Hell or High Water by Julie Ann Walker(Audiobook) This is book one in the Deep Six series. I was introduced to Julie Ann Walker with an ARC of book two in this series, Devil in the Deep last year, and I was instantly hooked, chowing down on all of her Black Knights books. But when those started to get a little stale for me (After many, many books), I decided to check out the rest of the series that drew me in in the first place. Hell or High Water instantly drew me in. I think This is because I enjoy the setting of the sea and islands in the Deep Six books a little more than I enjoy the bike shop setting of Black Knights. Anyway, Hell or High Water is about a team of retired Navy SEALs that have become salvage-guys. They are searching for the fabled wreck of the treasure ship Santa Christina. But their history comes to haunt them when a CIA agent that worked with them on a past SEAL job comes to them for help. A group of terrorists have stolen a stash of Chemicals that can be turned into horrific weapons. The CIA managed to sink their ship, but now the CIA needed to get to the chemicals before the terrorists come back to get them, and the Deep 6 team is the closest salvage team with government connections, and the only team that can get there in time. Of course, everything goes wrong or there wouldn’t be a story. Terrorist are horribly unpredictable, making for a great high-octane thrill ride to save the world. Hell or High Water had everything I loved in the second book, and it was great seeing the characters featured in Devil in the Deep meeting for the first time. I give this one two enthusiastic thumbs up (and an adult content warning. One of the SEALs has a heck of a thing for the Female CIA agent, and SEALs aren’t afraid to go after what they want, if you get my meaning)
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Hot Pursuit by Julie Ann Walker (Ebook) This book is part of the Black Knights series, where a team of ex-military guys are undercover in a motorcycle shop, and actually working for the president as independent contractors. The books are all self-contained, but interwoven with the same characters. Each book centers on not only a special op, but on the romance between one of the operatives, and a girl we’ve either seen in other books, or one that just pops up. For several books, we’ve been watching Ex-UK special OPS Christian Watson spar against Emily, the office manager. (Kind of annoyingly so, IMO) Hot Pursuit is their story.
I had a little trouble with this one, because while Christian has been a favorite character of mine through these books, Emily has always annoyed me. While I knew this matching was inevitable, I guess I hoped he’d find someone else. By the end, I must admit, I’d grown a little fonder of Emily, but I’m wondering if the story being about her is what stopped me from getting completely engrossed.
Also, this special Ops part of the story fell very flat for me. While most of the books made sense, I felt like this one was forced. I completely understand the story, what happened and why (I don’t want to spoil it) but for the first time in a Walker novel, I found myself rolling my eyes at the action-part of the novel. I guess I just didn’t buy the bad guys or their reasons for doing what they did. I suppose when you’re writing a series that is as long as The Black Knights you’re going to throw a ground ball once in a while. I just wish it wasn’t in Christian’s story.
Then again, I’d have to admit that my bar was set pretty high where Christian is concerned, so that might have a lot to do with it as well. We still see the great writing, wonderful flow and super-readability that I expect from Walker. I’m looking forward to the main plotline picking up again in the next book to re-hook me with Black-Knight goodness.
Format: Audiobook **Adult Content Warning**
This is the second Julie Ann Walker book I’ve read, but the first in this Black Knights series. I really loved Devil and the Deep, and was expecting the same non-stop action in this new book.
Wild Ride was not as Wild as I expected. It was a little, no, it was a lot more general contemporary than I expected. I expected a little more excitement for an ex-navy SEAL novel, but the first 3/4 of this book was just really about bikers, which I found to be a bit of a turnoff. Walker’s writing and readability are just as awesome as ever, and I am wondering if the other books in this series have more action in them. The last, say 25% of this book was a heck of a lot of fun… exactly what I expected… it just took me a long time to get there. If you don’t mind bikers in your story, and a slower pace at the beginning of a novel, you’d probably rate this four or five stars. It’s a great book, just not quite what I was expecting.