A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TBR Day: First Born by Lindsey McKenna

FIRST BORN by Lindsey McKenna
Silhouette Romance
June 2004

Keishon's TBR challenge this month was to find a category romance (if you wanted to) that's been languishing in ye old TBR.

Many years ago I began reading about the Trayherns in the Silhouette Special Edition line. The first series of Trayhern books were about three brothers who served in different branches of the military. At the center of the stories was Morgan Trayhern, the oldest brother, the best and the brightest trying to live up to the family's military traditions.

The Trayhern stories ended up, much like Suzanne Brockmann's books, with many off shoots. There was a series of books called Morgan's Mercenaries chronicling the lives of men and women who served in Morgan Trayhen's secret agency called Perseus. After trying a couple of these books, I began to lose interest. While Ms. McKenna is a very able writer, I just wasn't as invested in these new characters as I had been with the Trayhern family.

I'm guessing it was 3 or 4 years later that I spotted the book FIRST BORN at a used book store. Noting that this book was about Morgan Trayhern's oldest son my interest was piqued and I bought the book. I think that was in 2006. So here I am almost 5 years after it's release finally reading the book.

The heroine is very interesting. Annie Dazen is Native American, a helicopter pilot and the commanding officer of our hero Jason Trayhern. Annie is smart, intuitive and willing to open her mind and heart to the possibilities of the spiritual elements of her upbringing. While she loves her Native American heritage and culture, Annie isn't a caricature or stereotyped character.

Jason Trayhern had a traumatic life experience when he was kidnapped at the age of 8. During his month long captivity, Jason was beaten daily until his rescue. While loving and respecting his parents deeply, Jason also harbors resentment toward his hero father for not keeping him safe as a child. Jason also carries the burden and expectation for the oldest Trayhern son to have a successful and brilliant military career. This family tradition dates back to the American Revolution. So our boy Jason...he got issues.

Jason reports to Annie just weeks before her squadron is scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan. Jason doesn't have the greatest track record. He has been sent down from West Point for being involved in a drug scandal. As the story begins he is being shuffled out of a second assignment for not getting along with the crew. It is at this low point for Jason that Annie, an ace and top helicopter pilot, is given the task to see if 'Cowboy' has what it takes.

The twists and turns occur when the couple finally does make it to Afghanistan. Before leaving Jason and Annie get on equal footing when Jason receives a much deserved promotion. However they both understand their relationship will have to be put on hold while on this assignment.

This was one of those books I really wanted to like more. It had lots of the elements I enjoy in a book with a military backdrop. Unfortunately, the book just felt dated to me. I tried a few times to put my finger on exactly what was bugging me. I eliminated the war because the war in Afghanistan is still going on. The military references didn't seem old or out dated either. I think my discomfiture came more from not really clicking with the characters. The dialogue and behavior seemed a little stiff and one dimensional at times.

Ironically, I actually liked the scenes between the senior Trayherns, Morgan and Laura, better. Maybe because they were better known to me from my prior reading of their stories. To Ms. McKenna's credit I was surprised how much of the original Trayhern stories came back to me with this reading.

Still, this is far from a horrible book. This would definitely have to be read by someone interested in stories with a military backdrop because it plays a big part of the story.

My grade for this one: C

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Blogger nath said...

Yay, Rosie! you made it!!! LOL :)

Hmm, the book does actually sound interesting :) Too bad you didn't click with the characters more.

9:21 AM PST  
Blogger Lori said...

I remember this book. I remember liking it, but all the woowoo stuff made me rollmy eyes a bit.

11:31 AM PST  
Blogger Tracy said...

It does sound like it would be interesting. I might have to check it out for one of my category reviews.

1:39 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Nath, oh ye of little faith! I actually had the book read by the weekend but had so many other commitments I hadn't had a chance to sit down and write a review.

Lori, I was surprised how much I remembered of Morgan Trayhern's back story that plays a part in this one. The woo-woo didn't bug me as much as the dialogue, especially Jason's was too precious.

Tracy,the original Trayhern brother books were good that's for sure.

8:38 PM PST  
Blogger Eileen Nauman said...

Hi Rosie
Thanks for taking the time to read my book, FIRST BORN. I appreciate your time, also, in putting up a review.
Warmly, Lindsay McKenna aka Eileen Nauman

6:32 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Ms. Naumann, thanks for stopping by ye olde blog. Like many of your fans I love the Trayhern family.

9:19 AM PST  
Blogger nath said...

I meant I was glad you were able to find time to write the review! I read the previous post, but didn't have time to comment. By the time I came back, you already had a review!

I have lots of faith in you, Rosie :D and I know when you're not ultra busy, you're on top of everything :D

4:29 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Nathie, I knew you were teasing. You are a sweetie. As for having faith in me, we'll see how I do as the year progresses with the two reading challenges I'm trying to do. :P

7:41 PM PST  

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