Grayson’s Surrender

Taking Cover

Wedding at White Sands

 
Pursued by Catherine Mann
(Silh. Bombshell #18, $5.50, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-51332-1
****
I’ve had mixed reactions to the new Silhouette Bombshell series. With some, I liked the strong heroine but felt the book was short on plot. With others, I appreciated the action but wanted more complex characters. Catherine Mann’s Pursued offers a strong heroine, great action, and complex characters. It’s a good example of what the Bombshell series should be.

Josie Lockworth is an Air Force captain dedicated to making improvements in stealth technology. She and a small team have been conducting tests on modified aircrafts. Josie isn’t happy when she learns that someone will be looking over her shoulder and reporting the results. She becomes more unhappy when she meets Diego Morel, the man who will be watching her work.

Diego Morel was a military test pilot himself until a ruptured eardrum stopped his flight career. When Josie first encounters Diego, he seems arrogant, condescending, and even a bit of a jerk. He calls her “little lady.” After their initial meeting, they agree to a truce even as they feel a mutual attraction.

Josie is completely dedicated to her stealth project, partly because she is confident in her abilities and partly because she is building on work her mother did many years ago. Her mother’s work was discredited, and Josie desperately wants the project to succeed so that her mother will be vindicated. Josie works with a team of people who believe in her work. When the project begins to experience problems, Josie must find solutions quickly.

The characters in Pursued are fascinating. Mann skillfully creates characters whose qualities and motivations bring them to life. The tagline of the Silhouette Bombshell series is “more than meets the eye,” and that’s definitely the case here. Josie is a strong, confident woman who also collects Beanie Babies. Diego can be defensive and arrogant; at the same time, he’s courageous and intelligent. He also knows enough about the Powerpuff Girls to have a meaningful, complementary reason for calling Josie “Buttercup.”

To say that Diego has issues is an understatement. He has a chip on his shoulder about being unable to fly and he distrusts women because of his unfaithful ex-wife. The latter leads him to jump to conclusions, but he’s also quick to apologize when he realizes he is wrong. I couldn’t help but admire the way Diego evolves from jerk to hero, and it’s a credible journey.

Only a few minor points detract from the story. Josie believes that being strong means being alone, and she holds onto this belief a bit longer than necessary. And the climactic flight was difficult to visualize, perhaps because I am unfamiliar with military planes and some of the terminology.

Even with these small issues, Pursued is one of the best military and series romances I’ve read in the past several months. Should you seek it out, you’ll find it’s well worth pursuing.

--Alyssa Hurzeler


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