Fallout by Karlene Blakemore - Mowle

Story: 7
Presentation: 8
Total: 15
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Suspense Spicy

Blurb: Risking their lives for others is second nature, but can they trust each other enough to risk their hearts?

Tully Chambers is no damsel in distress. An up and coming detective, she had her sights set on promotion until the day her partner was murdered and she ended up on the run from the mob.

Jake Holden has demons of his own. Having served his country for over twenty years, he’s found himself wounded, alone, and without a plan for his future. What starts as a simple diversion--trying to figure out the feisty little waitress next door—turns out to be his most dangerous mission yet.

From the tropics of Far North Queensland to the rugged isolation of the Northern Territory in Australia, two modern-day warriors discover their greatest fear isn’t that of a madman’s revenge–but of laying their hearts on the line for love.

Review: The first two chapters set the tone for this story. A multitude of non-romantic events occur; an attempted break-in, a loud drunken party in the next apartment, a new ex-army next door neighbor, a mysterious car roaming the neighborhood, a police visit, prowlers in the area, and a loaded gun in a kitchen drawer. These let the reader know immediately that this is not the typical wine, roses, and chocolates romance.

The entire story is full of action. The heroine is a police detective in witness protection. The hero is an ex-army career soldier recovering from severe burn injuries. This story seems to concentrate on the action rather than romance. And, there is LOTS of action from the beginning to the end; gangsters almost kidnapping her at her front door, the hero taking her miles away to a safe hideout, a police officer being a partner with the gangsters, explosions, shootouts, fights, and the whole gamut of wild happenings. The events are almost fantasy. She gets knocked unconscious and tied with her arms behind her back. But she is able to get up and kick the bad guy, find an ax, but through the binding ropes, continue to fight him (with blood running from an ax cut) and restrain him. This was difficult for me to believe, but this is fiction and anything is possible, right?

This is an enjoyable book, if the reader likes lots of weapons, fighting, shooting, explosions, and intrigue between the cops and the bad guys. Sometimes they are one and the same. There is romance, both physical and emotional between the two leading characters. I finished the book not knowing much about their personalities. That did not appear to be a major part of the story. It seemed that the author was more involved in the "action" than the characters. The supporting characters, both good and bad guys, were not well developed either

I was confused by language and idioms used in the first fifty pages. I had no idea what RTA, hot chips, SNAG, over 30 degrees being hot, food out of an esky and crossing a cattle grid and some other phrases meant. Then, when the writer wrote about the crime capital of Australia... a light appeared and I realized the setting of the story and the unfamiliar phrases were not as distracting.

All in all, it was a fun story to read. I think the writer's purpose was to be entertaining. The only messages apparent to me were good wins over bad and love wins in the end.

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