19 June 2014

Invincible Tour Stop!

I’ll be honest with you—I’m no hero. Sure, the media tries to brand every Navy SEAL as some kind of Batman dressed in cam-mies. There’s even a line in one of our cadences: Superman is the man of steel, he ain’t no match for Navy SEAL. You’ve seen the movies—we’re infallible, invaluable, invincible. But that night, the one you read about in the papers … all I really wanted to do was get laid.

One harmless fuck with a Aruban whore, no strings attached. I picked her out of a lineup—wild, dark hair, long legs and a crook-ed smile. After she sucked me off, I relaxed back onto the creaky, cum-stained cot, thankful for the blissful moments she gave me when I actually forgot for a second the faces of my buddies who died because I made the wrong call, the tears of the children I couldn’t save, and the eyes of the enemies I slaughtered during their last seconds of life.

But before I left, her hazel eyes peered into my soul. She whis-pered in a distinct Californian accent, “My name is Annie Hamilton. I’m an American citizen. I was kidnapped on spring break five years ago. You’re my last hope. Please save me.”

One desperate plea. This wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster or a New York Times best-selling thriller. I knew this time there was no room for excuses, no margin for errors. I had one chance to put on the cape and be her hero.

This was a rather interesting read for me. I knew before I started the book that Annie's disappearance and pre-rescue character closely paralleled that of Amy Bradley - a real woman who has been missing for over 16 years - and that the author failed to make mention of this highly relevant fact in the book. While I understand the disclaimer that characters are products of the author's imagination and that any resemblance to actual people is coincidental is the standard publishing disclaimer, I find it quite doubtful and troubling as a simple statement at the beginning or in an author's note would have gone a long way in improving my reading experience. That said, I really enjoyed Invincible.

I found Patrick's character to be a bundle of contradictions. He wants to be a hero, but quietly. He doesn't want a girlfriend or wife, not because he doesn't want to be tied down, but rather because his time as a SEAL prevents him from being able to focus on his partner as he feels he should due to his deployment schedule. He seems to be a nice guy, yet is quite capable of behaving like an arse. All of these contradictions made him feel even more real and made for some rather interesting interactions between him and Annie. Annie is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Despite being kidnapped, raped, beaten, forced to use heroine until she became addicted, and forced into prostitution, she subscribes to the belief that 'everything happens for a reason' and is determined to live each day to its fullest after she is rescued from the brothel. I found myself drawn to her and invested in her story.

Although Ms. Albertson has acknowledged in an interview that Invincible was inspired by Amy's story, her failure to do so in the actual book is problematic for me and is ultimately why this is a four-star review and not a five-star read for me. It is clear that she is a talented author as this is a well-written novel and the post-rescue portion is clearly her own creation as Amy is still missing. I definitely enjoyed reading the book and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Each pump, each thrust, each moan, made my skin crawl. His rum-spiked breath blew hot on my neck. Finally he collapsed on top of me, and I didn’t even have the strength to push him off. After a few torturous minutes, he rolled off me, threw the money on the floor and walked out of the room.
This was my life. How many more men could I take? Once my pimp decided he no longer had use for me, I would be history. He would trade me to another brothel, another island. Or kill me.
Alana Albertson is the former President of both Romance Writers of Americas’s Young Adult and Chick Lit chapters and the founder of Academe Advantage, a college admissions & test preparation company. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance and young adult fiction. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time needlepointing, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of House Hunters, Homeland, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.


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