Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: Shattered Valor (Red Team #2) by Elaine Levine

Book coverShattered Valor (Red Team #2) by Elaine Levine
Purchase link: Amazon

My rating: star star star star star

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame

Every step leads her deeper into danger...

Eden Miller has her life arranged exactly as she wants it--until a reunion with her high school BFFs places her in the middle of a turf war with a ruthless prison gang, their terrorist allies, and the hunters tracking them. Her every move draws her deeper into the danger surrounding Ty Bladen and his team of terror fighters, but his seductive charm and engaging smile make her believe his promises of protection.

A secret is a dangerous thing...

When the terrorists Ty Bladen is tracking infiltrate his remote ranch in Wyoming, he learns the past he buried cannot be so easily escaped. Though he's recovering from a bullet wound he received in Afghanistan and is hunted by an unseen enemy, he knows he can't leave Eden alone to face the danger swirling around her, danger he and his team have brought to her--even if he has to risk letting her near his frozen heart. But when she learns his terrible secret, will she stay or will she run?

I'll come right out and say it. I love Elaine Levine's Red Team series. I love all the characters, I love her writing and I love reading it. On top of that, I love listening to them on audiobook because I have a near fanatical obsession of Eric G Dove's voice when he narrates. I can pretty much listen to him read the back of a cereal box and be a big gooey mess.

Shattered Valor is simply stunning and Ms Levine does not disappoint. I loved all the recurring characters of the Red Team, and the girls, Mandy and Fi. I loved seeing so much more of their lives and how they continued to interact as a group, growing, loving and trusting. We see more of Rocco and Mandy's relationship from The Edge of Courage and I'm glad of it. I want to continue to know how Rocco is doing because he has a special place in my heart. We see more of Kelan and Fi, how their relationship is developing and I loved every moment of that.

For those of you expecting a story focusing only on the couple, this is not it. This brings you a story of a group of men who call each other family and face danger together. The story is about the war they are fighting to make the world a better place and in the middle of it, each couple gets their time and happy ending. In this story, we see Ty and Eden find their way into each other's hearts.

My heart bleeds for Ty. He had a terrible, terrible childhood. No child should ever have to endure what he went through and when he was reliving it, my heart broke over and over again. An anger rose up in me against the people who put him so much, who had to little compassion, and who in the guise of being caretakers abused their power over a young child. It is a kind of evil is all its own. We go through this story with Ty watching him battle his demons and find love, and it's wonderful when he triumphs. Elaine Levine has a way of writing some terribly horrific things and she puts her heroes through the wringer. She destroys them only to build them back up into the strong, powerful, wonderful men they are today who are worthy of the love of the women they have chosen, and she does exactly that with Ty.

It took me a little while to warm up to Eden. She started off so skittish and so suspicious. She said "no" so many times that I wanted to shake her and tell her to trust a little - have a little faith! Then she turns around and she starts to trust, and when she does, she does it with a loyalty and fierceness that is admirable. She's brave, determined and she fights for those she loves. My breath caught in that moment when she stands up and fights for Ty ... for them as a couple.

Holding his face in her hands, she met his eyes. “There is no place that you can go, in life or in your mind, that I won’t come find you, Ty.” He smiled. “Fierce little thing, aren’t you?” She met his look. “You don’t know the half of it. Nobody screws with me or mine.”

There's a moment in the story which is fabulous. It's when Ty and Eden talk about their relationship. It's probably one of the best pieces of dialogue I've read when it comes to communicating about a relationship. It's adult, it's mature and most of all, it's honest and real. They talk about their fears and doubts, and they face those head on. They discuss solutions to problems, alternatives and compromises, and they deal with it as a couple. It's wonderful to behold.

This story is another winner from Ms Levine for me. I don't know whether I've enjoyed it even more because of Eric G Dove's narration but I'm certain that enhances the reading experience. I'm waiting with baited breath for the next book to come out in audio because much as I can't wait to read Kit's story, I want to listen to it narrated too. I'm way behind on the books but I'm being patient for the audiobooks. It's definitely worth it. If I get impatient and jump to reading it, you'll know.

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The other books in the series:

About the author

auI make stuff up. And I have fun doing it.

Genre fiction gives me the perfect medium to build worlds where readers can join me for fun adventures. Pick up one of my Men of Defiance historical western romances and slip your fingers around the Colt .45 of a legendary gunslinger, be a scout for a wagon train, or ride shotgun on a stagecoach. Pick up one of my Red Team romantic suspenses and join the battle against international druglords and home-grown terrorists with a hot team of counter-terror experts.

Romance fiction lets you be, for a few sweet hours, something you're not. Which is cool, because every time you look at life through someone else's eyes, you learn more about yourself.

So read often...become who you were meant to be.

I was born a poor, white child into a modestly affluent family, third daughter to a father who wanted only sons. I cooked and cleaned and mended my evil stepmother's and stepsister's ball gowns until my very own Prince Charming stole me away. We had two beautiful children, a boy and girl, who left our granola-eating, tree-hugging family to be warriors and, well, Republicans. Our son heard the siren call of the woman he loves and presented Prince Charming and me with two beautiful grandchildren, a girl and a boy. Our daughter continues on the warrior's path and yearns for a lifemate more alpha than she but has an adorable to dog to occupy her attention in the meantime. And if you believe this fairytale, you'll certainly love my books, so give them a try!

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