Shadow in the Mountain
by KaLyn Cooper
“Shadow in the Mountain” by KaLyn Cooper is book four in the excellent ‘Shadow SEALs’ series, and although they’ve all been good, it’s my favorite so far. It’s a story that seamlessly combines mystery, danger, loyalty, betrayal, friendship, passion and humor in a way that had me turning pages until 3:30 in the morning because I was so involved in the story. The books in this series are stand-alones.
Ryker was a tough and dedicated Navy SEAL, accustomed to coping with rough, ugly situations on every mission. When he’s thrown out of the Navy dishonorably after being the only survivor of a mission that he can’t even remember, and which killed everybody else on his Team, he spends months trying to drown his misery in the bottom of a liquor bottle. A mysterious phone call from a stranger leads him back to Ethiopia in a quest to rescue his former teammates, who he learns are actually alive and being held prisoner by vicious terrorists. A fierce woman named Xena is his guide and partner in his part of the rescue mission. Ryker doesn’t trust her. Because of what’s gone on, he no longer trusts anyone.
Xena is a phenomenal heroine who is more than capable of handling every type of situation. The more the story unfolds, the more we learn about her fascinating background and impressive skill set. She can work the room at a cocktail party full of international diplomats or working high-powered weapons from a sniper perch. Xena is able to pilot a helicopter to make an escape from a covert operation and is able to speak with knowledge about ancient civilizations. Her character embodies a dynamic combination of talents and skills. She has her own secret reason for her intense determination to facilitate the successful completion of the mission to rescue Ryker’s teammates. As Ryker and Xena navigate a variety of stressful situations, the immediate attraction that flared between them at their first meeting builds into something neither can ignore. The heat between them practically jumps off the page. The intensity of everything in this story builds relentlessly yet it’s so well-written it feels effortless.
The secondary characters in this story are outstanding. Xena’s parents are fascinating, as are their respective careers. Her brothers are just as badass as she is. If you’ve read the third book in this series, you’ll already be familiar with Ryker’s best friend and foster brother Ajax, an important part of the overall story. The conclusion to this intense action-adventure sets everything up perfectly for a spin-off series involving Ryker and his entire Team. There is also a story just waiting to be told about Xena’s brother Clint and his secret relationship with one of Xena’s friends. While I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for those things, I’ll also be eagerly anticipating the next book about the ‘Shadow SEALs’.