The pararescuemen usually handle dangerous rescue missions – in Catherine Mann‘s December release, Hot Zone (aka, the novel I wish I wrote myself!), they dug through the rubble to find earthquake survivors in the Bahamas.
On that mission, Liam McCabe met Rachel, a seemingly fearless woman who trains dogs to sniff out people who are lost…or buried under earthquake detritus. Working under appalling, exhausting, dangerous conditions, Liam and Rachel were incredibly attracted to each other but nothing happened.
Now, months later, Liam is preparing for the last mission he’ll lead his pararescuemen on before he leaves active duty: handling the security for an international summit at NASA. He’s totally unprepared for a terrified Rachel to find him with a story of someone selling military secrets and threatening her life after she told the authorities.
Under Fire is romantic suspense at its best. Tense and gripping, it never loses sight of the emotion that cranks up the heat.
This is a novel about rediscovering yourself when you think you’re lost. Rachel suffered exhaustion and burn-out after the Bahamas quake, so much so that she changed the focus of her job and moved. She was fearless in Hot Zone, but in Under Fire she’s a target.
Liam is facing the end of his career – at least, the end of his career as he knows it. And as much as he loves Rachel, he also knows that he’s been married three times (yes, three), so he’s not a great bet for any woman.
They both see so much to love and value in each other, but they have to regain their confidence in themselves first.
Under Fire also takes a long, hard look at the difficulties in military relationships. One of my favorite passages comes not from the main characters but from one of the pararescuemen, Cuervo:
“Seriously, I get that it’s tough to stay in this profession, to screw over the ones you love again and again because the mission calls. I see that grief with the other guys in the unit over busted relationships. At what point does a guy go from being an altruistic serviceman to becoming a cold bastard ignoring the needs of his family?” He frowned. “God knows, I don’t have the answer.”
This is a novel that features more than sexy characters fighting for their lives; it asks questions that a lot of families will be able to relate to. It will speak to a lot of hearts.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Have you read any of Catherine Mann‘s pararescuemen novels? What did you think?