Review: Wait Until Dark by M.L. Buchman

Filed in 3 1/2 Stars , featured , M.L. Buchman , Review , The Rocket Lover Posted on February 6, 2013 @ 11:00 am 1 comments

15942606Format read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Series: Night Stalkers #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Number of pages: 386 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads | Author’s Website | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Book Depository (US) | Book Depository (UK) | Publisher’s Website

Two Crack Mechanics, One Impossible Mission

Being in The Night Stalkers is Connie Davis’s way of facing her demons head-on, but mountain-strong John Wallace is a threat on all fronts. Their passion is explosive, but their conflicts are insurmountable. When duty calls them to a mission no one else could survive, they’ll fly into the night together—ready or not.

My Thoughts:
M.L. Buchman’s Night Stalkers series anticipated the U.S. military’s removal of the ban on women in combat positions by casting three women as warriors in the Night Stalker squadron in what I suspect is well ahead of actual events. Notice I said “combat positions” and not just “combat”. In the modern era of warfare, there is no defined front line. Women are serving in combat. They just haven’t been able to be recognized for it when promotions come around in these days of the “all-volunteer” army.
Somewhere in fiction-land, Sam Carter is smiling.
Each book in Buchman’s Night Stalkers series has focused on one of the four seats in a four-seater DAP Black Hawk helicopter. So far we’ve seen the pilot and the co-pilot find their HEAs. This time it’s the Chief Mechanic, Big John Wallace’s turn. Big John has been a mainstay of the crew so far, so it’s only fitting that he should finally get his chance at a happy ending.The thing about the story is that John really isn’t the point-of-view character. That position is reserved for Connie Davis, the temporary replacement mechanic taking over for Kee Stevenson while she’s on her
And Connie is a closed book. We spend a lot of the story, not just waiting for dark, but waiting for Connie to open up a little, even to herself.

Connie is in a LOT of pain. Most of the Night Stalkers have something traumatic in the pasts, either the reason they strove so damn hard to join SOAR, or something that happened after they got there. But Connie is so closed off that she doesn’t let much daylight in, even in the privacy of her own head.

This story is a lot like jokes about being in the Army, “hurry up and wait”.

Connie refuses to get close to anyone. She refuses to let anyone close to her. And we really don’t know why. She doesn’t let herself feel anything. Again, the explanations are left unrevealed because she just won’t go there, even to herself.

While I admire Connie’s tenacity, it makes her damn frustrating as a heroine. Big John is also the strong, silent type. We’ve basically got two people who don’t talk much, even in the privacy of their own minds.

The way their relationship begins is that they are able to fix the helicopter without needing to ask each other for tools or parts–they are just that in sync. It scares her and intrigues him. But it doesn’t give us readers much to work with.

Then John takes Connie home with him on leave, not because he necessarily thinks they might start something, even though he’s finally begun to see her in that light…but because he’s finally gotten through her silent withdrawals to realize that the woman has absolutely nowhere to go. At all.

Never has, and has no expectation that she ever will. Connie has no belief that a soldier can have a future. John and his family teach her otherwise.

John finally gets it through her head, and her heart, that there’s a future worth fighting for.

And not just a mission worth dying for.

1963silverdollar Verdict: Unlike the first two Night Stalker books, this one had a surprisingly slow start. The action doesn’t pick up until John takes Connie home with him, and then it’s more about her reactions to his family than the romance.

There is a romance, but it’s of the slow and steadily developing kind. They do get there, but neither of them are people who wear their hearts on their sleeve. This story is a lot more about Connie coming to believe that love and happiness are something worth fighting for.

One of the best parts of this series as a whole is that the women are soldiers every bit as much as the men. There’s a scene in the book that gave me chills. John’s younger sister graduates ROTC and becomes an officer. Connie arranges to be the first enlisted person to salute her. It’s tradition. But instead of seeing an “old boy’s network”, we see an “old girl’s network” start to rise. Very cool.

 photo 3-one-half-stars.pngI give  Wait Until Dark 3 and 1/2 shining stars! Somebody needs to salute!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Marlene

Marlene is a librarian, ebook advocate, science fiction fan, and RPG fan who lives in the Atlanta suburbs. She and her husband are owned by four cats, just ask them. She's a geek and a nerd and proud of it. She's also an avid reader of everything, including the back of the cereal box, and has been blogging since April 2011 at Reading Reality and is a reviewer at Library Journal as well as active on Goodreads. She is also the publisher of Ebook Review Central.

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  • Lily B February 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Aww I am sorry this one had a slow start, that would drive me nuts. But this series looks like something I would enjoy, will have to look for it 😀

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