Where's Your Book Today?

That's what people always say to me at work, if I don't have a book or my PDA or my eBookwise Reader with me at lunch. I love to read and I guess it's obvious. So many books, so little time...and so much dust in my apartment.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Willing" by Lucy Monroe

Now, this was what I expected when I picked up the first book in the series ("Ready"). "Willing" is a sexy story with a strong heroine and a brooding, tortured hero (one of my favorite hero-types). I gave it a 4.5 rating.

Josie McCall is the tough-as-nails daughter of Tyler, a paranoid Vietnam vet. She's been trained from an early age to be able to defend herself against any physical attack. In fact, up until recently in the story, she helped to train men who went to her father's military-style training camp, but she's decided to try her hand at a more "normal life."

Daniel Black Eagle (aka "Nitro") is one of the three mercenaries introduced in "Ready." When his fellow mercenaries decide to go into private security, he's not quite ready to trade a more military lifestyle for a more corporate one. So he decides to become a partner Tyler's training camp, to Josie's consternation. She's been attracted to him since the day they met, but his abrupt treatment of her has convinced her that he despises her.

They're thrown together when Tyler's injured by a bomb at his training camp - then disappears. As they try to find both the attackers and her father, they finally admit to each other how much they're attracted to each other.

Yes, this book has a few of the tried-and-true romantic novel stereotypes, and the fact that Josie is a 20-something virgin is the biggest one. But I thought the "backstory" for her virginity fit the character and didn't seem forced. She was raised by a big, tough, paranoid ex-soldier - and spent most of her life being home-schooled. Her only interactions with men were with soldier-wannabees who came into her life for six-week training sessions - and knew her father could kill them in a New York minute! I didn't find her inexperience unlikely in those circumstances.

I read a couple of other reviews that complained Josie relied too much on Daniel to solve the mystery, given her background. My take on that was that we finally had a kick-ass heroine who wasn't TSTL. She was involved in the investigation, but she was able to work with other's strengths as well.

And I just loved Daniel. Yes, yes, he beat himself up for The Big Tragedy in his past. Yet another romance stereotype. But as I said before, the tortured hero is one of my favorites. And he was wonderful with Josie's first time! Yum!

I am now cautiously optimistic about the next book in this series.


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