As a navy pilot, Lt. Sara Denning is a woman in a man’s world. She loves her job and is good at it — one of the best in fact. But her success hasn’t come without a price. To survive, Sara has learned to blend in, burying her feminine side beneath so many layers that even she’s not sure it exists anymore. That is, until Lt. Eric Marxen enters her life.
Eric coordinates the flight operations for the Navy SEAL team that has requested Sara as their exclusive pilot. The handsome, confident lieutenant elicits feelings in Sara that she never thought she’d experience, but lowering her defenses could cost Sara everything she’s worked to achieve.
Anne A. Wilson’s Hover delivers an intense roller coaster ride, plunging readers in the deep end from the get go as the book opens with Sara trapped underwater. My own lungs clamored for air as Sara navigated her escape plan, her oxygen running out.
A navy pilot herself, Wilson afforded an unparalleled level of realism to her plot that had me standing on the ship feeling the salty wind or flying the helicopter, its rotors whipping overhead. Wilson placed me in the center of the action without convoluting the story with technical mumbo jumbo present in many debut novels. In fact, for a while, I had to keep reminding myself that this was her first book, she had me so entrenched in Sara and Eric’s story. Unfortunately, that seemed to change after the half-way mark.
While briefly on land, Sara and Eric hook up, falling just short of turning into a full-blown sex scene that still went further than I cared or needed to know. From then on, the chemistry that had crackled between the protagonists fizzled out and their relationship turned into something out of a soap opera. They resembled the unrealistic caricatures found in Emily’s (Sara’s roommate) Harlequin novels (thankfully, without any further bedroom scenes) instead of people I might encounter in real life.
I still enjoyed the military side of the story — Sara’s missions, and her relationship with her team — I just couldn’t care less what happened to Sara and Eric as a couple. Protective or not, Eric crossed some lines he had no right to, making decisions about Sara’s direction that weren’t his to make. On the other hand, strong, independent Sara became a whiny, needy high school girl who feels slighted by the cute boy in school. This saddened me considering how much I liked them in the beginning. The villain too felt like the stereotypical bad guy plucked out of a Harlequin novel, created only to make the protagonists look good. This person could be seen coming a mile away, leaving little mystery in that department.
Had the entire book followed this pattern from the start, the let down wouldn’t have been so acute. I would have settled in for an average story, good for a one-time read. The strong beginning, however, led me to expect more, causing my disappointment. Readers should also prepare for foul language, which did nothing to enhance the story.
For the most part, it offers an entertaining read that military suspense fans might enjoy. I am looking forward to her next book. After all, this is Wilson’s debut novel, so I have hopes for her.
Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!
**Originally posted on Life is Story.