Going Dark by Monica McCarty

Going Dark

Monica McCarty

“A sexy thrill ride from start to finish. Steamy and suspenseful, Going Dark is a must read.”—Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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The members of a top secret SEAL Team can’t keep their passion under wraps in the first novel in this contemporary romantic suspense series from New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty.

Like Rome’s Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace...
After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.
Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she’d intended, there is only one man she can turn to...
She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he’s the kind of man she can depend on. Because he’s gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her...

Advance Galley Reviews

Going Dark by Monica McCarty is the first in The Lost Platoon series and is a sweet, fast-read romance. Annie Henderson has a PhD in marine ecology and decides to join her relatively-new boyfriend on a trip to Scotland to protest an oil-drilling off the coast. They meet up with some of Julien's friends and rent a boat to take out to the ship that's in charge of the drilling. Annie just believes that they are planning a sit-in on the boat but she uncovers a sinister plot instead. The captain of the boat, Dan Warren, has secrets of his own. He quickly diffuses the situation and takes Annie on the run to keep her safe. While hiding out, they start to uncover their feelings about each other, but because of Dan's secrets, can they work it out and stay out of danger? I loved this cute story and the banter between the two main characters. This story isn't realistic but it was a fun read. Definitely will check out the others in the series.

I am not a fan of romance but the summary sounded interesting so I figured I would give it a try. I managed to finish the book but I was not impressed. These characters did not seem to have much depth to them. Plus, I don't know how much more of reading 'she is so damn hot I must have her' I could read before I had to put the book down. I think I'll go back to my thriller novels.

This book was not for me. When I think romance I think jump into the story and let's get the ball rolling, especially with it being a thriller as well. I was really looking forward to this "sexy thriller," but I did not finish. I put the book down a quarter of the way in. I just couldn't get into it. If you like a good sexy romance and a fairly true to life SEAL book then I do suggest checking it out because just because it wasn't for me, doesn't mean it isn't your perfect cup of tea.

OMG. This book was waaaay confusing and kind of hokey. If I hadn't received this as a book to review for the publisher, I would've given up. Even skimming through some of the technical, SEAL jargon, man-action parts was torture. Here's what irritated me: * Story opens and the tone is typical macho stuff that mainly focuses on the camaraderie of a SEAL Team heading out and it focuses on the new guy and the characters who surround him and work as a brotherhood. Everyone's got a nickname and profile. MIT is their jokey way of labeling a Stanford grad, and he prefers being called MIT over Ivy. * Then, we jump to the main lovers of the story: Annie, who is with her boyfriend planning to stage an eco right activist protest, and a SEAL in hiding whom we call "Dan" because he can't reveal his true identity because that would be a danger to himself and his brothers/mission, but we really have no idea why that would be bad. Like, seriously. The book never tells us why. Oh, and I don't even recall this Dan in the opening section. * Then, we jump to some other characters in another chapter that I also don't recall but are connected to the SEALs. I get that the author knows where she wants to go, but it didn't come together. I kept checking to see if I came into a series midway because I felt I should know what's going on with all the characters and clandestine happenings, but it was so murky and hidden that I still don't know what's happening now that I'm done with the book. Many of the chapters ended with hokey cliffhangers. "Too late, she realized someone was behind her." and end scene until the next chapter. It seemed a little amateurish to use that trick so often. "He was halfway down the ladder to the boat when she said the one thing he couldn't ignore. The one thing guaranteed to stop him..." and you know she is setting this up for the next chapter. Finally, the other element I had a hard time with was the insta-love between Annie & Dan. And it wasn't just weird because she is with her boyfriend, Julien (but, yes, it was puzzling for me personally). It was odd because it was so unbelievable. Now, I have read insta-love books before. I think what didn't work here is the lack of depth and emotions these characters had. They were not richly developed characters. In fact, I don't think I'd really like Annie in real life. Not because I'd be envious of her beauty (she is described as stunning), wealth (worth millions), education (PHD), connections (she knows people), but because for all her political righteousness, I don't think she has much in brains (education does not mean she has much common sense). It was frustrating to get through the book and I will not return for more in this series.

I typically read straight up romance. I wanted to try something new. I thought this book was a thriller with a bit of romance. Nothing against Ms McCarty but this story wasn't for me. It just wasn't my cup of tea. The first quarter of the book was like trying to read blue prints when you are not an architect. I felt like I re-read pages, then I felt like I should write peoples names down in a notebook. Because she throws so many characters at you I didn't know who was coming or going. I had to google a lot of the military jargon. After all that work to just read the first 100 pages really. I couldn't connect with the rest of the story.

when going dark gets going we spend an intense information-laden chapter with brian murphy. except by the end of the chapter, he's maybe dead? missing in action? (we find out later that he's definitely dead.) who knows because the book is actually about annie henderson and dean baylor, one of brian's presumed dead teammates whose gone dark in order to figure out how their op got compromised. there is a lot of military jargon and a lot of characters who will likely get stories of their own in this series, and that's all fine. the main thrust of the novel is about annie and dean's intense physical connection and how they are basically oil-and-vinegar together because more complete opposites you couldn't find. this is one of those novels where the only thing that makes sense is that they are together because of the great sex, but some of the emotional connection is missing. the navy seal stuff is clearly well-researched and meticulous, but it's also kind of overwhelming. and i know i keep fixating on this, but it's just so jarring to get to know a whole group of characters from one person's perspective and then not have that person show up anywhere else in the book. i think the prologue had me thinking this book would be one thing, but what we got was another, and the fact that the mystery around the lost platoon is still ongoing just felt off-putting. i would have edited this book differently because there are things that work, but i think the structure does it no favors.

I just couldn't get into this book after the first couple chapter I put it done

I enjoyed this book, even though the beginning was kind of hard for me to get through. I like dean quite a lot, not as much annie but i thought they had good chemistry. I will be reading the next book in the series, hoping that it won't have all the set up in the beginning and we can just dive right in.

I was really looking forward to reading this book. I usually love reading about navy seals. Unfortunately I had a difficult time with this book. There was way too much explicit sex for me. Unfortunately I found myself skipping over pages. The concept of the story was good but was hard to follow.

Romance with a suspense and survival aspect, involving Navy SEAL who is hiding his identity. Perfect for lovers of alpha males. Great for pure escapism.

I enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read the next one. The beginning of the book was a little hard to push through due to all of the setup involved. Once the action started though I just zipped right along.

I enjoyed this book. Sexy likable characters. Hot love scenes.

Wow, this is my first time reading on of Monica’s McCarty’s book. The thrilling ride started from the first page and just keep coming. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it, just learning more about the SEALS and their operations was very interesting. The seductive scenes with Annie Henderson and Dan Warren kept me reading through the wee hours of the night…I give this book a rating of 5+

I would give this book 3.5 stars. Very compelling action and romance and the missing SEAL platoon gave it extra mystery. I wish she had resolved both mysteries in this book. Clearly it's to be continued but she introduced too many characters that weren't fleshed out enough. It was supposed to leave you wanting more but got irritating at times. The main characters were likeable even with the inevitable 'they're so different and incompatible, so they have to fall madly in love.' I would definitely read more from this author.

It was a struggle to finish because there was no one I could get into. The characters were generally stereotypes and Annie's repetitive anti-Alpha male "but yes but no but omg that column tho" attitude was not just annoying it was off putting. Ditto with Dean's "no yes I can't have a lover I'm a SEAL but that body and that cherry lipbalm tho".

I will give this one 3 stars. I sort of had to make myself plow through it. I'm not sure why, but maybe this particular genre just isn't for me. I did read it all, though, and it did pick up a little at the end, but it was one I could take or leave. I did like the description of the Highlands, as I have visited that area briefly and would like to go back, but for some reason, reading this one was more of a chore, and I kept wanting to finish it so I could read something else. Maybe it was that the story wasn't plausible? Also, I did find it strange that the book opens with someone we think will be a main character, only to learn that he is dead throughout the story. I will conclude that this one is ok if one needs something to read, but it would not be a first choice for me.

Unfortunately, this one just wasn't for me. It was too information dumpy and the influx of information had my eyes glazing every other page.

I got this book as an ARC from Penguin's First to Read program. Warning, this is purely stream of consciousness below. I had stopped reading McCarty's Highland Guard books a few books from the end of that series. They were feeling too historically implausible, and the guys were becoming too butthead-ish. McCarty clearly wanted to write medieval SEALs with her Highland Guard books, so now she's made the jump to modern day SEALs. I was feeling a little tentative about trying this series given my growing dislike of her previous series. But her writing style fits better with modern-day men, I think. I still have niggles about this book. I'm only giving it 3-1/2 stars. There's a big info dump at the beginning of the book that is awkwardly done. The whole beginning also lays out someone that the reader thinks is going to be the hero, only to have him killed in action. Wait, what?! Also, the hero and heroine are chalk and cheese. There's a lot of talking through their dramatically differing views, which feels a bit too sitting around a campfire singing Kumbayah-ish. The heroine is also too naive for me to truly root for. And yet... Despite all of these things that I keep nattering on about, I kept plowing through the book. I did pick up and finish several other books while working my way through Going Dark. This is in part because the book did not utterly grip me, but also has a lot to do with my utter disdain for the stupid-ass way that Penguin forces us to view these ARCs. While I'm grateful for the chance to get these books early, every time I get one I bitch nonstop about how last century the system for getting and reading said Penguin books is. All of that being said, I am glad I gave McCarty another try, and I will definitely pick up book 2 in the series. Hopefully with the set-up completed in book 1, book 2 will flow a little more smoothly. I am intrigued to find out what is happening with the disappeared platoon, like the vanished Roman Legion. It's a cool concept!

I loved the story and read through it in less than two days. Very compelling and fast paced. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series to find out what happens with Dean and Annie. My only complaint was the large number of mistypes. The book could really use a good proof reader. There were a few places I had to read sentences over to figure out what the author was trying to say. Thanks First to Read for my advanced copy.

3 out of 5 Stars Going Dark lived up to my expectations, but didn't really exceed them. I applaud the author for choosing such an ambitious concept as her first contemporary romance. I don't have the knowledge to confirm or discredit the technical or tactical information throughout this book, regarding both the military and the environmental activist lifestyle. The book started out slow for me. There was a lot of information building up to the actual commencement of the main plotline of the novel, but I can see the necessity of that information if this will be the first installment of a series, which I would suspect is the case. For the most part, I enjoyed and connected with the Hero, however, I did get annoyed with the heroine on occasion. Regardless, I became a proponent of their happy ending. Theirs is an unlikely partnership. The author crafted and dealt with two completely different personalities well, though it is highly unlikely these two characters would find themselves in love if it weren't for the dire circumstances surrounding them. I've read a lot of books similar to this title and there are authors that execute this type of content more successfully, but I would be willing to follow the progress of this series should it continue. The high points of the plotline were exciting and I was emotionally drawn to the story of the vanishing SEAL Team. This book is a strong enough foundation for the author to continue building upon and I am grateful for the opportunity to have read it.

DNF - an historical in modern clothing. It doesn't work. In addition, my own research background prevented me from achieving the necessary suspension of disbelief to enjoy the premise of this book.

These type of books aren't my go to but I wanted to try something new. I was in it for the romance factor. It was an okay story. Since it dealt with military and different organizations I had to try to figure out what everything was. It was a decent book, not great.

This was a pretty good book. Not great. A bit better than just ok. I liked that it had two conflicts going on at once, but only one "mystery" was solved. It would have been better had both come to a conclusion. I don't like cliff-hangers. Maybe the author left it open to conclude in her next book. I'm not sure as I have never read this author before. I only saw two typos the editing didn't catch, so no hugely distracting errors to annoy you. The sex scenes were typical, but honestly, they all are in any book. I mean, it's not that they're going to write that the guy was just average and the girl was flat chested, are they? All in all, I would read another book from this author if it was readily available, but I look forward to books from authors like Anita Shreve, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and Markus Zusak (totally different styles).

Do you like a great story? Love a man in uniform? Then this should be your next read. Bring on the next book! The chemistry between Annie and "Dan" is great. Really hoping the next story is Donovan or Colt-I figure Scott's will be the last story told to wrap up the mystery of what happened in Russia.

The story was an okay read for me. The storyline was pretty slow to build and the romance while being okay was a little to hot and cold for me. The overall story was somewhat confusing you start with a messed up mission and then jump the main female character going on a drilling protest where she meets one of the missing SEALS. From there the story sort of drags through their slowly developing relationship but doesn't really give you a lot of information storyline until almost the end where the author sort of throws it all together and they fall in love and she stays in Scotland and waits for him to come see her? I guess it was a good thing she wound up being a millionaire and doesn't have to work for a living and can just hang around and wait for him to show up every few weeks for a visit. I probably won't be ready any more of this story line.

I was definitely impressed with this story. Military Romances aren't my go to genre so I was a little skeptical to begin with. I felt as though this book blew away my expectations. I really enjoyed the character development between Dean and Anne. They both had strong back stories and their stories wove together well. The story was also able to express emotion wonderfully. However, some parts could be improved on. I felt that the prologue was extended too long and should've focused on the Dean more. When I learned that it was Dean as a main character and not Brian I was a little confused. I also thought that Colt's character was just thrown in there as a filler and not really needed and then just kind of disappeared and we never find out what happens with him. Sophie was also kind of random of a person to have as an antagonist with only a small mention in one chapter. I would definitely recommend the book though, and I'm looking forward to reading other books by this author.

This was my first time reading anything from this author. The book was alright and some what entertaining. I enjoyed the characters, however, I wish there more character development of the female character Sofia and how she was tied in to Julian & Claude. There was no build up as to why she attempted to murder Anne. It was presented as a wrap-up but it was disappointing. I also wish the story had more to do with the seal team 9 and what happened to them. It seamed that the two characters Anne & Dean/Dan would find the missing submarines & tie the two stories together but it didn't. So it was a little confusing. I do enjoy series so I will be interested to see how the next book plays out.

Rating this a 2.75. We open with a group secret military Seals on a mission. During the prologue we are introduced to one navy seal (who I thought was the hero) and his colleagues during the unfolding of the mission. Something goes terribly wrong and we are left hanging on the last page of the prologue unsure what happened. We then open with the first chapter getting introduced to the heroine, her boyfriend and his activist group. The hero gets thrown in who isn't the hero, yep threw me for a loop as I was expecting the gentleman from the prologue. That right there was odd. Then as I continue reading and get to know Annie. Annie the liberal activist, who followed her boyfriend, Julien of two months (another thing that just seemed superficial and not mesh, two month and she's following him across the world???), across the world to join his group of activists to protest offshore diving venture. She doesn't like his group of friends and finds one in particular to be very sinister. Annie meets Dean, who's the hero. Dean has gone "dark" waiting for direction after the mission disaster. He's a captain of a boat during this time of limbo. He's a conservative, dedicated Seal. While at a bar Dean over hears some of Annie's not so complimentary comments made about the military as well as some other disparaging views she has. Annie was there visiting with her boy friend and his activist friends. The two meet as her boyfriend and the activists seek out Dean for the use of his boat. Annie observes the interaction that takes place and sees a new side of Julien or has that always been there and she's just never really took the time to notice. Annie is appalled, disappointed and begins to second guess her feelings for Julien the decision to join him. The group does rent Dean's boat and this is where Annie's sees the true purpose and intent of the group. Annie and Dean then work together to survive. Okay the premise of the story is good, but goodness gracious Annie killed me. She came across as whiny, weak and at times snobby. The hero I liked enough, but not too much depth. And I love the opposites attract genre but these two had only the insta lust going for their relationship. Appreciate the author trying to put a liberal activist (I found some of her activist issue come across disingenuous in the story line) with a conservative, military Seal, but these two did not mesh or seem like a go for HEA. Annie had a lot of drama and damsel in distress moments and she just came across as "sorry" dumb. Heroines can be portrayed as visionary/idealist and somewhat naive but still be a strong character in the story, unfortunately that didn't happen in this story. I enjoy Monica McCarty's HR and appreciated most of her heroines and hero's. Not sure if expectations were to high or transition from historical to contemporary was a little rough the first time out. I appreciated the conservative military aspect of the story as well as the liberal activist side, the standing up for what they both believe and both parties making a difference. A positive for both and wish we had more of that in DC. Well balanced, just didn't see it working for this couple long term. I will give the next book in the series a try as I found the prologue and the mystery of the secret seal team intriguing.

This story had a promising premise and strong characters. I did not enjoy all the extra filler that was in so many chapters. I found myself skipping over a good portion of the book. Also, a pet peeve of mine is reading a book not knowing if it is going to be a part of a series. I don't mind reading them. I enjoy it. I just want to be prepared to not have "an ending" to the book. I hope the finished blurb for this book mentions it.


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