Plot Summary: [from goodreads.com] “An inexplicable ailment was striking down the children of Russia; in less than forty-eight hours, American medical missionary Sarai Curtiss had watched two young patients slip away, and she feared she might have an epidemic on her hands. Yet how could she help anyone in the middle of a violent coup? The new leadership had demanded all foreigners leave the state–on pain of death. Unwilling to leave her clinic, but unable to combat her enemies alone, Sarai had to join forces with an unlikely ally–Roman Novik, the rebel Cobra Captain who broke her heart. Faced with a corrupt government, a brutal military and the truth of their own deepest feelings, it would be a race against time to save the lives on the line–and an entire country at risk.”
My Book Review: No, this review has nothing to do with a Jake Gyllenhaal action flick. Gotcha.
I became interested in this three-book series (Mission: Russia) by Susan May Warren a couple of years ago because of the intrigue+romance aspect of it. I read the first book, “In Sheep’s Clothing” (which you can read review of here) last year but to be honest, I was left wanting. However, I decided to go ahead and read the second installment since A) it’s more of a standalone novel; B) it looked more interesting.
I’m glad I tried it as I liked it much better than the first. The sequel details the story of Viktor’s (Viktor is Book #1’s hero) friend Roman as he seeks to rescue an old acquaintance (okay, a romantic flame from 10+ years’ past) from a dangerous coup who has it in for her because of her knowledge of secrets they don’t want to get out. The story was fun, fast, and kept me guessing to the end. I thought Roman– love that name!– made a better hero than Viktor, but I had to struggle to see what he saw in Sarai. She was really quite annoying and made me want to slap her sometimes. I don’t say that often.
It was fun to read something set in another part of the world, and I’ve always had an interest in Russia. Descriptions were great, dialogue was humorous, and the book had the benefit of the author’s experience for having been a missionary there at one point.
Yet at the same time, it also suffered from some of my complaints about the first novel. Even though it is an action story, it just has way too much cheesy mushiness throughout that feels forced and sort of gets in the way of another wise interesting book. If I had realized sooner that it was a Steeple Hill romance novel, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to put it on my TBR to begin with. But as far as that genre goes, it was probably better than most because of the international intrigue side of things. I appreciated that it wasn’t a steamy romance, and the characters acted with propriety. And I don’t know how things go with romance publishers, but it may be that they require authors to have so many romance-checklist additives per page. ? Which could explain why it felt cheesy and forced.
The third installment of this series focuses on the other pair I was hoping would come together in the end: Yanna and David. The plot looks interesting, but I’m outta gas for this genre. I’ve decided I’m still interested in trying other books by this author, but no more Steeple Hill for me!
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