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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wait Until Dark by M. L. Buchman

Wait Until Dark by M. L. Buchman
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (376 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Name: Big John Wallace Rank: Staff Sergeant, Chief Mechanic and Gunner Mission: To serve and protect his crew and country.

Name: Connie Davis Rank: Sergeant, Flight Engineer, Mechanical Wizard Mission: To be the best...and survive.

Two Crack Mechanics, One Impossible Mission

Being in The Night Stalkers is Connie Davis's way of facing her demons head-on, but mountain-strong John Wallace is a threat on all fronts. Their passion is explosive, but their conflicts are insurmountable. When duty calls them to a mission no one else could survive, they'll fly into the night together—ready or not.

Heart-in-throat, adrenaline-pumping action immediately pulls the reader into a lethal situation in the dark of night—the night stalkers' world.

Whether it is the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan, the Ukraine, the white cold of Sweden or just the training grounds of Nevada to test new equipment in the Black Hawk, the reader is swept into a hi-tech military world that boggles the mind and sends the heart racing; then comes the exquisite love story that is woven into Wait Until Dark. It puts the emotions into a veritable tail spin. The many levels of love that reach to the depth of the soul and bring tears, smiles, laughter, and deep-down satisfaction make this story memorable.

Sergeant Connie Davis, mechanic and gunner on the Black Hawk Vengeance, knows what she bargained for when she drove herself to the limit to become a member of SOAR (a night stalker). She is ever aware that death can be a nanosecond away, but doing her part to complete a mission drives away her demons and gives her life purpose. Alone in the world and always an outsider, she finds herself in unfamiliar territory with Staff Sergeant John Wallace, chief mechanic and gunner on the Vengeance.

Connie is a complex character that the reader comes to know bit by piece as she does her job with a speed and efficiency that her superiors have never seen before. Professionally she is confident but in personal life, she flounders, always guarding against getting emotionally hurt. She already has all the hurt she can bear.

Getting to know the true Connie is like peeling an onion a layer at the time. She is truly a work in progress that allows the reader to see her mesmerizing metamorphosis. When she switches her remarkable ability to concentrate from work to lovemaking—WOW! And when her own unassuming self wins the hearts of the Wallace family, one feels like celebrating to know she is loved for the person she is—flaws and all. Her relationship with Grumps, John’s grandfather, is eloquent in its own rusty-tractor-repairing way. Their connection with and acceptance of each other is something special that the reader is privileged to vicariously share.

Big John Wallace and Connie work together with professional ease and trust. She is quiet and calm and in sync with him as they keep the Black Hawk ready and fit for the demands made on it. He is easy-going, humorous, likeable, steady, a good friend, loyal and has the ability to help Connie feel safe like she has not felt since she was thirteen years old. His connection with people is something that she has never had. His family adores him as he does them. But all their love has never wiped away his feeling of not belonging. Yet he admits he does what he does to try to make their world a safe place. How he and Connie complete each other and how unconditional family love slips in and gives redemption to both of them makes spellbinding reading.

M L. Buchman’s ability to keep the reader right in the middle of the action is amazing. The detailed descriptions about missions, the feel of the Black Hawk as it takes enemy fire, the hair-raising scraps through mountain passes, the in sync actions of the Vengeance crew with each other and the trust they have in each other, along with their faith in Viper their partner helicopter captivates. The reader’s senses and emotions are bombarded with what is happening sometimes in a subtle way and at other time in a full-out assault.

If you have read other “night stalkers’ books, you will recognize some of the secondary characters that loom big as life in their part in Wait Until Dark. Major Emily Beale and Mark “The Viper” Henderson are still a high voltage couple full of humor, love, and abilities that astonish. There are even some VIP characters in the story that add a touch of mystery and intrigue as well as a bit of humor.

Exquisitely written, sensory-loaded, and soul-satisfying  Wait Until Dark is a phenomenal vicarious adventure for the reader that is full of secret military missions, farm life, family love, and best of all that precious soul mate kind of love that Big John and Connie have. It keeps the emotions and senses on full alert from first to last pages. Super good reading!