Trusting Skylar by Susan Stoker #BookReview

Former military operative Carson “Bull” Rhodes hasn’t dated seriously since he and his teammates left the army. Since then he’s opened Silverstone Towing—which is a front for his other job: hired killer. When kindergarten teacher Skylar Reid calls for help while stranded on the side of the interstate, the attraction is instant. The problem is Bull’s career has jaded him. Skylar’s innocent, and he wants to keep her that way.

Cautious by nature, Skylar never expected to fall in love with her tow truck driver. Even so, once Bull reveals what he really does for a living, she’s not sure she can handle it. When Skylar faces threats that have nothing to do with Bull’s job but are just as deadly, the stakes are higher than ever.

With the help of the Silverstone team, Bull will use everything he’s learned over the years to bring the woman he loves home—because the alternative is unthinkable

Title: Trusting Skylar | Author: Susan Stoker | Series: Silverstone #1 | Publisher: Montlake| Pages: 318 | ISBN: 9781542021340 | Publication date: 1st December 2020 | Source: NetGalley

As a reader I like to sometimes try books from genres I don’t normally read. Romantic suspense is just that, so when I saw ‘Trusting Skylar’ on NetGalley I thought I’d give it a go. If nothing else, it confirmed to me why I don’t normally read romantic suspense. On its own terms it’s not a terrible book, it’s just a its own terms aren’t ones that interest me.

Romantic suspense is a fairly broad category and ‘Trusting Skylar’ fits into the “tough military operative falls in love with a normal gal” niche within it. Susan Stoker specialises in this sort of thing, having penned series with titles like ‘SEAL of Protection’, ‘Delta Force Heroes’, ‘Mountain Mercenaries’ and ‘Ace Security’. She’s written a tonne of books (there are 21 in the ‘SEAL of Protection’ series alone), so there’s market here. I’m guessing the books have a similar setup to ‘Trusting Skylar’, which is the first book in a series of its own, ‘Silverstone’.

It must be said that the cover of ‘Trusting Skylar’ is remarkably dull. Many of Stoker’s other books have the kind of covers that make me want to buy them even though I didn’t like this one all that much.

The story here concerns ex-special forces hero Bull and his team of buddies who run a towing company in middle America, whilst also occasionally going on international missions funded by the FBI to kill terrorists. The book opens with a pretty entertaining military sequence that reads a lot like something from a Gold Eagle book.

After that the romance part gets going and my interest levels nose dived. Bull meets Skylar, a kindergarten teacher with a nice ass and a heart of gold who only sees the best in people. He tows her car and acts weirdly protective of her then asks her on a date. We then get a couple of hundred pages of them spending time together. They talk to each other a lot and Bull continues being overly protective. They also talk to other people about their feelings and stuff a lot. Then, after a respectable amount of time dating, they have hot sex. Then after that there is some more suspense stuff which I won’t spoil.

Now romantic books aren’t really my thing, so I may be way off the mark here, but I thought the thing that makes a romance is the “will they, won’t they” tension of the story. In ‘Trusting Skylar’ the only things that cause that tension are Skylar being a bit nervous as she hasn’t had much luck with guys in the past, and Bull worrying about telling her he kills people for a living. At no point was I at all worried that they wouldn’t get it on.

The suspense part, after that entertaining start, is pretty lacking too. The end is kind of exciting, but it’s a hell of a long time coming and you have to wade through a lot of boring conversations to get to it. But the book wasn’t written for me, so who am I to judge. If this is your kind of thing, give it a go.


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