Viral Justice by Julie Rowe
Series: Biological Response Team #3
Published: February 1, 2016 by Carina Press
Genre: Suspense Romance
Colonel Maximillian heads the US Army’s Biological Response Team. He’s responsible for the identification and destruction of any biological hazards and weapons the Army might encounter. He’s sent to deal with a potential flu virus that’s rapidly killing people in a remote Iraq village. Viruses he understands. Women, not so much. So, when he’s assigned a bodyguard, a woman who’s a trainer for the Special Forces Combatives program, he’s all left feet and thumbs.
Sergeant Alicia Stone has always been the odd woman out and frequently in conflict with male officers who think they know her job better than she does. Max, however needs her more than anyone she’s ever met. He’s a soldier who can’t shoot or defend himself in any way. She takes on the task of keeping him in one piece and teaching him the basics of combat, but it’s tough to train a man who refuses to fight back. That might be a problem, because a madman is gunning for Max with a virus that might just wipe humanity out entirely.
We finally get some resolution to this series and while I was happy with how it all ended I did find Viral Justice a little too close to the format of the previous books. I felt like this could have been a repeat of the last one where our main characters get called into a refugee camp, try to diagnose the illness, deal with angry villagers trying to stop them, and dodge the psychotic Akbar. Part of the problem also comes from the fact that Akbar has already created two very deadly and contagious viruses in the previous books so why is he still looking for another?
Akbar’s questionable motives aside, I was quickly swept up in the action and suspense that ensues once Max and Ali leave the base. We’ve followed Max from the beginning and now we finally have his story and for the most part I enjoyed his character. Max is extremely dedicated to his job and keeping his people safe. His intelligence and honest demeanor means he’s not always the most cuddly of people but it’s clear how much his work and saving lives means to him. As his counterpoint, we have Sergeant Alicia Stone who was everything I could want in a badass heroine. She trains Special Forces soldiers and she doesn’t take crap from anyone, Max included. She essentially spends the whole book kicking butt left and right and I was rooting her on every second.
While these two are a good match I did feel their relationship was rushed. Ali has been assigned to be Max’s bodyguard and apparently this has been going on a for awhile and they’ve developed a bit of a friendship. But this history wasn’t developed or demonstrate enough before they quite suddenly jump into bed. I never felt like I had a good handle on their working relationship before it suddenly changed to a sexual relationship. This made Ali’s involvement seem odd because she puts a lot of emphasis on the high standards she’s held up to. Not only is she a woman in the male only field of Special Forces, she’s also General Stone’s daughter so she’s always under the microscope (pun intended). So when Max and Ali get together without the reader seeing much of their backstory it makes it seem like Ali doesn’t care about all these obstacles that she spends the rest of the book worrying about.
I was hoping for a stronger series finish but didn’t quite get it. I am intrigued by the hints dropped at the end of the book and I plan to give the spin off series a try.
3 stars – it was good
Biological Response Team reviews
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