“Man Down” by Tracy Tappan is a thrill-filled, suspenseful tale that starts with a description of the intense challenges faced to become a SEAL and ratchets up higher and higher throughout the story. Told through three points of view, this glimpse of the stamina and courage required to survive in a war zone is full of violence and savagery yet is leavened by the emotion and complicated relationships shared by the three main characters. The history between the two males, Jason and Shane, is revealed gradually in a counterpoint to the revelations of Farrin’s past while the intense action accompanying their struggle for survival keeps the reader invested in their story.
I love the realism this author brings to her stories even as I ache at the experiences that form the framework for her repertoire. The ability to draw the reader in and allow insight into the daily tragedies and heartbreak that is compartmentalized to allow these brave soldiers to continue fighting for our freedom and safety is a remarkable gift that she shares unstintingly. Those who have triggers should be forewarned that there is considerable grisly violence, including a heartwrenching execution of a family pet.
This is a story that you want to start only if you have plenty of time, because once you start, you will be immersed in a thrilling and vivid adventure that will keep you up late at night while you cheer, groan, and bite your nails, willing things to turn out positively. Those unfamiliar with the series will have no problem reading this as a stand-alone story, but will undoubtedly be gladdened to discover there are more alpha males to read about when this book is finished. Enjoy the adventure, I am sure there are plenty more to look forward to!
This story is Book 3 in the ‘Wings of Gold’ series, that is first and foremost military fiction, with some romance interspersed. This particular tale focuses on Lieutenant Commander Jason Vanderby as he tries to survive after being blindsided by a horrific attack. He is joined in his arduous journey by his estranged former best friend, Shane Madden, and Dr. Farrin Barr. They have to depend on each other through a crucible of challenges, and survive long enough to work through their past and present traumas in order to have any kind of meaningful future.
After being shot down by the Taliban on a Special Operations mission, a Navy pilot and Navy SEAL rescue a beautiful humanitarian doctor. While the three of them evade capture in a race for their lives across northern Pakistan, the two former boyhood friends heal a 10-year breach, and the pilot and doctor find a way to let go of their painful pasts to find love.
The only two survivors of a helicopter crash on Pakistani soil, Lieutenant Commander Jason “Casanova” Vanderby and Petty Officer Shane “Mad Dog” Madden barely escape the smoking wreckage of their helo and hike to a nearby aid station for help. The head doctor, Farrin Barr, has recently evacuated all staff from the facility, leaving her alone to deal with the two military men…and the terrorist horde hunting them.
Chased across northern Pakistan in a race for their lives, Jason and Farrin end up running from their own personal demons as much as from the enemy pursuing them. For Jason, being around his childhood friend, Shane, awakens unwelcome memories of an abusive past, while Farrin is haunted by a decision she made that forever changed her life.
In the midst of the chaos, both mental and physical, no one is more surprised by the attraction forming between Jason and Farrin than they are. Both have lived their lives closed off to relationships, unable to let go of the memories that haunt them. But just when they find the courage to move forward together, people from both of their pasts come back and threaten to destroy the new foundations of their love.
Content guidelines: Contains profanity, violence, and adult situations. This is a standalone novel.