REVIEW: I Own the Dawn by M.L. BuchmanThursday, August 16, 2012 1:00
I had a blast reading M.L. Buchman’s first book in this series, The Night is Mine. Interspersed in all that military jargon and mystery is a terrific sense of humor, which is always fun to read and usually difficult for most authors to convey. Not for Mr. Buchman. He does a terrific job. So when I received the ARC of I Own the Dawn, I was expecting more of that. I got the military jargon and the mystery, but this time the humor isn’t present nearly as much. Instead, he brought me to tears.
Kee Smith has turned her life from the streets around, and she’s now one of the first women of SOAR, the Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment. She’s worked her ass off to make this elite team, after a judge gave her this chance, instead of locking her up and throwing away the key. She’ll even show up Legend Beale – Major Emily Beale – who is supposedly the best of the best and the first woman on the team. Everything Beale does can’t be true. Can it? No matter, Kee is here to show them how it’s done.
So when sassily addressing who she thinks is the pilot of a DAP Hawk helicopter – again, the best of the best – Kee has her first shot of attitude doused when Archie Jefferson Stevenson III cocks a crooked smile and passes her on to none other than Major Beale. Kee is going to need a lot of that attitude adjusted, as she well knows, but holding back has always been difficult for her, even in the military. She has the time docked in the brig to prove it. But on their first mission, Kee does prove herself at her job, not only taking out insurgents but rescuing a young girl left on her own after seeing her parents killed. At first Kee really doesn’t want much to do with Dilyana, but the youngster’s fear and tenacity tug Kee’s heart, which begins to soften for the first time in years.
Archie is having a tough time himself. He has no problem interacting with the Major and other teammates or utilizing his logical, analytical thinking while on missions. It’s Kee Smith who pushes him into a tizzy every time he bumps into her. Yeah, she’s got a great rack and a body to die for, but it’s her eyes that bring him to a standstill. But he’s an officer and she’s enlisted. A taboo situation. That doesn’t stop Archie from inviting Kee to go along on his Italian vacation, and he also includes Dilya, that enchanting child who has also stolen his heart. Both Archie and Kee are looking forward to getting to know each other much better, but their plans are slightly derailed when they find his parents aboard his sailboat on arrival. They don’t let that deter them too long, however, when they find solitude on an Italian hilltop. And, boy, do these two have stamina. Even affter a contest of wills running across the Italian countryside, their lovemaking session doesn’t suffer one bit.
Amid all of this in getting to know Dilya, Kee has promised to find the men who killed the girl’s parents. A tall order she probably can’t complete, but it’s important to Dilya. Archie has also bonded with the orphan, playing games with her and making her laugh. When the group is called back early from from their vacation, they’re tasked with a strange mission that will have repercussions later in the book, and that’s when the action really picks up in chasing the men who are determined to start World War III. It’s Archie and Kee who take the mission on when original plans have to be scrapped. The Night Stalkers Don’t Quit, as we’re told throughout the story, and even when looking death in the face, these two characters never flinch in their duty, despite the fact they’ve just found one another and will hopefully have a future together.
So it’s mystery and duty that take center stage in this book. It’s near the end when Kee truly opens up, doesn’t deny her feelings any longer, and brings both Archie and Dilya into her life that really pulled the emotion out of me. This child tugs on every heart string she comes across, even the reader’s, and this scene had me reaching for the tissue. Those kids get me every time.
I enjoy the military theme of this series a lot. Mr. Buchman does his research very well. At least to this obviously non-military gal. According to his web site, he’s not served in the armed forces, but, as far as I can tell, he’s getting every nuance of it all down pat. There are some points where Kee would more than likely be reprimanded for her near insubordination, but it’s Major Beale who knows there’s something special about Kee and she holds back when Kee is a bit too assertive. The Major’s instincts are always right on. And their location may have a bit to do with it too.
I do like The Night is Mine a tad better than this book. I just love the humor and the White House antics were fun in between all the seriousness, but Archie, Kee, and Dilya will give you a great read. I am looking forward to the other books in this series, however many that may end up being. These characters are intense, loyal, and fun when needed. The storylines are always full of action with a touch of mystery and lots of romance between the unlikeliest of characters. The military background only pulls you in that much more and keeps you reading to the very last page.
Name: Archibald Jeffrey Stevenson III
Rank: First Lieutenant, DAP Hawk Copilot
Mission: Strategy and execution of special ops maneuvers
Name: Kee Smith
Rank: Sergeant, Night Stalker Gunner and Sharpshooter
Mission: Whatever it takes to get the job done
You Wouldn’t Think It Could Get Worse, Until It Does…
When a special mission slowly unravels, it is up to Kee and Archie to get their team out of an impossible situation with international implications. With her weaponry knowledge and his strategic thinking, plus the explosive attraction that puts them into exact synchrony, together they might just have a fighting chance.
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series: