REVIEW: I Own the Dawn by M.L. BuchmanFriday, August 24, 2012 1:00
I Own the Dawn is M.L. Buchman’s newest foray into Military Romance and continues the Night Stalkers series that was started with the The Night is Mine. Kee (Keiko) Smith has grown up on the streets but was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to enlist in the military where she has busted her ass to continually improve herself since she joined the army. She has finally arrived in the forward war zone in the Hindu Kush mountains and her dream to be part of the elite SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment (airborne)) unit stationed there has finally happened, only to find out that she is to report to a woman pilot and become a part of what she contemptuously refers to as a chick unit. She has one chance to be a part of a coveted DAP Hawk helicopter crew if she can convince the pilot to take her on. Boy, is she in for a surprise.
Prepared to use all her assets, including her body if necessary, she waits for the pilots to disembark. Archibald Jefferson Stevenson III is the first person off the helicopter who advises her that her appeal is wasted on him since he is just the co-pilot and perhaps her chest might not be of as much help as she thinks with the pilot. She is stunned to find that the pilot is Emily Beale Henderson, who is also the commander of the chick unit she is assigned to.
Kee has a significant chip on her shoulder and has a terrible attitude toward her crew and commanding officers and not at all appreciative of getting her dream assignment. She sneers at Emily, truly believing the beautiful major got her assignment due to her husband and family connections. I am surprised that she is able to get away with her almost insubordinate attitude to a superior officer, but since this is fiction I didn’t worry too much about inconsistencies. Regardless, she is put in her place several times by various members of her crew, who resent her being assigned to her coveted spot due to her gender. Her resentment and disbelief in Emily’s capability at the begining, softening to a reluctant appreciation of Emily’s skills and morphing into a genunine desire to please and gain respect from some one she admires, is very skillfully developed by the author as Kee’s character develops through the book.
Kee is prickly and unpleasant at the start of the book, such that I was a bit concerned about warming up to her and how it might impact my enjoyment of the book. The author, however, does an excellent job of transforming her into a very likeable heroine. On one of her early missions she rescues an eleven-year-old Uzbeki girl, Dilya. She sees in Dilya the same abandoned orphan that she herself once was, and as she starts to bond with Dilya, her own senstive, loving heart starts to break through her crusty exterior. For the first time she puts someone else’s needs and wants over her own. Dilya forms a common connection between Kee and Archie as they both bond with the little girl in their own unique ways.
From the get-go Archie is attracted to Kee, but he is an officer and she’s enlisted. However, he comes through for her several times, and when they get some leave he invites her to go with him on his vacation sailing in Italy. Their vacation has an unexpected twist when Archie’s parents surprise him, but both couples are able to bond inspite of some early false starts. As a bonus, Kee is able to sense and heal a rift between Archie and his mother, bringing them closer together. Kee tells Archie little bits and pieces of her early, very difficult childhood. It seems that as she reveals those parts of her history, her character becomes lighter and more likeable, almost like she’s shedding parts of her armor along the way and revealing the warm, sensitive person she truly is.
This is Kee’s story, she is the central character and all the other characters, including Archie, are really the supporting cast. The love story and attraction begins in the first chapter and despite some early conflict due to their ranks in the army, they come together fairly quickly in the book. They do have some misunderstandings they need to work through, but they’re a couple about midway through the book. The author adds an interesting sub-plot which builds suspense and provides an opportunity for an interesting military missions, which sweeps the reader into the story and keeps the interest until the final twist.
There are some things that I feel stretched the bounds of imagination between romantic suspense and military procedures, such as Dilya staying on a forward base at the border throughout the story, her being able to sneak into a top-secret briefing which featured the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President, and finally her stowing away on a military helicopter enroute to a critical and dangerous mission. However, this is fiction and not real life, so I am willing to accept these facts at face value without questioning them too deeply.
I have not read The Night is Mine, but I do not feel the lack. As Kee asks questions, some of the background from the previous book is filled in and I will definitely go back and read the story. I enjoyed the book and was definitely engaged till the very end.
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: