Review: Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows

honor reclaimedTitle: Honor Reclaimed

Author: Tonya Burrows

Year of publication: 2014

The heroine: Photojournalist Phoebe Leighton

The hero: Former Marine sniper/HORNET team member Seth Harlan

The blurb: Former Marine sniper Seth Harlan is determined to prove that he can still do his job despite his ongoing battle with PTSD. When an old friend contacts HORNET to rescue a black ops soldier, Seth’s stability is strained. He knows all too well what it’s like to rot inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death. And he’s not about to leave a man behind.

Photojournalist Phoebe Leighton just stumbled into the middle of an arms deal. Teaming up with a ragtag team of mercenaries is the last thing she wants to do–especially when she realizes Seth Harlan is assigned to the mission. He may ignite a passion in her she thought long dead, but Phoebe’s hiding a secret that could destroy him.

With a bomb in the mix, HORNET’s mission is suddenly about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of the team struggle to stop a ruthless warlord bent on power, revenge…and death.

Standalone or series: Book two in the HORNET series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: This book is everything a fantastic romantic suspense should be. Seth Harlan is a broken man. He’s a former Marine sniper who was held as a POW for over a year. Beaten, tortured and made to do some things that would make the average person break, he held on until he was rescued… but he’s never been the same. He understandably suffers from PTSD and nobody wants him anymore – not the Marines, not a woman.

It’s been several years after his rescue but he’s still just trying to survive one day at a time. When Travis Quinn brings him onto the HORNET team, he’s not exactly made to feel welcome. Most of them guys don’t trust him. He’s still finding his place when the team’s leader, Gabe Bristow, asks the impossible: return to Afghanistan, where he was held captive, to rescue another POW.

Determined not to squander the chance Quinn has given him, and wanting to pull some aspects of his life together, he goes with the team… and encounters a redheaded photojournalist named Phoebe Leighton. He doesn’t know it, but Phoebe knows exactly who he is and she’s determined to keep that a secret from him, for reasons that are disclosed. Despite the nature of his visit there, Phoebe makes him feel something he hasn’t felt in years: desire.

In the midst of the mission, Seth tries to bond with Phoebe, but his demons are too much. She’s the first woman to see the man underneath the scars, and she wants to be with him. This book was amazing. The relationship between the two leads was painfully realistic in some places, and not rushed. Some parts of the book were hard to read – the brief mentions of what Seth endured during his captivity made me teary – but boy, was it worth reading. This series is some of the best romantic suspense I’ve read, and this author is one of my favourites.

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