Monday, September 26, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: ROGUE SOLDIER by Jamie Lynn Miller (Shadow Unit #2)


Rogue Soldier (Shadow Unit Book 2)
Shadow Unit may have overturned the illegal arms cartel in Kuala Lumpur, but the harrowing undercover op left emotional scars on Sergeants Shawn Weller and Connor Finley. Slowly, patiently, they piece their partnership back together, closer now than ever before.
But the arrival of Julian Montgomery, Shawn’s former CIA handler and lover, threatens to tear them apart. Julian knows all of Shawn's secrets as well as the past Shawn has kept hidden from Connor. Now the self-serving Julian wants Shawn back—with the CIA and with him. No one will get in his way. Including Connor.
When the joint Shadow Unit/CIA mission to stop the supplier of a deadly biological weapon goes sideways, Connor is captured, tortured, and used as a human test subject. It’s a race against time to save his life. But who can Shawn trust?
And who has gone rogue?
Missed Shawn and Connor’s earlier adventures? Read BROKEN SOLDIER, available from your favorite retailer.



A short time later Connor walked into their room and spied Shawn out on the balcony, leaning against the railing. He turned when the door closed behind Connor.

"Hey," he greeted Connor as he came back inside. "Did MacDonald slap your wrist for that stunt you pulled last night?" Shawn joked, but then sobered at Connor's serious expression.

"Finn? Everything okay?"

Connor took a breath. "He offered me a promotion to Captain."

"No f*cking way." Shawn's face lit up with a grin. He moved in close to Connor and kissed him. "I'm proud of you, man. You deserve it."

Connor paused, trying to choose his words carefully. "I think I'm ready for this."

"Of course you're ready for it! You were born to be officer material. Though…does this mean I need to salute you now?" He winked. "Because - "

Connor cut him off. "It's with another unit."

Shawn's mouth closed abruptly and he took a step back, his eyebrows drawing together in confusion. "What?"

"A new unit is being formed. They want me to be second in command," Connor explained. 

Shawn's joyous demeanor changed in a heartbeat before Connor's eyes, becoming closed off, his body radiating tension. "Are you going to take it?"

"Honestly? I want to," Connor answered.

Shawn's face was a stone mask, completely devoid of emotion. "Then you should," he said, voice tight and sharp. Then he pushed past Connor, heading for the door.

Connor snagged his arm. "Oi! We're not done talking about this."

Shawn's head snapped around and Connor saw the flash of hurt and anger in his blue eyes. "What more is there to say?" Shawn asked. "I thought we were a good team. I never have to worry about what's behind me because you always have my back. And I thought you felt the same way. But you've obviously made your choice. And it's not me. Us."

Connor shook his head. "Why does it have to be one or the other? We could make this work."

Shawn gave a sarcastic huff. "Yeah. Sure. Me on one side of the world, you on the other. Maybe we can meet up for Christmas break."

Connor felt his world tipping sideways, Shawn's reaction taking his feet out from under him. "I don't want to lose you, Shawn. Are you saying you don't even want to try?"

"I'm saying it's either me or the job."

Connor looked at Shawn in disbelief, both angry and hurt. "You're giving me an ultimatum?"

Shawn's eyes were cold. "Take it anyway you want."

Then he shook out of Connor's grasp, moving swiftly across the floor and out the door. All Connor could do was stand there and watch him go, the slamming of the door like a punch to his gut that drove the breath from his lungs.


After reading the first book in this series, Broken Soldier, I was torn apart and stitched back together with Shawn and Connor's emotional, dramatic and disturbing story.  When I heard the author was giving them a second book, I approached with eagerness and a bit of trepidation after how the first one put me through the wringer--but still very ready for more.  While Rogue Soldier wasn't as distressing, it still had me tied up in knots on the edge of my seat-and still wrenched my emotions around until the very end.

Connor and Shawn have come out of the events from book one stronger together than before, protective of each other and each very aware of what the other goes through.  Things go sideways during the op at the beginning of this story, and it's Shawn's turn to help Connor deal with the outcome.  Shawn shows patience and a level of understanding that makes it obvious he knows what Connor is going through.  But before everything can be worked through, Shadow Unit is pulled away for a different op with someone from Shawn's past who clearly riles him up-and not in a good way.  From the moment Julian enters the picture, I had just as bad a feeling about him as Shawn did.

The action and excitement continues to build with every page, as does the passion and heat between Shawn and Connor-even when things between them become difficult.  The stress on them from the ops as well as from a curveball thrown at Connor from his commander ramps the tension of the story up at the same time things are getting even more strained from the dangerous op they are on.  While Julian's actions may be just what we expect, the result for Connor is devastating-and shows readers exactly how dedicated to him Shawn is.

The story is thrilling and packs plenty of action-it had me riveted to the pages, not wanting to put it down until I was done.  And just when I thought I wasn't going to be torn up on the emotional front...I was.  I was thoroughly invested in Shawn and Connor in Broken Soldier, and here in Rogue Soldier, I became even more so-which made my reaction to what happens to Connor that much more emotional.  

Rogue Soldier was a 4.5-star read for me, and I do highly recommend it, especially to M/M military romance fans.  You'll get the action you crave alongside passion and intrigue.  While I suppose you could read this as a standalone, I would strongly advise you read Broken Soldier first, it really sets the stage for Shawn and Connor's relationship and will give you better insight into the two characters.  This story is strictly for the 18+ crowd for adult language, violence during military operations, and explicit M/M sexual content-which is scorching hot.


Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.



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