Wow, this book was fantastic!
This amazing instalment in Kaylea Cross' romantic/military suspense series is unique in many ways. The main couple are older than you would expect to find in romantic suspense, and at the beginning of the story both characters have very realistic reasons to believe they only have a short time left to live.
Luke walked away from Emily many years ago when he found himself in a situation where she was nearly very badly hurt because of him. He was a Navy SEAL and went on to work for the CIA, making plenty of enemies along the way. Over the course of the series, a terrorist connected to Luke's past has been tracking down the women associated with him, and now it looks like Emily could be in danger. Luke is prepared to give up his life in order to finally take this man down, but when he turns up on Emily's doorstep to discover her dying of cancer, he realises they've wasted half a lifetime they could have been together. It looks like neither of them may have much time left.
Absolution takes us from the United States back to Beirut and the sparse expanses of the Middle East. The story is exceptionally well-researched. Everything from the military aspects to the details of Emily's illness to the feel of the different locations is far more detailed and intricate than you'll find in other books in this genre.
One of the best aspects of Absolution was the way the whole team - all the heroes and heroines of past books - pulled together in this one. Everyone got their moment to do their thing, and every single one of these characters is so distinct from the others. My favourites, Ben and Samarra (from No Turning Back), were great, with Ben in particular managing to put a smile on my face more than once in the middle of all the drama and pain.
As for Luke and Emily? You'll never find another couple like this. The reunited lovers theme is one of my absolute favourites, and this one packs extra punch with the very real threat things aren't going to work out for these two in the end. Cross definitely doesn't give us a sugar-coated wrap up to her series, and there are no easy answers for either of them when we reach the last page.
Read this series in order. Sure, you'll be able to catch up reading this one on its own, but the story of Absolution has been building up over the entire series, and there's no way you'll get anywhere near as much out of it starting here (plus, the entire series is definitely worth the effort!).
It was extremely depressing reaching the end of this book, because I don't know how I'm going to get by without another instalment to the series! Absolution was above and beyond what you could ever hope for from a military suspense novel, and I hope plenty of people go out there and see why I can't stop raving about this series.
Out Of Her League
Cover of Darkness
No Turning Back