Down Range
by Lindsay McKenna
(HQN, $7.99, PG-13) 978-0-373-77821-8
**
Down Range is the first book in Lindsay McKennaís Operation: Shadow Warriors series, though there is an e-book prequel that isnít necessary to read. Operation: Shadow Warriors is a program in the military that has selected a small number of extraordinary women and has placed them in high-risk combat jobs to study their ability with the purpose of proving that men and women can both serve in the same military positions.

Morgan Boland is part of Shadow Warriors. She comes from a strong female mother and the head of the Operation is a close of mentor of hers. She is strong and talented, but when she gets assigned to a sniper job with SEAL Jake Ramsey she canít believe her luck. Morgan and Jake were an item back in the Academy a decade ago and also had a few nights together a few years ago. But Jakeís not the guy the settle down and heís also not the guy who thinks women can fight.

Jake Ramsey is hoping to show Morgan that heís changed. He can tell right away thatís itís going to be a tough task. Seeing Morgan again has made Jake realize that it may be time to change his ways and settle down. His biggest task now is to prove it to her.

Down Range is an action romance. While their relationship is re-building, they are also on a mission to kill an Afghan Taliban member. The action in the book is good. Itís well thought out and realistically displayed. Itís hard, though, to fathom two characters struggling with their emotional relationship while also trying to stay focused on the mission. Additionally, there is a big secret that Morgan keeps from Jake until the end of the book. Itís a big climax moment and plot turner when she finally tells him and his reaction falls very flat. For all the build up throughout the book, that is the most disappointing part.

The only other critique Iíll offer is the point of view in the book. It switches between characters from paragraph to paragraph without any point of separation in the formatting on the page.

Down Range, unfortunately is not a book I can recommend.

--Nichole Howell


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