Friday, July 10, 2015

Wine Club #Review ~ Hell or High Water (Deep Six #1) by Julie Ann Walker!

Wine Selection: 
2011 Deep Sea Chardonnay, The Sea Turtle
This limited production Chardonnay is a pretty, golden color, with plenty of citrus, zesty acidity, and vibrant texture. Brilliant notes of lemon peel, key lime, and a hint of pineapple make this wine an easy accompaniment to light cuisine, and an excellent choice for Chardonnay drinkers.

Paired With: 
Hell or High Water (Deep Six #1)
by Julie Ann Walker 

235101482011 Deep Sea Chardonnay, The Sea Turtle

Lexi: Julie Ann Walker has a new series! Yes, that same author who bought us the Black Knights Inc. And yes, this series is as good as Black Knights. Want to know why? Alpha heroes. Walker can write alpha heroes and create worlds that are built to last, into the next book then the next then the next. Tell me you loved Hell or High Water as much as the Black Nights series, Crystal!

Crystal: Ohmygosh, yes! In fact, I may have loved it just a bit more and the setting is what gave it that extra appeal. Set off the coast of the Florida Keys; how can you not be drawn in by the steamy romance, hot temperatures, danger and adventure on the high seas? Hell or High Water grabbed me hook, line and sinker! What did you think, Kimberly?

Kimberly:  The setting played a big part of my enjoyment, too!  When the prologue starts off in the year 1624, I was thrown for a loop but this beginning helped set the tone for the high seas adventure you talked about, Crystal. The sense of danger, intrigue, and adventure starts off strong and never really lets up.  The time stamps provided throughout the story also helped to keep the pace speedy and kept me engaged and locked in.

Lexi: I am a sucker for alpha heroes who are currently or were previously serving in our military. I had hit a rut for a while thinking these types of novels were all sounding the same until Hell or High Water. Navy SEALS turned treasure hunters? What a great combination! Walker holds nothing back and writes Leo and his team vividly, fills each page with action, so much for treasure ships when you have terrorists and kidnapping. Did Leo’s team hit a sweet spot for you?

Crystal: Absolutely! Who doesn't love military or ex-military heroes? No one. Anywhere. Ever. ☺ I'm surprised that there aren't more of this type of setting for ex-SEAL characters though, they go hand-in-hand so perfectly. Julia Ann Walker is brilliant for putting the two together and I couldn't get enough of Leo's team. I also liked the fact that Walker didn't cram all of the characters together at one time and overwhelm the main story line. Despite there being six ex-SEALs turned salvage divers, the majority of the story followed only four; Wolf, Bran, Mason, and Leo of course. On a side note; me remembering all of their names without having to look back through the pages, two of which were predominantly side characters, tells you something right there! LOL 

Kimberly:  Even though this is the first in a new series, like you both talk about, I never felt overwhelmed with all the characters.  Each character had their place and played their part perfectly, they weren't there simply for the sake of series baiting. The very relaxed tone of the dialogue made it feel like I was really invited into their circle of friends, everything felt natural and real which I think is important when your story involves terrorists and deadly chemicals, issues the average person probably doesn't have everyday experience with.  It was also fantastic how Walker kept business and pleasure separate.  Olivia and Leo definitely have the hots for each other but they, realistically and sanely, deal with the whole terrorists are trying to get deadly chemicals before they indulge in some sexy times. 

Lexi: Another thing I find irresistible in books is humor and Hell or High Water has the perfect amount for me. I love pop culture references, they typically make me laugh out loud. I love quick witted heroines, Olivia is that and then some. And I love a good romance when the couple has the kind of attraction that burns up the pages. I know you laughed out loud too, fess up Crystal.

Crystal: I love the quick whit that Julie Ann Walker embodies in her characters and Hell or High Water was no exception. I found myself smiling throughout most of the book. Olivia and Leo played off each other perfectly and their chemistry was tangent. I enjoyed the back and forth between Leo and Olivia, whether it was them trying to sort out the other's true feelings, deciding on a game plan, or Leo trying to keep Olivia out of the danger. As you can imagine, that last bit didn't work out too well for Leo. These were both head strong characters that knew which battles to fight and it was an awesome journey for them and this reader, both! 

Kimberly:  Humor is usually a tough one for me in books but like you both, I think it worked very well here. Remember the terrorists and deadly chemicals Those are some pretty dark topics that bring along darker topics of death and destruction, which Walker did not shy away from.  The humor, which falls into gallows and puns territory, helped to give relief from the darker tones and provide some lightness. It also helped to give more depth to our characters relationships, they felt realer. I’m also quite the fan of Meat the bulldog, who adorably helps with the comic relief.

Lexi: I don’t know what else I can say about this book without starting to spill what happens and you won’t get any more than the blurb out of me. It’s too fun a read to spoil it for you dear readers. Hell or High Water is well written, has two great MCs, Leo and Olivia, and has brought us a whole team of SEALs to anxiously wait on their own books. This deserves 5 wines from me. Five glasses is guaranteed to go to my head just as much as this book did. Care to get tipsy with me?

Crystal: Hell or High Water was a potent story written by a talented author; fast-paced with a clever dialogue, captivating characters and vivid world-building. A definite five wine glasses from this reader. I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Devil and the Deep. Readers catch the beginning sparks to what promises to be a sizzling romance in Hell or High Water. However, you have some catching up to do, my friend *sip*... I went back to read the prequel to this series in the anthology, Way of the Warrior already! At the beginning of Hell or High Water, it seemed that I may have been missing something in the team's dynamics. And I loved it. However, you don't need to read Hot as Hell like I did, I am happy to say that they are each fully standalone's despite their entwining characters. Cheers!

Kimberly:  I definitely am toasting with you both on this one!  I had a great time reading this and am going to be stalking Walker until I get to read about the whole Deep Six team.  The adventure (seriously, that underwater battle scene was intense!) and connection all our characters shared provided one heck of a reading ride!  If you like high seas adventure, men who get the job done,  and a main couple who separately can kick butt and take names but only become stronger (and hotter!) when together, then you'll definitely want to read Hell or High Water.

Title: Hell or High Water
Series: Deep Six #1
Author: Julie Ann Walker
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published: July 7th, 2015 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Netgalley
Links: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Reviewers: Lexi, Crystal, Kimberly
In a world on the brink...
Six men. One sunken Spanish galleon. Millions in gold and silver coins lying on the ocean floor. And a past that refuses to let the guys of Deep Six Salvage forget the Navy SEAL motto: the only easy day was yesterday...
There's more than one kind of treasure...
The nation's security has always been CIA agent Olivia Mortier's top priority. But a mission-gone-wrong has begun to make her wonder if there's more to life than risking hers.
And more than one secret at the bottom of the sea...
Only two things could make Leo Anderson abandon his hunt for the legendary lost ship, La Santa Christina, and return to the world of weapons and warfare he swore to leave behind: a capsule of enriched uranium, lost on the ocean floor, and a plea for assistance from the one woman he can't seem to forget...


  1. Thanks for the review - you ladies confirmed that I want to read this book and probably the series!


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