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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Going Dark (Lost Platoon, Book 1) by Monica McCarty
Contemporary Romance published by Berkley 5 Sep 17

I’ve enjoyed a number of Monica McCarty’s Highland romances, but, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep up with her historical series over the years. So I was quite happy to see she’s starting a new series – contemporary at that – and figured this is my chance to stick with each book as it comes along. Thus, I hunkered down with Going Dark and Dean and Annie. This is a good start to the series, and it will be interesting to see how the overarcing mystery will play out in each book.

We meet Dean and his band of brothers – the uber top secret SEAL Team Nine – as they’re deploying deep into Russia. The prologue is at first fun with the banter among the men as we meet each one. Then all goes to hell as they close in on their target, only to be betrayed. Those who survive have gone dark across the globe, each doing what he can to bring their villainous traitor to justice.

Dean is now Dan and he’s a dive boat captain in a small Scottish village, where he’s been assigned by his superior to investigate various subs in the area which could be one of many ways the team’s mission was leaked. Nothing has come of that and Dan is getting antsy, wanting answers faster than they’re coming along. He tries his best to stay disinterested when Annie Henderson and her eco-friendly cohorts arrive to protest a hazardous drilling operation just offshore.

Annie is from a military family, and she stands firm in her beliefs, becoming a marine biologist after seeing the effects of an oil spill in the waters near Louisiana. She’s accompanying her French boyfriend, Julien, and is eager to get started. But when she meets Julien’s mentor, Jean Paul, she begins to realize things are not quite what she’s been lead to believe. Things go terribly wrong on their journey to the drill ship, and Dan steps in to avert his cover being blown, but there’s no way he can leave without Annie. On the run from trumped-up charges, Dan and Annie grow closer as they run from danger and try to figure out who to trust.

After the compelling start to this book, it’s these later scenes that kept the pace alive for me. To go from those early scenes to a peaceful Scottish village with the turn of the page at first didn’t quite work for me. But Ms. McCarty brings it all home with that action and the great way she paints Dan and Annie as such opposites who are willing to talk to each other and listen to each other about their beliefs, hopes, and dreams. Though it does take Dan a bit to open up, even after Annie figures out what it is he’s hiding. My only nitpik is about Colt Wesson, who is a former team member and determined to find out what happened to the platoon, when everyone else in the government is keeping silent. After ruffling a number of feathers for info to get started on his independent mission, he just drops out of the story without another word. I would have liked a bit more about his journey to Russia to figure things out, but then I guess that’s still going to be part of the upcoming books in the series. At least I hope so.

All in all, a good start to get the series going. I’m hooked and look forward to seeing what the other team members will go through to get to the truth.

sandym-iconGrade: B+


Like Rome’s Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.

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. . . .

Read an excerpt.