Code Name: Ghost
by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Publisher: Big Dog Books LLC
Book #5 in the Jameson Force Security series
Number of pages: 314
Source: Amazon Pre-Order
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 7/12/20 to 7/13/20
I knew the risks of this job when I signed on with Jameson Force Security. Knew my time as a marine would prepare me for the danger I would face. But no amount of training could have ever prepared me for the helplessness of watching my teammates die, the agonizing mental and physical pain of torture, or the despair of captivity.
Returning home to Pittsburgh following a mission gone wrong, I am riddled with guilt and haunted by nightmares. I spend my days trying to regain the parts of myself I lost in that desert, the pieces that made me the Malik Fournier I once was. While the physical effects of my torture are fading, the emotional ones are proving much more stubborn and I find solace from the last person I should ever seek such comfort.
Anna Tate lost even more than I did in that mission. Now a widow and a single mom to the daughter she gave birth to shortly after her husband’s death, Anna offers me comfort I don’t deserve. As my feelings for Anna grow, I worry that once she learns the truth about what happened, she’ll turn her back on me.
I pull her to me just as tightly as I push her away. Hoping this forbidden love will save me from the ghost I’ve become.
This has got to be my favorite of this series so far. There are a few reasons I think that may be, but I’m not sure if I’m right. Malik was missing in action from the same skirmish Anna’s husband lost his life. Since this is their story, it was bound to be deep and emotional. I love me some deep and emotional, especially when there’s also humor thrown into the mix. And Sawyer Bennett is always sure to give her characters wit and humor. Although suspense is not my favorite genre, I usually enjoy it quite a bit. This is the only book in this series that is not a suspense story so it had me rethinking my preferences. Maybe I liked it more because it didn’t have that element? Hmmm…Then I realized how much time the other stories are spent away. I believe the fact that Anna and Malik spend most of their times at “home base”, so to speak, was a plus for me. There was no getting to know a new locale or new people. And there’s the final thing. Anna and Malik are already known. I already had a connection to them from the way they are woven throughout the other books that came before this one. All these things put together had me more invested in this story. Not that the other stories in the series aren’t great. This one is just a touch above the others for me.
Although Malik and Anna have chemistry from the start, it’s a different kind of chemistry at first. It’s this deep understanding of one another. The things they went through, and are still going through, are the same but much different. Nobody can fully understand Anna’s position and her feelings, and nobody can truly know the feelings of guilt and relief that fight for control in Malik’s heart and mind. Yet somehow they can understand each other more than anyone else.
Malik is amazingly sweet. Which shouldn’t surprise me since I “know” his whole family from this author’s other series. I loved seeing him draw so much strength from his family and the way he leaned on them when he needed to. Also, the way they gave him the space he needed. I think all of that helped Malik to understand what Anna needed from him.
It’s always a tricky thing when there’s a dead spouse involved in a love story. It makes a love triangle when there really isn’t one, at least not physically. The author does a lovely job of respecting the relationship Anna had with her husband, Jimmy, while also showing that there are different types of romantic love. The love Anna finds with Malik isn’t better or worse than what she had with Jimmy, but it’s much different. She never looked to him to be a replacement husband or father, and I appreciate that.
More and more, I’m finding enjoyment in getting to know the men and women of Jameson Force Security. I have a feeling Cage’s story is going to be as comedic as it is intense. That man already has things twisted up by the end of this book, and it’s not even his own story yet.