Mission Christmas
by Lindsay McKenna & Susan Grant
(SRS #1535, $4.99 PG) ISBN 0-373-27605-9
Christmas Mission contains two novellas featuring alpha female pilots from the fighter squadron Black Jaguar, an all female flying unit. In the first story, Lindsay McKenna brings us Major Dallas Klein. While awaiting a new posting, she has been temporarily assigned to the Nogales Border Patrol Unit. Fresh from her prior job of drug interdiction in Peru, she is well qualified to run that unit on the US-Mexican border. The supervising agent has long lost control of the unit he calls The Wild Bunch.

Led by Mike Murdoch they have done pretty much what they please, when they please. Murdoch is still emotionally recovering from the betrayal of his wife who had married him for the sole purpose of knowing when and where their interdiction flights would be made, then conveying this information to her drug smuggler compatriots. His bitterness extends to all females, especially to his new boss Dallas Klein.

This story has many humorous parts pitting Dallas against Murdoch, and her determination to earn respect, and to mask her attraction for him. Likewise he struggles with his desire for her that he absolutely does not want to feel. Characters are realistic, the dialog is funny and the resolution never in doubt.

Susan Grant stars pilot Captain Kat Wallace who has been reassigned to C-17 transports. Her most recent orders are to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Virsland, a country in conflict in northern Europe. She has more than a passing acquaintance with the country; years earlier she washed out their Crown Prince Alek in US pilot training. Kat was forced to do this by his immature and spoiled indifference to learning, notwithstanding her tremendous attraction to him.

Alek returned home in time to watch his father assassinated and the figurehead for the army assume control of the nation. The national press assumed he had been killed as well. Contrary to this public belief he had organized the counter revolutionaries and after years they are about to reassume the leadership of the country.

Kat lands in snowy conditions and is immediately surrounded by government officials who claim she is importing arms for the counter revolutionaries. She is "saved" by an attack of the counter revolutionaries led by none other than Alek. Quite a coincidence and the resulting love story follows. He credits Kat with his epiphany causing him to finally mature and she succumbs to her initial attraction, all in time for a Merry Christmas.

Mission Christmas is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

--Thea Davis

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