Hell or High Water
Book 1, The Deep Six
Julie Ann Walker
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
A brand new romantic suspense series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Black Knights, Inc. series, THE DEEP SIX features six former SEALS on super-secret black ops, and feisty heroines who know how to handle both lethal weapons and alpha men.
Only two things could make former Navy SEAL Leo Anderson return to the world of weapons and warfare. First, a capsule of chemical weapons lost on the ocean floor, and second, a plea for assistance from the one woman he can't seem to forget—CIA Agent Olivia Mortier.
Now, working together to race against the clock and a deadly terrorist faction, Leo and Olivia must find the missing capsule, all the while battling the intense desire burning between them. If they can survive, can their growing attraction become more than just a momentary flare?
Praise for Full Throttle:
“Quick witted and action packed.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
“Heart-pounding…Walker has outdone herself.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Amazing…took me on the ride of my life.” —The Book Whisperer
“A wonderful, intense story with fabulous romantic tension.” —Tome Tender
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
4.5 Stars: Brilliantly described scenes, tactical (underwater) SEAL action, humor and tough heroines
*Complimentary ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.
After reading the prequel to this new series in the Way of the Warrior anthology, I knew I'd want to read the first, full-length novel. Julie Ann Walker did an amazing job of transporting me to the Florida Keys, and she kept me on the edge of my seat with the brilliantly described scenes of deep sea diving, tactical (underwater) SEAL action, and just an overall exciting plot.
Leo “The Lion” Anderson and his former SEAL team had honored their friend’s dying wish and embarked on a new journey: the quest for high-seas adventure and treasure hunting. Even after “retirement”, Leo still felt a responsibility towards his men; to make sure their venture would be profitable since they’d thrown their lot in with him. What I really liked about him was that he put others before himself, and he always deferred to the others before making big decisions. Once in mission mode, he was calm, focused and deadly.
Olivia (30) was a kicka** heroine. I loved her confidence and courage. Despite having grown up in an orphanage and excelling in a job that didn't allow much room for romantic stability, I loved that she didn’t shy away from her growing feelings for Leo. She embraced them and took from him what she could. I understood the guilt she carried over Rusty’s death, misplaced as it was.
Bran wasn’t off the mark with his jokes about their combustible chemistry. The push and pull between them developed at a good, steady pace, so that when they finally came together, it made the wait well worth while. There were several sexy scenes and one very steamy (pun intended) sex scene. I didn't really like that she didn't dare confess to Leo what had happened in Syria, especially when it became predictable that the truth would come out in a way she couldn't control.
The story was paced well, and above all else, a page turner. The romance didn't overshadow the great suspense. Along with the retrieval of chemical weapons plot, there was also the matter of flushing out a CIA mole, and the setup of Bran's story with the feisty Madison Powers. From the interaction between Bran and Madison. I loved how protective he was of Leo, and his team mates in general.
There were five different POVs in total, and a lot of pop culture references, mostly movies. The first few times it was cute, especially the Lethal Weapon reference (one of my favorite Murtaugh moments, by the way), but eventually the cuteness wore off. There was also a brief case of head hopping between Mason and Bran that threw me off a little. But aside from that, this book had EVERYTHING I love in romantic suspense—men of honor, strong female characters, good action and humor. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who shares my taste in books in that genre.
The Wayfarer1's Whackass Wednesday 4.5+
** Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review **
Judging a Book by it's Cover:
Cover is reminiscent of the many other Action/Suspense stories out there today from any number of authors. Synopsis is good, but again, more standard fair for it's genre and category. To be honest, I may have passed this one up had I not seen the author's name attached to it. On closer inspection, the cover model, to me, does not accurately resemble Leo and worse... his upper right arm looks like a balloon animal arm (Deltoids to Biceps).
The prologue highlights the last moments of La Santa Cristina and her crew before a hurricane turns her and her armed escorts into sacrificial lambs to Mother Ocean.
Third person POV. I don't know if it's because it's an all new cast with just the mildest tie-in to BKI, but I found it difficult to connect to the story and it's characters in the beginning. Within the first twenty percent, you are introduced to Leo and his team*, Olivia, Jonathan Winters**, the bad guys - which are currently split in two groups, and some innocent bystanders. There's been a lot of little movers and shakers, but none of it has drawn me in at this point. By thirty percent, we are beginning to see how the story and all it's counterparts are coming together as well as experiencing the dynamic and camaraderie of the Deep Six crew. It's at this point that the story really begins to takes off with great chemistry between all characters, witty banter, believable interactions and natural-feeling dialogue. The plot is exciting and the story flows really well once all of the chess pieces are laid out be played. There are some conflicts that come up several times and, being the militant professionals that they are, each is resolved in a calm and mature manner... except when dealing with matters of the heart... then they can be a little dumb, as usual. Predictability was quite low and minor.
The conclusion is great, with the inclusion of Mad Dog. I especially enjoy the hints we are seeing of "possibly more" between Bran and Maddy, they were both extremely enjoyable secondary characters. There is an epilogue that expands upon the prologue just a bit and makes for a juicy info nugget. I am actually glad I trudged through the beginning and look forward to reading the next book in the series.
* Mention was made of Michael "Mad Dog" Wainwright, the 7th living member of their former SEAL team. His novella, the series prequel, was featured in WAY OF THE WARRIOR, an anthology benefiting the Wounded Warriors, released in early May.
** Jonathan Winters is a CIA character that has been featured in the BKI series and was raising red flags even then.
Heat Level: 4.5 ~ Score: 4.5 ~ Stars: 5
A huge fan of Julie Ann Walker
I am a huge fan of Julie Ann Walker's BKI series, that being said, I will admit to being wary of a new series that is sort-of ~ but not quite a spin-off of that series. All wariness aside...I have read the first book in this new series, Hell or High Water, and I am in love with it!
This gives you idea of where this series will lead us.
"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…"
Book #1 in the Deep Six series, Hell or High Water is written very similarly to the BKI series. It has action, adventure, sexy Alpha dudes, and is written with a fun sense of humor that I just adore in Julie Ann Walker's writing.
This book introduces us to some new characters, the sexy guys of "deep Six Salvage" who are all retired SEALS, with the main focus on Leo & Olivia's story and let me tell you the chemistry between these two is off the charts hot! The background story is fun and exciting, these guys are searching for a sunken treasure ship, but of course if it's found right away we won't have much of a series.
If you are a fan of the BKI series or just a fan of fun, feisty, fabulous adventures.
You will love this book!