Review: Operation: Endurance by Christi Snow (When the Mission Ends #3)
April 30 2013
Received from author
Yummy Man – Chris
Kick Ass Chick – Julie
From Goodreads –
They had a single night of passion before he deployed on a risky mission.
18 hours on a mission gone very wrong was all it took to shatter all their hopes and dreams.
He survived 6 months of captivity and torture, kept alive by dreams of her.
She thought he was dead and moved on only to have her world fall apart once again.
Two people who have been hurt more than any two people should ever have to suffer. Can they find redemption and healing with each other or will another threat shatter what’s left of them?
A tortured hero.
A grieving heroine.
A serial rapist who won’t give up.
Operation: Endurance is the third and final book in Christi Snow’s After the Mission Ends trilogy. I have enjoyed this series, especially this book.
This is Chris and Julie’s story. Both have been through more crap than anyone should in their lifetime and both more than deserve a happy ending. We know from the end of book one what hell Chris has been through but Julie is more of a mystery. We know she keeps mostly to herself, she’s a physiotherapist and she likes things organized. Other than that, we don’t know much. As expected, you learn all you need to know in this book but you learn even more in the prequel novella, Before the Mission Begins (which I strongly recommend you read before Operation: Endurance. Not mandatory, but recommended). We learn that Julie suffers from OCD and is also dealing with traumatic events that happened when she was quite young. But she’s not your typical damaged heroine because she has a strong and loving relationship with her parents and her sister. I liked that. Not every main character needs to come from a broken home in order to have a compelling story. Oh, and let’s not forget that Julie’s boyfriend was shot by a crazy man recently. For all that Julie has gone through she is handling things very well. She is stronger than she gives herself credit for. She could easily whine and think that her life sucks but she’s not like that. And Chris could easily be that way too but he’s not either.
Think of a tortured soul and double it. Now you have Chris. That poor man deserves all of the hugs you are going to want to give him. And again, he’s not a whiny annoying little man. He and Julie both understand that they can’t go through their issues alone and need help. I was SO happy Christi wrote her main characters this way and feel like more authors should. Yes, this is fiction, but you can’t always write characters who are so super-power strong that they either miraculously heal themselves or heal each other. That is not realistic, especially after what Chris and Julie have gone through, and it’s great to see that Christi realized this. It helped make her characters so much more real.
Chris and Julie absolutely deserve each other. Not only because they both know hardship but also because they complement one another perfectly. As you can imagine, this is a pretty heavy book. But don’t worry about it being too heavy. Christi writes a wonderful balance between emotional and sweet. It’s not an easy book to read but it’s definitely worth it. Chris and Julie have incredible chemistry – it’s hot and sexy – but it’s also sweet and romantic.
There is a wedding scene in this book. Christi mentioned that she cried while writing it and I can see why. It’s a lovely scene and the vows were very touching. I didn’t cry, but I definitely smiled and found myself thinking “aww” while reading.
Even though there was more than enough angst and drama to write an entire book with just Chris and Julie’s issues (alone and with each other), there was a sub plot involving a serial rapist in this book. The mystery was well written and the bad guy came as a surprise. This is not a nice man and what he does in this book is not pleasant. At all. Yet you totally feel for the guy by the end of the book. Christi did a great job there. It would have been so much easier for her to write a nasty piece of work you just wanted to hate but she didn’t. She’s a brave one that Christi. Honestly, I would have been completely happy with the story without the serial rapist portion but then it would not have been a very good romantic suspense story, would it? So even though I found it was not a need, I found it was well written.
Overall, I really enjoyed Operation: Endurance. I believe it’s Christi’s best book to date. I found Chris and Julie’s relationship progressed naturally and was written extremely well. This could not have been an easy book to write yet Christi does a great job of it. Through books one and two you know something happened between Julie and Chris yet you never really find out what. Now you do and adding that teaser in the first books really helped make this book all the more special to read. This is a wonderful couple and a great book. If you are looking for a book that will tug on your heart strings, start with Operation: Endgame then move towards this book. I’m sure you will love this couple as much as I do.
Books in the When the Mission Ends series –
Before the Mission Begins (this is technically #0.5 but I would read it right before book #3)