Review: Shamrock by Janie Crouch

shamrockTitle: Shamrock

Author: Janie Crouch

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Chemical engineer/baker Violet Collingwood

The hero: Ex Green Beret/Linear Tactical employee Aiden Teague

The blurb: Every mission has a price. He never meant for her to pay it.

Aiden has never left anyone behind. Not a comrade and certainly not an innocent. But when an undercover mission goes wrong, he’s forced to abandon a woman trapped in a human trafficking ring.

Violet learned brutally that no one is promised a happy ending. She knows Aiden blames himself for his part, but she refuses to let her abduction define the rest of her life.

She won’t be a victim again. And she’s going after what she wants: Aiden.

Watching Violet transform herself into a fierce warrior is the sexiest thing Aiden has ever seen. The honorable plan would be to stay away from her—let her heal and grow without the shadow of his mistakes clouding her progress—even though every instinct tells him to claim her for his own.

But when they discover the danger they thought they’d left behind is closer than ever, they’ll have to confront their fears and fight side-by-side in order to survive.

Standalone or series: This is book three in the Linear Tactical series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Just when you think this series can’t get any better, along comes Shamrock. Aiden Teague is my favourite of the Linear Tactical heroes so far – he’s loyal, protective and caring. An ex-Green Beret who speaks six languages fluently, he’s undercover as an arms dealer, trying to catch a traitor, when he notices something different about one of the scantily clad women at the club he’s in. She looks terrified, and when he spends some time alone with her, he realises she’s being held against her will.

He’s determined to get her out, even if it means blowing his cover, but something happens and he’s not able to get to her in time, which weighs heavily on him. When she’s identified as the younger sister of an ex-Navy SEAL he’s worked with before, Aiden knows he has to save Violet Collingwood because things are not going to get better for her. He and his team are able to extract her safely, but they still don’t know who kidnapped her and why.

After her release, Violet decides it’s time she lives her life the way she wants to. She’s a trained chemical engineer, working for her family’s technology company, but her passion is baking. So she decides to open her own bakery in Oak Creek, and pursue a relationship with Aiden. She makes the first move, which I loved, and it doesn’t take long for them to end up in bed together.

Violet sets up her bakery and hires Jordan Reiss, whom we’ve met in the first two books, as her assistant. Aiden trains her in self defence, and Violet grows stronger in every way possible. She’s a wonderful heroine, one who refuses to wallow in the bad that happened to her, instead choosing to take control of her life and go after what she wants.

Aiden starts to wonder if perhaps their age difference of eleven years is too big a gap, and thinks that perhaps Violet would be better off healing on her own, so he ends the relationship, breaking her heart. But she’s determined to make him see she can still grow as a person with him by her side, and after Violet and Jordan are injured in an incident, Aiden realises he was wrong to walk away.

When the identity of not only Violet’s kidnapper but the mysterious Mr Stellman is finally revealed, it’s such a clever plot twist that you won’t have seen it coming. This book has enough action and mystery to keep those who love romantic suspense happy, and a hot, steamy romance to make your little romantic heart sing – and if you prefer your romances less steamy, there’s a version for you, too!

If this book is any indication of how book four is going to be, we’re in for a real treat. Another five star read from this author.

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