Publication Date: March 9, 2014
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I’ll be honest with you—I’m no hero. Sure, the media tries to brand every Navy SEAL as some kind of Batman dressed in cam-mies. There’s even a line in one of our cadences: Superman is the man of steel, he ain’t no match for Navy SEAL. You’ve seen the movies—we’re infallible, invaluable, invincible. But that night, the one you read about in the papers … all I really wanted to do was get laid.
One harmless fuck with a Aruban whore, no strings attached. I picked her out of a lineup—wild, dark hair, long legs and a crook-ed smile. After she sucked me off, I relaxed back onto the creaky, cum-stained cot, thankful for the blissful moments she gave me when I actually forgot for a second the faces of my buddies who died because I made the wrong call, the tears of the children I couldn’t save, and the eyes of the enemies I slaughtered during their last seconds of life.
But before I left, her hazel eyes peered into my soul. She whis-pered in a distinct Californian accent, “My name is Annie Hamilton. I’m an American citizen. I was kidnapped on spring break five years ago. You’re my last hope. Please save me.”
One desperate plea. This wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster or a New York Times best-selling thriller. I knew this time there was no room for excuses, no margin for errors. I had one chance to put on the cape and be her hero.
About the Author: Alana Albertson is the former President of both Romance Writers of Americas’s Young Adult and Chick Lit chapters and the founder of Academe Advantage, a college admissions & test preparation company. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance and young adult fiction. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time needlepointing, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of House Hunters, Homeland, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
Review: Patrick, a Navy SEAL, wanders into a brothel in Curacao for a moment of pleasure while on land leave from his ship. He chooses a girl that ends up admitting to him that she was kidnapped and forced into sex slavery, and she asks him to help her. Not certain whether to believe her, Patrick leaves and tries to forget what he heard. He wasn't able to forget, however, and he looks into the girl's story. All of it checks out and Patrick, being the true hero that he is, chooses to accept the challenge of rescuing the girl, Annie, when all other efforts have failed.
Patrick has to leave Annie to return to the US from his current tour, but he promises her that he will return for her - that he will not let her down. Annie finds it difficult to believe in much anymore, and hope is one of her biggest enemies, but she did hold out hope for him. At the last minute, her pimp ends up moving her, along with all of the other girls, back to a different island, so Annie's hope is seriously shaken. Patrick and several of his friends are able to find her, however, and they get Annie safely out of the house, along with another surprise that Annie had hidden from Patrick.
The fact that Patrick was able to so easily find Annie leads him and his friends to question why no one was ever able to find Annie before - especially as there had been many sightings and possible clues out there. He is drawn to Annie and each of them feels so connected to one another, without really understanding why. Patrick is able to get Annie back to her actual home, and, due to his lifestyle and not wanting to be found out for finding her, he wants this to be the end of the story. Annie didn't survive the five years of her captivity by giving up easily, however, so much of the story is her quiet strength and will to survive and figure out who she is, as well as trying to keep Patrick in her life.
So, my understanding is that this is a re-release of this book. I did not read the first book, so I can't address that story, but I will say that this story seems to fit the synopsis better than what some of the first reviews felt that it did. I think that there is still much of the story that could be fleshed out - only to draw you in more and really help you understand what the two main characters are going through, as this book is in both of their POV's. I feel that we get a pretty good picture into Patrick's head, but Annie...there is so much that could be added to her story, while she was waiting for Patrick to come back, when she first arrived back home, when she was waiting for Patrick to come back from deployment, etc. It's still a good story, and I can't wait to read the next book, as this one ends up on quite the cliffhanger in regards to another character that was mentioned several times throughout the story. There are still some editing errors that I noticed, but I did receive an ARC for my review, so I know that sometimes final errors are fixed.
Overall, I think that this is an impactful story and, while hard to read due to the subject matter, I think it has an important message as Annie realizes that telling her story is not only empowering to her, but to other women that might be experiencing something similar.