This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tracy Tappan will be awarding one *authentic* military "LCDR Jason 'Casanova' Vanderby" coffee mug, one scented sachet (for the panty drawer) with MAN DOWN cover, one Hershey's chocolate bar, and one Wings of Gold bookmark to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
After being shot down by the Taliban on a Special Operations mission, a Navy pilot and Navy SEAL rescue a beautiful humanitarian doctor. While the three of them evade capture in a race for their lives across northern Pakistan, the two former boyhood friends heal a 10-year breach, and the pilot and doctor find a way to let go of their painful pasts to find love.
Content guidelines: Contains profanity and adult situations. Sensitive readers might find a scene depicting the death of a pet upsetting.
Well, that was one heck of an intro to author Tracy Tappan! I'm a fan of action-packed romance stories, so was excited to give this a try. It's apparently book three of a series, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything at all. I do think, however, that I'll be heading back and trying the first couple of books.
We're thrown right into the action with hell week for SEAL training. I gotta admit, even just reading about it was hard. I can't imagine actually going through it. Our guys are tough! Shane and Jason are great guys, and I have to admit, I wasn't entirely sold that what split up their lifelong friendship was something that actually would have done so. It seemed like a small thing for such close friends. What they went through as kids welded them tightly together. Still, that's a small niggle in a really good book.
Ms. Tappan knows how to torture her characters for sure. My heart aches for the boy Jason was. His father was unbelievably horrible. It was quite possibly the worst child abuse I've ever read about that didn't leave so much as a physical scratch or bruise. No ... his method was worse, I think.
And Farrin? I can't imagine being in an arranged marriage as a teenaged girl ... especially not to a sixty year old man. Her life, while perhaps not as abusive as Jason's, was still scarring. She's such a strong woman to have come through it so well.
The first half of this book is all action, except for a few flashbacks to show us what exactly our characters went through as kids. Jason, Shane and Farrin are fleeing the Taliban and the odds are not exactly in their favor.
Man Down is a page-turner. Yes, there is a romance, but ultimately I think it was more about seeing Jason and Farrin (and to a lesser degree, Shane) grow and change. I was so pleased how Farrin reacted to something at the end of the book (no spoilers here!) and the ending was so sweet, my teeth ached. There's a lead in to the next book a bit, too. So glad Shane gets his story!
Yes, I enjoyed the story. Sure, I had a few quibbles, but I never for a moment wanted to stop reading. In fact, even though my life is crazy busy, I made it through this book in just two days. High praise, indeed, and it earns a solid 4 stars. I really enjoyed it!
The gate was wide open, and through it was pouring a boatload of men!
“Taliban!” Jason snarled over his shoulder at Shane. “About fifty or sixty men, incoming.”
“Shit!” Shane bit out. “We need to set up a firing position. Pick off squirters as they arrive.” He tried to heft himself to a sitting position but didn’t make it.
“With you still seeing cross-eyed? Negative.” Jason jumped off the bed. “Besides, there are too many tangoes.” Who would cover the space between the front gate and this medical tent in about three minutes. “We need to hide, then get the hell out of here.” As soon as fifty backs are turned.
He scanned the room for hiding places. His vision fell on a six-foot-tall cabinet pushed against the wall at the end of one row of beds and set next to a crude nurse’s station. He raced to the cabinet and wrenched open the double doors. Shelves on one side and—yes!—closet space for white lab coats on the other. Hurrying over to Shane, he grabbed two fistfuls of the man’s hospital gown, yanking so hard to get him up, the ties snapped off the back of the gown and the material tore away. Jason stumbled backward, the hospital gown in his hands, leaving a naked and pissed-looking Shane on the gurney.
If Jason had been a woman, he would’ve been impressed. Your friend is packed with solid muscle, Farrin had said. But a quick check of her showed her still pale and distracted.
He charged back over. “Come on!” Looping one of Shane’s arms over his neck, he hauled him off the gurney.
Shane’s IV bag tumbled down to his knees, bobbing on its rubber line.
Jason ripped the needle out of Shane’s wrist while Farrin observed in horror. Sorry, but I don’t have time to follow AMA nursing standards right now. He hustled Shane over to the cabinet and maneuvered him into the coat side. “If it’s me, I’ll knock.” He thrust the H&K 416 rifle into Shane’s hands. “Anybody else opens this door, start firing. And don’t,” he ordered sharply, “pass out while you’re in there.” Sweat beads as big as matchstick heads were already standing out on Shane’s brow.
Jason shut the door, then grabbed his own rifle and the two packs out from under the gurney.
Foreign voices drawing close…
Tracy is the bestselling and award-winning author of gritty romance, her books spanning genres across paranormal (The Community Series), military romantic suspense (The Wings of Gold Series), and medieval historical (The Baron’s War Trilogy). She is married to a former Navy helicopter pilot who served his country for thirty years. During their tours of duty, they lived all over the United States and in Europe, enjoying seven years overseas in the diplomatic community, first in Rome then in Madrid, before settling back in San Diego. She has a master’s degree in Marriage, Family, Child Counseling (MFCC), volunteers for the USO and Wounded Warrior program, and raised Guide Dog puppies.
She loves to play tennis, enjoys a great glass of wine, and talks to her two Labradors like they are humans (admittedly, the wine drinking and the dog talking probably go together). Her website is a fount of information and sexy fun. http://www.tracytappan.com
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