Taken at the Flood by Nene Adams is the final book author Nene Adams wrote before she passed away in 2015. Meredith Reid is a former Navy captain whose charter business has seen better days. For this reason, she agrees to consider Rue Stanton’s offer to hire her boat for an unknown purpose. Something about Rue’s reluctance has Meredith’s defenses up, which turns out to be a good thing. Their meeting is interrupted by a bomb blast.
From there, Meredith gets pulled into a global treasure hunt almost against her will. Rue continues to play her cards close to her vest, but there’s something about the enigmatic recovery specialist that intrigues Meredith. Before long, they’re in the midst of a passionate relationship, but Meredith has no idea if Rue will prize her over the treasure she’s been sent to recover from a Nazi U-Boat.
Their hunt leads them across the globe, and they team up with diverse allies. Meanwhile, the rival for the treasure is growing increasingly more ruthless. It’s hard to keep an eye on the prize when your enemy isn’t who he seems to be.
Meredith Reid is the kind of character I love to read about. She’s smart, hardworking, and kickass. Meredith has a strong honorable streak, and she’s not about to let anyone compromise it. This is a trait that’s been with her, for better or worse, since her Navy days. It’s part of what compels her to help Rue, but also what makes her so unsettled about what they’re doing.
Rue Stanton is a recovery specialist who is damn good at what she does because she doesn’t turn aside once she’s on a mission. Her single-mindedness has stood her in good stead for her work, but it’s not such a good thing in a relationship. She’s also kickass, and won’t let herself be turned aside from her target. It’s been her experience that staying under the radar of the authorities is the best way to operate. At heart she’s a wheeler-and-dealer who isn’t afraid to deal with the most degenerate underworld operators if it’ll get her closer to her goal.
There is a rich stable of supporting characters in this story. I’m not going to go into them in detail so as not to rob anyone of the satisfaction of discovering them themselves. Suffice it to say, there’s a cranky retired Navy Master Chief, and a passel of female mercenaries from Buenos Aires.
The Writing Style
The novel is written in the third person, past tense. We experience the entire story through Meredith’s eyes. This choice allows the author to keep the readers in the dark about Rue’s true intentions. She’s a difficult character to read, and I never quite knew what she was up to. It lent a feeling of being off-balance the entire time I was reading the story. It’s a subtle thing, but it helps to really amp up the story’s tension. And when the climactic scene comes, I was even more on edge wondering if Rue was going to do the right thing, or if was she going to do what was best for her.
Lots of action, which I love, as well as some hot sex scenes, including one mile high one.
I had the occasional issue with Rue’s characters. She ran hot and cold, sometimes without explanation. I imagine she was under a lot of stress, so when she would get cranky (like really cranky!), I could understand that. What I had more trouble with was when she would suddenly be acting as if she’d never been a giant crabass. I could see what Meredith saw in her, but there were times I didn’t like her much at all.
This book makes me wish very much that we could get more from Nene Adams. I’m sorry I only discovered her on her final book. On the other hand, that means there are more of her books out there waiting for me to read!
If you’re a fan of action novels with strong lesbian protagonists (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t be), you should check this out today.
Excerpt from Taken at the Flood by Nene Adams
Meredith ordered a glass of sparkling water to dilute the beers she’d drunk. “Why Mexico? And why the hush-hush?” she asked.
“I’d rather not say,” Rue replied while choosing another oyster. “No questions answered, remember?”
Meredith scowled. “I’d rather not have my license yanked or face jail time because my passenger’s into something hinky she kept under her hat.”
“Ms. Reid…I mean, Meredith.” Rue dabbed her mouth with a napkin. “I don’t know how else to assure you of my intentions except give you my word: nothing I want to do in Mexico is illegal, immoral, or even breaks any of the Ten Commandments. To be honest, you’re a last-minute substitute for the person I’d previously hired. He had to cancel the charter due to an accident. Since it’s prime tourist season in these parts, I didn’t have a lot of choice when it came to boats. You were the last call I made.”
Knowing Rue felt she was scraping the bottom of the barrel stung. Meredith bristled on Lady Vic’s behalf. Rue gulped another three oysters in the time it took her to wrestle her immediate furious reaction down to irritation. “Be that as it may, I won’t tolerate being kept completely in the dark,” she said, her tone coming out more clipped than she’d intended. “Either tell me right now what this is about, or I’m walking—”
White lightning flashed in her vision, followed by a deafening roar and a wave of immense pressure. The world ended. She ended, too, apart from a single thought following her into the darkness: the word “bomb.”
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1594934780
Publisher: Bella Books
Note: I received a free review copy of Taken at the Flood by Nene Adams. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.