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Sandy M’s review of Hell or High Water (Deep Six, Book 1) by Julie Ann Walker
Romantic Suspense published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 7 Jul 15

I’m sorry to say that Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series was one I enjoyed, but was also one that suffered when life got busy for me. I just didn’t keep up with it, unfortunately. I’m hoping to avoid that with her new Deep Six series. Not only does it feature former SEALs, but if the rest of the books follow in the same steps as this one, the action and romance will be taking place somewhere in the deep waters of our oceans. I love military heroes and I love the water, so it seems as though this series might be made just for me!

I like the way this book begins, with what happened to the La Santa Christina, a ship and its treasure from hundreds of years in the past, both lost in a storm. Then we meet Leo and Olivia. Leo and his men are in the midst of planning a salvage mission to hunt for the treasure. Before they can actually get started, however, the one woman Leo can’t get out of his head shows up with a problem, one that pulls them back into the action they left behind.

Olivia and her boss at the FBI have had a mission go awry on them, a chemical weapon in enemy hands, and she needs Leo to get it back. They both keep remembering their last moments together more than a year before and have convinced themselves it’s better that nothing more happened between them. Now it’s a test of their mettle to keep feelings and emotions and hands in check, because their old team is back in the saddle and headed to a showdown with an unexpected enemy.

Ms. Walker has a mean pen when it comes to action scenes. Those tense and suspenseful scenes on the yacht in the middle of the ocean are some of the best I’ve read in a very long time. Even though you know our guys aren’t going to end up on the wrong end of a bullet, there’s moments when you’re really not sure. Their SEAL training is still very much a part of them, and I could just see them seamlessly moving through the water for their next take-down. I also enjoyed the usual banter and teasing between these men who consider each of them his brother. It’s all in fun, but when the business gets rough, they have one another’s backs, no questions asked.

The one issue I have with the story is actually the romance. I know it’s the norm anymore to build the tension between the hero and heroine, work them up to fever pitch but actually get them into bed much later in the book. Don’t know if I’m just tired of the same old thing or what, but since these two had a little bit of a history, I’d like to have seen them get between the sheets earlier than what actually happens. And I would have preferred a different spot than where they end up. All I could think was cramped quarters and very uncomfortable. That all bothers me because I really like both of these characters a lot. Something more fierce and edgy would have been welcome, especially after what they’d just been through.

Despite that, though, this is a really good read – the action, suspense, and camaraderie scene stealers every time.

sandym-iconGrade: B


In a world on the brink…

Six men. One sunken Spanish galleon. Millions in gold and silver coins lying on the ocean floor. And a past that refuses to let the guys of Deep Six Salvage forget the Navy SEAL motto: the only easy day was yesterday…

There’s more than one kind of treasure…

The nation’s security has always been CIA agent Olivia Mortier’s top priority. But a mission-gone-wrong has begun to make her wonder if there’s more to life than risking hers.

And more than one secret at the bottom of the sea…

Only two things could make Leo Anderson abandon his hunt for the legendary lost ship, La Santa Christina, and return to the world of weapons and warfare he swore to leave behind: a capsule of enriched uranium, lost on the ocean floor, and a plea for assistance from the one woman he can’t seem to forget…

No excerpt available.