After a SEAL mission over Afghanistan goes horribly wrong, sole survivor Commander Joe Montgomery returns to his home in Virginia Beach to recover from his wounds while burying the weight of his survivor’s guilt with the empty comfort of a whiskey bottle. Losing all the men under his command left Joe a raw emotional mess as self-doubt and second guessing his decisions eat away at what’s left of his pride. The last thing he wanted was do-gooder next-door neighbor Penny Price attempting to draw him out or reveal his identity to the media yet as fate would have it, she turned out to be his physical therapist. As Joe deals with his private demons he realizes Penny has some serious troubles of her own to deal with. Younger sister Ophelia just moved in after being unable to make the rent on her apartment and worse, she called their father’s old partner, Eric Tomlinson to ask him how he slept. Entries in their father’s journal implicate Eric in the theft of a controlled substance and murder so the women are understandably upset at his threatening phone calls. Joe becomes Penny’s protector after foiling a home invasion that put Eric on a deadly collision course with the brains behind his crimes leaving the two women wondering who would be next even as they discover love in unexpected places.
In this fairly straightforward romantic thriller, Melton has added a nicely developed subplot with Ophelia’s love interest playing out against Penny’s bumpy SEAL romance. The suspense remains steady with the element of romance adding some sparks but unfortunately, the climax and arch villain will fail to surprise most readers of this genre.
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