Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Romance in the Midst of War: Deadly Descent by Kaylea Cross

Devon Crawford is an officer; Air Force Pararescueman Cam Munro is enlisted. Dev flies medical evacuations; Cam jumps into danger zones to save lives. Dev wants to return home from Afghanistan with her heart untouched; Cam will do anything to win the woman he loves.

Reaching for happiness in a war zone is the last thing Captain Devon Crawford plans, but she can't ignore the feelings she's hidden for so long. Cam's sexy charm and wicked kisses weaken her resistance, but she's too afraid of losing him to give in.

When Dev's helicopter and crew are shot down and set up as bait by a notorious warlord, Cam risks all to save the team. What he doesn't know is that the trap is set for him....

* * * * *

Just as readers were inundated with stories that grew out of past wartime venues, so we are experiencing a number of fine fictional efforts set in the midst of the Middle East conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan. This story takes readers right into the war action through the experiences of a Black Hawk helicopter pilot whose mission is primarily rescuing wounded soldiers. It is an incredibly dangerous assignment, and yet Capt. Devon Crawford feels that sense of power and the adrenaline rush each time she lifts off the pad. Yet the certainty of war's hurt and possible death is never absent. Add to the danger from attacks by the enemy as she is hovering over the landing zone, weather can often play a role that may mean the difference between life or death to everyone concerned.

Now Devon must wrestle with her own inner demons: her decision to turn back to the base rather than put her craft and crew in mortal danger because of deadly fog has now given her the sense that she was partly responsible for the man she had been dating before she was deployed to Afghanistan. Even though she was preparing to break off the relationship, her sense of deep guilt is keeping her from feeling OK about her almost overwhelming attraction to his friend, Cam. It is the kind of survivor guilt many experience because of the deadly nature of war.

This story is full of colorful characters, all of whom are really special people, skilled and ready to do their duty, but still dealing with that underlying reality that any one of them might not return from the next mission. Cam and Devon are kept apart by the fact that one is an officer and the other enlisted, by their continuing struggle over Ty's death, by being deployed on missions at different times of the day, and eventually, by needing medical care that means that they are separated by thousands of miles. Yet throughout there is that connection with all the characters--the bonds that develop when human beings find themselves in this kind of pressure cooker circumstance.

I had not previously read any of this author's work but I am looking forward to this continuing series as well as looking up other works available. The story is well-written, the plot and storyline are interesting from start to finish, and the insertion of passages which bring the reader into the thoughts of the enemy keep the tension at a consistent level. This book is definitely a "keeper" and one that is well-worth reading. Even though all war stories bring in the crisis of battle, this book seemed to have a fresh feel about it. I felt that I had been privileged to share the characters' experiences in a way that has not always been the case. I hope you will find time to enjoy this book. It is really good! I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

This novel was released in September, 2011, by Carina Press.

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