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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ARC Review: Blue Forever by Nina Bruhns

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of romantic suspense and military romance. Having heard good things about Nina Bruhns and her Men in Uniform series, and after one look at that cover (holy hotness!), I jumped at the chance to finally read another new-to-me author that had been on my radar for a while. BLUE FOREVER is technically the third book in the Men in Uniform military romance/RS series but can be read as a standalone—I haven’t read the first two books but had no difficulty following the plot or enjoying the characters. It’s an action-packed, fast-paced thrill ride with a dose of opposites attract written in a breezy, approachable style that’s as much fun as a big summer blockbuster movie. Hot military hero? Covert mission in a hostile territory going FUBAR? Hilariously out-of-her element heroine who finds the fortitude to keep up with a cadre of badass special ops warriors? Steamy sexytimes in a submarine? BLUE FOREVER has it all.

For anyone who reads a lot of military romance/military RS, the plot is nothing novel: a sometimes-foe of the United States (China) is developing an unmanned underwater vehicle to spy on the US, a top-secret undercover mission to steal it goes awry, and the good guys are tasked with fixing it and saving the free world. Kind of like a James Bond film in print. But what makes BLUE FOREVER such fun even in a sea of similarly-themed books is Ms. Bruhns’s voice and characters. The writing is tight and straightforward with short chapters designed to keep the fast-paced plot moving forward, the voice is a little irreverent to match the hero, there’s plenty of sharp, witty dialogue—no overwhelming verbosity or excessive floweriness—, and a good number of military acronyms and language add authenticity. The hero and heroine are delightfully mismatched to keep the romance interesting. On one hand, we have badass Marine intelligence operator Kiptyn “Kip” Llowell III, commitmentphobe extraordinaire, who avoids serious relationships and the access to the family trust fund marriage would grant him like the plague. On the other is unassuming, by-the-book Department of State officer/diplomat DeAnne Lovejoy with a deep dislike of the Marines (thanks to an absentee Marine father), a preference for words over guns, and a desire for that white picket fence. Despite being completely unsuited for each other, they desperately want in each other’s pants from the second Kip approaches DeAnne for some assistance after his mission goes FUBAR—and watching the sexual tension build as they weigh giving in to their scorching attraction against escaping from the enemy is great fun. Especially since DeAnne is completely (and hilariously) out of her element on the run but refuses to be left behind. Because the romance is intricately tied to the plot and the time frame of the operation is extremely short, the transition from earthshattering no-strings-attached sex to forever after happens unbelievably quickly… but it’s such a fun, exciting romp that it doesn’t really matter.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading BLUE FOREVER and discovering Nina Bruhns’s Men in Uniform series. I’m definitely going to catch up on the first two books in the series and look forward to the next release.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |


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