Home Book Reviews Review: Final Siege by Scarlett Cole
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 18:15

Review: Final Siege by Scarlett Cole

Written by Jennifer Porter
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finalsiegeFinal Siege by Scarlett Cole (romantic suspense, St. Martins Swerve, January 2018)

Series: Love Over Duty, book 2


Former SEAL Malachai “Mac” MacCarrick is all about the future he’s created with his Navy brothers in Eagle Securities, taking assignments in the most dangerous places, and doing things no one but ex-military would attempt. But when an urgent phone call brings his troubled past—and the woman he once loved—into the present, it’s a chance to redeem himself that he can’t refuse.




An investigative journalist researching an explosive story, Delaney Shapiro tells herself she got over Mac—and his role in her brother’s death—a long time ago. But the first moment she sees him at her bedside in an overseas hospital, she knows it’s not true. Every moment together rekindles the desire that once burned between them, and now that she’s a target for an emerging Russian arms dealer, Mac won’t let her out of his sight. To protect her, he’ll risk it all—including his life…

Okay, I have to warn readers that this will be a highly ranty review of Scarlett Cole’s Final Siege, the second book in the Love Over Duty series. But before I get to the ranting, I want to say that I was LOVING this romantic suspense story in which two one-time lovers are reunited when the heroine finds herself in danger. I so engrossed in this story that I was already making plans to go back to read the first book in the series - not because I was lost but because I was very into the characters, the series arc, etc. My love for this book lasted until I was 71% into the story and read one exchange between the hero and the heroine:

“Yeah. Well. Couldn’t you have grown up to be a librarian, Buttons? Life would be a lot simpler.”

Delaney shook her head. “And what? Die of boredom before I turn thirty?”

So, you know how something can pull you out of a book? Well, in this case, I felt as if I were yanked out of the story with the force of the entire universe. I was yanked so far out of the story that I thought I was on my way past the boundaries of the Milky Way into unchartered space. I was at a total stand still while I tried to process what I had just read.

Important disclosure number one: I am a librarian - a systems librarian to be specific which means that I work with library technology and try to keep everything in my library working. I have worked in a library for most of my professional career about 27 years in total.

Important disclosure number two: I am female.

Important disclosure number three: I am currently 47 yrs old.

Important disclosure number four: I am not dead via boredom from my chosen profession (or from any other method, although the concept of writing ghostly reviews is intriguing).

Important disclosure number five: Librarianship can be tedious at times, exciting at others. There may be boring days, but working in a library is not boring. It is often fast paced and filled with problems that require fast thinking and fancy footwork to resolve.

I had enough invested in this book and the story that I did not stop reading. I chose to rant a bit on twitter and continue on to find out how Mac and Delaney resolved their issues (which were weighty. They had been in love in their late teens until Mac and Delaney’s brother jumped off a cliff together; sadly Delaney’s brother did not survive and Delaney blamed Mac). I thought the author did an excellent job with resolving this conflict and with the suspense plot. There was lots of action, the supporting characters were great and the romance was engaging. 98.5% of the book was wonderful. But that one exchange mostly ruined the book for me, and in all honestly will be the one thing that I remember about this book.

So for my rants: There were so many ways that the author could have had Delaney respond to Mac’s comment. “And what? Go stir crazy from sitting at a desk all day?” is one that comes to mind (This isn’t necessarily true but wouldn’t actually imply that librarianship is boring enough to cause death; It would rather imply that Delaney just wasn’t cut out for the job which would’ve been a better way to go). I mean it is true that not everyone would enjoy being a librarian. I get that (and just for edification purposes there are many, many different types of librarian jobs from working with technology, to working with the public, to working in public libraries, to working in academic ones, to working with documents, to working with metadata, to working with social media and marketing and to working so many other things).

Delaney is an investigative reporter working a big, important story about arms dealers and corruption. One would think that she would understand the value of research and the value of the role that librarians play in research (whether in helping reporters find information they need or in helping to organize the resources that they might be searching). It seems counterintuitive for an investigative journalist to diss librarians, IMHO. It is fine for her to prefer reporting over librarianship but her comment is dismissive.

And I mean I get that this is a throwaway comment. We all say things in the heat of the moment based upon prejudices and assumptions. I do not want to let this one phrase define this book, especially since there is much about this book to recommend it. But by the same token, I have to say that this one is hurtful. I take pride in my work as a librarian and honestly feel as if the things I do every day are helping people. I am not on the front lines like many librarians who deal directly with patrons, but without my work people wouldn’t be able to find anything that they need. Being a librarian is extremely fulfilling and rewarding. There is nothing boring about it.

After mulling over my thoughts and reactions to the death by being bored as a librarian quote, I also realized that there was another reason that I was so bothered by the comment being made in a romance novel. Librarianship is a female dominated profession (in 2009 83% of librarians were female - https://blog.oup.com/2011/06/librarian-census/) much like that of the romance novelist and in all honesty I can’t help but think that librarianship (and romance) is an easy target because of this fact. I would like to think that romance writers and readers would be a bit more sensitive to the types of bizarre wholescale assumptions that people make about female-dominated professions. It was especially painful to read such a denigrating comment in romance novel. I do not care for such comments about the romance genre any more than I do about librarians.

Final Siege has everything I want in a romantic suspense plot: a strong romance, an intriguing cast of characters and a solid suspense plot. But a cavalier comment about the boringness of being a librarian ruined this book for me. DON’T DISS LIBRARIANS!

Scarlett Cole: http://www.scarlettcole.com/

Book Disclosure: An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 18:21
Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

Romance Novel News

Twitter: @JenniferRNN

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