cash. If they’re both to survive, they’re going to need to find a way to get over their dislike of one another …
In other news, Alyssa Locke is part of the FBI team tasked with locating Alex, Savannah and Kenny. To do her job, she’s going to have to work closely with Kenny’s fellow SEAL Lieutenant Sam Starrett – the man she still lusts after, who is unfortunately married with a kid. She needs to get over Sam and her boss Max has the solution: make everyone believe she’s sleeping with him. However much Alyssa hates it, it works – but it breaks her heart in the process.
Savannah’s grandmother is none other than the great Ingerose Rainer von Hopf – a double agent during the Second World War, feeding Nazi Germany false information courtesy of the FBI. She has written a book detailing her adventures and it is this book and Rose’s story of her turbulent romance with Prince Heinrich von Hopf of Austria that brings together Savannah and Kenny, and missionary worker Molly and smuggler Jones, in a small town in Indonesia, who later become instrumental to everyone’s survival …
I’m pingponging back-and-forth between Troubleshooter books that sometimes I do have to stop and think about which books I have to forget because the events haven’t happened yet! I do like a challenge!
The first time I met Wildcard, it was in Over the Edge and he had just picked a fight with a bar-full of navy officers or something. His ex-girlfriend Adele had just filed a restraining order against him, despite their ten-year relationship, and to say that Wildcard was taking this badly would be the understatement of the year. When it comes to Adele, Wildcard has a lot of hang-ups. Anyway, Adele is the reason that Savannah knows about Kenny and he is livid when he finds out; from one manipulative bitch to the next. Needless to say, he’s very grateful for that association by the end.
Savannah’s a lawyer, but other than the fact being repeated several times, it never really shined through. She was always cool, calm and collected, but that’s not singular to the law profession. Wildcard talked about his work and certainly proved that he’s good at what he does, but did Savannah? Not really. Evidence of this would have endeared me to her a lot more, not least because I’m a law student myself.
I’m not completely convinced by Molly and Jones’ story; it was lovely, but it seems like they were plonked in the book solely to help/save Wildcard and Savannah, while having a romance of their own. I have a feeling that Jones (not his real name; his real name is hot) was a Navy SEAL before he was captured and tortured by extremists and I hope he and Molly have their own book at some point so I can witness more of the cuteness.
Seeing the Alyssa-Sam relationship almost entirely (if not completely) from Alyssa’s point of view was new to me. Previously, it had always been about Sam’s hang-ups but now we can see that Alyssa isn’t unaffected as I always thought she was, but that she lusts for and longs for Sam as much as he does her. Learning that she doesn’t have a heart of stone has definitely warmed me towards her cause and even though I’ve already read and reviewed her eventual get-together with Sam in Gone Too Far, I’m finally convinced that she deserves him.
Rose and Hank’s (short for Heinrich) story is currently my second favourite WWII story so far, out of the four that I’ve read. It has been edged out of first place by that of Eve and Ralph of The Defiant Hero, review coming soon. We read the tale of how an eighteen year old Rose is on a scholarship-type trip to her homeland, Germany, where she is approached by Nazis to spy for them. She agrees when coerced and makes her mind up to approach the FBI as soon as she returns to America. It is in Germany that she meets – and falls in love with – Prince Heinrich von Hopf of Austria, or Hank. Luckily, he feels the same way but Rose knows that she’s unlikely to ever see him again. Their beautiful story is a joy to read.
I think I’d like to see more of Savannah in other books so that I can like her more, too. I already love Wildcard and I’d love to see an Adele-reaction when she learns that Wildcard has gotten over her and never really loved her at all. Out of Control features pretty highly in AAR’s Top 100 Romances (#41 in 2004 and #60 in 2007) though to be honest, I’m not sure I feel the same way. It was a great book and I’m glad I read it, though as I am usually finding to be the case with the Troubleshooter books, I’m more enamoured with the secondary romances and stories that are going on. Nevertheless, it’s a great addition to the series and adds a lot to other on-going romances (namely, Alyssa and Sam’s) so it’s a must read if you want the full picture!
Image courtesy of Book Depository