The Book Worm: Review: The Woman Left Behind

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review: The Woman Left Behind

Book Review: The Woman Left Behind, by Linda Howard


Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.
But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun...or else be out of a job.
Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina--who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice--making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.
Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

Genre: military romance

Publication date: March 2018

Mature content: yes

Review: I loved this book so much it almost hurt to see it end. I loved the story, its ups and downs and unexpected twists, and Jina is amazing, both as a character and as a woman. She's everything women around the world would want to be if given a chance - never quitting, always finding the courage to go on even in the direst of circumstances - though sometimesout of sheer stubbornness and I almost wanted to whack her in the head for it. Jina is the best definition of "you don't quit until you stop trying". I loved Levi too, his integrity and his professionalism, and the way he can't help but reach out to Jina even when he doesn't want to favor her at all. But despite the romance and the happy ending, Levi feels more like a secondary character than anything else, with the spotlight almost always on Jina.

The only thing I could have done without in The Woman Left Behind was Linda Howard's attempt to add more suspense with the underlying machination to destroy the Go-teams (accidentally targeting Levi and Jina's team in particular). Those scenes, as irregular and far in between as they are, don't really add anything to the story and the whole book could have lived without them.

Still, The Woman Left Behind is an amazing read - if you love action, suspense, outstanding characters and a bit or romance thrown in between, you can't miss it. It's probably one of the best books I've read by Linda Howard. It has her usual quality of writing but it's an unique story, and even more special because of that.

Happy readings, 

the book worm, book blog

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