When Savannah von Hopf receives a ransom demand from the Indonesians who abducted her uncle, the first person she thought of for help was Navy SEAL Kenny (WildCard) Carmody. The last time she saw him was in college but he’s always been the crush she never got over. Their first encounter in San Diego was combustible and, unfortunately she failed to explain her connection to his ex-girlfriend who broke his heart. By the time she comes clean, they’re on the way to Indonesia, everything is tense and they walk into a disaster. Meanwhile, Rose von Hopf, Savannah’s grandmother who is a renowned World War II spy for the US, is meeting with the FBI because their sources have reported her son missing.
I read this story over ten years ago and am rereading via audio this time as part of a group read. Sometimes when you revisit a favorite story from long ago it loses some of its original shine but not this time. It was even more enjoyable the second time around, made so by the change in format.
There are multiple subplots in play that are expertly seamed together to provide one exceptional story. In addition to WildCard and Savannah, Rose’s history is recounted through several of the characters reading her book at various stages. Her experience as a double agent is fascinating, providing much needed relief from the suspense in Indonesia. Two new characters are introduced, a missionary named Molly Anderson and a mysterious expatriate named Dave Jones, an obviously false identity, both living in the Indonesian village where WildCard and Savannah show up. We also get more of Alyssa and Sam, more heartache than heart song, though.
I enjoyed everything about this story, even the sad moments and the childish ones between WildCard and Savannah as they attempt to rebuild trust and recapture the magic of the first encounter. There’s lots of excitement, drama, intrigue and romance (beware the steam!). I chose the newer audio version with the dual narrators as the older one was problematic. Lawlor and Ewbank make a great team and they delivered an outstanding performance, so much so that I’m abandoning the library versions and investing in the new ones going forward. My original 5-star rating still stands as strongly as it did the first time around.
- Release Date: December 29, 2013 (originally 2002)
- Series: Troubleshooters #4
- Narrators: Patrick Lawlor & Melanie Ewbank
- Audio Length: 17 hours
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.