Oh my goodness, what a ride!! Max Jacobs is the elite when it comes to his job, but he believes himself to be a failure in his personal life and he doesn't want help from anyone. "I'm good," is what he tells everyone until he figures out his next step. He's impulsive, full throttle, determined, loyal, and loves to ride his motorcycle. He doesn't do things halfway and even though he once believed in God, he now thinks that God gave up on him and with good reason. Max is the kind of character you gotta love, he's a fierce soldier with great instincts. As the story begins, we discover that his wife has filed for separation which then leads to divorce. Max is devastated and enraged, has lost his purpose, and he has no idea what to do next. Then he gets an opportunity to join a Special Ops team dubbed Nightshade, will this new venture lead to disaster or victory?
Sydney is still inlove with Max, but can no longer abide his temper and brokenness. He refuses to get help and then accidentally hits Sydney in the face. Her older brother advises on filing separation for Sydney's safety and she follows along not knowing what else to do. Then Sydney gets a surprise and a chance to cover a real story at work, The Virginia Independent, little does she know that this research connects with Max. The closer she gets to answers, the more she endangers herself and those around her. Will finding out the truth be worth the consequences she endures?
When I first started blogging I heard about Nightshade and knew I had to get a copy. I'm the kind of reader that doesn't like to start a book without having the entire series already on my bookshelves. It took about a year and a half to get this series, but it was absolutely worth the wait! I considered Max to be a brilliant and confident soldier, a definite hero with heart who constantly makes sacrifices for his team and Sydney, but he was an idiot and nonsensical when it came to his wife. With the help of his team and the missionaries he ends up rescuing, he finally gains the clarity and perspective he missed throughout the story.
I absolutely loved the scenes with Nightshade!! They work hard, but they also play hard together. These are six men of different backgrounds and skills who have been recruited by General Lambert. They become brothers and depend on one another both on missions and in their personal lives. Max is the hothead of the group and he ends up in a fight or two with them, but they're still getting to know one another as the story progresses. Max is also amazed by their loyalty and in disbelief at one point in how they back him up so the job can be done properly. I have much more respect and admiration for the military after reading this story, but I was also able to identify specific needs of why soldiers need prayer. It's not just for their safety while on active duty, it's also for their personal lives for those who come home and need help adjusting to civilian life. The creed stated at the beginning of the book is referred to throughout the story, these men hold this creed very seriously and draw strength as well as motivation from it when times are tough. The Bible is also mentioned in the story and Max is introduced to it.
There is NO profanity in Nightshade (another reason to love it), but there is plenty of violence. There's only one graphic scene in the story, which is briefly described in a nightmare Max has from the trauma he has experienced. Otherwise, I didn't think anything horrific occurs. The violence is tastefully depicted and realistic to the story, but it is INTENSE at some parts of the book. I laughed at certain parts, I cried tremendously at others. The suspense of the story really grabs at the reader and I almost felt like reading with one eye instead of two because of what would happen next, but I HAD TO KNOW. More than once I felt like yelling, "Run!!" or "Get out of there!!" The deaths of characters in the story are tangible, the danger and unknown elements keep you turning pages as fast as possible, the faith in the story is amazing, and the writing is so utterly captivating that you feel like you're there with Nightshade! I didn't really notice much romance in the book, although the missionary couple is obviously inlove and depend on one another for survival. Max and Sydney aren't together for much of the story so the main romance for me was how Max does everything in his strength to keep Sydney safe. Nightshade also jumps in to rescue her or help Max protect her, I thought that was awesome.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves adventure, action, suspense, a mission gone terribly wrong and the military heroes it comes with. I consider this book a must have for any booklover, but this story is not for the faint of heart. It can be read as a standalone, but I suggest reading the entire series because more questions need to be answered and you get to love these characters. I'm truly looking forward to Digitalis next!
I loved Nightshade. An action packed, romantic thriller based on a black ops team. Think Alias meets the Navy SEALs. Wholesome and Christian in morals, yet realistic about the problems in this world: terrorists, war, hostages, missionaries in hostile countries, etc. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to hear about the challenges the military & special forces face in keeping our country safe.