REVIEW: Don’t Let Go by Marliss Melton
Dear Ms. Melton:
You are a new to me author and I had heard good things about you so I was happy to try you out. While this book didn’t work for me, I am still interested in reading other books by you, either future or past works. The main reason that I struggled with this book is that there were so many characters and those characters had all suffered terribly tragedies and one book wasn’t enough to adequately address everything that was brought up.
Ostensibly the main story line is about senior Chief Soloman McGuire and teacher Jordan Bliss. Jordan Bliss was working on the adoption of a young Venezuelan boy when the town she was in was targeted by guerillas. Bliss was saved by McGuire and his team of SEALs sent in specifically to extract her and British civilians. McGuire forces Bliss to leave her nearly adopted son behind because his orders do not include any children. Bliss fights him like a mad woman and eventually she is subdued and sedated. Jordan won’t be deterred and once back in the states, she plots to return to the unstable Venezuela and obtain her son.
McGuire is not untouched by Jordan’s situation. His ex-wife kidnapped their son when McGuire was on a mission and he hasn’t seen his son in five years despite hiring private investigators to search him out. Through a series of circumstances, Silas is returned to McGuire but he is functionally illiterate and not ready to enter the school system. Solomon decides that Jordan might be able to help him and she conveniently needs to earn extra cash to fund her return trip to Venezuela.
This storyline and the shared grief and renewal that Solomon and Jordan experienced would have made a powerful impact but their romance was diluted by the inclusion of Jordan’s sister, Jillian who was struggling to open a therapy ranch while being pregnant and recently widowed. Jillian has a soft and understated romance with a FBI Special Agent Rafael Valentino who lost his entire family in a mob hit. Then there is Silas’ author, Ellie Stuart, who has three young children and a dead beat husband who sold her home out from under her. Finally, there is still another couple introduced at the end of the story, Lucy Donovan, a CIA operative, and Lt. Atwater, with the Navy.
It was difficult to concentrate on the main couple when there were so many other characters in the books raising their hands and saying “pay attention to me.” The Soloman/Jordan storyline was beset with a number of tragedies that resolved almost too neatly given the gravity of both their losses such as Soloman’s reconciliation with his son, Jordan forgiving Soloman for wrenching her near adopted son out of her arms, and
Some parts were quite emotionally moving and the suspense of whether Jordan would be able to reunite with her son was gripping, but too many tragedies, issues and people were crammed into this one book for any satisfactory resolution. C.