Monday, November 16, 2009

Review: Show No Fear

Title: Show No Fear
Author: Marliss Melton
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: SEAL Team 12/Book 7
Published: September 2009

From the back cover ~


Lucy Donovan always gets her man. As a fiercely independent CIA agent, she's survived hundreds of death-defying missions. But her latest may just get her killed. Weighed down with a secret she's desperate to keep, the last thing Lucy needs is to be sent undercover with a man who brings out the best--and the worst--in her.


Navy SEAL Gus Atwater never turns down an assignment, even if it means working with the only woman he's ever loved and lost. So with a volatile mix of desire and distrust, Lucy and Gus confront their tangled past. Pretending to be man and wife is risky enough, but now the clock is running out. As their mission escalates from desperate to deadly, will Lucy's secret expose them both?

The latest book in Melton's SEAL series was a quick read, coming in at just under 300 pages. The hero and heroine are former college sweethearts that, due to a tragedy, have gone their separate ways. He's now a SEAL who is occasionally "loaned out" to the CIA. She is a field operative for the CIA, one who has repeatedly put her life in danger. The two meet up during a daring rescue after not seeing each other for eight years. The spark is still there but they both have jobs to do.

Lucy Donovan has a horrible memory of death riding her. After recovering from her last dangerous mission she finds herself on a new mission with an old partner. Her college sweetheart James Atwater aka LT. James "Gus" Atwater. To say she's surprised to see him is an understatement. The last time she saw him was nearly a year ago under extreme conditions. She never thought she'd see him again. Now they are being sent in undercover as part of a UN contingent attempting to broker the release of two hostages of FARC. Lucy isn't happy about teaming up with Gus, she prefers to work alone, not depending on anyone. Adding their past relationship and tension between the two is high.

Gus Atwater's dream wasn't to be a Navy SEAL. He went to college with dreams of being an architect. But 9/11 changed that and changed the focus of his life to serving his country in the best way he knows how. He's done well, honing his body and mind into that of a warrior. His focus has been on his career while his personal life has taken a bit of a backseat. He never forgot Lucy and is thrilled to see her again but has some serious reservations as to having her on the mission.

Gus and Lucy are an interesting pair. Their college memories are ones of a close relationship of friends and lovers. If certain events had not occurred the reader is given to believe that Gus and Lucy would have continued on to a permanent relationship, most likely marriage. But things did happen and Lucy broke all ties with her past life for her new life in the CIA. Gus and Lucy are both attracted to each other and in their current situation everyday could mean death to one or both of them.

Since college, Lucy and Gus have both dramatically changed their outlook on life. Both have seen war and death. Now that they're together again the feelings they had for each other have come back to the surface. For me, the new Lucy and Gus didn't quite click - had it not been for the mission, I don't think Lucy would have let Gus get close to her again. She was still too much of a loner. She doesn't want anyone close, too much chance of loosing them if they get close.

The plot with the UN representatives, FARC and the Colombian Army tended to take the spotlight from the romance. It's hard to get romantic when you're in the jungle, living among a rebel army and worrying about what might be in living in your shoes when you wake up in the morning. The romance was thin, Lucy and Gus had way too many other things on their minds. The parts that did have them together, well, I couldn't help but think about where they were, bug infested jungle, poor bathing facilities etc. and that they were rarely alone. The accommodations left little room for privacy. So if you're looking for a novel with more romance, I would suggest trying one of the earlier books in the series.

Overall, I did like the story but felt the romance was overshadowed by the military/political plot line. Melton does manage to write a compelling story with lots of action and suspense, just light on the romance. Show No Fear is probably one of my least favorites in the series. I need a better balance of romance/action/suspense. No word on who or when the next book will be out, according to Melton's website, she is looking for a new publisher.

Rating: B


  1. This is Book 7? Are the other ones much better? I think I'm a bit burned out on the CIA/Seal/Special Agent Suspense/Romances ATM. But I do get a the urge to read one once in a while. ;P

    WV word: hoker (I was worried for a minute there)*g*

  2. I think the other books had more romance and alone time for the couples. This one was okay but I wasn't crazy about the setting.

    LMAO @ WV - so close!

  3. Did you read Too Far Gone, Leslie? Because I read that one and thought it was meh... so I'm wondering how this one would compare to Too Far Gone.

    I don't about this author, I think she is very similar to Suzanne Brockmann, so not my taste :(

  4. I did read To Far Gone but I had to look at the author's website to refresh my memory of who's story it was. Ugh. I thought it was okay. While I like the series, the stories & characters don't stay with me the way Brockmann's do. These books are either library or UBS buys for me.

    If you don't like Brockmann I doubt you'll like Melton. :)

  5. Hi Leslie - I have been wondering about this author. I haven't tried her yet, but she has caught my eye as I do really love a good military romance. Have you read Mary Margaret Daughtridge? I love her military heroes. She does a really good job of portraying a very realistic man. How would you say Melton does? Are her heroes more realistic, like Brockman or Daughtridge, or are they more iconic like say Feehan or Lisa Marie Rice's heroes?

  6. Jill ~ I've never heard of Mary Margaret Daughtridge, I'll be sure to look her up. :)

    Melton's heroes are not quite as vivid as Brockman's. They're unique enough to make them individuals but still maintain their "alphaness".