Disclaimer: I am acquaintances with the author; however, I purchased this ebook for full price.

With so many characters introduced in the first HORNET book, I was a bit bummed to realize that the hero of the second installment of this fun series was a brand-new teammate. However, Seth is a compelling character for multiple reasons, and I was still hooked at once.

The obvious dent in Seth’s armor is the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) he experiences as a result of his time as a POW. Luckily, Burrows does not make that the entirety of Seth’s character. He’s got problems, but he’s not “broken.” Even better — falling in love with the heroine does not magically “cure” his PTSD. Obviously PTSD manifests differently in everyone, but I’d like to applaud Burrows for her representation here.

I wasn’t as big of a fan of the heroine of this story. The set-up of Phoebe’s prior connection to Seth felt a bit contrived, and it made the dark moment obvious from a mile away. She was definitely a character with potential, but it went unused. Without giving away spoilers, I wish she’d had more to do at the finale of the book besides cheer lead from the sidelines.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the story, and the political issues didn’t feel dated (unfortunately). Burrows created an excellent plot that let Seth be the hero of the greater plot, turning his previous experiences into an asset. There was also a excellent, tragic twist at the end that had more emotional impact than the romance arc!

Half the entertainment of this series comes from watching the guys interact with each other, both on and off the job. I’m looking forward to rest of this series.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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