Deadly Descent by Kaylea Cross (Bagram Special Ops #1)
Spetember 5, 2011
Reviewed by Mandi
Recently I read No Turning Back by Kaylea Cross, a very intense, military romance that I really enjoyed. When I head she had a new military romance trilogy coming out with Carina Press, I jumped on the chance to review it. Deadly Descent still has that intense vibe, but with an even more revved up romance.
Devon Crawford is an officer. She pilots Black Hawk helicopters during medical evacuations in the middle east, Bagram to be specific. She had been casually dating Ty, a parajumper who jumps into dangerous areas to rescue injured soldiers. But during an op, he is severely injured, and the fog is so bad, Dev can’t fly out to rescue him and he ends up dying.
Ty’s best friend happens to be fellow parajumper, Cam Munro. Although Dev was dating Ty when she met Cam, there was an instant spark between them. Now that Ty is dead, she feels very guilty for still feeling attracted to Cam. There is also the hurdle that Dev, an officer is higher ranked than the enlisted Cam. A relationship on base is not allowed between them.
The first half of Deadly Descent focuses on the mourning of Ty, and the developing relationship between Cam and Dev. Oh the angst of this relationship. Although Dev had not been dating Ty very long, not even to the point she loved him, she still cared for him and was good friends with him. His death hits Dev (and Cam) hard. Even more, as her feelings become stronger for Cam, the realization of just how dangerous their jobs are hits her hard. She could lose him just as quick as she lost Ty. As she comes to terms with her new found, and intense feelings for Cam, she slowly allows a relationship to form – something Cam is pushing for. But they also must be very careful about public displays of affection, as they could both get in trouble if their superiors know they are together. As I said, the romance in the first half is such a build-up of tension with the forbidden love and the guilt of a dead lover, and the danger of war. And we get scenes like this:
She lifted her face, and took him off guard by kissing him full on the lips. Hard and fast, the gesture so full of hunger it made him ache. Before he had a chance to respond, she drew back. Her fingers clenched in his jacket, and her face buried against his chest. “Cam…” The stark desire in her voice twisted his guts. He could feel her fighting with herself, and didn’t want to push her for anything she wasn’t willing to give without hesitation.
During all of this angst, the character of Dev annoyed me slightly in that every single guy that she came in contact with on base fell for her. She is described as not being classically beautiful, but she has a sexy laugh, she loves football, she beats everyone in pool. She always has a gaggle of boys (do boys form a gaggle? Let’s go with it) surrounding her. Which makes Cam jealous, but it seemed to be overplayed and got on my nerves a bit.
But this leads us to the second half of the book, where I think this book shines. There is a villain-type person in this book named Sadiq. He follows the warlord, Nasrallah who is anti-American, and basically want the Americans out of Afghanistan. His theory is that if his men kill enough soldiers, the US will elect a new president who will win by campaigning to bring our troops home. Sadiq though has a more specific goal – his brother was killed by soldiers and he wants revenge.
Cam gets sent out on a long mission with some SEALs, meanwhile Dev gets a call to pick up some injured marines. But she is heading into hot territory – Nasrallah’s men happen to be close by and they start shooting at her helicopter. I won’t go into details about what happens next, but EEK! Sadiq, Cam and Dev all intertwine into some great action scenes. It is a very intense scene that is written really well. Coming back to my earlier problems with Dev, I love her character in the second half of the book. Her strength, determination and leadership make her more gritty.
We are also introduced to many supporting characters. Most notable Ryan, who is a very loud-mouth sarcastic parajumper and buddies with Cam and Dev. He has the hots for a pilot Candace who wants nothing to do with him and I believe their book is next. Besides the other pilots and jumpers we meet, there are many alpha SEALs on base and on their fateful mission that just add that extra oomph to this book that I really like.
If you are a fan of military or suspense romance I definitely recommend.