Author: Sabrina Devonshire
Page count: 191
TBR Reviewer: Victoria
Rating: 3 Stars - A Good Read.
Heat: 3 - Blush Worthy.
Rebecca was blamed wrongfully for the death of a hiker while she was leading an expedition and essentially blacklisted from ever leading hikes again. Several months later, she’s trapped working in what would be my personal (and hers as well) hell: department store retail. Looking for some sort of
escape (and who can blame her), she comes across Prof. Kent Dunbar’s ad looking for hikers to go on an expedition to Vietnam to explore what could well be the largest cave ever discovered. When Kent gets her application, he’s intrigued because she appears to have everything he needs in a hiker to go on his
expedition. He even hires Rebecca’s friend to go along with them, though it’s revealed that the woman fluffed up her resume a little, claiming camping experience when clearly she had none. The only weakness I found in this set-up is that the ladies were able to get to Vietnam (getting their shots, plane
tickets provided, etc) within a couple of days of Rebecca finding the ad. I just am skeptical that any real expedition could be so badly planned out. Once in Vietnam, we’re exposed to the idea of a smuggling ring and the danger starts to grow. There are some great secondary cast members, including Bunny who Kent
acknowledges using at one point to make Rebecca jealous/as payback for dropping her towel while still at the hotel. Poor Bunny was soooo out of her element. I’d like to think an academic with serious credibility would have been smarter than to hire someone like Bunny.
There was no lack of heat between Kent and Rebecca, which made the icky trek through the sweltering jungle more bearable. I’m not an outdoor girl, and I definitely felt lost in the wilds there. Ms. Devonshire does a great job describing the environment and the hardships. The trek to the caverns themselves was awesome. The caverns were heart-stopping in their complexity. As a claustrophobe, you couldn’t pay me enough to go cave diving, and there were at least a few moments as I read this that I was squirming uncomfortably, even though there was very little time in super-tight spaces.
This book would have easily gotten the four-star rating from me because I loved the characters, and I adored the setting. I don’t read enough books taking place out of America, so this made for a nice change of pace. There was no supernatural element to this (which is rare for me to read and so thoroughly enjoy). And then….it ended. There were two or three plot threads in this, and all had progress made. However, none of them wrapped up. This book isn’t complete. This book is part 1 of at least 2. Nowhere in the blurb does it indicate that. In fact, the blurb seems to promise what your standard romance novel promises: a satisfactory HEA. Clearly the two are on their path to romance, but it’s not complete. Nothing is wrapped up. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
Still, anyone who wants to go on an Indiana Jones-like adventure, to feel like they’re slogging through the rainforests (or at least the jungles) of Vietnam, or just have some phenomenal sexual tension building, read this book. If you want at least one story arc completed, skip it, or at the very least go in knowing you won’t get any satisfactory conclusions by the end.
I would like to add that this is part of a series. Book two is titled, The Unseen. ~ The TBR Pile.