Saturday, 6 June 2009

Review – Surviving With Love – Rebecca J. Vickery

 

 

 

Back Of the Book

Sparks start flying when Stacey Parker meets ex-military, hostage-rescuer, Cord McConnell, and she begins to wonder if they will survive this assignment in the wilderness without killing each other.

Cord McConnell felt someone step from the woods. He wasn’t prepared for the sight of a young girl with a wild mane of strawberry blond curls who claimed to be his tracker. “I won’t wait on you if you fall behind and I don’t like whiners. I’m in charge and you do exactly as I say, regardless. Understand?”

“I won’t wait on you if you fall behind either, and whining is for dogs. You’re welcome to be in charge and I’ll follow orders when I agree with them,” She walked from the clearing without waiting to see if the man who sent her senses spinning would follow. 

 

Review

Characters

Cord McConnell – The man to call when all else has failed, and all else has failed when Cord is called in. He’s fast, determined and more often than not he gets the job done. A professional to the end but he also knows his limitation – that is until he meets the local tracker.

Stacy Parker – She is the best at what she does, she knows it, her boss’s knows it and when an urgent job demands the best – the tough guys with the attitude will also find out she is the best and a whole lot more.

 

The Plot

Cord McConnell is called in to help save two missing lads from the great unknown – and unknown in more ways than one. In order to do his thing he needs to team up with one of the best local tracker in the area.

Having a game plan and working as he normally does, he get into the mindset and prepares himself for the journey ahead. Meeting a petite woman out in the wilderness is not Cord’s idea of the ideal way to start a hunt and with him not knowing how gruelling the terrain or the journey itself might be – he did not have time for the distraction of rescuing a wondering female.

Stacey Parker however was having none of it and sets him right with literally her first word

“I won’t wait on you if you fall behind either, and whining is for dogs. You’re welcome to be in charge and I’ll follow orders when I agree with them,”

and so the journey had one of two ways to go if some quick compromising was not fast in coming.

Compromise however takes two and these two have alot of issue to overcome before they can truly enjoy the benefits of compromising…

 

“Senator, how old are the boys? Would they be able to handle wilderness like this?” Cord knew that small boys would not survive long. If abandoned, they couldn’t make it alone. And they would be a definite liability if they couldn’t keep up.

“Ricky is sixteen and Don is fourteen. They are both healthy, fairly athletic, Ricky more so than Don. Their father has taken them camping and hiking several times a year since they were old enough to carry a pack. If they weren’t injured in the crash, they can make it. Even if Don falls behind, Ricky wouldn’t leave him. They’ve always been close.” Pride showed in the Senator’s face and voice as he spoke of his grandsons.

“You know my usual fee, sir.” Cord stated his acceptance of the job.

“Very reasonable, under the circumstances,” the gray-haired grandfather agreed. “Half will be sent to your account when you begin, the other half upon completion. And if they are returned home alive I won’t forget the bonus.”

“When do I leave, Senator?” Cord couldn’t walk away from this one. It seemed he never could when kids were involved.

“A private jet is on standby to fly you to Helena, Montana when you have your things ready. From there a chopper will fly you to the crash site. The tracker will meet you there.” The Senator stood and stubbed out his cigar.

“I can leave from here. I have my basic gear with me and anything else I can pick up in Helena.”

“Give the attendant on the plane a list and whatever you need will be on the chopper waiting for you when you land. Order anything that might help. I’ll okay it.”

“Thank you, sir. It’s better if I travel light, so I won’t need much. I hope to be in touch in a few days. I’ll arrange something about fly-overs and a pick-up with the chopper pilot.” Offering his hand to the Senator, Cord smiled for the first time. “If they’re out there, sir, we’ll find them.”

“I certainly hope so, McConnell. A man needs his family.” There were tears in the old man’s eyes as he shook the hand in front of him.

Cord turned and walked to the door. As he opened it, the Senator’s voice stopped him.

“McConnell.” The voice was firm and steady once again.

“Yes?” He looked back over his shoulder.

“It wouldn’t hurt my feelings, and there would be no repercussions, if those men were never seen again. Whatever it takes to bring my grandsons home.” Senator Whitmire looked him straight in the eye.

“I understand, sir.” Cord closed the door quietly behind him.

Surviving With Love (C) Rebecca j. Vickery

 

Surprise element

I have been keeping track on the release of this book for some time now – the blurb was a brilliant build up and it had all the things that appeals to me as a reader and i could not wait to read more.

This is Ms. Vickery first horse out of the stable so to speak and i was not only surprised but very pleased at the quality of the plot. It was well thought out, evenly paced and a lot of reality wrapped into the make believe of this book. It was worth the all nighter i pulled just to finish it in one go.

 

Predictability

Other than the obvious, alpha male meet pretty little girl in the mountain – and from there it’s a total free fall and i loved it. There were twist and turns, bumps and hiccups along the way and the fact that not everything went as expected was a real treat. These protags had to work hard – damn hard in every sense of the word to get anything and they so deserve a HEA.

 

Smut/Ick Factor

This was a honest to goodness hold on to your principle sort of suspense romance. I would use  the word courting but time, distance and the situation they were in would belie the wording. The main protags definately mixed it up – they were aware of the attraction, but they either had enough principle on one hand to know that a roll in the hay is sometimes never worth it and on the other hand they knew that with this particular partner the smut would  be the best thing to have ever happen to them and they were just not prepared for that.

While i would like to say this book could have easily stand on it’s own without the romance element to – it was that good – The romance only soften the edges and makes SURVIVING WITH LOVE just simply a wonderful read.

 

Positive

Where do i begin – straight off i love this book – never thought i would, but after all is said and done, a fantastic read.

Firstly Ms. Vickery either has first hand knowledge of either wilderness techniques or she did a lot of first hand research – I was not only impressed but amazed at the wealth of info that went into this book.

The characters were from the outset, protags that stuck with you and never let you forget them. Cord –ex-military, stubborn, with an attitude, but also has enough experience and common sense to know when to work towards a common goal rather that puff up and be the Mr Big Man in the wilderness.

Stacey – you would almost say she was little Ms. Perfect until you realise that her madness was not only ingrained but she genuinely believed in everything she does and stands for – a woman i have the highest respect for.

The protags were developed – I knew then, when they cried, when they got angry, when they were happy and more over when it came to major decisions – i was rooting for them.

A page turner , if ever there was one. I literally did not stop reading until i clicked the last page. Fast paced, tension filled suspense – old school family issues and new age expectancy all made this book a brilliant read.

This book was a bit of two stories overlapping and intertwining into each other and this made SURVIVING WITH LOVE more enjoyable. The starting and eventual development of Cord’s and Stacey’s relationship was one, then there was the mystery of the “missing” that eventually led then on an adventure the likes of which i have been waiting for – for a long time.

SURVIVING WITH LOVE is one of those reads where everyone in the story –yes even the baddies – got show time. It was nicely done, i thought it made everything more personalised – more real somehow.

I was also constantly amazed that the author gave me everything i could have hoped for, for the two protags, made them jump through as much loop as i would have and literally burst my pessimistic bubble about how they could not be all that and more.

I was dragged through a whole range of emotional highs and lows, but i also have the most fantastic laugh as well with some of the not only comical situation, but the author gave little bits of humour here and there that really broke up the angsty tension of the book.

There was a level of honesty to this book that was frighteningly direct, rude at times and sometimes downright scary – all in all, there was no coyness to any aspect of these people. I love it.

 

Bottom line.

One of the best books i have read so far this year. A book i started reading expecting the run of the mill romance with a dash of mystery thrown in for good measure. What i got was  a well thought out plot. With very professional protags, who not only were direct and honest with each other, but protags who were willing to go the distance once they made up their minds.

The author has step into the spotlight for me, with not only the detail description she uses in the book – but personally i found her knowledge of the area she introduces us to be spot on and her use of techniques to be accurate up to date and delivered in very layman terms.

Nothing was easily in this book, everything had to be worked for but the end result was all the more sweeter just because of that. I am already looking forward to Ms. Vickery’s next production.

 

Negative

This one i am not even going to try finding a negative – they were there most definately, but nothing to take away from my enjoyment of this book.  If there was one thing missing – it would be details of how to get onto a wilderness survival  course – this  book was that good.

 

Cover

I can’t say i was blown away with it, but in the big scheme of things the cover is a more then accurate description of what happens in this book.

 

18 Speak To Me:

Lea on 6 June 2009 at 16:51 said...

Hey EH:

Lovely review! Your enjoyment of this book really shone though and I like that the characters in the novel get equal page time.

I've added it to my list.

If this book is one of the best you've read this year, it must be excellent!

Thank you for posting your thoughts.

L

Cheryl on 6 June 2009 at 20:08 said...

What a thoughtful, insightful review. Makes me want to go out and buy this book and read it until I'm done, just like you did. I love your thorough description of everything about the book. It sounds wonderful! Congratulations, Rebecca! It sounds fantastic!
Cheryl

Yvette Kelly on 6 June 2009 at 20:25 said...

The fact that you loved this book is so obvious with this wonderful review.I have added to my TBR list.

Blodeuedd on 6 June 2009 at 20:40 said...

Blown away...:D sounds great

Erotic Horizon on 6 June 2009 at 21:12 said...

Lea ..

This book was simply a treat - I totally enjoy this book..

Can't say enough..

E.H>

Miss Mae on 6 June 2009 at 21:13 said...

This is one of the most thorough reviews I've ever read! It's obvious how much you enjoyed the story, and Becca, my friend, I'm absolutely thrilled for you. Congrats!

Miss Mae

Erotic Horizon on 6 June 2009 at 21:13 said...

Cheryl..

thank you for visiting - this book really snuck up on me - ad i enjoyed the surprise..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 6 June 2009 at 21:14 said...

Hey Yvette

Even when i wrote the review - i felt like it didn't do it justice.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 6 June 2009 at 21:14 said...

Blodeuedd..

Most definately..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 6 June 2009 at 21:16 said...

Miss Mae..

Welcome...

Thank you for your kind words... this book was so easy to rave about..

E.H>

Rebecca J Vickery on 7 June 2009 at 04:03 said...

Thank all of you so much for the comments. My hubby says if you keep it up my head will be too big to fit through the door. LOL

I am so glad when someone reads my stories and then closes the last page with a sigh and a smile.

Thank you again,
Rebecca

Laura Shinn on 7 June 2009 at 06:26 said...

Rebecca,

This is another fabulous review about Surviving With Love. Congrat's!! This book is so mine once it hits print!! LOL I can't wait to have it in my hands. I'm hoping to buy it before I go on vacation so I can read it alongside the pool. *g*

And I do so love the cover. *g* I think my favorite part of it is the angry bear. I see him and can almost hear the deafening roar!

I'm looking forward to seeing your next release at Class Act Books. Good luck with sales on your recent release! I know you're going to do so very well. *g*

Laura

Erotic Horizon on 7 June 2009 at 08:21 said...

Hey Rebecca...

Every once in a while, we all deserve a big head and i think this is one of those moment..

Congrats on the release again...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 7 June 2009 at 08:24 said...

Hello Laura..

Welcome...

I am also looking forward to it going to print as well.

very pleased as well that you get the cover...

E.H>

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Rebecca on a book more than well written. I'm not surprised and couldn't be more pleased. Margie Church

Erotic Horizon on 7 June 2009 at 15:38 said...

Hello Margie..

Thank you for coming by. Rebecca is definately onto a winner with this one.

E.H>

LORETTA CANTON on 7 June 2009 at 17:10 said...

I read the blog and when to Amazon and bought the kindle edition. I will be reading this afternoon.

Erotic Horizon on 7 June 2009 at 18:22 said...

Hi Loretta - Welcome.

You are so going to enjoy this one..

Have fun.
E.H>