Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: Havoc by Xavier Neal





Publication Date: 10/10/2014

Series: Havoc #1
Rating: 3.5 Stars









Official Blurb:

When Clint "Grim" Walker, started Operation: Save Haven Davenport, the beaten, bruised girl who fell into his life, he had no idea it would turn him into an unbalanced, enraged, insecure idiot.

The mission objectives seemed simple: 
Make her feel safe in his home. Fail. 
Protect her from the neighborhood playboy. Fail. 
Shelter her from the ex girlfriend. Fail. 
Not fall in love with her. Epic fail. 

And while Clint could learn to live with those failures, there's one he can't. And that's the objective that matters most. More than his side duties of making amends with his father, more than accepting motherly love from his meddling neighbor, and more than attempting to relate to his brother's in arms off the field. 

That objective is life or death.





Where to begin with this review? It’s not often that I find myself torn about a book.  Grim was a surprisingly vulnerable alpha male character. Sure, he’s a tough guy marine, but at the same time, his past has completely jaded his mind and heart.  He plays the good soldier and tries to pretend he’s normal, but deep down he’s not.  The first chapter of this book ripped me apart emotionally.  He’s no stranger to tragedy and it’s that event in his life that shapes the man he’s become in adulthood.  Life trudged on for him in his military career and his life until she landed in his front lawn.

Haven’s life is far from picket fences and teenage dreams. I think nightmare would be the better term for her upbringing. She’s battered and broken when she collapses into Grim’s life.  Her story is heartbreaking so you might want to pick up a box of tissues before you start reading this book.  She needs a hero more than any other character that I’ve read.

While the story behind Havoc was interesting, I struggled with the believability factor. Finding a beaten woman on your lawn and yet you don’t call 911? Yeah, I couldn’t move past that part of the story.  At times, things seemed to move at a lightning speed pace and the intermixing of the flashbacks really slowed the flow down.  The cliffhanger ending comes out of nowhere and in this case, wasn’t value adding to the story itself.  Neal knows how to write an exceptional story, but I think Havoc would be better with a bit more time with an editor and some re-working on the present and past sequences I really wanted to like this book, but it fell a little flat for me.






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