Valden Bush’s second novel is a 360-degree departure from her first book, Nero. Set in mountainous Tarinor a politically repressive and corrupt country, Zamira Saliev: A Dept.6 Operation is a fast-paced adventure romance, which sees Flick Colonna scramble to rescue Zamira Saliev from the clutches of her birth country before it’s too late.
After the death of her wife, Flick thought riding a desk at the covert Department 6 facility was a way to put the past behind her. But when Zamira Saliev is taken against her will, Flick sees an opportunity to get back in the driving seat of her life. Rescuing her target won’t be easy, for Zamira is the daughter of a rebel and a high value asset to the Tarinor government, especially if the powers that be are to smoke Zamira’s father out of hiding. The issue is, Zamira hasn’t seen her father in over two years; not since she left Tarinor under the cloud of her mother’s murder.
With a military-esque vibe and bucket loads of action I really, really, loved, Valden’s latest release. In the first few chapters alone, danger flares as tragedy strikes, making an already difficult operation downright treacherous.
As Flick and Zamira try to escape Tarinor, the author’s skill truly gets to shine; for a large chunk of this book, the reader is following just the two main characters as they traverse dusty plains and mountain ranges. Yet, not once does the plot ever feel repetitive, stagnant or superficial. Instead, the author uses the characters surroundings to the story’s advantage.
This is where readers get an in-depth look at Flick and Zamira’s individual histories, how it’s shaped them into who they are now, and the demons and struggles they continue to face. The wasteland Flick and Zamira are dragging themselves through may be barren, but the same cannot be said for the characters’ display of emotion and personal anguish.
It’s during those fraught and weary days that the first sign of romance begins to stir between Flick and Zamira, but given their situation neither are sure if the attraction is genuine or a by-product of their environment. Not to mention that Zamira can’t seem to put down the chip on her shoulder, nor can Flick bring herself to reconcile with the possibility of moving on from her deceased wife.
Emotional, physical, sexual; the author nails ALL of the tensions in this Dept 6. story. And the ending? Well, that would be telling… But what I will say is that the romantic essence and poignant connection between Flick and Zamira reminded me so, so, much of the beginning of my own relationship with my now wife, that it brought a warm joyful glow to my soul. And after all is said and done, isn’t that what a terrific story is meant to do; to elicit feelings, memories and connections long after the last page has been turned.
Want to know more, and experience a flawless, gripping, adventure romance for yourself? You’ll need to grab a copy of Valden Bush’s latest release and find out for yourself!
I received an ARC of this book from Butterworth Books, in exchange for an honest review.
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