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Promises in the Dark (Shadow Force, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – November 23, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Navy SEAL Zane Scott's dangerous rescue of gorgeous Dr. Olivia Strohm picks up shortly after Zane's brother Dylan's adventures left off in November 2010's Lie with Me. Zane, inexplicably smitten with a woman he's never met, risks all by heading to Sierra Leone to save her. After Liv greets him with a fry pan upside the head, Zane struggles to get her to safety. Liv has hidden from the international terrorist group Dead Man's Hand ever since she blew up one of their black market organ transplant hospitals, and she fears for her parents' safety should she return to the U.S. Meanwhile, Zane and Dylan's other Delta Force brother, Caleb, is assigned to protect and interrogate beautiful geek Vivienne Clare, setting up the next book. Lie with Me held more suspense than romance; Tyler flips the formula here, with red-hot sparks igniting copious and satisfying fireworks. (Dec.)
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“Red-hot romance. White-knuckle suspense.”—New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian
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Top Customer Reviews
Olivia Strohm is a brilliant transplant surgeon who has been to hell and back twice in her life, once as a child and now at the hands of DMH. Olivia has cleverly escaped her captors and been on the run from village to village trying to do what she can to help people in need. She has been living by her wits and trying to reconcile what she had to do to escape her captors. She is a lost, tortured soul, and trusts no one.
Zane expected Olivia wouldn't willingly accept that he was there to rescue her and comes armed with a number of tools to nurture her trust. Olivia however, doesn't want to leave Africa she as is terrified she will not be able to assimilate when she returns home. It takes all of Zane's patience and strength of character to convince Olivia, a woman whose psyche has been damaged nearly beyond repair. There were occasions while reading this story that I along with Zane nearly gave up on her.
Back in the US, Zane's brother, Delta Force operative Caleb Scott and his team have received intel indicating software developed by computer genius Vivienne Clare's father has come into the hands of DMH. The software has the potential to cause catastrophic events at home and abroad if used by the terrorists. Caleb therefore follows orders and brings Vivienne in for interrogation, and while it seems she has no knowledge of DMH or that they have come into possession of the software evidence suggests otherwise. Vivi isn't at all what Caleb expected and despite being involved in a dangerous mission with DMH breathing down their necks he is sexually attracted to her and she to him.
Readers are also introduced to the enigmatic Dr. J., a missionary with military background who runs a number of clinics throughout the country offering health care to the people in the surrounding villages. Additionally, he recruits mercenary soldiers who are sent to defend the clinics from any number of threats. Dr. J's right hand man is Tristan, a former Army Ranger with a traumatic history related to his youth and discharge from the service. Tristan is tough, lethal and sexy as hell. While he has not formerly attached himself to anyone or anything, Dr. J has earned his allegiance and Tristan has established relationships with the people in the neighboring villages. Enter Rowan, newly discharged from the Army where she served as a medic in Iraq. Rowan is a widow having lost her husband years earlier under the most horrific of circumstances. These two people can only be described as part of humanity's walking wounded, they act on an instantaneous attraction and find love under the worst, most dangerous of circumstances.
Ms. Tyler therefore wrote two romantic subplots into the narrative of this story which intersect with the main plot making for a tale that is suspenseful, frightening, sensual and action packed. The personal stories that are crafted for all three couples are bittersweet and at the same time beautiful. I experienced a number of emotions while reading "Promises In The Dark", fear, anguish, I cried, I smiled, but at the end of the day I was relieved. I wasn't sure until the closing pages whether Zane and Olivia were going to survive. I mentioned in my review of "Lie With Me" that I loved Zane from the first paragraph he was introduced in that novel, that feeling hasn't changed, in fact it intensified. IMHO "Promises In The Dark" is an extraordinary story.
If you enjoy an emotional, fast paced, sensual and dark romantic military suspense, you may like to give "Promises In The Dark" a try. I think this book could be read in isolation because Ms. Tyler does give enough background information for readers to be able to follow along without reading "Lie With Me". However, as with most series I think if you read "Lie With Me" first it would enrich your enjoyment of this story.
The addition of Tristan and Rowen was unexpected and at first felt like a weird intruption but it soon developed into a hot well developed second story. If I had one complaint it is about Vivi and Caleb I think they should of had there own book. Their story was great although the tie in to the main story of Oliva and Zane was tenous at best. I know they are brothers but all he did was talk to his other brother Gabe on the phone about Zane. Vivi and Caleb story was really good and felt kind wasted in this book and left with a very unsatsfying conclusion leaving me to hope that they will be a main part of the next book although they arn't mentioned in the sneek peek at the end.
I love the small tie in to the Hard to Hold series. I don't partically remember Zane even as a background Character but I like that this series isn't in a vaccum.
I gave it 5 stars because 4 1/2 wasn't available. 1/2 point off for the Vivi and Caleb being a story on it's own and seperate from the main story, Gabe and Reilly supporting roles were to small, and Cam and Sky from "Promise in the Dark" did not even make and appearence. Stephanie Tyler is a really good author I have enjoyed this one as well as all her others. I am really looking foward to the next one!!!!
Zane and Olivia are our first couple. We know from Lie with Me that Zane is a litle obsessed with Dr. Olivia, so much so that he spends his leave searching the wilds of Africa for her. I loved Zane. He has deep emotional scars from a childhood trauma but has so much faith in Olivia. Olivia carries her own scars and is not as open to trust as is Zane. She is convinced that being near anyone is their ticket to death, and is reluctant to accept Zane's ability to protect her. Again, I loved Zane. Olivia plucked my nerves a little, and in Zane's shoes, there was a time or three I would have admitted defeat and left Olivia to her own devices. Even when he was completely exasperated with her, he showed the patience of a saint. Their connection was HOT, tense, and believable.
Caleb and Viv are couple number two. Viv is a computer geek, Caleb is the ultimate soldier and I cannot wait for the next book for the fulfillment of their story. I thought Viv was the perfect heroine, sweet, a little naive, a lot horrified at how her naivete landed her in a hot mess. Caleb seemed dumbstruck by his attraction to Viv and a little out of control, which is a good thing for him, as he is a control freak.
Tristan and Rowan round out the romance trifecta. Both bear nightmarish backgrounds which lends a bittersweet touch to their finding a second chance.
Stephanie Tyler's books resonate with me. I love how she weaves the subplots so that they flow seamlessly into the main story. I have said in previous reviews that she writes some of my favorite heros, and that certainly holds true in Promises in the Dark. It is tightly written, moves quickly, and stays with you long after you read the last page.