RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan

B+

Title: Forged in Fire
Author: Trish McCallan
Publication Info: Montlake 2012
ISBN: 9781612185330
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Forged in Fire This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Willa. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Romantic Suspense category.

The summary:     

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions. But her recent dream feels too real to ignore: a commercial airliner is hijacked, and a handsome passenger is shot dead. Beth hasn’t met the mystery man in her dream; she would never forget a gorgeous face like his. But she can’t deny the bizarre connection she feels.

Now awake, and unable to allow for the violence she’s convinced is impending, she races to the airport…and comes face to face with the man of her dreams. Zane Winters lives for his job, using his uncanny psychic powers to carry out missions for elite SEAL Team 7. Yet the constant adrenaline highs can’t drown out the numbness seeping into his life as he yearns to find a woman he can trust.

All that changes when he meets a beautiful stranger who sets his soul on fire—and somehow knows he’s about to die. To thwart the global crisis the hijacking will unleash, Beth and Zane join forces.

But even amid the danger, they can’t deny the powerful force drawing them together. Is it merely attraction…or destiny?

And here is Willa's review:

If you like your romance served with a side of military lingo, weapons, tactics, nonstop action and smokin' hot SEALs, Forged in Fire is for you.  This book is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.  McCallan's writing is terrific.  The heat between Beth Brown and Zane Winters ignites the first time they meet and grows throughout the book.  Strong secondary characters (perfect for several sequels) and a full panoply of bad guys, from thugs to mysterious puppet masters, make it hard to tell where the next bullet, knife or punch is coming from.  On the strength of the conflict, action and romance, I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat.

But.  There's a paranormal element to the story – Beth's dreams and Zane's precognition, along with a psychic bond that occurs when a male of his family finds his one true mate.  Normally, I'm a fan of psi talents, but in this case, I'm not in love.  The paranormal elements weren't needed to make this a great read.   They took me out of the story when they too conveniently moved the plot along, or were too easily accepted.  I might buy Zane's family history, but its only purpose seems to be to keep him dedicated to Beth.  Why wouldn't attraction, not to mention his honor and training as a SEAL, do just as well – or better?  Beth dithers over the dreams that initially bring her into the action, and dithers some more when she starts hearing Zane in her head, but, spunky heroine that she is, accepts it all too quickly and moves on.  It's all unnecessary and distracting from the terrific action and intrigue.

With some adjustments to the plot, the romance and the action-packed parts of the book would have made a fabulously fun read on their own.  The paranormal elements didn't work for me.  Despite that, I enjoyed Forged in Fire, and am looking forward to the next in the series.


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