Into the Dark - Cindy McDonald
Ghosts from her past are chasing her! Four years ago Dr. Rayne Lee lost her husband and her four-year old daughter, Sierra, to a group of hostile guerrillas in the Amazonian Valley of Peru. It had taken every bit of her constitution to rebuild her life and to join her uncle's international security team, First Force, as the team's head medic. She still desperately missed her husband and her daughter, but all in all everything was back on track--until the phone calls started. A young girl was calling claiming to be Sierra. The tiny trembling voice said that the guerrillas were holding her captive, and there was only one way for them to be reunited--Rayne must travel to Peru and give them something that she has. Moreover, they had another stipulation: She must come alone. Suddenly the ghosts from Rayne's past are chasing her down a dark road. What could they possibly want from her? Could she return to the place where her family was murdered and she was brutalized for seven horrid months? Was it really Sierra calling? Rayne knew that she had to take the risk--she had to find out!
I'm going to hesitantly tell you that this is a stand alone book. You won't feel totally lost if you haven't read the previous two, but it certainly would help, because Rayne and Jack (this story) are first introduced to us in the first book, Into the Crossfire. So, if you can (and you really should because they are equally as good as this one), pick up that one as well as book two, To The Breaking Pointe.
With that said, THANK GOODNESS Rayne and Jack "finish" their story. Seriously. I had been rooting for them since book one and I thought maybe the first book would finish their story, but it obviously would have been too soon since Jack's wife dies in book one thus starting this series. We also get a glimpse of Rayne's backstory in book one, but this book really delves into it and we learn what happened to her husband and her daughter in the jungles of Peru. Which, it's not good (obviously), and Rayne finds herself in years of therapy.
One day, just as things are heating up with Jack and she's forming a real bond with his small daughter, she starts receiving these calls from a small girl claiming to be her long assumed daughter Sierra, who died brutally at the hands of Peruvian drug runners and lords. This obviously sends Rayne into regression and she doesn't know if she should tell Jack (or the rest of First Force) and seemingly talks herself into believing she heard the name wrong and it was a wrong number. But when she receives more calls and eventually a demand, she knows she has to act. She knows for certainty her daughter is dead but what if, and she couldn't live with herself unless she went.
It is obviously a trap for Rayne but she doesn't know that something has been hidden in her body during her subsequent capture (after her husband and daughter were killed) and that's what these smugglers are after. First Force is called in to assist but everything goes to shit almost immediately and it's up to Rayne to save herself and find out if her daughter Sierra really is alive.
If you are a fan of romance, military romance, and characters who are complex but written well, you will really enjoy this book. I really love how the author gives us an update on previous characters while giving you a solid story, and casually giving you a glimpse into the next possible set of characters without making the story feeling cluttered.
I encourage you to follow Cindy on Twitter and Facebook, and check out her webpage for updates on this series as well as her other books. Into the Dark went on sale on January 5, so you can pick that up now on Amazon now!