Review: Hot Zone by Catherine Mann

June 30, 2013 Reviews 0 Comments

Review: Hot Zone by Catherine MannHot Zone by Catherine Mann
Series: Elite Force #2
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 1 December 2011
Pages: 316
Reading Challenges: 2013 Zodiac Challenge
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star


Mann has given us a romance in the most unlikely of places, an island in the Bahamas destroyed by an earthquake. Pararescueman Hugh Franco who is tasked with finding survivors, comes across Amelia and her adopted nephew Joshua.  Amelia doesn’t know how long she has been buried in the remains of the hotel or what has happened to her family but she insists that the toddler is still alive. Hugh doubts a small child could withstand such conditions but he keeps these concerns to himself. Joshua proves to be quite a miracle baby as he has survived fairly unscathed. This should have been the end of Hugh’s involvement with Amelia and Joshua but when someone tries to kidnap the little tot at the hospital, Hugh does his best to protect them and reunite them with their family.

Hugh threw himself into pararescue missions after the death of his wife and child because he didn’t care whether he survived or not. He can’t bear to be around children as they remind him of the one he lost. These wounds heal rather quickly as he spends time with Joshua. Amelia is a very strong character and every time I thought she had reached her limit, she found some reserves and kept going. Her love for her new nephew shone through, and like Hugh, she was willing to sacrifice herself for the good of others. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance from the moment Hugh offered to hold Amelia’s hand while waiting to be rescued to their raw love scenes.

There is a secondary love story between Dr Aiden Bailey and Nurse Lisabeth (Amelia’s brother and sister-in-law). They survived the earthquake and spent the initial aftermath patching up survivors. Putting aside their own desire to find their family in order to help others was commendable and was able to eventually bring them closer. Aiden had a rather bizarre tragic back story which seemed to come out of nowhere. The groundwork for a potential love story between McCabe and Rachel is also laid.

Hugh’s rescue of Amelia and Joshua was the highlight of the novel. It was quite simply gripping. I wasn’t as invested in the baby smuggling ring aspect as although it was deplorable, it wasn’t life or death. I was pleased that the baddie wasn’t two dimensional and instead had their own twisted reasons for their behaviour.

Ultimately this is a story of survival against the odds and sacrifice. It is incredibly fast paced and I was frankly exhausted at the end even though I’d done nothing more strenuous than turning the page. There is a lot going on with three relationships, the rescue and the smuggling ring and I would have preferred if things had been simplified. It isn’t necessary to read the Cover Me, the first in the series, in order to fully enjoy this one.

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