Title: Silent Threat
Series: Mission Recovery #1
Author: Dana Marton
Format: Kindle, 311 pages
Published: January 2nd 2018 by Montlake Romance
ISBN: ASIN B071VF6YV4
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
A former Navy SEAL, Cole Makani Hunter has returned home from a disastrous black ops mission without his best friend, his hearing, or the use of his right arm. So when his ex–commanding officer assigns him to an undercover mission at a rehab center for vets to discover who leaked sensitive military information to an enemy, he’d rather be anywhere but there. Almost immediately, Cole finds himself at odds with Annie Murray—a peace-loving ecotherapist whose dream is to open an animal sanctuary out of her home. While the two seemingly have nothing in common, their spirited arguments soon fuel a passion for each other.
But just as things begin to heat up between therapist and patient, dangerous complications arise. So does the past—and a shocking revelation that puts Cole and everything he now holds dear in the path of a murderous traitor.
He scissored his legs, pulled hers out from under her, and brought her to the ground. Then, on some stupid impulse, he rolled on top of her to immobilize her, like he would have with an enemy combatant.
She stared up at him, wide-eyed, her long hair spread over the carpet of autumn leaves. She was soft against all his hard places.
“Maybe I could get into this one-with-nature business.”
Silent Threat by Dana Marton is a riveting tale of sexy romantic suspense. Dana is one of my favorite authors and her books never fail to ratchet my pulse while pulling on my heartstrings. This is the story of ecotherapist Annie Murray and wounded warrior and former Navy SEAL Cole Makani Hunter. She’s being stalked and he’s in recovery rehab.
I liked Annie and Cole a lot. Annie is such a positive influence! She connects well with others. She’s innately qualified to share nature’s health benefits with the vets at the clinic where she works part-time. Her ecotherapy classes help vets reconnect with nature via barefoot walks in the woods and drawing analogies from nature that the vets can relate to their issues. The unique pet sanctuary she runs out of her home goes the extra mile to illustrate what a huge heart she has. Her caring lifestyle extends not just to her patients and pets but embraces those who have wronged her, including her maternal grandfather. When she is assigned Cole’s case, she knows that he will be a challenge for her, but it’s one that she looks forward to!
The last thing Cole believes he needs is a tree-hugging class. But, during their first meeting, he amazingly relaxes enough for a quick snooze – something he’s not been able to do with drugs since he was injured. Despite his reservations about Annie’s unorthodox methods, Cole vows to give ecotherapy a chance. He finds himself drawn to her warm and positive spirit. When she finds herself in danger, Cole becomes her protector. Cole has near total hearing loss, limited mobility in his right arm and a boatload of psychological issues from the trauma of losing his team and being tortured and held as a prisoner of war for six months. He’s been sent to this rehab centre on the premise that he’s there for treatment. That’s true – but Cole won’t admit that he needs help. There’s another reason Cole is there and it’s the reason that Cole adheres to but cannot share. Someone at the centre is leaking secrets to the enemy in Yemen. Cole’s mission is to uncover the staff or patient who is responsible for these transmissions. So, Cole participates in the therapy program and, every chance he gets, he investigates, and spends time with Annie.
Intermingling with our main characters, are a few treasured players from Dana’s Broslin Creek series. For instance, when Deathwatch (Broslin Creek #1), ended, Murphy Dolan and Kate, his girlfriend, had big plans for a veterans’ rehab center. One of Silent Threat’s primary settings is that now-operational Hope Hill Rehab Centre in Broslin, Pennsylvania which offers an array of counseling options including traditional, ecotherapy, acupuncture and meditation.
This book also served to educate me on some serious subjects in an interesting and entertaining way. I learned that American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth-most-studied language in college now. Studies show that ASL grows your brain. Researchers have documented an eight-to-thirteen-point rise in IQ in kids who study ASL. It makes me want to take some classes in it! In addition, anyone who gardens, can speak for the benefits that being in nature bestow. I had no idea that there was a name for it. Regardless, I was more-than-intrigued by Annie’s ecotherapy methods and want to try a few of the heroine’s tips.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Silent Threat:
He blinked. “Have you ever run naked through the woods?”
“Certainly.” She allowed a moment to enjoy the way his eyes flared.
“Why? His voice roughened, deepened, back to that just-awakened grizzly-bear tone.
“To be one with nature, without barriers. To feel the wind and the moonlight on my skin.”
Several seconds passed before he responded. “You can’t feel moonlight.”
“Notice the way the dirt feels under your feet, how great the air smells, how beautiful the trees are, how calm and majestic.”
He snorted, and she could tell he was fighting not to roll his eyes as he asked, “Calm as opposed to what? All the other trees that run around like headless chickens?”
“Ninja therapy is a completely different branch. I could never do that. I don’t even like wearing black.”
This story starts off with a bang and the thrills don’t let up till the very end. The tension, suspense and action scenes are heart-arresting. The couple’s romantic relationship is not rushed. It’s a slow-build development with plenty of push and pull from each side and a delight to watch from the sidelines. Their banter is priceless and often left me either laughing or swooning or both. I’ve read the extended epilogue twice – it’s that good. Now, I can’t wait to see where Dana takes this series next.