Series: HORNET #2
Published by Macmillan on May 27th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Military, General, Suspense
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Former Marine sniper Seth Harlan is new to HORNET and anxious to prove he can still do his job despite an ongoing battle with PTSD. He remembers all too well what it's like to sit inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death, so when a wounded veteran contacts HORNET to rescue a buddy that got left behind, all sorts of nasty memories strain his newfound stability.
An interview with a runaway Afghani child bride leads photojournalist Phoebe Leighton to an arms deal involving a suitcase bomb powerful enough to wipe out a mid-sized town, and she realizes this is one battle she can't win on her own. Forming an unlikely alliance with a ragtag team of military and government delinquents, she meets Seth, a sniper carrying as many emotional scars as physical, who impresses her with his steely will and ignites passions within her she thought long dead.
Suddenly this mission is about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of HORNET struggle to stop that bomb before it reaches its final destination: The United States.
“Nothing could break her, and with that knowledge came a strange sense of peace. There was no way he could damage this woman or corrupt her with his darkness. And maybe…Was it possible the unbreakable had the ability to fix the broken? Christ with the way a simple touch from her lit him up, he almost believed it.”
In the second novel of Tonya Burrow’s HORNET series, readers finally meet Seth Harlan. Seth was first mentioned in the first book as a first class sniper who had been a POW in Afghanistan. Seth has been suffering from PTSD since his rescue, and Gabe wasn’t a fan of the idea of him joining their hostage rescue team. If readers have been reading Burrows’ Wilde Security series as well, then they would have already met the hero sniper in the first novel of that series when Camden Wilde went to Seth for help protecting his former flame, Libby. After two books of set-up, Seth finally gets his own book.
In Honor Reclaimed, readers accompany Seth as he struggles to live up to Quinn’s expectations as a new member of HORNET. None of the men trust him to watch their backs, and Seth doesn’t even trust himself. When the team get tasked to rescue an old teammate of Greer Wilde’s, Seth jumps at the chance to save another soldier from the fate he endured for fifteen months. Even if it means facing his worst fear: returning to Afghanistan. While there, Seth meets photojournalist Phoebe Leighton, who winds up with a target on her back after helping a runaway Afghani bride.
I really love this series! Seth is a very complex character, and it was nice that Burrows didn’t drag out his introduction to readers. Even if readers never met him in Wild Nights in Paradise, enough was said about him in Seal of Honor to whet their interest. It’s obvious that war has affected all of the soldiers in HORNET, but seeing how PTSD has nearly destroyed Seth was as riveting as it was sad. I think his experience goes a long way in showing what men in the Armed Forces deal with than civilians will ever know.
Even though his romance with Phoebe could be considered a case of “insta-love,” I thought it was very well-developed. Things between these two weren’t easy, and I loved how Burrows handled Seth’s PTSD and its effects on their relationship. It felt really realistic, and in keeping with what readers have already learned about Seth previously.
Another interesting aspect of this book is that readers learn the truth about what’s going on with Greer Wilde. If you only read Burrow’s Wilde Security series, then you’ll be just in the dark as his brothers. This felt like a nice treat for fans reading the books in the correct story timeline that Burrows recommends. Also, it makes the worlds of these two series feel like one giant one, just like Burrows intended.
Broken Honor by Tonya Burrows
Series: HORNET #3
Published by Entangled Publishing on February 24th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Military, Contemporary, Suspense
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Ice-cold and unbreakable, Travis Quinn is the HORNET team's hard-ass. No weaknesses. Except, of course, for the accident that not only destroyed his career as a Navy SEAL, but left terrifying blanks in his memory. But Travis remembers everything about Mara Escareno-the curve of her lips, the feel of her body...and how he walked out on her suddenly six weeks ago.
Mara could never resist the dangerously sexy Travis, which is probably how she ended up pregnant and disowned by her family. But before Travis can fully process the news, Mara is kidnapped by his enemies and plunged into the violent, merciless world of human trafficking. They want Travis-and the information locked within his damaged memory-no matter the cost. And now Travis's enemies have discovered his only weakness...Mara.
A 2015 RITA finalist for Romantic Suspense
“Men like him, the kind of guys who left the womb fighting? They didn’t get fairy-tale endings. They burned bright until they burned out—and he was burning out.”
Travis Quinn has been trying to forget Mara, Jesse’s cousin since he protected her months ago. Even braving terrorists in Afghanistan couldn’t keep her off his mind. Now that he’s once again Stateside, Quinn can’t help but see Mara one last time. What he doesn’t know, however, is that when he walked out on her 6 weeks ago, he left her pregnant and alone. Now disowned by her family, Mara has to find a way to be the best mother she can be. Even if that means doing it without Quinn’s help.
As you know, I love it whenever a romantic pair are teased in other books before they finally get their own. Aside from hating insta-love, it just makes everything feel more realistic, and helps improve the world-building of a series. By mentioning Quinn’s feelings for Mara in Honor Reclaimed, their background story read as very well thought out, and not created in a vacuum. Plus, since Quinn’s enemies target Mara as a means to hurt him, her situation felt more precarious than if she was some chick that appeared out of nowhere.
I really enjoyed reading Broken Honor for several reasons. One, was that Quinn’s problems with his head injuries were first addressed in Seal of Honor, and readers get the opportunity to see Quinn struggle with them over the course of two books. So when his situation escalates in Broken Honor, all of the groundwork had already be laid down. Another reason I really enjoyed this novel was that Burrows ties up many loose ends.
Readers learn more about the mystery of Travis Quinn first posed in the first novel. We also learn more about just how bad his injury really is, and how he’s been struggling with it and trying to hide it from his team. Not only that, but the mystery surrounding Quinn and Gabe’s accident is revealed, and manages to set up the upcoming books.
As for the lovebirds, I thought both Quinn and Mara were interesting characters, but I loved how they weren’t the only focus of the book. Burrows still continues to weave the other men into the story as she lays the foundation for the others to have books of their own. I love this aspect of this series, because it really makes the series feel cohesive, and I enjoy how she continuously ties HORNET to Wilde Security.