Deadly Strain by Julie Rowe
Series: Biological Response Team #1
Published: June 15, 2015 by Carina Press
Genre: Suspense Romance
Major Grace Samuels, a trauma surgeon deployed to Afghanistan, spends her life helping her fellow soldiers overcome disease and combat injuries. But her own wounds are harder to heal. Wracked with guilt over the death of a fellow soldier, she finds comfort in her only friend and appointed bodyguard, weapons sergeant Jacob “Sharp” Foster.
Sharp feels more for Grace than a soldier should, more than he wants to admit. When the team discovers a new, quick-to-kill strain of Anthrax, he tries to focus on the mission to find its source. He knows he can help Grace defeat her demons, but first they must defeat the deadly outbreak.
Sharp is Grace’s most loyal ally, but in close quarters, he starts to feel like more. She can’t watch someone else she cares about die—but she might not have a choice. The closer they get to finding the source of the strain, the closer it gets to finding them.
Deadly Strain was a great action packed romance! Grace and Sharp have a lot of obstacles working against them and the action never lets up. Between a village full of dead bodies and a terrorist trying to stop Grace from getting her samples to her commander, luck is not on her side. To complicate matters, the Colonial at the US military base has a major hate for Grace who he blames for the death of his son. The only person Grace can really trust is Sharp but she’s not good at relying on other people. Grace is independent and outspoken and she refuses to ever give up no matter how much risk it puts her in. Guilt and PTSD has kept Grace running from any connections and any peace. I felt so much for Grace and the decisions she had to make, it’s clear how much they affected her, and how strongly she wants to get back to normal but just can’t.
Sharp has dedicated himself to protecting Grace no matter what comes their way or how often Grace disobeys his orders in order to save him back. I loved how much they supported each other and how they almost equally save each other. Grace can take care of herself but she needs Sharp to keep her from always putting others first. Though Sharp isn’t overly “romantic” he uses actions to show Grace what she means to him.
“He wanted her, all of her, twenty-four seven, no holding back, no hiding anything.”
Because they’re running for their lives Grace and Sharp don’t have many opportunities to just be together and this means that a lot of their developing feelings stem from their friendship. There are not a lot of intimate scenes between them but under the circumstances this makes sense. They’re literally running for their lives so there’s no time to stop and relax in bed together — in fact there is no bed because they’re in a war zone. I didn’t mind this but I would have liked a bit more on how they came to be friends to begin with so that I could better understand them falling in love. Really my only complaint is that some of the dialogue felt a little off but it’s hard to explain. It was certain things that didn’t sound natural to regular conversation or comments that didn’t seem complete so I sometimes wasn’t sure exactly what was being said. Otherwise, I really enjoyed how edge-of-your-seat this book was.
**Reader Safety: Heroine with PTSD
4 stars – it was enjoyable
Biological Response Team reviews
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