Chain of Command
Greenway Range, #1
Genre: Military Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Date of Publication: March 9, 2015
Number of pages: 228
Word Count: 72,000
Retired marine Sawyer Cain can't forget all he's seen and lost, but he can try to start over. Opening a gun range with his closest friends is the first step toward a new life—one where he finally buries the guilt he can't seem to shake. So much depends on the property he needs to buy…and the gorgeous but completely frustrating woman who refuses to sell it.
Hailey Thorne is done—with loss and with anything military, after the closest thing she had to an uncle died in Afghanistan. When Sawyer shows up on her porch he has military written all over him. He's one more in a long line of people who wants the land she inherited, and suddenly he's everywhere she goes. Hailey can't get the broad-shouldered, dirty-talking, dead-serious man out of her head. Or her life.
Sawyer's not above using his skills in the bedroom to try to convince her to sell, and Hailey is more than willing to let him. Their pleasure-only arrangement works…until emotions get in the way. But Sawyer has a secret he's convinced will have Hailey hating him forever, and Hailey's not willing to risk loving anyone she could lose.
“That went well.” Jason tapped a steady beat on the door’s armrest. “Like, really impressive.”
Sawyer went with the most persuasive argument for why the scene sucked so badly. “So, that was Hailey.”
“Huh.”Jason stared at the closed door. “She’s not fifty or old or anything I thought she might be.”
Way to be the King of Obvious. “No shit.”
Jason faced him with a grin that blew way past the shit-eating stage. “Don’t get pissed at me because you struck out.”
“I wasn’t up there asking her out.” No, he’d basically tried that at the bar and struck out there. Sawyer remembered every minute of that strikeout. So far he was not doing all that well winning over this woman.
Tap, tap, tap. Jason highlighted the beat with what sounded like a snort. “Then you’re a dumbass. Did you see her?” This time he whistled. “Sweet.”
The face, the legs… that ass. Sawyer had taken a silent inventory of all of it. Clearly having a woman practically vibrate from the force of her dislike of him was not a turnoff. Sick as it was, he found her attitude hot. Also liked that she checked him out after getting his calls. Smart move.
Sawyer heard a noise kind of like a growl. When he realized it came from his throat, he snapped it off. “I was too busy noticing the bat.”
“Everyone will. I took a photo.” Jason stopped tapping long enough to wrestle his cell out of his front jeans pocket and held it up. “See?”
Sawyer reached for it but Jason was a split second faster. Still, Sawyer didn’t need a solid look to see the exact moment Jason captured. Whenever it was amounted to pure Sawyer-fucked-up blackmail material. “Delete it.”
Jason frowned. “No way.”
“I’m going to kill you right here in the car.”
“You know, I blame myself.” Jason shook his head, all dramatic with a voice made for the stage. “I agreed you should be the one to approach Hailey.”
“I just never thought you’d suck so hard when it came to dealing with women.” Jason emphasized the “so hard”part with his tone and another head shake.
This was about what Sawyer expected. Didn’t mean he wanted to hear one more second of it. “You almost done?”
“I have more.”
As if he was going to give Jason a chance to talk about whatever that was. “We just need some time. This is going to be fine.”
“What were you watching the last few minutes because I saw the Sawyer Gets His Ass Handed To Him show.”
I started to label this book a contemporary romance, but ended up changing my mind. Sawyer a former Major in the Marine Corp, his buddies are either former Marines or Seals, and there are several scenes where one of Hailey's friends is dealing with a Navy jerk ex-boyfriend. But that's not why. Hailey has complicated issues dealing with military men. She lost her parents, a former boyfriend and the uncle who raised her to fighting overseas. The military is almost like a secondary character, or at the very least, a massive deterrent to Hailey and Sawyer's HEA.
Hailey is quite the spunky character. She does a great job of standing up to Sawyer and anyone else who tries to push her around. Sawyer on the other hand, turned out to be sweeter and more compassionate than one would think just looking at him. I liked that the characters weren't cliches or caricatures, and the story didn't take these routes either. I was surprised several times with a direction the story went or how something played out. Plus the secondary characters were great fun and really added to the story.
My biggest complaint is, that for me the blurb didn't really match the book. That last paragraph doesn't fit the vibe of the story. Sawyer didn't begin a sexual relationship with the intent to "win her over". And his big secret was only an issue for like 2 chapters and it got resolved. It upsets me that when the blurb doesn't match the book. It leaves me feeling discombobulated trying to figure out if I missed something or did someone not read the book, or did the story get changed at the last minute.
Overall, this was a quick read for me, keeping me interested and allowing me to read it in one sitting. This was a good start to a new series and I look forward to reading the next book. Hopefully the blurb will match better next time. I took away a star for the issue with the blurb, and gave this one 3 stars.
Thank you to Netgalley and Carina Press for the opportunity to read and review the book.