Going Dark by Monica McCarty (The Lost Platoon #1)

Available: September 5, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she’d intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he’s the kind of man she can depend on. Because he’s gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .

I’ve been a fan of Monica McCarty’s writing for many years, but I was a little apprehensive about reading this book. Switching from historicals to contemporary romantic suspense is a jump, one I wasn’t sure she could make. I shouldn’t have worried. Even though this book wasn’t perfect, it was good, and even better, it sets the scene for what I hope will be a long series!

Going Dark is appropriately titled as the story of the disappearance of SEAL Team Nine. When a mission in Russia is compromised and more than half of the team is killed, the remaining soldiers go off the grid to stay alive. One of the men’s new identities is Dan Warren, a boat captain working in Scotland. He chose that job and that particular location because a) being on or in the water is what he knows, and b) it gives him an opportunity to follow some leads to help figure out what the clusterf*** in Russia was all about. His anonymous lifestyle of flying under the radar is compromised when Annie Henderson shows up.

Annie is on a trip to Scotland to meet up with her French boyfriend to join a protest of offshore drilling in the Western Isles. Even though their romance is relatively new, Annie trusts Julien and loves that they share the same beliefs and passion for change. Her optimism about making a difference quickly wanes when she starts to sense that something is a little off. She soon discovers that there is more to their operation than a peaceful seaside protest, and when mayhem and murder appear out of nowhere, Annie is forced to rely on the mysterious boat captain for help.

The last thing Dan wants is to bring attention to himself, and getting involved in an international incident and being suspected of murder have done just that. There is something about Annie that draws him in, though, and he can’t leave her to fend for herself. What she’s involved in is bigger than either of them know, and Dan is determined to get to the bottom of it and keep her safe.

I liked the concept of this book/series, and I adored Dan. He was a typical surly, bossy, sexy SEAL hero, and his vulnerability where Annie is concerned was obvious. I wasn’t as taken by Annie as I wanted to be. A liberal feminist who is way too intelligent to be as naïve as she was, I couldn’t really relate to her. I did like how she gave as good as she got with Dan, in bed and out of it. I just wish I could have felt more emotion from her/them so I could believe their romance was more than just hot sex in a dangerous situation.

Going Dark is a good start to a military suspense series, and the author introduces us to many secondary characters who I think will play larger roles in upcoming books. I’m very curious to meet some of the other surviving SEALs and figure out what happened on that mission in Russia. Unfortunately, with seven survivors, I think it’s going to be a long wait! While I didn’t adore this book as much as I wanted to, it was a solid read and I will definitely be looking for the next one.

I give Going Dark by Monica McCarty 4 stars!

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