I spotted COLLATERAL DAMAGE a few weeks ago but only got the chance to read it a few days ago - to sum up this book in a few words - If this book is a preview of what 2011 is going to be like in terms of Romance suspense, it is going to be a damn good year.
I am not rightly sure what drew me to this book, Saint is a new author to me and to be honest the blurb read like any other Rom Suspense blurb on the market, I think it was probably the cover, there is just something about it that implies solidity and even a little bit of protect and serve. I am generally a sucker for books with that troupe.
The big story of the book is all about Sergent First Class Jack Hunter trying to find missing memories and in some way he is trying to take care of his men that he feels like he has let down even though he had no reason to think so.
The thing is, Jack is just back from war and not under the circumstances that he would have like, but he is here now and he has to find that missing piece of memories that seems to be just there but he is never able to hold on long enough to grasp it. One thing he does remember is killing a man that should not have been where he was.
Jack's a simply guy for the most part and normally just do what he has to do and for now that's following the little bit of info that he has and this info leads to Lauren Collins and her twin boys.
When Jack turns up at Lauren's door he gets more that he bargained for - because Lauren also has her own set of drama and none of it looking good and if there is one thing Jack is certain off, no one is going to dies or get hurt again on his watch.
Lauren is pass the point of being pissed, she's passed scared and she's pass being bloody angry at whoever has being trying to make her life a nightmare this past 24hours. With a stranger now on her door step it just feels like the final straw and she was in no mood for games - but when she finds out that she just might be the key to opening alot more than Jack memories the game is definitely on because someone wants it all and Lauren and her children are the the only thing standing in their way and as it stands Jack is about her only defence.
COLLATERAL DAMAGE is a book that really hits all my reading highs.
What worked for me
Characters - Jack was definitely alpha male material and he spoke it and acted it with everything he did. He carry that broody thing they all do so well but overall he had a conscience and I absolutely loved the fact that he knew how to listen and take advise when you least expected it.
Lauren was not kick ass chick but neither was she a TSTL girl either, she was a mother who knew what winning again the odd was all about, she was a home owner who had just about lost the only stable thing she had in her and her children's life - believe me you don't want to mess with a woman who had lost her home. She also knew when to get on the ride and hang on for dear life.
The support cast were really strong, so strong that there was a moment or two there that I almost forgot that Lauren and Jack were the headliner of this show.......
There are also kids and animals involved and for those people who have issues with these in books especially a tension filled books as this - don't worry they only make a good thing better.
Getting me involved - I could see the investment that the author made in researching the war and the effect and counter effect that it had on life both on home soil and abroad. She kept the info like places and situations as basic as possible with the names of place as true to life as I know it - so it was very easy to see the lay of the land rather than imagining a whole new fictional world.
From start to finish I was apart of the process of Jack finding what he was searching for, I felt his anger, I felt for his men, I hoped for a better life for those who he was worried about and I wanted to pick up arms and say "use mine" a time or two to hep him defend himself.
Plot - Honestly the plot is nothing new, but Ms. Saint worked with what she had and used the fine print to make this story for me, filtered it with subplots and made sure everything leads to home.
The scenes were kept short and to the point, and with a diverse mix of characters to rub each other up the right and the wrong way, I was loving it.
Subplot - There are a few subplot that rock this book and make me wish the next book in this series was already in the shop
Pace - Filled with action from almost start to finish, the pace of COLLATERAL DAMAGE was relentless with everyone caught up in the mix of something. No-one knowing what the next person was up to and with the most of the cast operating on nerves alone - it was sweet.
POV - I love a book were I get multiply POV - as this generally gives me a more rounded feel of the book. Multiply POV worked in this book, there was too much happening and I would have not enjoyed the plot-line as much if I didn't get some of that info.
The Villain - Recently I have been moaning about most of the bad guy I have been reading about not being bad and acting their part, if you have issues with a man who just will do anything to get to the top look away now - this guy put the letter V in the word evil... he made this book.
As much As I loved this book, I had some issues with the logistic of how things happen in the first few pages. They thought about doing things and within a scenes or two they were there - If this is not a point of interest for you, you won't even notice it.
To be honest I really felt like those scenes were written like that so the story could get to where the action should begin.
So far COLLATERAL DAMAGE is sitting right at the top of the list of good books I have read so far this year. This is my first time with this authors voice and if this is any indication of what is to some with the other books in the series - all I can say is please write faster Ms Saint.