Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: THE NIGHT IS MINE, The Night Stalkers, by M.L. Buchman

I loved this book. A military romance about elite helicopter pilots written by a man? That was all I needed to know. I was immediately intrigued and Mr. Buchman didn’t let me down. THE NIGHT IS MINE is the first book in a four-book series (because there’re four seats on a Black Hawk helicopter) featuring “women pilots who fly for the immensely secretive, real-life U.S. Army SOAR.” The next book is scheduled for August later this year and I’m preordering.

There were a number of things that really worked for me here. I loved all the technical, military details that dealt with SOAR and the helicopters. Fair warning, though, if you’re not a closeted helicopter enthusiast, there is a chance the flying stuff may be a tad much at times. I loved that Emily knew she could be an overbearing bitch when pushed. She didn’t make it this far in a male-dominated field by playing nice and remaining polite at all times. I really enjoyed the idea of her being grouchy and sweaty and less than feminine. Buchman had a great handle on her. Emily’s references to “guy speak” were spot on.

I have read a review that suggested Emily may have been too good at what she did to be a believable character. I disagree. Buchman made it very clear right from the start that Emily and Mark were the best of the best, the elite in their chosen profession. Clearly they overachieve; they live and breathe their jobs, but then they work in a field where second best puts lives in danger.

The elite pilot becoming a gourmet chef may have been a bit of a stretch but completely in character; Emily would never not be good at what she chooses to do (excluding feminine social interactions and girl talk).

Mark’s exasperation and attraction fit perfectly. The two of them had great romantic chemistry and elevated this page-turner into a scorcher.

No book is perfect, though. I could have done without all that waiting around in The White House, especially on Mark’s part. In fact, the whole Washington/White House angle almost required more suspension of disbelief than Mark and Emily borrowing Black Hawks for training and the story started to veer sharply off the military path. Luckily, by that point in the story I was too invested in the characters and completely ready to read on.

The one thing I didn’t get was the First Lady on her oriental rug. On a rug? There was no more comfortable place in the entire White House still within Emily’s range?