Hover – Anne A. Wilson – Forge Books – Published 2 June 2015



Helicopter pilot Lt. Sara Denning joins a Navy battle group with little fanfare—and that’s just the way she likes it. After her brother Ian’s tragic death, her career path seemed obvious: step into his shoes and join the Naval Academy, despite her fear of water. Sara’s philosophy is simple—blend in, be competent, and above all, never do anything to stand out as a woman in a man’s world.

Somewhere along the way, Sara lost herself—her feminine, easygoing soul is now buried under so many defensive layers, she can’t reach it anymore.

When she meets strong, self-assured Lt. Eric Marxen, her defenses start to falter. Eric coordinates flight operations for a Navy SEAL team that requests Sara as the exclusive pilot. This blatant show of favoritism causes conflict with the other pilots; Sara’s sexist boss seems intent on making her life miserable, and her roommate and best friend, the only other woman on the ship, is avoiding her. It doesn’t help that her interactions with Eric leave her reeling.

The endgame of the SEALs’ mission is so secret, even Sara doesn’t know the reason behind her mandated participation. Soon, though, the training missions become real, and Sara must overcome her fears before they plunge her into danger. When Sara’s life is on the line, can she find her true self again and follow the orders of her heart before it is too late?

My thoughts

Fantastic. Hover is a book that just gets better and better.

I initially read a sample of the first 100 pages of this book. I was highly intrigued from the very first page. In fact, I loved every one of those 100 pages. But the question is, having now read the whole book, do I still love it? Yes. Resoundingly, YES! In fact this book only gets better and better. My previous comments stand: I was blown away with how great it was. I was sucked in from page one. I was laughing, intrigued, excited. I wanted more. I wanted to know what happened next.

Lieutenant Sara Denning never planned on joining the navy. She is only there because her brother, one more man in a very long line of Denning military men, isn’t. But for someone who wasn’t going to join up, she’s pretty good at what she does. There is just one problem- she’s terrified of water. Luckily, being a helicopter pilot gets her as far away from the water as one can in the navy. During a flight that turns dangerous due to bad weather, Sara’s flying skill is noticed and, finally, appreciated. She and her crew are stranded on the Lake Champlain, a guided-missile cruiser, due to the storm, where Sara meets Eric Marxen, a handsome and kind Lieutenant (yes, you can start swooning now) who opens doors for Sara and yet still treats her with the respect befitting her military role. Sara can’t get him out of her head, nor can she figure out why he has knowledge of top secret information and is in charge of high-ranking training exercises, all of which feature a SEAL team and orders for Sara to be at the controls of the helicopter.

A H-46 Sea Knight, the helicopter Sara pilots.

A H-46 Sea Knight, the helicopter Sara pilots.

As the story progresses, the reader is provided with a fantastic mix of military action and romantic tension. One minute you are onboard a H-64 helicopter landing on a ship in fierce seas, the next navigating the sparks that start flying between Sara and Eric. But the real focus of Hover, the real star is Sara herself. Introverted, tough-on-the-outside Sara, who is professional, an expert marksman and a brilliant pilot. Sara, who endeavors everyday to do her job, do it well and prove to those around her, and to herself, that she belongs. The other characters are varied and brilliant. I loved the banter between Sara and her aircrew, Lego and Messy. I loved to hate (or maybe just fume at) Lieutenant Commander Claggett. But honestly, the best bit of this book is the last quarter. The action just keeps building and building.

I really liked the writing style in Hover, which is engaging to the point of must-not-put-this-book-down. There is plenty of navy jargon and facts to make the book feel totally realistic, yet the style is also lyrical and I was never overwhelmed with acronyms or words I didn’t know. Information about things like the carrier strike group and different ships or aircraft is seamlessly integrated with the story (no lengthy or boring info-dumps here). Hover is also dialog rich, reflective and humorous, which makes it so very readable. I think what I loved most of all about Hover is that it was written by someone who was out there doing crazy, brave, amazing things like Sara. It brings such an air of authority and authenticity to the book.

If you want a book with military action, a strong but secretly terrified female heroine, a great cast of secondary characters, plenty of suspense, navy SEALs, an awesome writing style and romance then Hover is the book for you. Highly recommended.

The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

More information

Category: Adult Fiction.

Themes: Military. Contemporary Women.

Advisory: Frequent coarse language. Sexual references.

Author Website: Anne A. Wilson. And check out Anne’s blog via her website for heaps of great naval stories and real-life  heroines.

Published: 2 June 2015 by Forge Books

Available Formats: Hardcover and eBook. 320 pages

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