Author: Christi Snow
Release Date: April 28, 2013
When the Mission Ends #3
Genre: Military/suspense Romance
Format(s): Paperback (330 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Author
About the book:
They had a single night of passion before he deployed on a risky mission.
18 hours on a mission gone very wrong was all it took to shatter all their hopes and dreams.
He survived 6 months of captivity and torture, kept alive by dreams of her.
She thought he was dead and moved on only to have her world fall apart once again.
Two people who have been hurt more than any two people should ever have to suffer. Can they find redemption and healing with each other or will another threat shatter what’s left of them?
A tortured hero.
A grieving heroine.
A serial rapist who won’t give up.
What B is talking about:
Having recently lost her fiancé in a shooting, Julie Hyatt isn’t exactly coping well. She feels guilty and lonely, and wants nothing more than to bury herself in work and wedding plans for her best friend. But, when her new neighbor, the same man she fell hard for before he was deployed overseas, moves in, she’s faced with the truth of her feelings for him, even though wanting him as badly as she does seems so wrong.
After surviving six months of torture when his plane crashed during a mission, Chris Robertson returned home to find that the woman he’d been living for believed him dead and had moved on with another man. Now that he’s getting better, fate has given him another chance to win her heart, if only she weren’t still hurting from the loss of her fiancé. But, when he and Julie become the target of a madman, Chris refuses to be anywhere other than by her side, and settling for friendship will be more difficult than either of them thought possible.
One thing I’ve learned about the When the Mission Ends series is that the central group of friends in the stories definitely falls within the “cursed” category. Plane crashes, vengeful mafia reprisals, stalkers, and so on plague these characters in every book. So much strife could easily overshadow both the relationships and suspenseful aspects of the story, but Ms. Snow gives her characters extraordinary fortitude and a believable and incredibly strong bond with one another that allows them to persevere through all the difficulties that come their way. These friendships are some of my favorite parts of Operation: Endurance, in particular, often being the primary source of levity in an otherwise sinister and unsettling tale.
Operation: Endurance is certainly the darkest of these stories I’ve read yet, and may not be for everyone based on that alone. Julie is being stalked by a serial rapist whose crimes are narrated from his perspective, and so, are very detailed and graphic. No mere puppet, this rapist thoroughly believes in what he’s doing. He sees himself, not as a victim, and therefore incapable of controlling his actions, but as a savior with a purpose and a death wish of his own.
While the crimes committed in Operation: Endurance are disturbing, there are plenty of highly suspenseful moments that push the story along at a brisk pace and kept me worrying a great deal for the main characters. Although I had my suspicions about the villain’s identity fairly early in the narrative, Ms. Snow introduced enough well rounded secondary characters that I second-guessed myself several times throughout the story. I was pulled back into the story again and again this way, and it served the additional purpose of giving these characters more layers to their personalities and making them seem more vibrant as a result.
Perhaps the strongest part of the story is the romance between Julie and Chris. They have both been through so much, and considering all the characters have been put through the wringer in some way or other, that’s saying quite a lot. Despite all the attempts they both make to shield themselves from the pain that would surely be caused by admitting their true feelings, they simply can’t resist one another. It is their shared, secret past, combined with the inevitable scars that are the mark of true survivors that makes them absolutely perfect for one another. Ms. Snow is very gifted when it comes to erotic tension, and when Julie and Chris finally give in to their mutual desire, she absolutely delivers.
When the Mission Ends is a great series, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these characters. While the graphic nature of the rape scenes was a bit too strong for my tastes, I appreciate that they were necessary in order to create a monster like the one in this story. Julie and Chris are one of my favorite pairings so far, and I enjoyed seeing them make their way back into each others’ hearts tremendously. Operation: Endurance is an important addition to the series, and I was more relieved than I thought I’d be to see hints about the next novel. I’m not sure what else might be in store for this resilient and devoted group of friends, but I’m excited to find out.
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)
Reviews in the Series: