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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: One Dark Wish by Sharon Wray

Series where each member of a team of military special forces types find love in their turn, with an overarching mystery arc which gets solved piece by piece throughout the series, are pretty staple fare in romantic suspense (see Suzanne Brockmann for someone who does it amazingly well). Generally, the romance in each book stands alone but you might struggle a little bit to pick up the overall mystery if you don’t start at the first book in the series.

One Dark Wish doesn’t even manage to have the romance stand alone. I actually turned back to the beginning at the end of Chapter One, wondering if there was a prologue or something I’d somehow managed to miss, because for some reason I never figured out, Sarah and Nate’s story started after they’d met multiple times, already kissed, and managed to get themselves caught in the middle of an untenable situation where neither of them could win without the other losing someone dear to them.

I had absolutely no idea what was going on at any stage in the book. With a group of mysterious assassins, a local gangster, Russian mafia, possibly other members of Nate’s own team, Sarah’s boss and, frankly, Uncle Tom Cobley and all arrayed as antagonists, there’s just far too much going on, and that’s even before we go into the entire reason for Sarah’s involvement in the mystery, which involves the solving of a cipher used by sixteenth-century Georgia pirates in order to locate smuggling hidey-holes for modern-day arms dealers.

Absolutely none of it made any sense. There were too many points of view, too many competing goals, and it was never explained why exactly one of the antagonists was prepared to kill in order to have the cipher not be solved.

Considering the hot mess which desperately needed cleaning up by a ruthless content editor with a red pen, is anyone surprised the book has a massive diversity failure too? None of an entire unit of Green Berets are described as anything other than white and straight, and apparently, nor is anyone else in Savannah. Oh, and the hero’s raging PTSD is magically solved by the heroine’s presence (a trope I absolutely hate).

A hot mess which started in the wrong place and never recovered from that fatal mis-step, I can’t bring myself to give this any more than one star.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

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